Monday, October 30, 2017

Custer State Park

Welcome to Custer State Park!

What a great way to be greeted by the people of South Dakota...Into a park that holds many kinds of treasures.

This year to celebrate my belated 60th Birthday event - to see the Custer Park Buffalo Roundup... Corey and I headed for "The Hills", as they are lovingly referred to by friends and family. I came to know the Black Hills after the Rapid City flood  of June 9,1972, when I came to a  Church sponsored Work Camp to help clean-up the aftermath.

As we entered the park this lone young bull was rising and stretching after his late afternoon nap. He was certainly an impressive against the backdrop of the  surrounding landscape. The grassland was showing it's well grazed fall length.

Remaining on the move as we passed by other tourists trying to get pictures of this statuesque Buffalo we headed further into the park.

Many years ago on a trip through "The Hills" the Pronghorn antelope were feeding at a location just beside a grated opening into another section of the park. As we passed this same location this year, once again we discovered how unconcerned these animals were at our vehicles presence.

I had quite a few minutes to concentrate on this digital capture before another car came up to replace us without disturbing this single animal.

In our travels along the winding road we came upon an indigenous Merriman's Wild Turkey population.

This particular subspecies Meleagris gallopavo merriami is found throughout  the Rocky Mountains and the neighboring states of Wyoming, Montana and South Dakota as well as much of the high mesa areas of New Mexico.  They live mailnly in ponderosa pine and mountainous regions.

I know you've probably heard about, or seen the Wild Burro population roaming the Custer Park.

We had to laugh! This Burro just kept standing at the window of this SUV even though it didn't appear they were sharing any edible treats as we waited.

Once during the visit the owner of the SUV climbed out from the opposite side to document their gray long-eared guest.
Just a little ways further down the road we were taken aback how brashly this coyote ran out in front of two cars passing in the opposite direction.

Maybe it had heard it was protected within it's territory?

Not an unusual creature being one of three seen in the short-time we drove around and most likely related to the ones that you see crossing the road in your own neighborhoods.

We finally located where we would be coming on Saturday,September 29th, to view the rounding-up of the Buffalo herd.

The fall thinning activity keeps the herd strong by lessening the grazing pressure during what can be very harsh winter conditions...It also helps to bring revenue to maintain the remaining animals by selling breeding stock and adding to the commercial meat supplies. 

Time for us to leave the park for the evening but as we exited, the Pronghorn group which had waited so patiently for our return was still relaxing and chewing away at the grasses.

If you look a little closer, you will see another dominant member of the Black Hills fauna, the Prairie Dog. Those little dogs are fun to watch when they get excited! They run to and fro,popping up and down in their holes when they are being pursued by the wiley coyotes.

Thank you for stopping by to read about another day in our journey. Just a note to let you know that I'm going to mix things up a bit . However, I assure you that there I'm going to be share some-more pictures that could bring a smile to your lips.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

On our way to Estes Park

A couple of weeks ago we packed up some of the stuff I had prepared for breakfasts and lunches and headed off for a 5 - Day travel intensive excursion to Estes Park and beyond.

Sometimes when I get back from a change of venue I get another kind of reality back  again. What wasn't accomplished when it was to warm outside is now waiting for me.I don't mind. There is weed whacking to be done, trimming trees and shrubs, mowing the lawn,doing the laundry,taking care of the animals. Catching up on this and that...I guess you can say Life Happens. Enjoy it while you can...

Today, I'd love to begin sharing some pictures documenting our surroundings heading out from the Des Moines area through Nebraska so I wouldn't spend the hours on the road in one big nap.

The early morning start was to allow for daylight hours at Estes Park upon our arrival. 

As we went from Des Moines to Council - Bluffs we saw how the Wind Generators have increased in number along the I-80 corridor - to add to what we are seeing promoted as an alternate energy source.

One of my favorite early morning pictures for our first day on the road. Catching the rays  of the rising sun, a backdrop for the long haul trucker. Somehow as I concentrated on the backdrop I caught another traveler driving across my rear-view mirror. So many levels of interest to keep me thinking once I got to process the images.


Entering Council Bluffs traffic increased as rush hour was reaching a peak period.

The last time we passed through the Council Bluffs/Omaha Metro area was two years ago, when we enjoyed our  Wedding Anniversary trip with our family.

Once in a while I saw metal sculptures that definitely catch my attention and from time to time on these posts I will share them...

These particular sculptures made me think of flowers, or maybe even Edward Scissorhands but then of course you might see something different. What does it look like to you?

My on the run pictures of the two Sportsman's Paradises just off I-80 - Bass Pro in Council Bluffs taken with my Canon 7D and Cabela's in  La Vista  snapped with my cell phone since I couldn't get my big camera situated in time for a left-sided backwards shot behind the driver.                            

One last thought for the first few hours on the road.

The Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum have placed a reminder of part of our military history in plain sight.

If you haven't had a chance to get out there to see what it's all about...Maybe get a group  together and enjoy a day trip,

Thank you for riding along and I will be back soon to share another leg of our journey soon.

Have a Great Day!

Midnight Rescue

I knew I wasn't destined for a full nights sleep but I was roused earlier than I had hoped. As I was lying in bed trying to determine first of all what was happening, I listened to judge the location from whence all this disturbance emanated. Eventually, I determined the FURIOUS scratching and chewing were coming from without our window in the well of the egress.

My personal alert system went off and told me if I didn't want to be driven crazy from all the noise I would need to approach the difficulty by first finding out what was causing all the commotion. This scenario had only been played out in my thoughts prior to this time. 

What would I do to rescue an animal that fell into the window well and couldn't find the escape route back out?

I finally decided to put on my coat to go outside with Sadie Sioux who darted about with the fresh scent trails sending her off in a commonly traveled corridor. If there was anything running free around the perimeter of the house she would chase it away...I've learned that given free space most animals will flee instead of taking on a threatening stance.

Now what was the source of all my angst just before midnight?!?
                                                           My 11:45 PM wake-up call!

Aha! Instead of trying to figure out a method of demise in such close quarters;I implemented something that made sense to both myself and the little bandit. 

Keeping Sadie back until the critter examined that modified tree limb wasn't quite as hard as I had thought. Maybe, she realized that her reward would come in the chase if she allowed a small bit of calm in the prelude. 

I didn't wait many minutes into the new morning before all was completed. The young raccoon fled with Sadie just at it's rear to keep it moving in the other direction. However, now more than ever, since there has been an interest shown in altering the fabric of our home, a deterrent needs to be implemented.

Oh! Since Hubby slept through all of it. I've got pictures to share.

Have a Great rest of the Day! 
As I wrote about my experience of the first little bandit, I heard familiar scratching and once again headed outside to  enlist the assistance of the modified tree limb. It took these two longer to realize their  provided escape route. I truly dislike the thought of the marking scent they leave to entice others to follow. I don't want to get out of bed to chase them away every night. : )