LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY > THE WEST AND THE MIDWEST — USA > Sunset Thunderstorm (Black Hills)
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This evening thunderstorm moved in over our campsite in the Black Hills one summer evening. The Great Plains produce powerful thunderstorms throughout late spring and summer that wield hail, lightning and tornadoes. For this reason, the region of the Great Plains stretching from Texas north to southern Minnesota is called “Tornado Alley”, the area where tornadoes are most frequent.
The Black Hills are a small mountain range in the Great Plains in South Dakota and Wyoming. They were given the name “black hills” due to the dark colored pine trees flanking the mountains. Black Elk Peak is the highest mountain in the Black Hills at 7244′ (2208m). The area is important to Native Americans and has a history of conflict with Europeans due to the gold present in its vicinity. The mountains and grasslands within the Black Hills support bison, pronghorn, bighorn sheep, mountain lions and prairie dogs.
Mt. Rushmore, the famous cliff carving of 4 American presidents is located in the Black Hills as well as Wind Cave National Park and Crazy Horse Memorial.