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Surprise on Bad River

Two days ago it was in the 60’s, sunny and looked very much like spring. Today, we’re experiencing yet another blizzard. While my husband is outside checking cows (we just started calving), I’m sitting in the comforts of my office space trying to catch up on my photos.

You may recall a few weeks ago I shared a post showing the spring flow/thaw of the White River. The following Wednesday, March 28th, my daughter and I headed north of Murdo to a bridge crossing Bad River in order to see what its flow was like.

Nikon D700 + 28-200 mm/3.5-5.6 @28 mm, ISO 100, f/22, 2 sec
ND x8 Filter
3/2019 ©Cristen J. Roghair

The banks were well extended and the rush of water was loud and fast. The wind was down so my daughter and I enjoyed a picnic supper on the rocks.

As we turned to head home, I took a quick detour to see Dry Creek as it merged into Bad River. As we headed down the side road, the most wonderful encounter that I wouldn’t have anticipated appeared!

Nikon D700 + 70-200 mm/2.8 @ 200 mm, ISO 2000, f/3.5, 1/1600 sec
3/2019 ©Cristen J. Roghair

The bull elk was only about 40 yards from the pickup as I came around the bend, heading right towards me. He turned and then sailed over the buffalo fence onto the nearby buffalo ranch. I’d already packed up my photography gear and the wide angle lens was attached to my camera. I took a few shots but then switched to my 70-200mm with vibration reduction in hopes of some better photos. The elk stopped to look at us a few times as he continued his saunter towards Bad River.

Nikon D700 + 70-200 mm/2.8 @ 70 mm, ISO 500, f/2.8 1/2500 sec
3/2019 ©Cristen J. Roghair

I’ve seen a bull elk twice in the wild: the Grand Tetons, and now Jones County, SD. I’d heard they’re around but never expected to see the majesty of this beautiful creature out on the prairie. What a thrill and something to brag to my husband about!

Nikon D700 + 28-200 mm/3.5-5.6 @36 mm, ISO 200, f/22, 1 sec
ND x8 Filter
3/2019 ©Cristen J. Roghair

After so much excitement, it was almost too distracting to continue on to Dry Creek. The water was running over the road so we didn’t venture very far. I enjoyed the colors of the set sun bouncing light from the clouds down to the snow as this draw meandered to Dry Creek. I’m so grateful to live in such a beautiful part of the country and even more grateful to know the One who created all things!

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Carmen

    Just breathtaking!!! Love these amazing photos!

    1. Cristen

      Thanks, Carmen! We have a spare room if you’d ever want to come out and explore South Dakota. 🙂

  2. Carrie Jacobson

    Fantastic Cristen! What a wonderful place and how incredible you were there and so able to capture everything. Thank you!

    1. Cristen

      So good to hear from you, Carrie! I’d heard there are elk roaming around Bad River, but never expected to see one. Who knows, maybe they’ll come visit you, too! 😉

  3. Craig Alberty

    Would NEVER expect to see one of those guys out there! Sure wouldn’t be ready if I did see one.

    1. Cristen

      There’s been a moose out here, too, in years past, but I’ve yet to see him for myself.

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