Saturday, July 25, 2015

Last Post from N.D.

When I do a post, I let my pictures do the talking. This post is a mixture of things for the month of July...picture wise, without mentioning prior posts. So, here goes...

Another favorite shot is of the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, male and female, coming together to share in the suet.

The woodpeckers are eating us out of house and home!!! Especially now that there are little ones to feed...and the little ones are coming in now on their own. What a joy to sit and watch these beautiful birds while learning more of their behaviors.

While Wallace is off mowing, I am making bungees.

We have needed these to hold down the kayaks on the trailer and securing garbage bags in several trashcans. Colleen does not like to see the bag flapping outside the container and neither do we. Problems solved!!!

This is the old entrance. It is pretty with the old lichen covered stones. 

We still mow the area because there are trails with one vault toilet.

Wallace's chainsaw certification comes in handy, especially when there is no one else around to take care of things like this.

We have one fireman and he is off on detail.

We need this tree off the fence as well as the firebreak. My job comes in after he is through cutting.

Then there are special wagon tours...this one is for retired teachers.

It was a fun tour, we even got to see the bison up close and personal. They were blocking the road.

One day we were sent out to do sign inventories.

All the little green spots are some of the outlying places to go out for an adventure.

We took down the coordinates for six places. Wish we could have started on this before time to leave as there are a lot more of them to do. Kneeling Moose was the best!!!

Here is a close up showing K.M. and Martinson. Each square represents one mile.

Trying to find these places and the road to get you there is fun.

The beautiful colors...this is a canola field.

A close up of flax. The field looks like water, a beautiful color of blue, but I could not capture it in all its glory.

We must not leave out wheat. They say now the main crops are corn and wheat. Most of the fields depend on rain for irrigation. They all look healthy.

Now for our last look of the pollinator garden we have worked on.

This is what it looked like after mowing some trails throughout. An earlier photo before it came alive with color.

We are planning on putting mulch on the trails after spraying with round up.

Wallace and I pulled and cut around the islands and the garden producing a lot of stuff. Canada thistle being the main culprit.

Here is what it looks like now with monarda being the predominant color.

We broke it up into manageable pieces by putting in trails for the visitors enjoyment to get a close up view of the plants and critters.

Here is your close up view of monarda.

It is interesting to walk around to see what else is blooming.

Following is a few of the plants in the garden.

Purple prairie clover.

Yellow cone flower to your right.

Purple cone flower.

           Gallardia thrown in at bottom right.

With a little hyssop thrown in...the crushed leaves smell like licorice.

On my day off (we are required to work only 20 hours per week) I walked up to the visitor center to work a little more. I did not have the camera with me to show you what this area around the building looked like...but you can see it now...all the rocks are now clean and free!!!

I take great pride in my work even if nobody else sees the work I do. It just looks so nice me.

I hope the work in the garden continues after we leave here.

You will see, we finally lowered the flag for the four service people who were shot at the recruiting office.

As for me, I will continue to "Paint the Prairie."

We leave here August 2nd and head south to New Mexico. We will be volunteering at Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge. August 15th, we will be having a butterfly count...come see us!!!

One last picture...both the male Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers.

You can certainly see the size difference between the two in this picture...kinda like the yellowlegs, eh?

Until next time...

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Post Script...

Wallace interrupted me and I forgot to add these last few photos.

The Peace Towers cost the U.S. 1,3 million dollars to build.

The four towers symbolize the people from the four corners of the Earth coming together in the common cause of peace.

A nice thought, but the towers are falling apart...that is why the fence!!! A lot of money for this???

A beautiful look toward the Peace Towers.

Until next time... 

International Peace Garden

But first, a stop at Rugby, North Dakota because this is the Geographical Center of North America.   

A little further up the road, we find ourselves in the Turtle Mountains. This sculpture took a lot of tire rims!!! 

This is our second trip to the gardens. We first went in May and soon realized we were going to have to make another trip to see all the flowers since it was too early for them.

We did enjoy seeing the many cacti that were blooming, 6,000 to be exact.

This Conservatory is amazing...not only cactus, but orchids and other succulents with the picture below.

Wallace was feeling ill and left me to enjoy it on my own. It was pretty hot in there.

The Conservatory is open all year, and is worth the time it takes to visit it.

You must get your picture taken at "the clock."

Please notice the beautiful red granite globe at the top of the cairn. The cairn was built right on the 49th parallel in the Turtle Mountains. 

Just another sightseeing trip during our summer here in North Dakota.

Until next time...

Saturday, July 18, 2015

A Walk on the Prairie

This was a scheduled event...but before we did that, some mowing needed to be done.

This is a property about 5 miles from the visitor center where it needed mowing for parking of vehicles for the walk.

It is virgin land that has never been worked, so it is the best place for a plant walk.

The people would caravan to this place to park.

Parking is so much better now that it has been mowed.

The walk and talk was given by Mark Fisher, wildlife biologist.

There were not a lot of flowers since the area had a prescribed burn in May, but it was very interesting. There were quite a few grasses talked about.

One of the flowers is North Dakotas state flower, the prairie rose with a bonus, bugs. The other is a photo of Thimbleweed.

Our walk was to go out to this sand volcano, but because of the kids and older folks, it was nixed. A little disappointing to me as that was a highlight I was looking forward to. We will just have to go on our own at a later time.

Just another day on another prairie!!!

Until next time...

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Our last long road trip until we move to our next destination when we leave North Dakota for New Mexico.

We drove over 600 miles to visit the only national park in this state. 

I think we must have picked the hottest day of the summer at 92 degrees.

These are the Badlands of North Dakota.

The Sioux called the land "Mako Shika," no good land, but Teddy Roosevelt fell in love with it, so much that he built two houses there to run his cattle ranches.

The little house where they will give you a tour is called "The Maltese Cross Cabin."

He was here when he got word that his mother and wife died..."the light has been taken out of my world."

After a stop at the visitor center, we drove the scenic loop drive. It is 36 miles in length.

Scoria is volcanic in origin. Where coal seams have caught fire and baked the surrounding sand and clay, you get scoria, a natural brick. Some of the bluffs are capped with this harder material.

Following are some of the maze of buttes, tablelands, canyons, and valleys we thought were so pretty...enjoy it along with us.

There were  some scenes along the way, like New Salem Sue, the giant Holstein cow. I think North Dakota is the only state that places these huge things throughout the state. 

The clouds were absolutely gorgeous.

Geese in flight...look at those lines holding it in place!!!

Until next time...