Cottonwood, Kiplinger Road
On a whim, we left at 5:30 a.m. to chase sage grouse on the high plains. Note: if your whims routinely drag you out at that hour on a Saturday, you either have very peculiar whims, or else have stumbled into the world of birding. Those are not necessarily contradictory. We are at the edge of Greater Sage Grouse territory and have to travel a bit to see this spring display up on the higher plains where there is...wait for it...sage.
Sage grouse are normally seem as specks in the distance, and this year was no exception. What was exceptional was the closeness of the lekking we saw last year. Rather than post a picture of an animated speck, I'll refer you to this post. We were close enough to see and here the male go through the booming and strutting motions, but not nearly as close this year.
We think it's spring, but the appearance of a storm with rain, snow and sleet mid-day has us questioning that. The birds seem to have no questions.
Barbed wire still life
Sign, Kiplinger Road
Post office historical marker. We found three of these today.
First sign of the storm
A tiny monument north of Belle Fourche. It was worth going 15 miles out of the way to see.
Just in case you had any doubts.
Bear Butte as the clouds begin to form
Minuteman missile silo still life
Permission to trespass?
Sign, Orman Dam
Bear Butte as the storm builds
Storm front on the plains
Immature bald eagle, trying hard for the white head
The point at which the trip was effectively over
Bear Butte eternal