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Hot Springs, South Dakota – Graveyard for Mammoths #travel

A Smithsonian article turned up in my inbox this week about mammoths that lived on an island in the Bering sea. They became extinct on this island around 5600 years ago and experts have concluded this happened because rising sea waters contaminated the water table and therefore their water supply.

This reminded me of our visit to Hot Springs in South Dakota a few years ago. The city of Hot Springs is the southern gateway to the Black Hills. In 1974 a construction crew were working on a building site and hit a tusk. They called experts who found a site full of bones, and what turned out to be a huge Columbian mammoth gravesite.

The area was once a sinkhole and over the years, many mammoths and other animals fell in, and unable to climb back out, they perished.

The site has turned into the largest collection of mammoth skeletons found in the United States. They have found 60 mammoth skeletons and at least three woolly mammoth skeletons.

Work on the site is on-going and volunteers are still uncovering new finds.

Mammoth_dig site

Mammoth_skeleton 2

Mammoth_skeleton

You can see the skeletons and tusks in the above photos of mammoths that ventured too close to the sink hole and died.

Mammoth_Beauty

This particular head and tusks is known as Beauty because it is so beautifully preserved and symmetrical.

Mammoth_Columbian

This is a life-size model of a Columbian mammoth, and that’s hubby standing in front of it so you can get an idea of the size. The tusks are huge, and the mammoths must have been a fearsome sight in the flesh.

We loved our visit to the mammoth site. It was fascinating, and we spent some time wandering around and taking photos. If you live anywhere near Hot Springs or are visiting the area, I highly recommend a visit.

Want One For a Pet?

Vulture sign

Vultures

We took these photos at the Everglades. The vultures were hanging around on the footpath and gave me the creeps. They’re ugly and were a bit smelly. I preferred the alligators.

Would you like one of these for a pet?

Key Lime Pie on a Stick

One of the great things about travel is getting to try new and unfamiliar foods. Before we arrived in Florida people told us that we must have some Key Lime Pie. Everyone had a lot to say about where to get the best pie, and we knew proper Key Lime Pie wasn’t bright green. It should be a creamy color and not full of green food coloring as some of the pies are, especially for tourists.

While we were wandering down a road in Key West I saw a sign for Key Lime Pie on a Stick.

“Let’s buy one,” I said to my husband.

Key Lime Pie on Stick

And yes, I know you won’t have any idea what it looked like since we only thought of a photo when we were almost finished eating the Key Lime Pie on a Stick. I can tell you that it was delicious. Key Lime Pie on a Stick is, as the name suggests, a piece of Key Lime Pie dipped in a thick layer of chocolate. The pie itself is tart and very limey, sort of catch your breath tart but definitely delicious.

The secret is the special Key Limes, which are smaller than the limes you’re probably familiar with.

Once we arrived home I decided to try my hand at a Key Lime Pie, using the limes off our own tree. After searching for recipes I decided on Jamie Oliver’s recipe.

Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie

To make the crust:

• 12 digestive biscuits
• 45g caster sugar (1 oz)
• 135g melted butter (1/2 cup)

Crush the biscuits, add the sugar and the butter. Press mixture into a greased pie tin. Spread up the sides of the tin too. Bake for 10 minutes at 175 C/ 350 F or until lightly browned. Remove from the oven to cool.

To make the filling:

• 4 egg yolks
• 400ml condensed milk – this is one tin in New Zealand
• 6 Tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 5 limes)
• Lime zest (optional), to serve

Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl and gradually add the condensed milk. Mix in the lime juice and pour the mixture into the baked pie crust. Bake for 15 minutes and cool. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Decorate with grated lime zest and whipped cream if desired.

Shelley’s Notes:

1. I added lime zest and some of the flesh of the lime to my pie filling to make it sharper.

2. When you’re cooking the base, make sure you don’t use a spring form tin because butter will leak out the bottom. I speak with the voice of experience. My oven was a mess!

3. This pie was delicious, although not as sharp to the palate as the original Key Lime Pie.

Key Lime Pie Slice

Have you tried Key Lime Pie before? Do you like to try new and unfamiliar foods?

A Visit to Petrified Forest

One of the things I enjoy about visiting National Parks in the US is their diversity. Each is very different.

Petrified Forest is in the Painted Desert, Arizona. The public are able to wander through a landscape full of large petrified logs and tree stumps. Scientists have discovered lots of different plant and animal fossils dating back to around 200 million years ago. I was blown away by the logs and enjoyed exploring the landscape.

Petrified Forest National Park

Stump Petrified National Park

Petrified Forest National Park

If you’re visiting Arizona, a visit to Petrified Forest National Park is worth the trip.

What is your favorite National Park to visit? Any country Smile

Statue of Liberty, New York

Statue of Liberty, New York

The Statue of Liberty, New York, USA plus me!

Labyrinth Relaxation and Plotting

Cottage Grove Labyrinth

I took this photo of a labyrinth at The Village Green Resort in Cottage Grove, Oregon. It’s a simple turf labyrinth and is a replica of one from 9th century Aachen in Germany.

I didn’t realize there was a difference between a maze and a labyrinth and learned differently during my visit. A labyrinth has one entrance and one exit. It doesn’t have any dead ends. A maze has a high hedge (or corn in modern mazes) and is actually a puzzle because it contains lots of twists and turns and dead ends. Mazes are used for entertainment such as the one at Hampton Court near London. I’ve explored the Hampton Court one and managed to get lost but finally made the center with hubby’s help. Labyrinths are used as a compliment to meditation or prayer. I walked this one and found it very soothing. I think it would make a good spot for plotting a book or for pondering plot problems.

Have you ever explored a maze or walked a labyrinth?

Cody Nite Rodeo

Camera Critters

My husband took this photo of the saddle broncs at the Cody Nite Rodeo. The night rodeo was a fun event and we enjoyed it very much. My favorite event is the bullriding. One day I might get to the PBR finals at Las Vegas.

Cody Nite Rodeo

To see more animal photos visit Camera Critters

Time for a Drink

Camera Critters

We came across these mountain goats on the side of the road near Mt. Rushmore. Hubby and I were more excited about seeing them than the president’s faces. The animals ignored us as they took a drink from the water that trickled down a rock face.

Photobucket

To see more photographs of animals visit Camera Critters.

Hello Deer

Camera Critters

This photo was taken at the Rocky Mountain National Park. As you can see, the elk is wearing a tracking device. We saw quite a few elk during our travels.

Photobucket

To see more photographs of animals visit Camera Critters.

Gone Fishing

Camera Critters

The Columbia River is a huge river and we spent some time driving beside it, driving over it on the Astoria Bridge (longest bridge in the USA) and looking down on it. No doubt about it, the river is impressive. So is the wildlife. This is a heron fishing in the Columbia River.

Photobucket

To see more photographs of animals visit Camera Critters.



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