Wildlife at dusk

Just after the the sun sets in the Badlands, we leave the “golden hour” and enter the “blue hour.”   Our drive into the south unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park  is slow and slippery after ice left a coating on the roads in the last wintry storm of November. It seemed to be a good time to find wildlife at dusk.

Peaceful Valley Ranch was one of the first ranches in the badlands of western North Dakota, north of Medora. It's the location of a popular hiking trail head in Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Peaceful Valley Ranch was one of the first ranches in the badlands of western North Dakota, north of Medora. It’s the location of a popular hiking trail head in Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

It’s not easy to take in the full vista of a wintry evening in the Park, but this is an idea:

 

Bison don’t care if it is cold or snowing

 

As a winter storm raged, bison herds found shelter and food near Peaceful Valley Ranch in the south unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota.

As a winter storm raged, bison herds found shelter and food near Peaceful Valley Ranch in the south unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park at Medora.

It’s snowing, cold and a full on cold winter night.  But these bison in the snow don’t care.  The blue light is evident as they peacefully graze at the Peaceful Valley Ranch.

 

On the last night of November 2019, the blizzard that hit the rest of the state left just a dusting of snow in the Badlands.  

It was nearly dark when we shot this video of a herd in the corral of the Peaceful Valley Ranch in the south unit of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park at Medora.

 

Elk cross the road

 

Later, as it got even more dark and even more blue, we drove we spotted mule deer and a lone coyote — hunting without luck as the cold winter winds blew.  Dusk, any season, is a good time to see wildlife on the move.

After sunset, when the world turns 'blue', it can be difficult to spot wild life. We were barely able to see this elk as he crossed in front of us on this stormy evening. Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota.

After sunset, when the world turns ‘blue’, it can be difficult to spot wild life. We were barely able to see this elk as he crossed in front of us on this stormy evening. Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota.

Up ahead, a dark figure strolled across the road.  We could barely see it. Elk crossed the road in front of us.  

 

They slowly made their way up a steep hill next to us, grazing as they moved along, and eventually disappeared into the night. 

After the sun set and the world turned an eerie blue, this elk spotted us from his grazing spot high on a hill. Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota.

After the sun set and the world turned an eerie blue, this elk spotted us from his grazing spot high on a hill. Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota.

Two elk make their way up a hill late in the daylight hours, wildlife at dusk.

 

wildlife at dusk, two elk stopped grazing to check us out on our wintery drive through the south unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota.

 

wildlife at dusk

We watched two elk as they crossed the park road in front of us, then slowly made their way up a steep hill nearby. They grazed leisurely, despite the winter storm. Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota.

 

The day grew dark quickly. It seems that once the sun sets this time of year, dark immediately follows. Daylight or dusk do not linger like they do in the summer.  So, we slowly made our way out of the park leaving behind wildlife at dusk.  Our photographic opportunities were not ideal, but the sights and feel of that cold, blue, wintry landscape made an impression we won’t soon forget.  

We love YOUR photos!

Any time is a good time to investigate Theodore Roosevelt National Park in western North Dakota.  What did you see the last time you visited?

We love to share other’s photos — with credit!– to help spread the word of the excellent photographers in the area, and this wonderful portion of the state.  Get hold of us on Facebook. 

Beautiful Badlands Ad Mykuhls

 

 

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