There are a lot of cattle in the Sandhills. Since the land is not suitable for raising crops, cattle are everywhere. So are cowboys, pickup trucks, stock trailers, horses and manure.
But there are also the natives. Driving around Sunday afternoon, we saw:
a pair of Canada Geese and their young family. Did you know that during the breeding season, the adults lose their flight feathers and are unable to fly? They can fly again about the same time their young learn to fly-
a Long Billed Curlew, our largest North American shorebird-
a herd of Pronghorn Antelope-
a Black Crowned Night Heron hunting for supper in a marsh. Check out the spooky red eye-
a female Red Winged Blackbird looking for a place to nest in the cattails-
American White Pelicans resting on a muskrat’s home. They had stopped on a pond up the road from us on their migration northward just a few weeks ago.
a White Tailed Deer running with his tail held high to warn others of our presence-
and an Upland Sandpiper with large dark eyes.
And we saw all this in just a few hours driving around the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge and surrounding areas.