Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Badlands National Park South Dakota

June 22, 2012 Friday

I left St Joseph MO at 8:00 AM and crossed the South Dakota Boarder at noon. I had no idea that was possible. It took a little longer to get to the Badlands in SD.
I was able to get a campsite in the national park with electric for $14.00/night because I’m an old lady. The admission to the park was free for the same reason.
When I arrived the weather was beautiful. That lasted for a couple of days. One evening we had a thunder storm with BIG WIND. The next day the temperature hit 108 deg. Good thing I had electric to run the AC. Today was my last day and the weather was very nice again. The temp stayed under 90 all day.
I’ve really enjoyed my stay here. I was only going to stay a couple of days and ended up staying five days. I just kept chasing birds and critters. Here are a few scenes of the park. We’ll get to the birds and critters later.

Badlands Scene 1

Badlands Scene 2 With Deeer

Badlands Scene 3

Badlands Scene 4

Badlands Scene 5

Badlands Scene 6

Buffalo Gap National Grasslands

OK that's it for the scenery. Photos cannot do this place justice. You'll just have to come see it for yourself.
Did you know we almost lost the Black-footed Ferret because of the decline of the Prairie Dog? This species of ferret depends on the Prairie Dog for food. The burrowing owl uses the abandoned Prairie Dog holes for its nests. The re-establishment of our prairies is creating the habitat the Prairie Dog needs to survive and in turn is helping other species to come back from the brink of extinction.
Here are a few photos of Prairie Dogs. I've taken the liberty to read their minds.

OK Here's the plan

There he is mom. That's the big bully that keeps picking on me.

I just keep eating everthing in sight. Now where's my pickles and ice cream?

I love you more - No I love you more.

That's my hole. You abandoned it. I want it back. You can't have it back.

Oh Judy. These captions are too corny. I'm going to my room.

There were other critters roaming the hills.

Bighorn Sheep Ewe

And of course the hills and prairie have their share of birds. I just wish I could find them all.

Barn Swallow feeding young who have left the nest. I love where they chose to perch.

Horned Lark

Lark Bunting Adult Male Breeding

Lark Sparrow



Bet you didn't know there were so many birds with "lark" in their name.

Mountain Bluebird Female
Spotted Towhee

Yellow-throated Chat


Burrowing Owl

Saint Joseph MO

June 19, 2012 Tuesday

I left my niece’s house at 8:00 AM and arrived in St Joseph MO between 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM.
The Pony Express Museum in Saint Joseph has been on my bucket list for some time.
Took a nap and then edited the last of the photos from the visit home.
St Joseph is a town rich in history as it was the last real town of any size people heading west to the “new frontier” would see. It was the beginning of the Pony Express route and has a great museum that explains the history of the Pony Express and also contains a good deal of USPS history. I visited several of the many museums Saint Joseph has to offer and I spent the better part of a day exploring the Remington Nature Center located on the banks of the Missouri River.

The  Nature Center features information about the rich mineral and fossil deposits in the Missouri Valley as well as the natural and cultural history of the area.
While I truly enjoyed the museums and Nature Center I was really impressed by the unique carousel animals in the Patee House Museum. The Patee House was a grand Hotel in its time and housed the post office where the Pony Express rider picked up the mail. Here are a few examples of the carousel animals:

Hummingbird Carousel Animal - Patee House Museum

Unicorn Carousel Animal - Patee House Museum

T-Rex Carousel Animal - Patee Museum

Eagle Carousel Animal - Patee House Museum

I did manage to snap a couple of other shots around St Joseph. Here ya go.
Pony Express Statue in Saint Joseph MO
Moment in time. 7:15 PM, April 3, 1860. The Pony Express Begins in St Joseph MO.

And I think my camera gear is heavy

Ride'n In Style

The House Where Jesse James was Murdered

I Love Old Steam Engines

Another Project for Sandy Tuet?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Flowers of Sainte Genevieve MO

My sister Janet is a Home and Garden sort of gal. She convinced me to join her on a tour of peoples private flower gardens in the town of Saint Genevieve MO. It was a fund raising event. Janet helps her friend Sara with the operation of Sara's Ice Cream Palor in Sainte Genevieve. If you ever visit MO, Sainte Genevieve is a MUST see. Sainte Genevieve Missouri c1735 has the greatest concentration of French Colonial buildings in North America. And don't forget to visit the ice cream shop.

Here are a few examples of the flowers we found.

Asiatic Lily Orange

Asiatic Lily Yellow


Common Fleabane

Day Lily

Flower Garden


Lambs Ear

Red Hot Poker

Shasta Daisy

Wild Rose

Backyard Birds in MO

With all the activities with friends and family I only spent two days photographing the birds in the area. I spent one day at my nieces feeders and one day at my sister and brother-in-law's feeders. I guess some day I'll have a lot of time to photograph MO birds.

Summer Tanager Male

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Bluejay young begging for food

Tufted Titmouse young begging for food

Backyard Feeder with American Goldfinch, Housefinch, and White-breasted Nuthatch

Downey Woodpecker

White-breasted Nuthatch

Black-capped Chickadee

American Goldfinch

Northern Cardinal Male

Northern Cardinal Female

Chipping Sparrow