Prairie grasses grow wild in the arid lowlands and mountainsides of Colorado. Even though they gradually give way to the winter snows, they always bounce back triumphantly in the spring.
The badlands of South Dakota form a vast protected wilderness today. However, paleontological evidence shows that ancient Native Americans used the area as their hunting grounds, as did the tribes of the Sioux Nation in later years. The stratified layers of sedimentary rock show the changes over eons in the earth’s surface, which first emerged from under the sea as tropical land and then slowly changed to open woodland. Gray bands show evidence of volcanic eruptions at certain times in history. Geologists now have a good idea of what each layer represents, and there are many strata!
If I hadn’t accidentally locked the keys in the trunk of our rental car, we would have stayed in a resort down this beautiful country road in New South Wales. (Instead, we stayed in a small place across from a mechanic’s garage, where some nice people worked a day and a half to retrieve the key. There were complications with the way the car was built!) Experiencing the wide-open spaces where kangaroos are free to hop is something I greatly miss about being in Australia.
From a comfortable, shaded platform you could relax and watch the lily pads bob up and down on the water. The word billabong is thought by some to be of aboriginal origin from the word “bila” meaning river. The watering holes are believed to be the result of a river changing its course and leaving behind a stranded pool, which is replenished by rains during the Wet Season. (In certain areas of Australia, only two seasons are recognized: The Wet and The Dry.)