Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Winter's Grip

Sub-zero temperatures couldn't stop this coyote from hunting in the deep snow late February morning in Badlands National Park.

The last weekend in February, 2011 I traveled to Bozeman, MT to see some good friends and attend a missions conference. I decided to take an extra day off from work so I could make extended detours through the Badlands, Custer State Park and Wind Cave National Park on my way to Montana. I hit the Badlands in the morning gloom as the rising sun was hidden behind gray clouds with the air temperature at -7. There had been quite a bit of recent snow and I wasn't expecting to see much wildlife. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find an abundant display of South Dakota's hearty creatures out and about acting like the freezing cold was not a problem. Tough hombres, these animals... it was great day of hanging out with them. Here are some of my best shots of the day. The coyote above will get his own post as he wasn't content with just letting me take his portrait from afar... Look for that soon. In the meantime, click on each image for a larger file to view and thanks for stopping by!

A group of deer were bedded down at the Buffalo Jump lookout area of the Badlands.

A lone snowplow makes it easier for me to drive through the park on this bitter cold morning.

Custer State Park deer.

This Pronghorn was digging through the snow on the hillside of Custer State Park to find and eat cactus. I had no idea they did that. Makes my lean pocket for lunch look really good!

A young deer at the southern end of Custer State Park. I imagine this one was a newborn last spring.
Chewing on the branch for sustenance.

Wind Cave National Park

Buffalo cow at Wind Cave National Park hanging out by the highway.

Elk on the hills above the Wind Cave Park entrance.


Scooter's Big Adventure said...

I love your work, Begs. Glad I found your blog. Thanks for sharing your talents.

Christian Begeman said...

Thanks Scooter... Appreciate the kind words!