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Posts tagged ‘Badlands National Park’

A Snake in the Grass

The eastern yellow-bellied racer is a common snake in the grasslands of western South Dakota.  True to their name, racers are speedy snakes, long and slender.  They’re nonvenomous and, in my opinion, beautiful: the archetype of what a snake should be.  I was delighted to see this blue-green adult racer, roughly three feet in length, as I walked home for lunch today. Read more

Fall Color, Prairie Style

I’ve been in my new home in Badlands National Park for just over two weeks now.  I arrived here in summer, and within a week the autumnal equinox carried us over into fall.  On cue, the cottonwood trees turned from green to gold, and the nights became crisp and clear. Read more

Moving Again

I feel as though I only just arrived in Yellowstone, yet here I am, packing and cleaning, getting ready to move again.  Picking up and relocating frequently is the lot of the seasonal park ranger, and there are things I like about it.  I never get bored with the inherently repetitive aspects of my job, for instance, and I welcome the chance to delve into a new homelandscape every six months or so.  But staying put for two years of graduate school in Vermont spoiled me with “normal” life: I got to taste the joy of immersing myself more deeply in a place.  To many of you, who may have spent your entire lives in one place, two years without moving may not sound like much.  But for an itinerant park ranger, not having to move three or four times during that period was a heavenly taste of what it’s like to settle somewhere. Read more

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