Yellow Bird: Festival days and prairie nights

"In the great and wide-open Plains of North Dakota, we often find islands of land that are different from the surrounding prairie. Many of these islands are being turned into recreation areas.

One of those places is the updated Sullys Hill National Game Preserve near the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation and looming above the water of Devils Lake. Devils Lake is largest lake in North Dakota and holds Sullys Hill in a crooked hand. The game preserve has turned into a beautiful place for birding and discovering prairie and forest.

Late last week, I took part in the Eighth Annual Sullys Hill Birding and Nature Festival.

Rain had drenched the area for some weeks, pushing water into the Devils Lake outlet and filling every small pool and waterhole in the park to capacity. These downpours also turned the forest into a vibrant, emerald green. The floor of the forested area was like a soft carpet with grasses and broadleaf sarsaparilla plants blanketing every space beneath the trees. The contrast between the dark tree trunks and the green was stunning.

Two deer stood stock-still as my car approached. I had to smile at them. I suppose they thought they were well-hidden, but their tawny brown coats against the green made them stand out like a red cardinal would in this green land. In one of the small ponds, several tiny, baby ducklings paddled with all their might away from my car and toward their mother."

Get the Story:
Dorreen Yellow Bird: Enjoying festival days and prairie nights (The Grand Forks Herald 6/20)

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