Thursday, May 21, 2009

May 21, 2009 Needles Highway and Custer State Park again!

We can't stay away from Needles Hwy and Custer State Park. The sculptures in rock along Needles are beyond explaining. One way to judge how massive these structures are is to see Carol at the base of one of the spires that is not even one of the larger ones. Amazing, huh? Today we saw so many deer, Bison, Prairie Dogs, chipmunks and Pronghorns that we lost count of them all. We also saw female Bighorn Sheep and Elk. The skies were overcast most of the day leaving mist and rain in the valleys - also leaving beautiful shots of these glens. The hairpin turn signs are seen daily wherever we go. These whoop-de-doops are sometimes also triple and quadruple. We hoped that, by coming here in the spring, we would see the Bison babies. Today we did and it was up close and personal. Mamas with single babies, twins and triplets were scattered over a wide area. At one time we saw a herd of hundreds of buffalo. It was mid-day so many were sleeping. Some were not, though, and wandered around big and bold. When asked what do the Bison do, I responded "Anything they want to do!" They are HUGE!!! Cattle now look like they have tiny heads, after seeing these giants of the prairie. We did see our friends the Longhorn Steers again, though. They need a large head to carry those huge horns. Deer were everywhere, both White Tail and Mule Deer. The Pronghorns are also scattered throughout the area. We rediscovered the Prairie Dog village again - the little devils scampering all over the place and each other. On top of a hill, we saw a small group of about eight Elk. Carol and I did a double take when we saw a yellow road sign warning "Livestock at Large" We looked for the Bighorn Sheep and saw three females. They do not have the very large horns of the male and are an off white like the Mountain Goats that we have not seen, yet, either. We should see both the male Bighorn and Mountain Goats soon. Only three of the wild burros today - the rest must be getting primped for the holiday weekend. The holiday weekend starts tomorrow afternoon so hopefully we will get to Crazy Horse tomorrow early before the hordes arrive.

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