We continued our photographic adventure.
Yesterday we wrote about capturing scenes around sunset in the Badlands National Park. The setting sun produced brilliant colors on the rock formations along with dark shadows amid the colors.
Today we wanted to photograph the effects of the early morning sun on the Park's rock formations.
We were staying near the Interior Entrance to the Badlands National Park, so we were able to get to the Park early in the morning. Of the Park's three units, it is the North Unit that is the most visited. We drove the Badlands Loop Road, which runs through this section that is nearly surrounded by Buffalo Gap National Grassland.
"Twenty-five per cent of Badlands National Park is a designated wilderness area. The Badlands Wilderness Area consists of 64,144 acres of the largest prairie wilderness in the United States" (history.com/topics/badlands).
We were rewarded with scenes as rich in colors as the previous evening's display. But the colors that were highlighted in the morning show were different.
The sunlight on the grasses drew out what seemed like a dozen different shades of green--from a yellow-green to a bright kelly green. As the morning progressed, this variety of greens became less vivid and distinct.
From the Park's brochure: "Badlands National Park protects one of the largest expanses of mixed-grass prairie in the United States. The mixed-grass prairie contains both ankle-high and waist-high grasses, and fills a transitional zone between the moister tall-grass prairie to the east and the more arid short-grass prairie to the west.
"Biologists have identified more than 400 different plant species growing in Badlands National Park. Each plant species is adapted to survive the conditions prevalent in the mixed-grass prairie ecosystem. The climate here is one of extremes: hot, cold, dry, windy and stormy with blizzards, floods, droughts, and fires. Although you can find trees, shrubs, and forbs, it is grasses that dominate the landscape.
"Western wheatgrass is the pre-dominant grass in the prairie areas of Badlands National Park. Growing one to two feet high, it is a sod builder and thrives on the clay soils of the Badlands.
There was so little traffic that we were able to stop on the road through the Park for photos.
The Park's different features were multiplied by the changes in colors, highlights, and shadows as the sun's position changed.
Today's entry featured the grasses and prairie of the Badlands; there were still more scenes to be visited.