Dean M. Chriss
Needles, Badlands National Park
(Click image to enlarge)
I came upon these strikingly sharp needle formations on a stormy day in Badlands National Park.
Breaks in the fast moving cloud cover would occasionally illuminate parts of the
scene, and I waited nearly an hour for the sharpest spires in the top center to
be briefly illuminated.
Badlands National park protects 242,756 acres (98240 Ha) of sharply eroded
buttes and pinnacles, along with the largest undisturbed mixed grass prairie in
the United States. Part of this area is a 64,144 acre (25958 Ha) designated
wilderness area. This wilderness is one site where black-footed ferrets, one of
the most endangered mammals in the world, was reintroduced. The U.S. National
Park Service manages the park, with the South Unit being co-managed with the
Oglala Lakota tribe.