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Tag Archives: Pronghorn Antelope

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.

As you can tell by the title I’m a little behind in going through my photos. On the way back from our western trip we decided to drive through Custer State Park. I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of wildlife we saw. I had seen coyotes in the park on an earlier visit when I noticed two of them trying to get to a buffalo calf. The adults in the buffalo herd made short work of that effort. On this day we saw two coyotes. This fellow was walking through a prairie dog town.

More photos from Custer State Park can be found on my website.

There were a few buffalo around around. The bulls were off by themselves and the females were off giving birth. The calving season was just starting and we saw less than a dozen calves.

It was early so we weren’t sure if we would see any birds around the airport but they were already starting to nest. There were a number of Meadowlarks around. The Mountain Bluebirds and the Tree Swallows were fighting it out for nesting rights.

Of course there were the Prairie Dogs.

A few Pronghorns could be found at various places in the park.

On third day in Yellowstone our goal was to drive over to Mammoth Hot Springs. Yet another gloomy day with low clouds, rain and snow at the higher elevations.Our first stop was Gibbon Falls. This is a beautiful waterfall right along the road.

Gibbon-Falls-14-9-_1980

We hadn’t gone far when we had our second sighting of a pair of Grizzly Bears. They were well off of the road when we first spotted them but they gradually worked their way toward the road until a tour bus pulled up right in their path. They then turned and headed back toward the woods.

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Driving over the mountains we had a spectacular view of the valley. This area was posted as a Grizzly Bear study area.

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The road was closed between Norris Geyser Basin and Mammoth Hot Springs so we had to take the long way round through Tower Junction. As long as we were in the area we decided to drive over to the Lamar Valley. We reached the Lamar Valley, frequently called the American Serengeti because of the wildlife, about noon. Unfortunately we didn’t see much wildlife on this visit. In this photo there were buffalo in the valley and a couple of photographers on the left photographing the herd in the rain.Lamar-Valley-Yellowstone-National-Park-14-9-_2042

I was disappointed that we didn’t see any wolves. On my previous trip a couple of wolves crossed right in front of my car. I quickly pulled over and jumped out for a shot. I was leaning against the car while shooting and noticed that my car was moving down the side of the road. Apparently I was so excited I forgot to put it in park and had to chase it for a way before I could jump in and hit the break. On this trip we had to settle for a Pronghorn Antelope.

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A lone fisherman is working the Lamar River with the Cottonwoods if full fall color in the background.

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After driving through the Lamar Valley we headed toward Mammoth Hot Springs. We encountered this buffalo with a Magpie on its back. There were a couple of Magpies pestering the buffalo.

Buffalo-and-Magpie-14-9-_3148

When we reached Mammoth Hot Springs it was raining hard. We sprinted to the dining facility and had some hot chili an coffee before going over to the visitors station with a list of questions for the rangers. It continued to rain so we decided to drive back to West Yellowstone. We found out that the road from Mammoth Hot Springs to Norris Geyser Basin was now open which saved us a long drive back through Tower Junction.

We did see a few Mountain Goats. If you look really closely you might see them along the ridge line on the right side of the photo. There was a Yellowstone Association Bus at the pullout with a telescope setup to watch the goats. If it wasn’t for that we probably wouldn’t have noticed them on the ridge.

Yellowstone-National-Park-14-9-_2202

A short time later we passed Rustic Falls. There isn’t a great view of the falls from the pullout at the top so we had to turn around and drive back a few hundred yards to get a good shot of it.

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The rest of the trip was uneventful except for the construction delays and muddy roads in the construction area. More photos from Yellowstone National Park can be found on my website.