Badlands are good!
19 June 2012 | Badlands National Park, South Dakota
The night was warm, sweetly scented with the smell of fresh cut grass. The crickets were chirping. A cool, constant breeze kept us comfortable.
Overcast skies this morning were great for the short hikes throughout the park. The clouds burned off later in the morning, allowing lots of picture taking. The Badlands, so-named by the native Americans as well as the French, are indeed beautifully “bad”. We took a loop road through the center of the north section of the park enjoying the ruggedness and sharp color contrasts of the sandstone outcroppings. There were lots of birds and other animals on hand today to add to our viewing pleasure.
At a “dogtown” (prairie dogs, that is) we also saw burrowing owls. Meadowlarks, lark buntings, falcons, hawks, red-winged blackbirds, ravens and horned larks were in abundance. Prairie wildflowers bloomed profusely...yellow and purple coneflowers, sunflowers, purple prairie clover, yellow sweet clover, thistle … the list goes on and on. Butterflies were everywhere taking advantage of the flowery bounty.
There were herds of bison grazing in the vast grasslands. Mountain goats clambered gracefully up and down the rugged badland rocks. We counted at least ten kids following agilely behind their mamas.
How many fun days are you allowed? We're not sure, but they just keep on coming.