We just returned home from our family trip to The Nature Conservancy’s Niobrara Valley Preserve. I posted some photos from the first half of the trip earlier this week. Here are a few more, but they don’t begin to cover all the experiences we had. I’ll share more photos and stories in the coming weeks (after I unpack and get my life organized again!)
I revisited the same group of bison we’d seen earlier in the week, and the second time I found them, the cows, calves, and yearlings had been joined by three mature bulls. I’m not sure why the bulls weren’t with them the first time, or why they joined them the next day.
The former pine woodland north of the river continues to progress in its revegetation (unaided by us). Shrubs such as coralberry, smooth and skunkbush sumac, chokecherry and currant are starting to become more prevalent, as are many grasses, sedges and wildflowers.
After a wet May, the Niobrara river was running high and fast, making our canoe trip fly by. We didn’t have to pull the canoe over sandbars (or steer around obstacles of any kind, other than a few islands). On the other hand, the current made pulling over to the bank to hike up creeks to see waterfalls a little more challenging than it often is. Regardless, the National Scenic River lived up to its name.