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Doug Backlund




Doug Backlund - Columnist / Photographer / Author

I was born and raised in South Dakota. I've always had a keen interest in the natural world and science. Birding is my favorite hobby, followed by photography, but I have many other interests that range to just about everything that is alive or fossilized. I have a degree in biology from Black Hills State University. Currently, I work for the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks in the Wildlife Diversity Program. When I'm not busy there, I'm out in the field exploring and photographing nature. My fascination with nature has guided my education and experiences for many years. I hope that others will enjoy my stories and photography. More of my photography can be seen at

A desert spring

By the time March rolls around, Iím ready to abandon of this part of the country and visit someplace warmer. Over the past few years, southern Arizona has become my late winter/early spring destination. Although Iíve visited all the popular and well-known birding areas, one place that I discovered on my own has become a favorite. It is a creek, mostly dry, that runs on the east side of a mountain range. The location shall remain a secret for now. There are Arizona Sycamore, Alligator Juniper, and the usual assortment of desert plants along the stream. One fine spring day last year, I took a hike along this streambed and found what I was looking for. After walking through a long stretch of dry streambed, I came upon an outcrop of bedrock and there, the water that flowed under the sand was forced up and over the rock. Then, the water disappeared once again into the sand. For about 15 feet of the streambed there was water, the only water for quite a distance. What a find! The small waterhole was a magnet to wildlife of all kinds. All I had to do was set up my blind and take photos of the birds and other creatures that might appear.

Read the rest of the Doug's column in our May issue...


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This page last updated Tuesday, December 4, 2007 12:32 PM .