Posts Tagged ‘South Dakota’

Our World: Beggars on the Road

November 12, 2012

Burros begging for food on the Wilderness Loop, Custer State Park, South Dakota. September 25, 2012.

(Note:  All pictures may be enlarged by clicking on them.)

This is my post for the Our World meme.  This meme is a second generation of My World Tuesday created by Klaus Peter and is hosted by five wonderful ladies.  To learn more about our world or to join and share your part of the world, click HERE.

Betsy and I live in a small Tennessee town, so we don’t have much experience with beggars.  But as we drove along the Wildlife Loop in South Dakota’s Custer State Park, we encountered a whole herd of them.  As you can see from the photo above, they were quite brazen about begging for food.

Burro in Custer State Park. September 25, 2012.

We tried to identify the ringleader, but we didn’t have much success.  This character was definitely one of the larger beggars, and the others showed him a great deal of deference.

A young burro along the road in Custer State Park, South Dakota. September 25, 2012.

We were surprised to see even children among the beggars.

A begging burro along the Wildlife Loop in Custer State Park, South Dakota. September 25, 2012.

Could you refuse a face like this?  I hate to admit it, but we did.

Bighorn Sheep

November 2, 2012

Bighorn Sheep, Wildlife Loop, Custer State Park, South Dakota. September 25, 2012.

(Note:  All pictures may be enlarged by clicking on them once or twice.)

Betsy and I were beginning to feel a little disappointed as we drove along the Wildlife Loop in Custer State Park — we hadn’t seen any wildlife at all.  But then, as we approached a curve, we noticed several cars over on the side of the road.  We of course pulled over as well and spotted these guys on the side of a hill above the road.

Bighorn Sheep, Wildlife Loop, Custer State Park, South Dakota. September 25, 2012.

This was the first time on the trip that we were able to get a good close look at bighorn sheep.  Those horns are absolutely amazing.  I got these photos with my telephoto lens.

Bighorn Sheep, Wildlife Loop, Custer State Park, South Dakota. September 25, 2012.

We tried to get into a position where the sheep didn’t have their backs to us, but this is the best we could do.  I think these are magnificent animals.

Our World: More from the Wildlife Loop

October 22, 2012

Pronghorn antelope on the prairie in Custer State Park, South Dakota. September 25, 2012.

(Note:  All pictures may be enlarged by clicking on them once or twice.)

This is my post for the Our World meme.  This meme is a second generation of My World Tuesday created by Klaus Peter and is hosted by five wonderful ladies.  To learn more about our world or to join and share your part of the world, click HERE.

As I shared in an earlier post (click HERE if you missed it), we saw bison while driving the WildLife Loop in Custer State Park in South Dakota.  But we also saw other wildlife as well.  The pronghorn above was spotted before we saw the herd of bison.

Pronghorn along the Wildlife Loop in Custer State Park. September 25, 2012.

After leaving the bison, we noticed this pronghorn sitting in an open area on the prairie.  She (we decided it was a she) was intently watching a tree about 100 yards away.

Juvenile pronghorns resting under a tree. September 25, 2012.

We were curious about her behavior, so we looked at the tree more closely and spotted these smaller pronghorns.  Mama was evidently keeping a careful eye on them.

A deer outside Custer State Park, South Dakota. September 25, 2012.

We were leaving the park when we spotted this lovely creature in a field.  It looks like she’s watching us as intensely as we were watching her.

Our World: Where the Buffalo Roam

October 8, 2012

Bison in Custer State Park, South Dakota. September 25, 2012.

(Note:  All pictures may be enlarged by clicking on them.)

This is my post for the Our World meme.  This meme is a second generation of My World Tuesday created by Klaus Peter and is hosted by five wonderful ladies.  To learn more about our world or to join and share your part of the world, click HERE.

After visiting Mount Rushmore, Betsy and I drove to South Dakota’s Custer State Park.  One area of the park that was highly recommended was the Wildlife Loop, where we were assured that we would see plenty of wildlife.

Our friends were correct — we saw a wide variety of wildlife:  big horn sheep, burros, pronghorns and bison.  I’ve seen bison before, but never so many at one time.

Bison on the prairie in Custer State Park, South Dakota. September 25, 2012.

Seeing them on the prairie reminded me of descriptions of the huge buffalo herds encountered during the westward expansion of the United States.  At one time there were millions of bison in North America, but by 1900 it is estimated that fewer than 1,00 bison remained on the entire continent.

Bison at Custer State Park, South Dakota. September 25, 2012.

There are now as many as 1,300 head of bison in Custer State Park.  Bison can grow to 6 feet tall and weigh more than 2,000 pounds.  They are the largest native terrestrial mammal of North America.

The park holds a roundup each year to adjust the size of the herd according to the predicted availability of grassland forage.    The spring birthing season           rejuvenates the herd to approximately 1,300 head each year.