Posts Tagged ‘Custer State Park’

Ashes to ashes and dust to dust.  The natural reclamation of those first inhabitants of the hill country.


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One of those nights when sleep is evading me, so, some photos of my last adventure…


Prong at rest…



Southwest from my ridge…southern Paha Sapa



South from the same ridge…



Grandfather and his herd…



A new generation…



Nature’s castle…



Pine by the Needles…







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Just returned from a 2 day excursion into the hill country, showing a friend of mine that all of South Dakota is not open, hilly and boring.  The Great Plains holds its own beauty in it vast expanse, but the hills has its own majesty.  Paha Sapa to the Lakota people.  A spiritual land that embraces all that has a natural connectedness.  These are a few shots of the past couple days….


Red Valley in the southern hills. Off the beaten track, you can see forever….





Buffalo, American Bison or Tatanka…






The photo does not come close…. southern hills.






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One of my pastimes when exploring the Black Hills, is to “chase buffalo”.  I do not leave the immediate vicinity of my Jeep though.  The buffalo may seem docile but this belief has injured and killed those who look on these creature as funny looking cows.  These animals can run at 35 mph and turn on a dime.  They do this by planting their front legs and swinging around, completing a 180 in an instant.  They can also jump a 6 foot fence without very much effort. Having worked among these majestic animals, I can tell you that the old belief from early explorers that the buffalo is more dangerous than a grizzly bear is true.  This shot was taken little too close.  The warning signs ( a certain sounding bellow and the tail raised high ) that I was beginning irritate his afternoon were given and shortly after the shutter clicked, he charged.


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The tree is more than first a seed, then a stem, then a living trunk, and then dead timber. The tree is a slow, enduring force straining to win the sky. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Wisdom of the Sands, translated from French by Stuart Gilbert

Taken on the Needles Highway, Black Hills, South Dakota

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Another repost…..damn….I really hate computers….any way….welcome to my world…

 The West is a country of many diverse landscapes, of immense mountains ranges; such as the Rockies, the Big Horns, the Bitter Roots and the Sangre de Christo. It is a land of rivers; the Colorado, the Missouri and the Yellowstone, of immeasurable distances and oceans of swaying green grass. To the Native Americans, it is a powerful ally, a spiritual coupling and an equalizer to all living beings.

The west is not about a single story or a single individual. It is a collection of human strengths and weaknesses, of courage and despair and of glory and of shame. The stories are told by those who first called the west their home and those who came later on. It is the life and the death of those who believed that the west was the center of the universe. It is a land of conquest and of loss, of dreams and of destinies.

To sit quietly upon a wind-blown ridge, gazing across an infinite valley teeming with the majesty of the wildlife, to feel the warmth of a summer sun and to take in the fragrance of the sage and sweet grass is to begin to understand the copiousness of the land beyond the Mississippi River. To interpret that the Great Mystery is immanent in the fabric of the material world.

 Since the beginning of modern time, the west has been filled with an immense energy. The Kiowa, the Sioux, the Pawnee and the Comanche. The Cheyenne, the Crow and the Hopi. All things were connected. All were related yet cultures and traditions were as diverse as anywhere else in the world and with time, more cultures arrived. The Europeans, the Asians and the Africans. All attempting to fulfill dreams and some succeeding to reach beyond expectations.

Photographs and Creativity from the High Plains.

How To Take The Most Clear, Breathtaking, Majestic and Powerful Landscape Photos. Without Spending Hundreds Of Dollars On Expensive Camera Equipment, Using Any Good, Basic Digital Camera.

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It is time for a vacation. After a long, semi-warm South Dakota winter, I am on the early fringe of losing focus from normal life. So, I am beginning to plan for a brief sojourn from reality. Though there are many destination I would like to explore, time and money are the obstacles of a trip to the white sands of Tahiti or to the Great Wall of China, leaves me to decide on locations within the continental United States. 

First on my list is returning to Maine to visit with family and friends. Visiting there has many great benefits. A reconnection with those I love and a return to the Maine coast where the sea breeze fills the air with the fragrance of ocean salt where I can indulge in those foods that are extremely rare in the high plains. Lobster stew, lobster and butter, fried clams, B&M Baked Beans and my mother’s famous raspberry bars. I think I have gained a couple of pounds just thinking about these delicacies. There in Maine, I would be able to reconnect with the back woods which covers 90% of the state and where the Atlantic Ocean’s white foamed surf drums onto the smooth gray granite. Pine trees, Sugar Maples and the availability to pick fresh vegetables from a well tended gardens.

Maine: The Seasons



I can, with anticipation, dream of sitting around an aromatic and crackling wood fire, cold drink in hand and listening to all the stories of events I have missed this past year. To some of these stories, laughter will mix with the words, while others will bring back memories of those who leaves an empty seat around the fire. I will observe how those babes I sat and held last year will be walking, those who were walking will have grown taller and my friends will have more gray and less hair.

My other choices, which in reality, would only be chosen if going to Maine could not be successfully accomplished, would be returning to the mountains of Montana, the Black Hills of South Dakota, the Blue Ridge and Shenandoah Valley of Virginia or the quiet peacefulness of Nova Scotia, which, by the way, is a short road trip from Maine.

Our lives are filled with the routine necessities of daily life. With our jobs, those daily mundane chores we need to do to feel responsible, shopping, ect., it’s a miracle that we have time plan any activity that is listed under daily survival, especially a vacation. But vacations can be a triple pleasure. When we sit and plan our upcoming adventure, the week before the trip that increases the anticipation for places unknown, or known, and the day we begin our holiday. It really does not matter if it is a short trip or one that is long. No matter the distance or the destination, we are shrouded in a feeling of escape from these routines of life. The excitement of the hunt, so to say.

There has been some recent studies that suggest that vacations and de-stressing go hand in hand. The studies concur that when we are in the throes of escapism, we are happier and this endorphin high increases the longevity of our life so we may take even more vacations. And then there will always be the memories.  Pristine beaches, high mountain meadows, good food, family and friends, taking that wrong turn and getting lost.  But what the hell, it is all part of the adventure.

Granted, with today’s economy in the gutter due to corporate greed and incompetent government bungling, how can you save enough to actually get away? Save for it..work a second job, sell those items you never use, sell the kids to Egypt, but do it. Take just a couple of days to get away from the self-imposed rat race and enjoy the freedom of the wind in your face. You will not be disappointed…  

And take some great eats with you….Tanka Bars

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