Friday, November 13

A Coyote Serenade to Boot

Today, a more broad view of my driving adventure in the Black Hills on Wednesday...

I started out crossing Custer State Park at the E entrance, where I stopped to check out all the birds that were flitting about in the trees behind the park sign...

And managed to get my best photos so far of the dark-eyed junco...

But not of the blue jay...still trying!

I visited Stockade Lake for the first can see a small part of it from the road. There's a loop road that goes around the lake; I was really surprised at how much bigger it was than it seemed. All around the lake there were pretty glassy reflections of the landscape...

On the S side of the lake this cluster of rocks reflected on the water.

Just past the W side of the lake I took the N/S county roads 342/337/336 several miles through the woods, coming out at the NW edge of Wind Cave Nat'l Park, where I saw the first bald eagle, soaring. I'd found yet another empty wasp nest along the way.

I drove further south, just below WCNP, taking another dirt road E below the park, then turned N up Red Valley Rd., which comes out in the wildlife loop in SE Custer State Park...if you take the right fork in the road, which I did not luckily...I stopped to take a photo of the red countryside at this small gulch...

And was quite startled to find I wasn't alone...this male buffalo appeared on the other side of the gap, having been down at the bottom playing in the red mud.

Further along, after taking the left fork into uncharted territory (the road just came out further west into S Custer Park than the right fork..I went in a loop right back to where I'd exited the previous county road)...I found the eagles...I had to pull over into a very large herd of prong-horn antelope...

While trying to get photos, my eye caught movement down on the ground between the fencing and the eagles...a coyote! It began howling, and the howls echoed all around me, as we were between two hills. It wasn't long and I realized that there were several other coyotes, out of my sight, howling along w/ the one by the fence. The sound was amazing! I was doubly stunned...bald eagles and a serenading pack of coyotoes! I know, didn't I have enough sense to be...scared silly?! Well for a moment yes but a) they were on the other side of a 10 foot fence and b) I wanted photos of the bald eagles, dammit!

Next I'll share the historical markers I found along the county road W of Custer Park.


  1. Wow Jann, thats amazing, I think I may have been paralysed to the spot with fear/awe!
    Just goes to show the difference in wildlife though....I drive along a country road and I get Rooks, Magpies and a stray dog!!

  2. You sure had an adventure Jann, such an abundance of photo opportunities! Your header is a perfect photo! Beautiful reflections!

  3. Uhauuu! What a fling with the Coyotes! The photos of the bald eagle was worth.
    Beautiful Blog! I like seeing other landscapes and animals different from my country. Congratulations!
    Sorry for my English. It's too bad.

  4. love the singing coyote - "back in the day", Tootsie, the Spot's Pet Coyote, rode around town in the owner's truck. the Pioneer Times ran an obituary when Tootsie died. my mother did considerable artwork, and one of my favorite pieces is made from red clay. thanks for the good stroll down memory lane :)