Friday, July 26, 2013

Magnificent Creatures

Well, while we have been stranded in Sheridan, WY, we have not been without things to do.  While the truck was being repaired, we hung out at a local RV park and took in a few sights.  The city park has an enclosed area that houses a great variety of the area wildlife.   We went over to view up close some of these animals.

Prairie Dogs – these cute little guys are actually considered a pest by most of the ranchers out west.  They dig holes and have underground colonies where they multiply rapidly.  They eat crops and their holes pose a serious threat to livestock walking around on the prairie.  But – they are so cute!

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Ever so curious!

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Bison – These wooly beasts are enormous!   I read that in spite of their huge size, they are capable of a six foot vertical leap!  Wow!  This bison family was composed of a papa, a mama, and a baby.  The kids all said, “Awww!” and I was inclined to agree with them.

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Papa Bison – the average height of a bull is about 6.5 feet at the shoulder (top of the hump).  This is one seriously big dude.

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He looks rather mild, but looks can be deceiving!

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Here is Mama Bison and Baby.  They like to lie in the dust to keep cool.

Elk – these magnificent creatures populate the western part of the USA, and are a coveted game species.  Elk meat is one of the best game meats available, with a mild taste and plenty of it!

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This bull elk is what hunters would say, “in velvet.”  That means that his antlers are still growing and are covered with skin that delivers blood and nutrients to the antlers.  This covering resembles velvet, hence the name. Later, he will scrape off that outer covering and expose the full-grown rack.

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Paul already dreams of going on an elk hunt – I think it will be hard to hold him back now!

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I really think this elk was taunting my husband – notice his tongue sticking out as we watched from behind the fence.  Sort of like a “Na-na-na-na-boo-boo!  You can’t shoot me!”,  don’t you think?  :)

It really is amazing to see these magnificent creatures that God has made!

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