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Late in the summer when we have mornings with heavy dew I like to walk out into the Prairie and look for spider webs. Normally I have lots of them but this year I only found a few. This spider was eating breakfast when I found him.

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For some unknown reason I wait until just before the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds leave for the summer before I take a few photos of them. On this particular day I watched them approach one of my feeders.

On our drive back from the Black Hills we stopped at Sioux Falls. One of our favorite places to visit in Sioux Falls is Falls Park. It had rained most of the night and there was a slight mist when we arrived at the park. Fortunately we had about an hour to look around before heading back to the car. We had just reached the car when the skies opened up.

I’ve driven through the Badlands many times but I’ve never taken any panoramas before so this trip I decided to take a few.

We had made two trips on the Wildlife Loop in Custer State park but still hadn’t seen many Buffalo. After a stop at Crazy Horse Monument we drove over to Silvan Lake in Custer State Park. It’s always nice at the lake.

We were thinking of driving to Custer for Dinner but then decided that since we were going to be driving out to the Wildlife Loop we should stop at the State Game Lodge for Dinner. It was a big hit. After Dinner we once again started searching for Buffalo.

We drove out on a dirt road and did find about 25 buffalo but they were too far away to photograph. We also found a lot of Prairie Dogs. There were a large group of them clustered around a single hole.

We drove back to the Wildlife Loop and hadn’t gone far when we encountered a family of Wild Turkeys. I think this is the first time I had seen Wild Turkeys in the park.

We also encountered the Begging Burrows.

As we drove around the park there were some ominous clouds in the sky. The weather was supposed to get nasty later in the evening.

Still no Buffalo but as we neared the end of the Wildlife Loop we hit the mother load. There were probably 400 Buffalo along the road and a long traffic Jam. It took us 45 minutes to get through the herd because the Buffalo were constantly wandering across the road. You don’t want to iterate them particularity during the fall rut. As some of them passed the car they gave us a dirty look.

Success at last. The next morning we drove out again and the large herd was still in the same area.

After visiting Mount Rushmore we drove over to Crazy Horse Memorial. My wife and I have gone on the Crazy Horse Volksmarch a couple of times and are considering going again this year. It looks like they are currently working on the hand. It is always interesting to see the progress although it will not be completed in my lifetime.

There were some native dancers from Arizona performing while we were there.

We were up relatively early and headed over to Mount Rushmore from our hotel in Hill City. Although we are out in the Black Hills quite frequently we spend most of our time looking for wildlife or hiking. We had a couple of Linda’s sisters along with us so we spent more time visiting traditional sites on this trip. It was cloudy when we arrived but as the morning wore on the sun came out.

We were lucky to see some Mountain Goats as we walked along the boardwalk below the carvings.

There were a few flowers in bloom at the Monument.

 

We recently made a quick trip to South Dakota stopping in Murdo on our first night. When we woke up in the morning there were some great clouds in the western sky as well as a rainbow.

We then drove over to the Badlands but the clouds were so low that we couldn’t see much. I didn’t bother to take any photos. Our next stop was Custer State Park where we were looking for Buffalo. It was rutting season so the cows, bulls and calf’s should have been together in a large herd. We took the wildlife drive and couldn’t find a single buffalo. The park interpreter said it was because of all the motorcycles in the park. the big Sturgis rally had just taken place. There were still motorcycles going through the park. We did managed to see some wildlife.

Pronghorn

Begging Burrows

Begging Burrows

Prairie Dogs

My wife and I were in Lindstrom, Minnesota on business and had a break so we walked around town taking in the Swedish heritage. Since we had been in Sweden recently and my wife was reading the The Emigrants by Vilhelm Moberg we found it most interesting. The statue is of Karl Oskar and his wife Kristina who were the lead characters in The Emigrants.

The Swedish Coffee Pot Water Tower in Lindstrom.

The Kar Oskar Emigrant House.

 

The next morning we were up early and had a bite to eat at the hotel before walking along the water next to Kalmar Castle. It was a beautiful morning with some nice reflections in the water.

I managed to capture a few bird photos on the walk.

Mute Swan

Great Crested Grebe

While we were waiting for a ride we took a few photos of our Hotel. To say that it was a little quirky is an understatement.

We headed back to Skallby where we met up with the rest of the cousins for breakfast. This was a family home that had stood vacant for about 15 years. The cousins took it over and completely remodeled it. It is now a beautiful home.


We all piled into cars and headed for Vazjo and the House of Emigrants. It was actually closed but the family made special arrangements for us to get a guided tour. My wife had been reading The Emigrants which is the collective name of a series of four novels by the Swedish Author Vilhelm Moberg. They are rather graphic and depict the conditions under which many Swedes moved to America. Most of the history was news to me and I found it really fascinating.

After the tour we gathered at a local restaurant for a bite to eat.

When we returned to Skallby we stopped in the barn to check out an old car.

We then said a sad farewell to our Swedish cousins.

We made one more stop to visit the genealogists home. Linda and the genealogist had some work to do before we departed. He was the one who put us in contact with my wife’s Swedish relatives.