Saturday, July 21, 2007

Asses, burros, bison and other assorted wildlife.

Drove through the Black Hills of South Dakota the other day, in particular Custer State Park, which has nothing to do with Custer’s last stand (but we are going there in the next few days)

As we were driving on the wild life loop, we saw (as expected) lots of deer, antelope, pronghorn (they all look like deer to me!) and a herd of bison. However we were not expecting a herd of burros – they were wandering down the road, stopping traffic, and sticking their noses in the windows (should you be foolish enough to open them). They were very keen to scavenge food, and even the foals were tame and well versed at begging. They let us pat them through the windows – the kids thought that was pretty cool.

In our campground at Hill City, we saw some reddish colored animals which we were told were ground squirrels. Unlike the grey squirrels we are used to from New York these are small, and very active. Once again, they are used to humans, and were happy to investigate our tent to see if we had left any food out, and would hop up on the table even if we were still in close proximity. Julian was surprised to find that his bagel had disappeared on him by the time he went for a run with the ball and came back – the squirrel carried it off. The funniest thing was watching this little critter trying to climb a tree while holding a bagel in his front paws. He would jump up, be unable to grip and fall back. Wish I had video.

We have also seen some tiny little critters which we think are chipmunks. Not sure though, having never seen a chipmunk, except in Disney movies…

Althogether, an abundance of very cooperative wildlife...

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