Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Audubon National Wildlife Refuge

It was after 1:00 before we even left the RV today because we are trying desperately to figure out how to get through North and South Dakota while still seeing the sights we had planned. More on that later I'm sure.

Our first stop was in the town of Garrison to mail a package to the kids. It is the town near Fort Stevenson State Park where we are parked. Which do you think was most important to us...

Visiting the Walleye Capital of the World?

Or...savoring the best fruit smoothie (Rich) and hot fudge milk shake (me) in the world?

And no, there are no prizes when the challenge is that easy!

From there we drove around Lake Sakakawea (where we're parked) and south to the Audubon National Wildlife Refuge.

Our first visit to this Refuge was January 13, 1998 when we flew into Bismarck to celebrate our anniversary...seriously, we have always been a bit, shall we say, unorthodox? Rich wanted me to tell you that it was 13 below zero that day and the high today was 106...what a difference!

Again, we took the auto tour along Audubon Lake. Of course there were no ice fishing houses on the lake this time...giggle! Can anyone tell me what this bird is. They are ground birds that would flush out as we drove slowly along the gravel road much like killdeer, but that's not what they are.

Yes it was another birding day. This island was covered with Cormorants and we noticed some in a spread wing posture, both in and out of the water. I looked it up and this is a wing drying stance for cormorants.

The most thrilling sighting for me though were the American White Pelicans. I was lucky to get some shots of this one taking flight but only these two flight photos were not blurry.

From there we drove to Garrison Dam and Powerhouse on the other side of Lake Sakakawea from us. Lake Sakakawea is a reservoir in the Missouri River basin. Named for the Shoshone-Hidatsa woman Sakakawea, it is the third largest man-made lake in the United States, after Lake Mead and Lake Powell. Garrison Dam is one of the largest earthen dam structures in the world.

On our drive back we saw...

More bright faced sunflowers

These grain elevators from a bygone era...you should see the massive grain elevators up here now.

This piece of retired farm equipment that appeared, from a distance, to be the remains of some gigantic ancient animal.

Lovin' Life ~~ On Another Wondrous Day

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