The Badlands have been photographed millions of times and in so many different ways. The awe they inspire is endless I guess. Having lived in South Dakota my whole life, I have gone through this part of the country several times and it always looks different. I was struck by the thought of how early pioneers, using primitive tools like the implement in this image, tried to “own” this land— they tilled the prairies and built roads through the Badlands. We erected fences and designated “reservations” and hunted the game. Yet in the end, it belongs still to those who were there first. The buffalo, the antelope, the native Americans. And in spirit — if not in actuality, they will go on owning it after the prairie and the sun and time absorb the tools and machines we have invented to ravish it.