"A Sand County Almanac"

"THERE ARE SOME WHO CAN LIVE WITHOUT WILD THINGS AND SOME WHO CANNOT."
"FOR US IN THE MINORITY THE OPPORTUNITY TO SEE GEESE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN TELEVISION.".....Aldo Leopold




"LOOK DEEP INTO NATURE, AND THEN YOU WILL UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING BETTER".....Albert Einstein


Saturday, September 14, 2019

An American Icon


Call them bison or buffalo, it really doesn't matter; the origins of their name are older than our nation.  Because almost all of the rangers, and other employees of our national parks, call them "bison" that is the name that I have been using since our first trip to Yellowstone...


By whichever name you chose, buffalo or bison, they are big.  Typical weights can range from 800 lbs, for a young cow, to 2,100 lbs for a mature bull.  The following images are of a small segment of the herd using the Lamar Valley...



Prior to 1800 it is estimated that 60,000,000 bison roamed North America...


Each spring visitors look forward to seeing the new bison calves, often referred to as "red dogs" because of their size and color...



Bison can often be seen swimming the rivers in the park.  These are swimming the Yellowstone River...



They are quick to shake off after the crossing...



This calf is not quite as impressive as the adults but it sure is cute...


In the spring the adults are still wearing the heavy coats that protected them all winter...


As the weather warms they are eager to be rid of the winter coat.  They can be seen using stumps and trees to help remove the loosening fur, called bison "wool"...




Cows and calves will retreat to shady areas where they loaf in relative comfort and safety...





When shade is not available the cows bed down in the open and keep their calves nearby for safety...




In the Lamar Valley danger is never far away, especially for new-born and injured animals.  Wolves are always on the prowl, testing the bison for indications of weakness...



I used to think that all bison looked the same, but after observing them over the years I now recognize their individuality...






Behavior traits in adults can sometimes be seen in calves as well...



This bison has a mutually beneficial relationship with the brown-headed cowbirds...


With the exception of the rut, most bulls live  a solitary existence...




Thanks for visiting, be well, and stop back soon.



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