LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Badlands Expedition, June 9-11, 2023

Red-headed Woodpecker (nesting) in a dead cottonwood at the Theodore Roosevelt National Park North Unit group site. Bull snake spotted slithering down the tree, no doubt having made an attempt to eat eggs or fledglings.

  • House Wren.
  • Bobolink.
  • Common Yellowthroat.
  • Field Sparrow.
  • Sprague’s Pipit.
  • Prairie Falcon.
  • Rock Wren.
  • Spotted Towhee.
  • Lazuli Bunting.
  • Yellow-breasted Chat.
  • Red-eyed Vireo.
  • American Robin.
  • Grasshopper Sparrow.
  • American White Pelican.
  • Yellow Warbler.
  • Eastern and Western Kingbirds.
  • Canada Geese.
  • Least Flycatcher.
  • Mourning Doves.
  • Ovenbird.
  • Oriole (uncertain which kind).
  • Common Nighthawk.
  • Western Meadowlark.

Lots of crickets and butterflies. Blue sky with some haze from forest fires and such. Very dark sky at night with bright Venus and many stars. Toads and cottontails and bison and long-horn cattle. Buttes, draws, washes, prairie, mud, gumbo, slumps, sinkholes, petrified wood, sandstone. And quiet.

Little Missouri River fairly high. Landscape very green and lush. Flora and fauna: (much of these in bloom): junegrass, western wheatgrass, skunkbush sumac, cleft gromwell, lance-leaf bluebells, wild blue flax, prickly pear, Missouri pincushion, woods rose, wild prairie roses (most deep pink, a few white), western wallflower, prairie ragwort, western salsify, western virgin’s bower, butte candle, rubber rabbitbrush, chokecherry, pin cherry, pussy toes, fleabane, sego lily, gumbo lily, rubber rabbitbush, poison ivy, buckbrush, yarrow, Indian hemp, catnip, white milkwort, scarlet guara, coneflower, scarlet globemallow, wood lily, gayfeather, narrow leaf penstemon, prairie turnip, sawsepal penstemon, prairie smoke, juniper (Rocky Mountain, prickly, and creeping), sage (including artemisia tridentada), COTTONWOODS including one dating to 1641.

All-day strenuous hike with Badlands Conservation Alliance. One wood tick. Cool temperatures and a nice breeze. Delightful camaraderie and delicious food, on the trail and in our campsites.

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