Sunday Snapshot

Just about the time that most people pack it in, is when the wildlife comes out into the open at the Theodore Roosevelt National Park.  We’ve got some of our best shots at sunrise, or sunset, such as early morning migration to drink from the river. Wildlife at dusk are harder to see, but they’re there!

This week, I took a leisurely tour through the North Unit at the other end of the day.  I wasn’t really set to take any photos, but when the options appeared, I grabbed my camera to see what I could find. Down the road, a single mule deer grazed close enough I could grab a shot before it trotted away.

Bull elk on distant ridge

Elk and Deer at Dusk

As the sun dipped behind thick grey clouds, one bull elk stopped to watch me watch him. (I rely on proximity to get shots of critters in the wild and not a telephoto lens.  Obviously, that doesn’t always work.)

Recently, I’ve had good luck spotting wildlife at the end of the scenic drive near the Oxbow Overlook.  I hoped to spot bison rutting.  But, no. Not this time.

The sun dropped below the horizon, and so, I turned to head back to civilization.  It was getting dark and I couldn’t see exactly what that was in front of me a quarter mile or so across the prairie. 

A Rare Site of Bighorn Sheep in the Open

bighorn sheep graze in pasture

In the distance, I could barely spot the red tracker radio unit on the bighorn on the right.

I recognized bighorn sheep and commanded my camera to shoot in low light — (high ISO, slow shutter speed and wide-open aperture.)single bighorn sheep

bighorn sheep walks away






After a couple of shots, I contented myself with just watching them graze until it was too dark to get a good show.





Wildlife at dusk

So, the moral to the story is, just because it’s getting dark, it doesn’t mean you have to abandon your quest to see rare wildlife in the Theodore Roosevelt National Park.  Admittedly, the best photos are when there is more available light, but you don’t need a camera to enjoy nature, do you?

Much of the pleasure of the North Dakota Badlands is visual. That’s why we’ve assembled an entire gallery of images to view. Just click here to browse.  In addition, we have several collections of images from Western North Dakota and Eastern Montana beyond the Badlands. And if you see something you like, go ahead an buy.  It pays for our fuel to drive those Badlands roads.  We’re assembling a selection of images to display at galleries and art shows after the weather turns cold.  Should we book a showing near you?

Coming up this week

Veterans at little shell powwow

Coming up this week, a story with video. A salute to America, its military and the warrior society of the Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Nation from Fort Berthold.

An outstanding Patriotic Salute at the Little Shell Powwow.  Sign up to get a notice in your inbox when it’s published. The subscription box is up above on the right.

You can get continual news and information from the Badlands at the Beautiful Badlands ND Facebook Page.  Be sure to like and follow.