Things to See and Do in South Dakota
South Dakota High Point: Hiking Black Elk Peak
Snow Buries South Dakota Threatening Thousands of Ranchers and Cattle
Cattle huddle together during Winter Storm Wesley in Highmore. Central South Dakota got nearly 20 feet of snow during the blizzard. (Photo: Brittany Kerr)
Millions of animals affected
Thousands of ranchers and millions of animals have been affected by the storm in South Dakota. And the consequences don’t stop with them.
The mud from melted snow this spring could string the cattle out and cause pneumonia and other sickness.
More than 15,000 South Dakota ranchers will endure physical, mental and financial stress and the aftermath is a testament to their dedication and resilience.
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The Black Hills, in western South Dakota and northeastern Wyoming, consists of 1.2 million acres of forested hills and mountains, approximately 110 miles long and 70 miles wide, a hikers and naturalist paradise.
The Black Hills rise from the adjacent grasslands into a ponderosa pine forest. Described as an “Island in the Plains,” the Forest has diverse wildlife and plants reaching from the eastern forests to the western plains. The Forest is a multiple-use Forest with activities ranging from timber production, grazing, to hiking, camping, mountain biking, horseback riding, rock climbing, mining, wildlife viewing and many others.
The four seasons offer amazing opportunities to view and enjoy nature on the Black Hills National Forest. In the springtime, flowers abound on the forest floor. Fall colors brighten the hills and white winter snow illuminates the surroundings. Forest lakes glisten bright blue on summer days, and summer nights offer magnificent opportunities for star gazing.
Enjoy yourself while viewing the many rugged rock formations, canyons and gulches, open grassland parks, tumbling streams, and deep blue lakes.
Using Light Creatively
A photograph is simply reflected light. So knowing how to capture reflected light is key and in nature light is dynamic, changing even from minute to minute.
Bad weather is often not so bad and can create a dramatic scene. Storm clouds add movement and the color can reflect from different angles creating a range of colors. The cloud will also diffuse light so that the landscape is darker and the photography can focus on the brightly lite sky. Add an extra touch of warmth in post production and you’ve good something to talk about.
So next time a storm is approaching, gear up accordingly and capture some terrific images.
South Dakota’s deposits of Sioux Quartzite are red and sometimes pink in color and estimated to be two billion years old. Almost half the life of the planet itself.
Some of the quartzite, particularly in the southeast side of the state can contain a soft rare mineral called catlinite and is used by the native americans for making caluments, more commonly called peace pipes.