Bison Dogs

Another group of reprocessed images from my trip to the Dakotas several years ago. I was greatly surprised by the diversity of Theodore Roosevelt National Park in western North Dakota. The park has two primary units conveniently called North and South Units. The North Unit has some wonderful badland scenery and a wide valley created by the Little Missouri River. There are also lots of Bison. I was on the search for badgers—a creature I’ve never seen. I read they’re sometimes found digging for prairie dogs. So I was up before dawn hiking to a prairie dog town. I was greeted with a pleasant sunrise.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

Theodore Roosevelt National Park, North Dakota

I found the prairie dog town and settled in to look for badgers. No badgers. No prairie dogs. Not much of anything going on. I discovered that prairie dogs sleep in late. Finally, they started popping out of their burrows.

Prairie dog breakfast

Prairie dog breakfast

I had fun watching the little fellows, but was ready to move on after laying on my stomach photographing the guys. As I was getting up, I looked behind and saw a crowd coming up on either side of me.

Bison approach

Bison approach

I hoped the herd would continue on an walk by me. But they decided the prairie dog town was a nice place to stop and graze. I was stuck. But it gave me a chance to get a family portrait.

Bison family

Bison family

I was stuck for well over an hour as the bison munched on the grass, with the big bulls keeping their eyes on me. I finally told them I was very tired of waiting for them to move and that I would slowly walk out. I gathered my equipment, talked softly and tried to keep as much distance as I could.

Bye, son

Bye, son

I made my get away. That evening, I was rewarded with a nice flock of pelicans flying over the Little Missouri Valley before the sun set.

Pelican flock above the valley

Pelican flock above the valley

Sunset over the Little Missouri River Valley

Sunset over the Little Missouri River Valley