American Holly

American Holly
American Holly

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The No Prairie Dog Hike

I wanted to hike a short trail that started from the Cannon Ball Concretions and seemed to wind through the prairie of the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park.  Bob doesn't like hiking unless he is seeing some great scenery so chose not to go.

The blues and browns are prominent colors in the early light
I got to go early in the morning on a day that was lightly overcast.  It made for beautiful light along a wonderful route. I was able to hike close to lots of badland outcroppings and into eroding canyons.

I had great expectations of reaching the prairie dog community and then stalking them to get some great pictures.  But I was distracted by the scenery.  Then I spotted a mule deer, standing on a cliff and watching me.  Seconds later, I spotted a rabbit sitting so still as be invisible.

Mule deer watcher

Rabbit


Prairie and badlands formations

The day got better and brighter and I walked into a small canyon filled with hoodoos and concretions.

Close view of concretions and hoodoos

Another view from within the canyon
I was surprised to find cactus in both Montana and North Dakota. 
Another close and long view

Then somehow, I managed to completely miss the prairie dog town. Perhaps I had a little help from a bison.

Trail sign/ old Bison rub
I came back to the tour road near the Long X trail pullout, then took the tour  road back to the car. The scenery from the road, was not as dramatic as when seen from the trail which ran a lot closer to the formations.

I got to take a few bee pictures

Mid morning colors

  I considered the hike a great success, even without prairie dogs.