Tuesday, June 12, 2007

North Dakota Images: Landscapes

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.

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At 6:31 PM, Blogger NatureWoman said...

Cool, I've never heard of prairie potholes from glaciers. I've heard of kettleholes which is what I see here in NY. Are the rocks you show glacial deposits? I love seeing the bison.

At 11:23 PM, Blogger Susan Gets Native said...

Fabulous post, Bill.
There's more to ND than people think.

At 5:52 AM, Anonymous Jennifer said...

haha! One of my colleagues and I often joke that we should write an article called "Birders with Blinders". It was our contention that birders have only ONE thing on their minds: BIRDS. Thank you for showing us that birders can sometimes think of other things.

hee hee...

At 8:54 AM, Blogger dguzman said...

Poetic, BOTB. Beautiful.

At 10:22 AM, Blogger Rondeau Ric said...

Beautiful territory Bill. Any cowbirds with those bison?


At 1:12 PM, Blogger Patrick Belardo said...

I can't wait to get there someday. Maybe 2008.

At 1:25 PM, Blogger kevbosnafu said...

That's bizarre that you wrote about prairie potholes, which I had never heard of until this morning, before I read your post about them. There's an article in the June '07 'Birder's World' on Climate Change and Birds that mentions the increasing temps in the 'Prairie Pothole' region over the last 100 years, and how conservation groups monitor these regions very closely. What are the odds that I would read about prairie potholes twice in one day???

At 9:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The pictures were quite beautiful and represent many facets of North Dakota. However, I know many people who own cattle in beautiful areas wilderness areas of North Dakota and the beauty still remains. Also, some of those houses are merely a reminder that their former owners expanded their property holdings and just didn't bother tearing them down when they built a new home.


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