Badlands National Park

The first day of our trip was spent in Badlands National Park in South Dakota. The Badlands are about a quarter of a million acres of eroded buttes, pinnacles, and spires surrounded by prairie. The formations were deposited about 70 million years ago when the area was covered by an inland sea. After the sea receded, erosion carved the buttes into what we see there today. Eventually, the Badlands will erode away altogether.

Besides the spectacular views of the buttes, there are many animals to see. It was very hot (temps over 100 degrees during the day) when we were there and so the best time to see the wildlife was in the early morning or evening.

We drove around that evening and saw:

Bighorn sheep:

Bighorn sheep ewe grazing

Bighorn sheep ewe resting at the edge of a butte

Bighorn sheep ram

Bighorn sheep ewe

American Bison:


Bison bull

My favorites were the Black Tailed Prairie Dogs:

Black Tailed Prairie Dog on alert

Black Tailed Prairie Dog

When two of them meet, they “kiss” and wag their little tails:

Here, the same 2 prairie dogs hear something that startles them, and the one on the left starts to “bark”, which sounds like little yip- yips.

Sometimes they will stretch out on the ground to rest.


Me:   “Now you just stoppit….just stop being so cute, or I’ll have to grab you and give you a big ole hug!” 

We finished our day by taking pics of an approaching storm over the Badlands:

To give you an idea of just how big this place is, in the pic below that dot at the edge of the butte on the left is Harland:

And here’s a pic Harland took of me:

The next day we headed to Custer State Park.

Stay tuned….




Cattle, corn, wheat, beans, mud, snow, ice, and drought. Plenty of fresh air and quiet. Our life is sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes joyous, but never boring.

You may also like...

10 Responses

  1. Sue, a Florida Farm Girl says:

    Oh, it is a hauntingly beautiful place, isn’t it? Definitely not what most people expect when they arrive.

  2. Kathy says:

    Love, love, love your trips. Thanks for showing me a part of the country I would otherwise never see.

  3. Tina says:

    Very nice place and trip. So nice to see all the wildlife. Why do prairie dogs kiss?? I gotta’ tell you they are darn cute!! I would kiss one myself. Nice pic Harland took of you!

  4. Carol says:

    The badlands are amazing and much bigger than I imagined. You captured the beauty of storm clouds, buffalo, and big horn sheep. I could watch those prairie dogs kissing all day! Thanks Suzanne, another fantastic post!

  5. Peggy says:

    Love your post. I visited there two years ago but didn’t get photos like that.

  6. Sandra says:

    I’ve never seen pictures of this land before. Amazing place. What a great vacation your having. I love prarie dogs. Thanks for the wonderful photos.

  7. How beautiful is that place!! Just gorgeous! I am in love with those prairie dogs…I can’t believe they kiss when they meet…I’m dieing here! That is so darn adorable! I love the pic that Harland took of you…very pretty!

  8. Margel says:

    I have looked all over, but cannot not find the name of the camera you use?? Your artistic view is evident, and I can tell you use a wide angle which is my favorite lens,and a tripod, but what is the camera? After the fact do you use any software to spice up your photos to get the amazing results we see on your blog?

    I moved away from Kansas over 50 years ago and am enjoying seeing it again through your blog.

    • Suzanne says:

      Thank you Margel. It’s a Canon EOS 50D. The wide angle lens is a 10-22mm. I also have 100-400mm long lens, and a 18-200 lens too. I use Photoshop Elements. I try to get the shot right in the camera so I don’t do much in Photoshop except boost the saturation, contrast, and sometimes lightening up the shadows, and all these at a minimum.

  9. Steela Castle says:

    Adorable information!! The place is hauntingly beautiful. We live in an incredible country..don’t we? Thanks for showing us such wonderful photographs.
    I spend one day at Badlands and that was a lifetime experience for me.I have seen so much of wild life there. Great wild life and good hiking trails. Beautiful place with rock formations I had never seen before. Glance at to explore more of Badlands National Park.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.