Sunday, June 16, 2013

Flora and Fauna in the Badlands

We stopped at the Sage Creek Basin overlook in the Badlands, and, after stepping out of the car, soon heard the songs of many birds.  According to park information, bluebirds, waxwings, sparrows robins and other birds like to perch and nest in the juniper grove- which is pictured below.  The berries of the tree are quite tasty ( supposedly they have a gin flavoring) and provide sustenance for the winged creatures.
 In the foreground of the picture above notice the prairie grasses.  Badlands prairie contains 60 species of grasses which are able to withstand high winds, frequent fires, and spells of dry weather.  Grazing animals as antelope, bison, muledeer and pronghorn antelopes are abundant on the prairie.
Driving through the Badlands we did see several pronghorn.  John tapped lightly on the car horn to get them to look up and pose for us.  As you can see in the picture above we did get one of the antelope to look up- his erect ears indicate that he senses danger and is ready to bolt.  Also out in the prairie of the Badlands we came upon a prairie dog colony.  When they sense danger they scurry to their homes underground but, before burrowing,  may stand up and yip or wag their tails to warn the rest of the colony.  The one pictured below seemed to have had no sense of any danger in our presence.  Maybe he is just taking in the sun and the many wildflowers which surround him.
That about wraps up our day in the Badlands, except that I have one more picture to post here.  Our last stop in the park was to hike around of a the rim of an ancient volcanic caldera,  pictured below.

No comments:

Post a Comment