Nature Photography


Wildlife Education and Conservation

Stephen McDonough is a nature photographer dedicated to sharing his love of animals and nature with others, especially children.   

He is based in Bismarck, North Dakota where he loves to hike with his three Golden Retrievers and photograph nature.  He also loves to travel nationally and internationally and especially likes the Dakota Badlands, Alaska, Florida, Indonesia, Central and South America.

“There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.”  "It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.”  J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings 

Over 80 of his gallery prints are in the Dakota Reflections Gallery located at the Independent Doctors Horizon Clinic at 4535 Northern Sky Drive  in Bismarck.

The purpose of Dakota Reflections is to provide education and support wildlife conservation with sales of greeting cards, prints and premium gallery canvas.

Hiking with the Puppies

North Dakota Badlands

Uhuru Peak

19,340 feet (5895 meters)

Mt. Kilimanjaro


One Month Old

Baby Elephant Seal

Gold Harbor

South Georgia

Climbing out of Crevasse

Using Prusiks

Winthrop Glacier

Mt. Ranier National Park

Polar Bear

(I am on the Inside!)

Checking out Lunch 

Seal River, Manitoba, Canada

Inca Trail

Hiking in the Rain

Machu Picchu


Gentoo Penguins

Petermann Island


Torres del Paine

Torres del Paine National Park


Brown Bear Photography

in the Rain

Katmai National Park


Great Horned Owl Blind

Oliver County, North Dakota

April 26, 2020 to May 31, 2020

Trips and Adventures



  • June 14, left Bismarck 11 AM, arrived MSP 12:19 PM, left MSO at 2:30 PM, arrived Anchorage 5:40 PM, drove to Homer, Alaska, Land End
  • June 15, Homer
  • June 16, Homer
  • June 17, Homer
  • June 18 drove to Seward, Alaska
  • June 19, Kenia Fjords National Park
  • June 20, drove to Russian River, Gwin's Lodge, Coopers Landing
  • June 21, Russian River National Forest Campground
  • June 22, Russian River National Forest Campground
  • June 23, Russian River then Gwin's Lodge, Coopers Landing
  • June 24, Coopers Landing to Anchorage, Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott
  • June 25, Anchorage to Denali National Park, Savage River Campground
  • June 26, Denali National Park, Savage River Campground
  • June 27, Denali National Park to Anchorage, Hampton Inn, Anchorage
  • June 28, left Anchorage 1:10 PM, arrived MSP 9:35 PM, left MSP 10:05 PM arrived Bismarck 11:28 PM


New Zealand

  • June 2, left Bismarck, delayed in MSP, missed flight at LAX, flew to Australia then to New Zealand, arriving in Auckland
  • June 5, Auckland to Rotorua via Hobbiton
  • June 6, Rotorua to Huka Falls to Lake Taupo to Mt. Raupehu to Ohakune
  • June 7, Ohakune to Wellington
  • June 8, Wellington
  • June 9, Wellington to Christchurch
  • June 10, Christchurch to Lake Tekapo and Lake Pukaki, Mt. Cook to Twizel
  • June 11, Twizel to Lake Wanaka to Cromwell
  • June 12, Cromwell to Alexandra to Ophir to Queenstown
  • June 13, Queenstown to Mavora Lakes to Te Anau
  • June 14, Milford Sound cruise
  • June 15, Queenstown
  • June 16, left Queenstown and returned to Bismarck


  • October 30, left Bismarck 5:05 AM to MSP 6:24 AM, left MSP 4:15 PM, arrived Amsterdam 6:30 AM, left Amsterdam 10:20 AM, arrived Kilimanjaro 8:45 PM on October 31
  • October 31, stayed Arumeru River Lodge
  • November 1, Arusha National Park, Arumeru River Lodge
  • November 2, Arumeru River Lodge
  • November 3, drive to Londorossi, entered Kilimanjaro National Park hiked to Shira 1 Camp
  • November 4, Kilimanjaro National Park hiking Shira Plateau to Shira 2 Camp
  • November 5, Kilimanjaro National Park hike to Lava Tower on to Barranco Camp
  • November 6, Kilimanjaro National Park hike Barranco Wall to Karanga Camp
  • November 7, Kilimanjaro National Park hike to Barafu Camp, 15,091 feet or 4,600 meters
  • November 8, Kilimanjaro National Park hike to Uhuru Peak, 19,340 feet, summiting at 7:45 AM in first group, age 56 years, descended to Mweka Village
  • November 9, Mweka Village to Arumeru River Lodge
  • November 10, Arumeru River Lodge to Tarangire National Park, Tarangire Safari Lodge, lions walked past tent during night
  • November 11, Tarangire National Park to Ngorongoro National Park, Ngorongoro Farm House
  • November 12, Ngorongoro National Park
  • November 13, Ngorongoro National Park to Serengeti National Park, Serengeti Serena
  • November 14, Serengeti National Park
  • November 15, Serengeti National Park to Arumeru River Lodge
  • November 16, Arusha National Park to airport, left 9:40 PM Kilimanjaro, arrived Amsterdam at 7:15 AM, left Amsterdam at 10:20 AM, arrived MSP 12:35 PM, left MSP 2:20 PM, arrived Bismarck at 3:48 PM




Mt. Ranier, Washington

  • July 6, left Bismarck 8:50 AM, arrived MSP 10:14 AM, left MSP 11:49 AM, arrived Seattle 1:33 PM to Marqueen Hotel
  • July 7, hike to Winthrop Glacier, Mt. Ranier National Park
  • July 8, Winthrop Glacier, Mt. Ranier National Park
  • July 9, Winthrop Glacier, Mt. Ranier National Park
  • July 10, Winthrop Glacier, Mt. Ranier National Park
  • July 11, Winthrop Glacier, Mt. Ranier National Park
  • July 12, Winthrop Glacier, Mt. Ranier National Park
  • July 13, Camp Shurman, Mt. Ranier National Park
  • July 14, Camp Shurman, Mt. Ranier National Park to Seattle
  • July 15, Seattle, Marqueen Hotel
  • July 16, left Seattle at 12:59 AM. arrived MSP 6:11 AM, left MSP at 9:05 AM, arrived Bismarck 10:31 AM July 17

Churchill, Manitoba, Canada- Polar Bears

  • November 6, drove from Bismarck to Winnipeg, Four Points Sheraton
  • November 7, flew Winnipeg on Calm Air, leaving at 6:30 AM, arrived Churchill at 9:5 AM, flew to Seal River Heritage Lodge
  • November 8, Seal River, Hudson Bay, Manitoba
  • November 9, Seal River, Hudson Bay, Manitoba
  • November 10, Seal River, Hudson Bay, Manitoba
  • November 11, flew to Churchill in morning, flew from Churchill, 6:30 PM, arrrived Winnipeg 9 PM, Four Points Sheraton
  • November 12, drove from Winnipeg back to Bismarck




  • August 22, left Bismarck 3:15 PM, arrive MSP 4:37 PM, left MSP 7:30 PM Icelandair, arrived Reykjavik, Iceland 6:30 AM, 
  • August 23, Hotel Odinsve, Reykjavik
  • August 24, Thingvellir to Geysir to Gullfoss, Hotel Gullfoss
  • August 25, Eyjafjallaokull to Reynisfjall to Vik, Hotel Klaustur
  • August 26, Laki Volcano, Hotel Klaustur
  • August 27, Vatnajokull National Park, Fosshotel Skaftafell
  • August 28, Ingolfsofdl Headland to Jokulsarlon, Hotel Hofn
  • August 29, Hofn to Lake Myvatn, Hotel Reynihlid
  • August 30, Viti Crater to Namaskard, Hotel Reynihlid
  • August 31, Namafjall to Dimmuborgir, Hotel Odinsve, Reykavik
  • September 1, Blue Lagoon then to Keflavik International Airport, left 4:45 PM on Icelandair, arrive MSP 6:05 PM, Crown Plaza, MSP airport
  • September 2, left MSP 12:39 PM, arrived Bismarck 12:39 PM

Patagonia- Chile and Argentina

  • October 18, left Bismarck 12:55 PM, arrived MSP 2:19 PM, left MSP 5:30 PM, arrived Atlanta 8:58 PM, left Atlanta 10:35 PM, arrived Santiago, Chile 9:10 AM, left Santiago October 19, 2:20 PM, arrived Punta Arenas 7 PM
  • October 19, Hotel Cabo de Hornos, Punta Arenas, Chile
  • October 20, drove to Puerto Natales, Torres del Paine National Park, hiked to Hosteria Lago Grey
  • October 21, ferry across Lago de Grey, hiked to Lago Pehoe, Refugio Paine Grande dormatory
  • October 22, hiked the French Valley to Cabanas en los Cuernos
  • October 23, hiked Paso Los Cuernos trail along Lago Nordenskjold to Hotel Las Torres
  • October 24, hiked to Torres del Paine and back, Hotel Las Torres
  • October 25, drove to Argentina, Laguna Nimez Reserve then to El Calafate, El Quijote Hotel
  • October 26, Perito Moreno Glacier, Los Glaciares National Park, Santa Cruz Provence, Argentina, El Quijote Hotel
  • October 27, Le Leona Petrified Forest then Lago Viedma to El Chalten, Cabanas Fitz Roy
  • October 28, hiked to Mt. Fitz Roy, Los Glaciares National Park
  • October 29, hiked to Laguna de los Tres, Los Glaciares National Park
  • October 30, hiked to Cerro Torre, Los Glaciares National Park
  • October 31, drove to El Calafate, flew to Buenos Aires, Loi Suites Recoleta
  • November 1, left Buenos Aires at 8:30 PM arrived Atlanta 5:49 AM on November 2, left Atlanta 8:44 AM, arrived MSP 10:22 AM, left MSP 11:15 AM, arrived Bismarck 12:39 PM



  • April 4, left Bismarck, overnight at Houston Airport motelAH
  • April 5, arrived Belize City to Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary
  • April 6, Lamanai ruins
  • April 7, Crooked Tree to Half Moon Caye
  • April 8, Half Moon Caye
  • April 9, Half Moon Caye
  • April 10, Half Moon Caye to the Great Blue Hole
  • Apirl 11, Half Moon Caye to Sibun River Valley, Sleeping Giant Lodge
  • April 12, Actun Tunichil Maknal, cave system in Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve
  • April 13, Sibun River Valley
  • April 14, Tikal National Park, Guatemala to Belize City
  • April 15, Belize Zoo, left 4 PM Belize City to Houston to Denver, overnight Denver
  • April 16, return to Bismarck


  • November 11, left Bismarck 6:30 AM to MSP to Atlanta to Buenos Aires, arrived November 12 7:55 AM
  • November 12, birding Buenos Aires Ciudad Universitaria, Palermo Parks, Reserva Vicente Lopez, Holiday Inn Buenos Aires Ezeiza Airport
  • November 13, left Buenos Aires 9:50 AM arrived Ushuaia 1:25 PM, Hotel Los Nires
  • November 14, Harberton Estancia and Martillo Tour
  • November 15, Tierra Del Fuego National Park in morning, embarked on Ocean Diamond at 4 PM
  • November 16, at sea
  • November 17, Falkland Islands, Carcass Island, Saunders Island
  • November 18, Stanley, Falkland Islanda
  • November 19, at sea
  • November 20, at sea, Shag Rocks South Atlantic Ocean
  • November 21, South Georgia, Fortuna Bay
  • November 22, Grytviken, Ernest Shackleton's Grave, Stromness Bay, South Georgia
  • November 23, Gold Harbor, Cooper Bay, Drygalski Fjord, South Georgia
  • November 24, at sea
  • November 25, at sea
  • November 26, at sea
  • November 27, Half Moon Island, Deception Island, South Shetland Islands, Antarctica
  • November 28, Onne Harbor, Arctowski Peninsula, Enterprise Island, Gerlache Strait, Antarctica
  • November 29, Neko Harbor, Paradise Harbor, Antarctica
  • November 30, Petermann Island, Pleneau Bay, Antarctica
  • December 1, Drake Passage
  • December 2, Drake Passage
  • December 3, Disembarkation in Ushuaia, Argentina, left 2:45 PM, arrived Buenos Aires 6:13 PM, left 9:10 PM arrived Atlanta 5:32 AM
  • December 4, left Atlanta 8:30 AM arrived MSP 10:12 AM, left 11:15 AM, arrived Bismarck 12:42 PM


Costa Rica

  • March 21, arrived St. Jose, Costa Rica
  • March 22, Xandari Resort
  • March 23, Tortuguero National Park, Tortuga Lodge and Gardens
  • March 24, Tortuguero National Park
  • March 25, Pacuare River, Rios Tropicales Lodge
  • March 26, Pacuare River, Rios Tropicales Lodge
  • March 27, Pacuare River, Trogon Lodge
  • March 28, San Gerardo de Dota
  • March 29, Orosi Valley and Cartago, Basilica de Los Angeles, Xandaria Resort
  • March 30, left San Jose at 7 AM


  • April 15, left Bismarck 5 AM to MSP to Jacksonville arrived 3:16 PM, drove to Vero Beach, Holiday Inn Express Vero Beach-west
  • April 16, Blue Cypress Lake
  • April 17, Blue Cypress Lake
  • April 18, Blue Cypress Lake
  • April 19, Lake Merrill National Wildlife Refuge, Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands
  • April 20, Lake Merrill National Wildlife Refuge, Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands
  • April 21, Lake Merrill National Wildlife Refuge, Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands
  • April 22, St. Augustine
  • April 23, St. Augustine
  • April 24, St. Augustine
  • April 25, St. Augustine
  • April 26, St. Augustine, drove to Jacksonville, left 3:50 PM to MSP to Bismarck 8:42 PM


  • July 22, left  Bismarck 5:00 AM to MSP to Anchorage, arrived 11:48 AM, drove to Seward, Harborview Inn
  • July 23, Kenai Fjords National Park tour with Fox Island, drove to Anchorage, Courtyard Anchoarge Airport Inn
  • July 24, flew from Anchorage to King Salmon to Brooks Lodge, Katmai National Park
  • July 25, Katmai National Park
  • July 26, Katmai National Park
  • July 27, left Katmai National Park, 2 PM to King Salmon to Anchorage, stayed Courtyard Anchorage Airport
  • July 28, left Anchorage at 12:38 PM to MSP, arrived Bismarck at 11:25 PM


  • Arrived Quito, November 12, 2015 11 PM, 9200 feet elevation
  • November 14 Tandayapa Bird Lodge, Tandayapa Valley
  • November 15, Tandayapa Valley
  • Noleavember 16, Milpe, Mindo Cloudforest Foundation
  • November 17, Rancho Suamox, Choco region
  • November 18, Paz de las Aves
  • November 19, Guango Lodge
  • November 20, Palallacta
  • November 21, Antisana to Quito
  • November 22, left Quito at midnight


South Texas

  • February 1, left Bismarck 6:20 AM to MSP to Harlingen, arrive 2:45 PM Harlingen Holiday Express
  • February 2, Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, South Padre Island then to Edinburg Best Western
  • February 3, Laguna Seca Ranch
  • February 4, Estero Llana Grance State Park, Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge
  • February 5, drove to Rockport, Hampton Inn Rockport-Fulton
  • February 6, Aransas National Wildlife Refuge
  • February 7, Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, drove to Harlingen
  • February 8, left Harlingen 3:20 PM to MSP to Bismarck, arrived 9:13 PM

Denali National Park

  • August 9, left  Bismarck 4:20 AM to MSP to Seattle to Fairbanks, arrived 2:01 PM, drove to Denali, Teklanika Campground
  • August 10, Denali National Park, Teklanika Campground
  • August 11, Denali National Park, Teklanika Campground 
  • August 12, Denali National Park, Teklanika Campground
  • August 13, Denali National Park, Teklanika Campground
  • August 14, Denali National Park, Teklanika Campground
  • August 15, left Denali National Park, left Fairbanks 9:30 PM to MSP, arrived Bismarck on August 16 at 10:40 AM


Chengdu, China Pandas

  • February 25, left Bismarck at 6:15 AM, to Denver to San Francisco to Chendu, Sichuan, China, arriving February 26 at 7:55 PM, Crowne Plaza, Chengdu Panda Garden
  • February 27, Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding
  • February 28, Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding then drove to Dujiangyan, Sichuan, China
  • March 1, drove to Bifengxia Base of China Conservation and Research Center of Giant Panda in Ya'an City
  • March 2, Dujiangyan Panda Base of China Conservation and Research Center for Giant Panda in Mt. Qingcheng Town, drove to Chengdu Airport Hotel
  • March 3, left Chengdu at 10:55 AM to San Francisco to Denver to Bismarck, arrive at 4:57 PM
  • Accompanied staff from the National Zoo in Washington DC- David E. Wildt, Director of the Smithsonian's Conservation Biology Institute’s Center for Species Survival; Donald L. Neiffer, V.M.D., C.V.A., D.A.C.Z.M., M.H.S.; chief veterinarian at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, Dr. Marc Valitutto, wildlife veterinarian for the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s Global Health Program and the Asia field veterinary manager; and staff from San Diego Zoo- Bruce Rideout DVM and PhD, Director of Disease Investigationswhere San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park; Stacey Johnson Corporate Director of Conservation & Research at San Diego Zoo Global


Denali National Park

  • August 28, left  Bismarck 12:30 PM to MSP to Fairbanks, arrived 8:30 PM, Best Western Plus Pioneer Park Inn
  • August 29, photographed Sandhill Cranes, Creamer Field, drove to Denali, Teklanika Campground
  • August 30, Denali National Park, Teklanika Campground
  • August 31, Denali National Park, Teklanika Campground 
  • September 1, Denali National Park, Teklanika Campground
  • September 2, Denali National Park, Teklanika Campground
  • September 3, left Denali National Park, left Fairbanks in evening to Seattle to MSP, arrived Bismarck on Seotember 4 at 2 PM


India Wildlife Photography March 25- April 7, 2019

  • March 6, left Bismarck to MSP to Paris-De Gaulle to Delhi, was to arrive March 7 at 11 PM but arrived early morning on March 8 because had to avoid Pakistan air space
  • March 8, Delhi, Pride Plaza
  • March 9, Delhi to Chambal, Chambal Safari Lodge
  • March 10, Chambal to Bharatpur, The Birders Inn
  • March 11, Bharatpur
  • March 12, Bharatpur
  • March 13, Bharatpur to Agra, overnight train to Katni
  • March 14, arrived Katni, drove to Bandhavgarh National Park, Bandhavgarh Jungle Lodge
  • March 15, Bandhavgarh National Park
  • March 16, Bandhavgarh National Park
  • March 17, Bandhavgarh National Park
  • March 18, Bandhavgarh National Park
  • March 19, Bandhavgarh National Park
  • March 20, Bandhavgarh National Park to Jabalpur, fly to Delhi, Pride Plaza
  • March 21, Fly Delhi to Guwahati, drive to Kaziranga, Infinity Lodge
  • March 22, Kaziranga National Park
  • March 23, Kaziranga National Park
  • March 24, Kaziranga National Park to Guwahati, fly to Dehli
  • March 25, left Delhi at 2:55 AM, arrived Amsterdam 7:40 AM, left 10:40 AM, arrived MSP 1:50 PM, left 3:15 PM, arrived Bismarck 4:46 PM

Yellowstone Forever Institute- May 27-31, 2019 Spring Wildlife Photography

Pantanal, Brazil

  • August 31, left Bismarck 1:31 PM, arrived Chicago 3:45 PM, left Chicago 5:50 PM, arrived Dulles, 8:49 PM, delayed leaving Dulles to Sao Paulo, Brazil and missed flight to Cuiaba, rescheduled and left Sao Paulo 4:50 PM, arrived Cuiaba 6:10 PM
  • September 12, left Cuiaba, arrive Sao Paulo, 

December 6-8, 2019 Pride of Dakota Bismarck Showcase, Bismarck Event Center