Saturday, June 27, 2015

Wet Spring = Mushrooms

This June has been unusually rainy.
 That means lots of mushrooms

This is called tree ear or wood ear.

 Fuzzy white mushroom

 This jelly-like fungus is witch's butter

A damp mushroom!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Ebony Jewelwing

These damselflies flutter all summer along the creek bank.
I thought there were two kinds, but after researching them,
 I realize I am seeing males & females.

 This is a male.
They will perch in the sunshime to show their metallic body.

This is a female.
Like birds, the female is more drab then the male.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Friday, June 19, 2015

Rain, Rain...

Its been raining almost everyday since we returned from the Dakotas.
Took a hike this morning and this is what I found.

It was more like wading than hiking!

A large tree was uprooted along the creek bank.

It will be a while before the trails dry out.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Wet Ride

Janette & I were able to squeeze in a ride today between rains.
The vegetation was hanging low & dripping with the weight of the rain water.
The deer flies were so voracious that we used riding masks on the horses.

Glad we got a ride in.
The forecast isn't looking good.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Viceroy Buttefly

I spotted this viceroy butterfly in a grassy area by the creek.
They mimic the monarch butterfly, but are smaller &
 have a "narrow curved black line crossing the hind wing."

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Friday, June 12, 2015


Apollo is a very friendly, read nosey, horse.

Today, he supervised Rick's digging.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Injured Turtle

Walking along the creek, I noticed this turtle has an injured back leg.

Looks like something tried to grab him and took his foot.
I hope he heals up.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


We are home from a wonderful vacation.
Even though its exciting & fun to go to new places,
I'm always anxious to get back to the ranch.

 I love seeing our native wildlife.

And our domestic animals too.
There's no place like home!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Dakota Highlights

The Dakotas offer a lot interesting things to do in addition to the national parks.

Of course, almost everyone has heard of the iconic Mt. Rushmore National Monument.

But have you heard of the Crazy Horse Memorial?
Its also a carving on a mountain, not far from Mt. Rushmore.
Its dedicated to the native Americans and has been undergoing
 construction for over 50 years.
It is the largest mountain carving progress.

 You can also visit the Mammoth Site, 
an excavation site of 58 ancient Columbian & Wooly Mammoths.

The fossils of the mammoths remain in the ground where they were discovered,
at the site of an ancient sinkhole.
The entire site is enclosed in a huge building, making it a good rainy day attraction.

 You can drive up beautiful Spearfish Canyon and see Bridal Veil Falls.

or get out and hike to Roughlock Falls.

 Take a ride on the 1880's steam train from Custer to Hill City.

Drive to Deadwood to see Buffalo Bill's grave.
 You just might see an old west shoot out re-enacted on Main Street.

 Or catch Calamity Jane walking through town.

 And lastly, be sure to see the Medora Musical in the Burning Hills Amphitheature
in North Dakota, near Roosevelt National Park.

  Its a rousing patriotic musical with a western slant, making you proud to be an American!
 And it even has horses on stage!
As you can see, there's lots to do in the Dakotas!

Touring Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Roosevelt National Park is located in the North Dakota Badlands.

The South Unit has a 36 mile scenic drive loop
where you can see the wildlife & geology up close.
 We saw Mule deer

 Pronghorn antelope

 Wild turkeys

And bison

The Little Missouri River winds through the park
There are mushroom shaped formations called rain pillars.
 And you can visit Theodore Roosevelt's first cabin in the Dakotas
which was relocated to the park.
The park is vast & magnificent.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Wild Horses of Theodore Roosevelt National Park

We arrived at Roosevelt National Park on a drizzly rainy day.
Turns out that is an optimal day to see wildlife.

Almost immediately we saw this small band of feral horses.

 This smaller filly looked like a yearling and subsequently went over to the gray mare & nursed.

Hidden off by himself was this white stallion.

We saw these two off in the distance

And spotted another band of horses farther along the loop.

The next day, we went back and only saw this pair.
I really enjoyed seeing the wild horses.
The ranger told me there are 146 horses in the park.
Although they are referred to as wild,
technically, they are domestic horses that are feral.