Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Day #2: Project BudBurst RoadTrip


6 May 2012
Morning
We arrived at our hotel in Wall, SD around midnight last night, so we’re a little groggy this morning. A quick breakfast and a 5 cent cup of coffee at Wall Drug gets us going and we’re off to Badlands National Park. Words are not enough to describe the Badlands. On one side of the road, grassland as far as the eye can see.On the other side of the road, rock formations and overlooks that take our breath away. My husband and I have driven through the Badlands before, but we are struck anew by their beauty every time. It’s still a little early in the season, so not many grassland wildflowers or grasses are in bloom just yet, but we spot a yucca or two that we’d love to make observations of later in the summer.
A magnificent view at Badlands National Park

Although the geology of Badlands National Park is what most people focus on during their visit, we’re interested in finding plants too, so we keep our eyes open for signs of Project BudBurst species. By the time we exit the park, we’ve found 10 Project BudBurst species. Not all the plants we see are in the phases we need (especially the wildflowers), but we’re still able to make a few Single Reports.

Project BudBurst Species in Badlands National Park (this is a starter list--there are probably more!):
Afternoon
Soapweed yucca in Chamberlain, South Dakota
We made a quick stop at a Rest Area outside of Chamberlain, South Dakota, where we saw Wild lupine and Soapweed yucca. They weren’t blooming or fruiting yet, but are great Project BudBurst wildflowers to observe when they do!

Evening
Our destination today is Tomah, WI, near to Necedah National Wildlife Refuge, which we’ll visit tomorrow. It’s been a long day on the road and we still have a long way to go. We didn’t start driving through southern Minnesota until it was nearly dark and we weren’t able to find a Project BudBurst species to observe at any of our stops there. Bummer. We’ll have to try to plan our timing better on the next trip!

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