It was early in the spring and we were surprised at the number of animals we found in the park.
This was the first photograph I have gotten of Buffalo in the park. They usually hang out in the west end of the park and we normally don’t drive out that direction.
There were a number of herds of Mule Deer in various areas of the park.
Several herds of Bighorn Sheep were seen. The rams were no longer with the herd and it was a little early for the lambs. I had noticed a few sheep behind a hill. As I came over the hill this one was staring right at me.
The Prairie Dogs were around although it was very windy and cold so we didn’t see a lot of them. When we drove through in the morning they were just waking up.
There are a fair number of Bighorn Sheep in the Badlands. We were very fortunate to see them when we were driving west and again on our return trip. On the way out we saw them late in the evening running around one of the rock formations. They were silhouetted against the sky but it was too dark to get a shot of them. The next morning we drove out into the same area. They tend to hang out around the east end of the main road at the first pull off. I captured a couple of shots of a lamb running around alongside of the road.
We came back through a couple of weeks later. When we drove out to photograph the sunset we found several rams along the road.
The next morning I decided that there would not be a great sunrise because there were not going to be any clouds. As a result we arrived at the first pull off after sunrise. We were fortunate to find a small herd of ewes and lambs along the road.
We spent the morning driving through the park before having lunch at Cedar Pass. After lunch we exited the park but not before capturing a group of rams near the eastern trailheads.
With the unsettled weather I wanted to get out to the Badlands early in case there was a great sunrise. Even though we were a little late in getting started things were just starting to get good when we arrived. The Badlands are a place where I have seen some of my most spectacular sunrises. We were not disappointed on this morning.
Just as I was leaving for another location a Bighorn Ram came walking into the picture.
As the sun continued to rise we started driving alone the park road toward the east entrance to the park.
We drove off on the road to the Conata Picnic Area. We were amazed to hear a chorus of frogs. I’ve hiked in the Badlands many times and have never heard or seen a frog. Later we checked and there are six different frogs found in the Badlands. With all of the rain this spring they were having a great time. As we drove along we could see it was dark in the west. It made a nice contrast to the rocks.
As we drove back toward the west entrance to the park we encountered some Bighorn Sheep grazing along the road. There was a ewe and Lamb in the group. These were probably some of the same sheep we had seen the evening before.
More photos from the Badlands can be found on my website.
We arrived at the eastern entrance to the Badlands at mid afternoon. We decided to drive though the Badlands on way to our motel in Wall, S.D.
On the way we encountered a Prairie Dog town along the road. This fellow was particularly friendly.
We also encountered several herds of Bighorn Sheep along the road. All of them were ewes the males are off by themselves this time of year.
We then headed for Wall to check in to out motel and grab a bite to eat before heading back out to the Park to view the sunset.
More photos from the Badlands National Park can be found on my website.