Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Oh Give Me a Home...

"Where the buffalo roam"  Custer State Park is a marvelous place to see wild animals moving freely.  It's a huge sprawling place, and we were thrilled to see about 100 of their herd of over a thousand American bison as they lumbered across a road.  My image of buffalo is of them grazing on the prairie, but this herd was coming out of a stand of trees.  The bull pictured here is happily scratching an itch on one of those trees.  I shot the photo from the safety of our vehicle, but with the windows down we were impressed by the animals' size and the deep noises they made.

"Where the deer and the antelope play"  We saw pronghorn antelope everywhere.  These were in Custer State Park, but we saw dozens grazing along side cattle in Wyoming and South Dakota.  The state park and surrounding area also has burrows, mule and white tail deer, elk, and mountain goats.
"Where seldom is heard a discouraging word, and the skies are not cloudy all day"  OK, so sometimes the skies are cloudy.  After several days of brilliant blue skies a few clouds made the Crazy Horse Memorial easy on the eyes.  I had seen the mountain in 1960 with my grandparents, and remember nothing more than a white outline on the side of the rock.  While the project isn't nearly finished, there is still much to see.  Sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski, who worked on Mt. Rushmore, was approached by Lakota chief Henry Standing Bear in 1948 to create a memorial to Crazy Horse to remind people that Native Americans have heroes too. We were impressed with the other part of the complex there, the film with background on the project, the huge museum dedicated to many aspects of Native American history and culture, and even the gift shop.  We passed up an evening laser light show, though we did have one more exciting moment a day or so later.  We were on top of an observation tower miles away in the state park when we heard a boom.  At first we thought it was thunder, but then a cloud of dust rose from the Crazy Horse monument.  They are continuing to chip away at the area under the sculpture's arm.  

1 comment:

Teri C said...

Great photos!! Animals are so fun to watch.