Ryan's Journal

"My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?" — David Mitchell

The One With the Hanukkah Armadillo

Posted from Dodge City, Kansas at 8:59 am, December 20th, 2010

Yesterday in brief:

  • The Nature Conservancy’s Oklahoma Tallgrass Prairie Preserve was as good, if not better, than the NPS-managed Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in Kansas. With 39,000 acres the vistas were awe-inspiring, and the 2700 bison were a nice touch.
  • The Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge was added to the itinerary because I’m incapable of ignoring green dots on the map. This turned out to be a very good thing – in addition to the hundreds of thousands of birds (a number reported by the refuge that I fully believe), from today onwards I can no longer answer the question “Have you ever seen an armadillo” in the negative.
  • The morning’s location is Dodge City (of “Get the hell out of Dodge” fame), followed by a trek towards Vail to see younger Holliday. Another day in Kansas/Oklahoma actually would have been a good thing, but a giant snowstorm heading east from California says otherwise.

The Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in Oklahoma

The Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in Oklahoma.

Armadillo in Salt Plains NWR

Ryan’s first armadillo. For about a minute he didn’t seem to mind me being six feet away, then suddenly I became terrifying and he was off at full armadillo speed (apparently about two miles per hour) across the forest floor. Also, a note to aspiring photographers: make sure the focal point is the head, not the posterior. Doh.

Kansas Windmill at Sunset

Sunset in Kansas. This photo had the potential to be something very special, but the logistics of trying to pull off the road while traveling 70 miles per hour, rush down an embankment, and set up the camera while the light fades was more than my limited photographic ability was prepared for.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *