Whew! I got a late start today, but I'm in Bismarck, North Dakota, now, about halfway to Bozeman, Montana, where I'll be spending tomorrow night. It was a lovely drive. The tamaracks in Minnesota were spectacular--brilliant gold, and set off to perfection by the black spruces. I was driving Highway 210, and the few rest stops or places one could safely pull over to the side weren't in view of the most beautiful trees, so I didn't stop along the way for photographs.
On the bummer side, I saw a dead Sharp-tailed Grouse and a dead badger--also, of course, several dead skunks and raccoons and a pheasant as I got further west. But there were plenty of Blue Jays, a few Red-tailed Hawks, and a Bald Eagle. And lots of Red-breasted Nuthatches--more of those than chickadees flew across the road.
Tomorrow I'll be seeing more western birds. I hope hope HOPE I get photos of magpies! And I can't wait to see my good friend Jeff Pentel. I quoted him in my book, but I don't have a copy handy and I'm too tired to go out to my car. I'll sleep well tonight!