I went to North Dakota to watch birds, to show other people birds, and was hoping for a bit of extra time--a few hours--to take some bird photographs.
Once I got there, to the prairie pothole region surrounding Carrington, ND, I remembered, as I do on every annual visit, that the landscape in North Dakota is every bit as captivating as the birds.
Here are some of the images that captured me during my stay in the Land of the Bison.
Prairie potholes dot the landscape, left here by glaciers millions of years ago.
Around these potholes, nature is abundant, even amid signs of humanity's impact on the land.
Some of the less rocky areas have felt the cut and turn of the plow. Once broken, the soil is never the same again. Where native prairie still exists, many landowners prefer to raise bison (instead of cattle) to maintain a more natural balance. Old farmhouses and barns dot the landscape, lonely reminders of broken dreams from long ago. Skeletal remains of windmills are here and there. They made the water flow until the wind achieved a final victory. Sunset over a slough with a million insects in the air Along this 'road to nowhere' we found birds in great numbers. On the bison tour to Oren & Connie's ranch, we experienced prairie life as it was for eons, up until about 100 years ago. Rocky soil and stony outcrops have denied the plow its path, leaving behind untouched native prairie. Far from flat, the coteau region of North Dakota undulates like the waves on the giant inland sea that once lay here.
Labels: bird photography, bison, North Dakota