Animals of the Badlands

Continuing where Camping in the Badlands left off, and before the day we almost died, this post is about the furry little (big) beasties of the Badlands.  Not pictured are, well, a lot of animals because some were too fast, and others showed up when my camera was dead.  My personal “white whale” was to spot a family of burrowing owls for my friend.  I saw them by chance in a prairie dog town, but I was driving and she missed it.  Never saw them again.  But at least my adventure ended better than Ahab’s (I think; I never actually read Moby Dick).

Most of the animals in the Badlands are pretty used to humans, but also not really something I am keen on getting too near.  Several species are big enough to trample a person to death, others are vectors for disease, and of course I don’t feel like getting bitten by anything bigger/more dangerous than a mosquito (didn’t get bit by any of those, either, though!).  Anyway, it’s mostly just pictures from here on out, so enjoy!

A small family of bison.  We were really lucky to see some babies!

A small family of bison. We were really lucky to see some babies!

One of my childhood nicknames was "the great white buffalo," from American Indian myths about said buffalo.  So I feel oneness with these beasts

One of my childhood nicknames was “the great white buffalo,” from American Indian myths about said buffalo. So I feel oneness with these beasts

Ewes guys, lookit deese (bad puns for the Badlands).  Bighorn Sheep were native to the Badlands, but extirpated.  The current population was imported from the Rocky Mountains population.  They wear tracking devices for reasearch.

Ewes guys, lookit deese (bad puns for the Badlands). Bighorn Sheep were native to the Badlands, but extirpated. The current population was imported from the Rocky Mountains population. They wear tracking devices for reasearch.

Birds' nests on the side of a rockface along Notch Trail.  Pretty cool!

Birds’ nests on the side of a rockface along Notch Trail. Pretty cool!

I'm terrible at identifying tracks; pronghorn or deer?

I’m terrible at identifying tracks; pronghorn or deer?

Prairie dogs - so much fun to watch!

Prairie dogs – so much fun to watch!

Prairie dogs are more fun to watch than to look at in pictures.  They don't like me getting too close

Prairie dogs are more fun to watch than to look at in pictures. They don’t like me getting too close

Bison fur - they were shedding like CRAZY

Bison fur – they were shedding like CRAZY

Looking out for danger, making cute noises whilst doing so.

Looking out for danger, making cute noises whilst doing so.

Bison in the distance, where they belong

Bison in the distance, where they belong

This belongs to a different kingdom - plants!

This belongs to a different kingdom – plants!

Pretty little white flowers.

Pretty little white flowers.

A huge herd of Bison right near the entrance of Sage Creek Rim Road; some cyclists kindly pointed them out (as if I didn't notice this giant herd just chillin') in the rudest manner possible.  Oh, Cyclists!

A huge herd of Bison right near the entrance of Sage Creek Rim Road; some cyclists kindly pointed them out (as if I didn’t notice this giant herd just chillin’) in the rudest manner possible. Oh, Cyclists!

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About MurasakiOkapi

Work has taken over a huge portion of my life in recent years, but I am trying hard to get back in the habit of being at least marginally creative on a semi-regular basis. Other than that, I'm a nature enthusiast and love all animals. I try to see things from many perspectives, and live on the sustainable side. I wouldn't say I'm a positive person, but at the same time I don't tend to get too down about things.
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3 Responses to Animals of the Badlands

  1. sjoycarlson says:

    Jealous!! I was in South Dakota twice this summer and I didn’t see any bison.

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