It's A Spring Thing... | Black Hills Travel Blog
  • It's A Spring Thing...

623. By Jesse Achtenberg (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service WO-2283-CD60) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Black Hills region - she"s a fickle beauty. Especially when it comes to weather and the changing of the seasons.

We"re officially more than a week into spring, but earlier this week, it looked more like mid-winter throughout the Black Hills and surrounding areas. Snow and freezing rain fell, creating a frosty landscape that looked like a scene you would see on a holiday greeting card.

Despite Old Man Winter"s best efforts to hang on a bit longer, Mother Nature is sending signals that spring really is here in the Black Hills. Admittedly, I"m out and about exploring the hills more often than many, but during just the past couple of weeks, I"ve seen countless signs of spring that have me convinced winter may be on its way out.

Some of the most convincing, natural signs of spring that I"ve encountered so far include:

  • Bridal Veil Falls in Spearfish Canyon is visibly flowing again
  • Mountain Bluebirds are flitting about the region
  • Western Meadowlarks are singing their songs from fence posts and treetops
  • Bighorn sheep lambs have already been spotted
  • Female bison are HUGE; the first bison calves of the season are expected to be born any day now
  • Grouse are starting their seasonal mating dances
  • stuff with tail-feathers fanned wide, in hopes of impressing the hens
  • Many of the eagles and other raptors that winter here have started their migrations back out of the region

And, a few "non-natural" reasons I can tell it"s spring in the hills:

  • Black Hills snowmobile trails officially close today (March 31)
  • The number of motorcycles and convertibles is steadily increasing on our winding roads
  • Spring maintenance galore has begun on many of the local mountain bike trails
  • Even with snow on the ground, rock climbers are back out on the granite and limestone routes

There are many more ways to tell that the seasons - they are a changin". Keep your eyes peeled and your ears alerted to what"s around you in the next few weeks. There are some very cool sights and sounds to experience here in this paradisaical place called the Black Hills.

About the Author

Joe is a resident of Spearfish, S.D. He grew up in the tall-corn state of Iowa, where he developed an early interest in all things outdoors. After high school he moved to Vermillion, S.D., where he earned his bachelor’s degree in public relations and advertising.

During his college years, two things caught his attention: the beauty of western South Dakota’s Black Hills and a girl from those Black Hills. After graduating from college, Joe traveled across the country as a recruiter for the University of South Dakota. He saw the sights from Pittsburgh to Las Vegas and everywhere in between, but it was the Black Hills (and the girl) that kept drawing him back.

He and wife moved back to the Black Hills in 2008. He's an avid hiker, mountain biker and road cyclist whose future plans include trying to fit a pair of kayaks into the spare bedroom.

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