Post 1103: the Nebraska Pine Ridge

I took a short trip up to Chadron State Park this morning. It’s close (about 52 miles/84 kilometers) and today is a lovely day for a little trip. 

Chadron State Park is Nebraska's first state park. It was established in 1921.

Chadron State Park is Nebraska’s first state park. It was established in 1921.

It's historic and well-maintained for day trippers, casual campers, serious campers, picnickers, and people who enjoy a day in the outdooors.

It’s historic and well-maintained for day trippers, casual campers, serious campers, picnickers, and people who enjoy a day in the outdooors.

The little lake just inside the park has paddleboats. It is a lovely way to spend part of the day!

The little lake just inside the park has paddleboats. It is a lovely way to spend part of the day!

The scenic drive starts just a short ways past the main gate.

The scenic drive starts just a short ways past the main gate. Down here, though, concessionaires and picnic facilities are available. 

The predominent tree is the ponderosa pine. It is well-established in the Pine Ridge area.

The predominent tree is the ponderosa pine. It is well-established in the Pine Ridge area.

Low rainfall and extreme weather make for slow growth of these ponderosa pines.

Low rainfall and extreme weather make for slow growth of these ponderosa pines.

"Nebraska is flat."

“Nebraska is flat and boring.”

The rugged landscape of this part of Nebraska is a major attraction for outdoors activities.

The rugged landscape of this part of Nebraska is a major attraction for outdoors activities.

Find the deer!

Find the deer!

There are scenic drives through the park, cabins, campgrounds, and many amenities for the less rugged camper.

There are scenic drives through the park, cabins, campgrounds, and many amenities for the less rugged camper.

A major fire some years ago burnt a portion of the park. Lewis woodpeckers, rare to Nebraska, came to the dead trees to live and to harvest insects in the dead wood.

A major fire some years ago burnt a portion of the park. Lewis woodpeckers, rare to Nebraska, came to the dead trees to live and to harvest insects in the dead wood. One flew over my car when I passed this point.

Time to back up and leave the park!

Time to back up and leave the park overlook!

Back to the flatlands by Alliance...lots of corn grown around here.

Back to the flatlands north of Alliance…lots of corn grown around here.

As always, Andy (top) and Dougy waited patiently for me to return home. (Nothing was torn up, so I presume they were good boys!)

73016 andy and dougy

These two videos by other people give you a further look at the park and the 2012 fire in the park and area south of Chadron, Nebraska. Though one is saddened to see the effects of such fires, the fires (often started by lightning) open up the habitat, create new food and living opportunities for animals and birds that might not have been there before, and help the ponderosa pine cones to shed seeds for the next generation of seedlings. If scary and destructive, forest fires are beneficial in the long term.

 

 

Advertisements