Blog Archives

Along the River

Friends, most of the badlands in North Dakota are very dry (arid) except the area directly adjacent to the Little Missouri River.  The Whitetail deer are found mainly along the river while Mule deer are found in the drier areas. This Whitetail buck posed for us in the fall with his antlers polished and ready to chase the girls.  White tails are smaller than mule deer and get their name from the white underside of  their tails that they flag when they flee from danger.  The bucks grow antlers every spring and summer, then shed their antlers every winter to begin the cycle over again.  The whitetails have antlers with tines coming off a main beam.  In this image you can see his all white tail and his antlers are quite typical for a whitetail buck.  Below image is the Little Missouri River bottom. til Tomorrow MJ

Touching my roots

Friends, this image is the bottom of the badlands, fall foliage along the Little Missouri River.  Like these trees along the river, my roots lie here and i often think of this place as home.  On this site just to the right of the orange tree, my mother was raised on a ranch.  Now it is a campground in the Theodore Roosevelt National Park.  Where cattle and horses once grazed, the bison and elk now roam the bottoms in search of the best tasting grasses. Cottonwood trees, ash thickets and wild plum trees grow in abundance near the water.  This is a little river in the fall, but is often full to the brim in the spring and sometimes the family needed to leave the river bottom to escape the floods. The river flooded last spring (2011) and reminded us that the river can still be an awesome force.  til Tomorrow MJ


Friends, I have often heard people describe North Dakota as barren and containing no trees.  Well that may be true of some parts of the state, but this image shows the badlands with plenty of trees.  They are evergreens, cedars and junipers, and keep the green all winter.  The northern slopes are usually covered in green, while the south-facing slopes are often bare.  In the autumn, the fall colors are apparent in the gullies and along the Little Missouri River.  More badlands tree images tomorrow, til Tomorrow MJ

Snake Tracks in the Sand

Friends, this pile of sand with a snake track across, reminds me to watch where i put my hands and feet in this country.  Rattlesnakes, bull snakes and blue racers appearing on the trail can startle an unwary hiker and put the feet in reverse very quickly.  But this image also reminds me that Wind Canyon is slowly turning into a huge pile of sand.  Now I love sand. Sand is one of my favorite elements of nature, the tiny grains under a microscope are tiny colorful gems that reflect the colors of their parent rocks.  The massive cliffs of Wind Canyon that stand high above the Little Missouri River are being eaten by wind and water and the gap between the sandstone walls has greatly increased even within my lifetime. Below is an image of Wind Canyon today and by the time my great-grandchildren are able to visit this country, the gap between the walls will be much greater than today.  til Tomorrow MJ

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