Bison: They’re Pretty Cool for the First 50 Times

I have a small Blog crisis.  Linda and I have just decided on our upcoming vacation destination.  I’ll keep that location a secret for now, but I can tell you it involves another National Park.  This means we will be burning through our camera batteries again.  Unfortunately, I STILL have to get through some wildlife sets we took on our last vacation to Yellowstone.  In an attempt to resolve this backlog, the next group of posts is probably going to be dominated by wildlife pictures.  Hopefully you won’t mind too much.  I do have some interesting observations as of late and will try to sprinkle them in where I can -heck, I might even exceed my standard output… although running season is kicking in now so the training hours go up as well.

Enough whimpering, let’s get to the big dudes in the forest.  Today’s set is a collection of Bison captured at various times throughout Yellowstone and likely a few from the Grand Tetons and Rocky Mountain parks as well.

At first, these large beasts are unique and exciting.  The camera comes out, you take about 50 pictures while marveling in their size.  The one above actually caught me a little off guard.  The real shot was slightly to the left capturing the water, the mountains in the back and a nice clump of evergreens off to the right.  Unfortunately, that shot didn’t make it up to the blog site (not exactly sure why, but it wasn’t there when went to link to it), but trust me it was pretty cool.  In an effort to give a couple of crop options, I took a few pan shots.  On the final pan right shot, the bison came into focus.  This caused a slight internal jolt realizing that not checking the surroundings when on a shoot could get you in some serious trouble.  Mental note taken to scan the area before bringing the camera up to shoot position!

I really like the original version of this image.  The cropping and zooming took a little of the life out of it, but I like the multiple depths through the pines and then back to the lake and beyond.

After awhile, you realize that Bison sightings are not that rare in that region.  In fact, at one point along the trip, we basically never stopped, but simply admired them as we drove by.  Although, one funny thing did happen while admiring this set of bison.  With the long glass on, we could still get nice photos from the established paths through the park.  A lady with a point and shoot apparently needed to decrease the distance between her four legged subjects and proceeded to walk out towards them.  Catching Linda’s attention, I pointed to the scene and told her to keep her camera ready for America’s Funniest Videos.  I blogged on this previously, but the interesting part of that eye witness was the fact some bison offspring were hidden right behind one of the bison on the ground.  Having no idea how protective bison parents were of the young, I assumed this was NOT the thing to do.  It went off okay, she got her shot and returned without ever realizing the potential danger she was in.  Darn, no videos for AFV.  By the way, here were the young from a different angle.

Are they not the cutest things?  Life must be great in the wild when you know your parents are at the top of the food chain.  I doubt the wolves would venture into this danger, there are too many elk and less aggressive prey out there for them.  Sure, the adult bison became somewhat of a bore after the frequent sightings, but I’m a sucker for wildlife with their young.  Linda and I didn’t pass up an opportunity to shoot a few cute family scenes.

Hit the jump to see a few of those shots!

This shot was near the extent of the 200mm glass.  It is a little surprising it came out this well.

Kind of takes the edge off those dangerous horns now doesn’t it?  Of course, that thought evaporated as soon as this other shot came into focus.  I think this picture gives a nice contrast of the cute (but cautious) young and the formidable parent (guessing mother).  I got the feeling that any danger to the little guy would bring a whole lot of whoopin’  Having seen a bison bull race through a parking lot earlier in the day, any thought of out running that pain was out of the question.  Of all the bison families we came up on, there was always a since of serenity around.  This peacefulness had a tendency to transfer through the glass providing a relaxing atmosphere.  Just what I needed to recharge the batteries from hectic days in the office.

Too often we are barraged with images of conflict, fabricated crisis (thanks Gore), and inept politicians that can bring your spirits down.  So, take a page from the bison, take a moment away, bring someone important in your life, put your toes in the grass and just take in the beauty in the world.

3 thoughts on “Bison: They’re Pretty Cool for the First 50 Times”

  1. Uh oh… I clicked on “edit” – don’t know if my original comment is still there or disappeared into the internets…

    Just in case it’s gone…

    So… where ARE you guys going this year? Back to Yellowstone? Glacier? Yosemite?


    1. Holy Crap, that was a fast post to comment time – that may be a record! Up until last week we had planned to go back to Yellowstone in order to catch the northeast quadrant where the wolves hang out — for obvious reasons. Before that, the plan was to fly to Vegas and then drive to Zion, but the prices Allegiant thought they could extort out of us were ridiculous. Instead, we are doing the Vegas thing in November (catch the turning leaves in Zion) and instead we are going to drive East – way East so I can fill out my portfolio with new birds and Linda can continue to perfect her waterfall skills. We haven’t revealed the actual destination yet 8^)


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