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Tag Archives: Bighorn Sheep

After photographing early in the morning we headed back to Wall and had an early breakfast at Wall Drug. First place I’ve ever encountered that refused to make sunny side up eggs. While at breakfast we check the map and decided to drive back out to the park and drive the Sage Creek Rim Road. We have been driving through the badlands for years but have never driven the Sage Creek Rim Road¬† other that the first few hundred yards.¬† According to the map we would eventually end up in Hermosa which was our destination.

It was a beautiful early fall day and the color was nearing its peak.

We saw all kinds of wildlife on the drive. We hadn’t gone far before we encountered this Bighorn Sheep ram resting at the side of the road. He wasn’t about to move so we had to drive around him.

Bighorn Sheep

Bighorn Sheep

As small herd of Pronghorn Antelope crossed the road in front of us.

Pronghorn Antelope

Of course there were the ever present Prairie Dogs. It seems like there are more and more of them.

Prairie Dogs

There are Buffalo in the park but they are rarely seen on the Badlands Loop Road. We see them fairly frequently on the Sage Creek Rim Road. At one point we found a large number of them in a pen. Apparently there had been a roundup but the bulls still seemed to be roaming the park.

Buffalo

We had gotten out of the car to take some landscape photos and noticed this Coyote walking along. I went back to get my long lens and, of course, he dissapeared. I went back and got my landscape lens and sure enough he reappeared in full view but he was too far away for a shot.

Coyote

While we were watching the Prairie Dogs we notice a large bird sitting out in the Prairie Dog town. It looked to be the size of an eagle but we knew it wasn’t an eagle. Later we found out it was a Ferruginous Hawk. Apparently Prairie Dogs are one of its favorite meals. They frequently sit by an active hole and wait for the Prairie Dog to emerge. We later encountered several of them flying.

Ferruginous Hawk

Ferruginous Hawk

After exiting the Sage Creek Rim Road we ended up in Scenic, South Dakota.

We then drove through the Stronghold Unit of the Badlands. This place had been used as a bombing range. When we pulled over to take this photo I also took a photo of the warning sign.

After spending the night in Rapid City we drove east to the Badlands National Park. It was a beautiful day so we decided to spend some time in the park hiking after a long day of driving the previous day.

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Just after entering the park we encountered a small group of Bighorn Sheep. The herd consisted of the females and the their young.

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Driving a little further we drove past the Prairie Dog town and couldn’t resist stopping to watch them for a while.

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One fellow was doing some remodeling work on his dwelling.

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As we drove along we noticed a couple stopped along the road looking up into the rocks. There were two Bighorn Sheep rams watching the cars go by.

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As we continued down the road we started to notice some very interesting cloud formations.

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Last spring we had hiked many of the trails in the Badlands. This trip we decided to take a short trail that we had missed on our first trip. It had rained several days earlier but most of the water had dried up creating some interesting patterns on the trail.

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One thing I learned is you don’t want to be hiking in the badlands when the trail is wet. The soil, called gumbo, by the locals sticks to your shoes and just keeps building up like cement. The tracks on the bridge show that someone had been out hiking when it was wet.

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I was attracted to this colorful plant along the trail. It looked like it had flowers on it not long ago.

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