For me, taking photos is another way to connect the landscape and wildlife with our food supply. Often, they just help tell our story, but sometimes they can be beautiful too. I hope you enjoy this new collection of random images.
This big bull is on the move after a mud dusting. Buffalo roll in wallows for a few reasons: 1) to assist in removing winter coat, 2) to rid of insects and 3) they urinate in the wallow and then roll to scent themselves during the rut... a perfume of sorts. The females do it as well.
By mid June, the calves start to venture a little further away from their moms and are often found in play groups with other calves.
A yearling continues to nurse from its mother, as this year's calf has not yet been born. Typically, when a new calf is born, the mother will kick the yearling away.
A honey bee hive forms in a Cottonwood tree on the ranch. You hear the buzzing long before you ever see them.
The herd on the move to the bottom ground.
Two geese swim by a well established beaver dam on our sourcing partner's ranch, the Diamond4D in Montana. Beavers play a critical role in water movement and healthy ecosystems.
Growing up and getting with the grazing. You will also notice the buffalo calves' ears, which will soon become invisible in their woolly coat as they grow.
Grasshoppers are a nemesis during a drought. This year they are plentiful, mostly impacting our home gardens. Although a nuisance, a species of the prairie ecosystem.
Stock dams are throughout the ranch and this year, thankfully they still have plenty of water. All species rely on these important watering holes.
When the rut begins, the bulls get on the move, accentuating their strength. They will hash out the hierarchy early on, but will continue to fight thereafter for females. The females have a say in who they want as their mate too, if they aren't interested they will make it well known by kicking the males and moving away.
Sunrise over the Cheyenne River Buffalo Ranch.
An August calf blends into the changing summer forage.
When you start to look at buffalo close up, you will notice their differences that give them their own personality. They can also look a bit like a big ol' teddy bear too. The tongue comes out when they are making their rut grunts, which sound a bit like a lion.
Burrowing Owls nest in prairie dog towns. If I spend enough time with them, they become curious and I find them to be most entertaining.
Welcomed garden guests.
A cow and her calf head into the sunset on a hot August night.
As mentioned in the first photo above, buffalo like to roll in wallows to dust themselves. Here is an example of a female getting with it.
The skeleton of an old burned up fire truck that didn't escape a prairie fire from years ago, is a reminder of fire danger, especially during a drought.
A bull on the move during the rut, grabs mouthfuls of grass to keep his strength. It is not uncommon for a bull to lose 100 pounds or so during the breeding season.
Water ripples from a buffalo bull nuzzle as the calves wait their turn to water.
Ranch security on the D4D ranch and our friend Leonard, aka, "Plays with Coyotes"!
A prairie vista. Home.
Bring a touch of the prairie to your home with Jill's Photo Prints – choose from a selection of beautiful images here.