God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Wallowing

We saw quite a few bison at the Theodore Roosevelt NP. Even when not seeing them, we encountered plenty of evidence of bison. Lots of dung. Many downed posts – the bison like to rub against them. And an occasional circular bare spot in the vegetation as seen in this photo. This is where the bison roll on the ground, or wallow. It’s hard to believe an animal rolling on the ground could make such a large divot, even a large animal. We saw a few days later that many bison will wallow in the exact same spot, one right after another. From my reading, it seems that it is not entirely clear why bison do this. For pigs, it is a way to combat the heat (since pigs do not sweat). For bison, it may just be a way to remove bugs. Do bison know why they do it? Are they just “following the herd?”

How often do I do what others are doing without asking “why?”

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Persistence

This was one of many different scenic views we had of the Little Missouri River in Theodore Roosevelet NP. The river (and its tributaries) are largely responsible for the formation of the Badlands in North Dakota, along with erosion from wind and rain.

It amazes me to see how great an impact a river can have on the landscape. Over thousands/millions of years, that is. Oh to develop a fraction of that persistence!

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

Petrified

Our first hike at Theodore Roosevelt NP was the Pertified Forest Trail. Petrified wood is actually a fossil with minerals (especially silica) replacing the organic material. Most of the color in petrified wood comes from trace metals (iron, chromium). The process occurs underground, when wood becomes buried in water-saturated sediment or volcanic ash, reducing the availability of oxygen. Petrified wood is later exposed after erosion of surrounding sediment. The petrification process is very slow – petrified woods is typically millions of years old. (Source: Wikipedia)

While I don’t think of myself as pertified, it is easy to look back and see the long process of change that has occuried in my life. Change that is a result of the “environment” God has placed me in.

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God in all things, Photography, Scenery, Travel

First look

My wife and I traveled to North Dakota at the end of July for a trail race and some hiking at Theodroe Roosevelt National Park. We flew into Bismarck and drove to Medora, ND where we stayed for the week. Most of the drive was very flat/rolling plains. Just before we arrived at Medora, the land changed dramatically into the Badlands. The Badlands are mostly the result of erosion, so they are not visible from far away.

It is said “life comes at you fast.” Oftentimes, change is upon us before we even see it coming.

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