John Ashley submitted this photo to EarthSky He wrote:
Montana’s rarest native animal, black-footed ferrets, are nocturnal sprinters. They spend their days deep down in prairie dog burrows 9-12 feet below ground, only surfacing occasionally during the middle of the night. They cautiously scan the starlit prairie for predators before running a few yards and diving into the nearest burrow.
During the spring breeding season, individual ferrets might move a mile or more – one burrow at a time – over the course of several nights, using scent to search for mates.
Above ground they face predation by coyotes and owls, but their greatest threat is sylvatic plague, introduced from Asia and carried by fleas.
This image is a difficult combination of strobe, light-painting and long exposure.
Nikon D750 with 24mm lens
Adobe Bridge and PS cloud
Thank you, John!
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.