Prairie Crocuses (Pasque Flowers) Herald Spring in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota April 2019. Read about them here: https://wp.me/p8zmWn-3DR

Prairie Crocuses (Pasque Flowers) Herald Spring in Theodore Roosevelt National Park

 

Where Is Spring?

Winter seemed to never end!  Where, oh where was spring?!  After a late spring snow, we went looking for it.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park Visitor Center, Medora, North Dakota

Theodore Roosevelt National Park Visitor Center, Medora, North Dakota

Visitor Center at Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Medora, North Dakota

Visitor Center at Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Medora, North Dakota

 

 

 

 

 

 

Theodore Roosevelt National Park Visitor Center

We checked into the visitor center of Theodore Roosevelt National Park in Medora, North Dakota as we began our quest to find new life, signs of spring, in the south unit of the park.  Color, especially green, was part of what we were after. 

 

Red and Green. Spring! Theodore Roosevelt Nation Park, North Dakota April 2019 Identify plants here: http://bit.ly/2Jbdjfq

Red and Green. Spring! Theodore Roosevelt Nation Park, North Dakota April 2019 Identify plants here: http://bit.ly/2Jbdjfq

Buds of Spring! Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota April 2019

Buds of Spring! Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota April 2019

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Where’s the Wildlife? 

There was no wildlife listed on the wildlife announcement board in the lobby. When we inquired about the lack of entries, the ranger indicated they had received no reports from park visitors of wild life yet for the day. Specifically, we asked about bison calves. Had anyone reported any? Nope. None sighted yet, or at least not reported, by anyone!  So. Our number one goal?  To locate a brand new baby bison, the first of Spring 2019.

New Life! A Foal Among the First Band We Spotted! Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota April 2019

New Life! A Foal Among the First Band We Spotted! Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota April 2019

Wild Horses, Not Far Into Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota

Wild Horses, Not Far Into Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grazing.  Grazing.  Grazing!

Shortly after we entered the park, we encountered two bands of horses (with foals), just beyond the Interstate 94 overpass.  New life!   A foal had been born not too many days before we spotted it.  It was so energetic!  
 
 
Bison Strolls Along the Road. Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota. April 2019

Bison Strolls Along the Road. Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota. April 2019

 

Bison.  Everywhere!

After that, we seemed to ‘join’ herds of bison on Scenic Loop Drive with frequency. The huge creatures seemed to enjoy sharing the road with us as much as we enjoyed sharing the road with them. On such a beautiful, warm (mid-70 degree) spring day, no one was in a big hurry. And that new green growth seemed very tasty, judging from the way the bison ignored us to focus their attention on eating! 
 
 
 
 
Green! Spring at Last in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota Identify plants here: http://bit.ly/2Jbdjfq

Green! Spring at Last in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota Identify plants here: http://bit.ly/2Jbdjfq

Green Plants at Last! Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota April 2019 Identify plants here: http://bit.ly/2Jbdjfq

At last, green plants! Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota April 2019 Identify plants here: http://bit.ly/2Jbdjfq

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Explore Jones Creek Trail

Our hike of the day began at the east (north) trail head for Jones Creek Trail. As usual, we used the trailhead as a starting point, but we didn’t exactly stay on the trail.  We prefer to hike across country, from point to point as we go. Before long, we found ‘green’ and we found ‘color’!

Red and Green. Spring! Theodore Roosevelt Nation Park, North Dakota April 2019 Identify plants here: http://bit.ly/2Jbdjfq

Red and Green. Spring! Theodore Roosevelt Nation Park, North Dakota April 2019 Identify plants here: http://bit.ly/2Jbdjfq

Prickly Pear Greening Up. It's Spring! Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota April 2019

Prickly Pear Greening Up. It’s Spring! Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota April 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Budding New Life! April in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

Budding New Life! April in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

 

Wild Phlox in Spring in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North DakotaIdentify park plants here:http://bit.ly/2Jbdjfq

Wild Phlox in Spring in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota Identify park plants here:http://bit.ly/2Jbdjfq

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pasque Flowers About! Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota April 2019 Thousands and thousands across the grassy hillsides! Read about them here: https://wp.me/p8zmWn-3DR

Pasque Flowers About! Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota April 2019

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota April 2019 Read about Prairie Crocus (Pasque Flowers) here: http://bit.ly/2Jbdjfq

Ant in the Warmth of a Prairie Crocus. Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota April 2019 Read about Prairie Crocus (Pasque Flowers) here: http://bit.ly/2Jbdjfq

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

filed of crocuses

Thousands and thousands of Pasque Flowers (Prairie Crocus) across the grassy hillsides!  Read about them here:  Beautiful Flowers Herald Spring!

 

We Saw One!

We hiked to high point, after high point.  We’re so glad we did! After reaching a high peak, which we determined should be our turn-around point and our picnic spot, we saw this!

Bison Mom On Vigile. Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

Mom On Vigile. Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

 
Bison Calf Rouses From Sleep. Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota April 2019

Bison Calf Rouses From Sleep. Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota April 2019

Bison Calf Wakes Up From Nap, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota April 2019

Calf Wakes Up From Nap, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota April 2019

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
 

Bison Calf!

One of the first bison calves of spring, Theodore Roosevelt National Park. April 22, 2019

 

 

 

We remained at that last high spot on our hike for half an hour or so, eating our meager lunch and watching the mom and calf.  She grazed leisurely, and eventually, with baby next to her, made her way west.   Later we observed a herd of bison in that direction, and upon checking our photos realized there were at least two more new calves! 

 

Bison Calf Not Far From Mom, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

Bison Calf Not Far From Mom, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

Calf and Mom. Bison of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

Calf and Mom. Bison of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bison Calf and Mom, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

Bison Calf and Mom, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

Mom and Baby Bison. Theodore Roosevelt National Park. April 2019

Mom and Baby Bison. Theodore Roosevelt National Park. April 2019

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
View From Afar. Bison and Calf in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota April 2019

View From Afar. Bison and Calf in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota April 2019

 

New Calf and Mom. Bison in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota April 2019

New Calf and Mom. Bison in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota April 2019

Bison and Calf Stroll Away. April 2019 in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

Bison and Calf Stroll Away. April 2019 in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bison Mom Protecting Her New Calf, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota. spiral 2019

Mom Protecting Her New Calf, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota.  April 2019

 

 
Bison Herd with New Calves. April 2019 Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Bison Herd with New Calves. April 2019 Theodore Roosevelt National Park

 

Curious Prairie Dogs

Our hike back to the trail head took us through a lively prairie dog town.  The little critters were busy munching grass, just like the bison and horses we had observed.  They were a bit more curious, though, ever popping up and down out of their dens.

Curious Prairie Dog in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

Curious Prairie Dog in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

What's Going On? Prairie Dogs in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

What’s Going On? Prairie Dogs in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Feral Horses Graze Near the Scenic Loop Drive in Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Feral Horses Graze Near the Scenic Loop Drive in Theodore Roosevelt National Park

 

And That’s Not All!

We began to pack our vehicle at the trail head, and took time to relax and rehydrate.  As we did, off in the distance we saw more wild life.  And lots of it!  Horses again!   Out came our cameras once more.  Then we carefully picked our spots for viewing, photographing, and recording.   The two of us spread out, away from each other in such situations.  We’ve learned that just because we think wild life is one place, it doesn’t mean there can’t be more in an adjacent area.   That usually means the unexpected!  

Mother's Love? Wild Horses of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

Mother’s Love? Wild Horses of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

Wild Colt in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

Colt in Theodore Roosevelt National Park,  North Dakota

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Look Alike Nuzzle! Feral Horses in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

Look Alike Nuzzle! Feral Horses in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

Wild Colt Sees From Afar, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

Wild Colt Sees From Afar, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Than We Thought!

We viewed at least two bands of horses, or perhaps it was one band, spread wide apart. Whichever, we counted a minimum of seventeen horses.  They moved in different directions, and we moved too, to keep our distance.  We were rewarded with many photo opportunities!   

Wild Horses of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

Wild Horses of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

Stallion Approaches Mare, Feral Horses of Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Stallion Approaches Mare, Feral Horses of Theodore Roosevelt National Park

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mighty Wild Stallion of Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Mighty Wild Stallion of Theodore Roosevelt National Park

 

Glowing in the Golden Hour

As the sun lower in the sky, the shadows grew long and the coloration of everything took on a golden glow.  The Golden Hour!   We left the horses as they still grazed peacefully, and made our way out of the park.   The wildlife we saw didn’t end!  Our day was a total success, and one of the most prolific we’d experienced for viewing wild life in the South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

 

Bison Graze Along the Scenic Loop in Theodore Roosevelt National Park

American Bison Graze Along the Scenic Loop in Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Yearling Bison Grazing in the Golden Hour at Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Yearling Bison Grazing in the Golden Hour at Theodore Roosevelt National Park

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bison Graze in the Golden Hour in the North Dakota Badlands

Bison Graze in the Golden Hour in the North Dakota Badlands

 

 

Porcupine Shuffles Away in the Golden Hour at Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Porcupine Shuffles Away in the Golden Hour at Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Turkeys Bid Goodnight to the Badlands Prairie Dogs

Turkeys Bid Goodnight to the Badlands Prairie Dogs

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sunset On the Turkeys and Prairie Dogs in North Dakota

Sunset On the Turkeys and Prairie Dogs in North Dakota

 

 

Sunset over I-94 in the Badlands of North Dakota

Sun Setting Over I-94 in the Badlands of North Dakota

 

 
More photos and stories about our travels in western North Dakota and eastern Montana go here: www.BeautifulBadlandsND.com
 
You’ll find hundreds of photographs here:  You’ll Love the Badlands and Grasslands!
 
We’d love to learn about your adventures  in these areas.   Email us here:   beautifulbadlandsnd@gmail.com
 
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