Clouds Forming Over the Badlands

Badlands National Park, South Dakota
Badlands National Park, South Dakota
Badlands National Park in southwestern South Dakota is one of those places that defies description.  The park itself covers more than 240,000 acres, much of which is characterized by erosion-carved buttes, pinnacles and other geologic formations.  The vastness of these features cannot be adequately captured in a photograph, and the wide open sky above adds to the feeling of limitless space.

Scattered along the roadsides through the park are overlook points that afford the visitor breathtaking views.  They also are excellent spots for weather-watching, offering unobstructed views across the surrounding prairies that seem to go on forever.

On the morning this photo was taken the sky was as clear a blue as can be imagined.  By midday this picture-perfect fleet of clouds had accumulated and the first of several passing rain squalls appeared over the buttes.

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