Ok, maybe I'm prejudiced. After all, I *am* an American. But in this case I don't think so. And the reason I don't think so is that I have never before been to South Dakota in my entire life. But I have to tell you that that is my loss because this state is one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen.
From the Missouri River to the west, it is, I believe, one of the last great hunks of this earth that have not been spoiled by man. Yes, there are little communities dotted on it here and there, but mostly it is an absolutely unspoiled perfection of grassy green rolling hills. Miles upon hundreds of miles of gorgeous rolling hills.
I guess there are some people who would find this boring. But not I. I even tried working a Sudoku as we drove along but I was so afraid that I would miss whatever was over the next hill that I simply had to put the puzzle away and just stare in awe at this magical land.
Usually, what was over the hill was more hills.
But oh what hills.
I couldn't get enough. I absolutely loved the huge open spaces. I loved the peace of it. I loved the stark and simple beauty of it.
The tall grasses gleamed silver as they rippled like waves in the wind.
I even captured a couple of water towers.
This one above just seemed to fit so well with the clean beauty of the countryside surrounding it. And this one below is bluer than the last blue one I found.
It was standing there, all alone, on a little green hill. How perfect is that?
Perhaps this gorgeous land is not always so green. Maybe it turns brown in some seasons. Maybe it is six feet under snow in the winter. I don't know. But today - TODAY - it was some of the most spectacular scenery I've ever seen - and I've seen a lot of spectacular scenery. I've seen everything from Switzerland to Tasmania to Britain, Norway, and the Arctic. And a bunch more in between. Each is beautiful. And Today - South Dakota would not have to take a back seat to any of them. It was just breathtakingly gorgeous.
And one of the most fun parts of driving along and enjoying the scenery was watching these little guys:
These gorgeous red-winged blackbirds were perched on fence posts from one end of South Dakota to the other - flying back and forth for food and then landing on the posts once more. Sometimes flying across the highway in front of us - causing me to catch my breath for them but they always (somehow) managed to avoid disaster.
Of course there was no way I could capture them, so I have taken this photo from the internet. I do believe this little black bird has become my very favorite.
If you have not seen South Dakota, please do - while it is still unspoiled.
That's my story...