Hooves, Horns, Claws, & Cuteness

Immediately after our California dreams, we hit the road for South Dakota, whose rock-strewn Black Hills were well worth the mostly featureless drive there. We did catch sight of a few swift Pronghorn on the way, including a tiny fawn with its mother.


Pronghorn running near Wyoming and South Dakota border

Pronghorn mother and fawn running near Wyoming and South Dakota border

Pronghorn near Wyoming and South Dakota border
This curious pronghorn had such big, doey eyes!

We stopped to admire a herd of domestic sheep, and I nabbed a picture of them traversing the horizon, each leading their sweet lambs alongside. One had twins!


Sheep ewes and lambs in Wyoming

After the long drive over the flatlands, we finally reached our destination. The misty beauty of Black Hills National Forest was so rejuvenating! As in California, the summer was alive with lush greenery that had not yet hit our town.


Black Hills National Forest in South Dakota

Our first adventure was cruising an incredible drive-through safari. The bighorn sheep kicked things off with their hazelnut eyes and ridged horns.


Bighorn sheep

Bighorn sheep

Next was a beautiful elk bull with ultra-rounded velvet antlers. Look at that sassy head tilt - he knows he's fabulous!


Elk

Elk

After the prey animals, we moved onto some predators. This epic black wolf struck an eerie pose for my camera as we admired him from the safe haven of our vehicle.


Black wolf

The bears were larger than life! I decided to desaturate one portrait, for a change. I'm in love with the last one's giant round ears!




After the free-roaming drive-through area, we walked around some beautiful open-air enclosures with no glass or ceilings. These fuzzy badgers were snuggled up under a rock together waiting out the foggy weather, and I couldn't resist the cute little javelina rooting around in the grass.


Badgers

Javelina

This beautiful feline was stalking his territory. I was lucky enough to spot a wild bobcat in Colorado once, and was astounded at how big they can be! This one was striking, even if small.


We had an incredible experience at the safari and were so happy we made it before dusk! The diffused light was just beautiful that day, and we loved all the green everywhere. Next up; more of South Dakota, as well as a spontaneous excursion up north!