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March 30, 2018


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Signs of Spring

Although winter has held us in its clutches for far too long, spring is starting to show itself. The land is thawing, the earth is awakening and the silent skies are once again filled with song. Here are a few photos of spring's subtle arrival on the ranch. 

Sharptail Grouse & Meadowlarks

Above image is of a sharp-tailed grouse with a meadowlark to the right. The male grouse will soon start dancing on the "dancing grounds"posturing and sparing with other males in hope of luring a mate. 

This meadowlark arrived a couple of weeks ago and can often be found on his new "Conservation Easement Boundary" perchsinging his beautiful song, claiming his territory. The meadowlark and the grouse are both ground-nesting birds. 

Bison Herd

Most of the buffalo have returned home from their winter grazing pasture on the Buffalo Gap National Grasslands. They are as fat as bears, the mothers heavy with calves. Soon, very soon - new baby buffaloes!


Spring isn't spring without robins. Always the first to arrive. Welcome home.

Pink Clouds over Prairie

They sky has started to soften with its pastel colors, illuminating a hint of green on the prairie. 

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend and a wonderful spring. 


Eric Burr

March 31, 2018

Dan’s books have been a great resource for us to keep up on your grassland restoration. Maybe you could review them for readers of these emails ?

Gerhard Assenmacher

March 31, 2018

And I wish you the same as above!

I as a retired person after working for 51 years (self employed 41 years) have kept myself busy photographing wildlife,
mostly birds. Should you ever need an image that you don’t have in your inventory but find it on my website, you are
welcome to use it at N.C.

Charlene Beane

March 31, 2018

Beautiful pictures! Love those buffalo! Thanks for sending.


March 31, 2018

I so enjoy the sharing of your seasonal changes. We don’t get much variation here in SoCal except for the mudslides, fires and earthquakes.
I yearn for those wide expanses; I’m so happy they still exist somewhere and your family is maintaining this gift for all of us.

George Frantz

March 31, 2018

We’ve been gone from the Hills for some years, but I remember our first Spring there. The sun warming things up, grass beginning to turn green and the patches of snow hanging near the ridge-tops on the Eastern Rim. I remember the annual buffalo roundup at Custer State Park, with horses, ATVs, and trucks moving the herd toward the corrals for branding and vaccination.
Truly, the Black Hills are a sacred place.

Dennis Nevills

March 31, 2018

Beautiful, made me feel as if I where their. Thank you for what you do.


March 31, 2018

Love the photos. More would be welcome anytime.


March 31, 2018

The robins! Oh my! How I remember the excitement of seeing the first robin (from when I lived in SD). Being the 1st, to do so, was icing on the cake. Here, in Scottsdale, we have birds all year long but their songs and callings always sound sweeter, in Spring. It’s a blessing, to be awakened by their symphonic serenade.

John Hershey

March 31, 2018

How refreshing. Thank you. I needed this since I’ve just come in from shoveling 4" of heavy, wet snow off my walks and drive. I saw signs of spring yesterday afternoon on a local trout stream. The kingfishers, herons and red-wings have returned!


March 31, 2018

Thanks for sharing. I love seeing the land and animals that feed our family.

Jerome Ferenc

March 31, 2018

Nice pics! Gosh, why are your robins so much redder, and your larks so much yellower? Yea, those buffs do look like bears! Are you sure they aren’t? Have a great Spring, Jill & Dan & Ernie!

Bob Watland

March 31, 2018

Great pix, keep em coming:-) Have a great day , God bless.

Jerry and Norma Reynolds

March 31, 2018

So, Spring is slowly coming into view – and always a welcome sight and feel for the two of us. Though we live in Arizona, we still love the songs, flowers, longer days of daylight, and the coming in of this wonderful time of the year. Thank you so much for showing us how beautiful the early spring is at the ranch. Those wonderful buffalo coming back from winter grazing must mean a lot for your family – and ours. The birds and your info on them are special. Looking forward to receiving our first order from Wild Buffalo this week.


March 31, 2018

how instantaneous, it seems, when new spring life emerges every year and we find ourselves surprised by it each time. and thank you, Jill, for the wonderful pix, a small peep of what it must be like to live so near to heaven.

Jackie Johnson

March 31, 2018

What a beautiful, peaceful place. Hope you send spring our way here in Ohio!

Cheves Leland

April 01, 2018

Thank you. Great way to keep in touch and love the photo of the bison. Hope to get there one day. Take care.

Joyce Cross

April 01, 2018

Thank you for sharing your spring with this Easterner! Lots of robins and other songbirds are around as well as a frisky fox!

Rachel Wester - Breadroot Natural Foods Co-op

April 02, 2018

Gorgeous! Breadroot staff is very much looking forward to visiting in late spring! Bring on those babies! :)

sharon Schwartz

April 03, 2018

Love your pics especially partial to the buffalo. Later the babies will so fun to see. Thanks.

gloria davis

April 04, 2018

While reading Dan’s book, Wile Idea, Buffalo and Family in a difficult Land, I could feel the dry air, smell the land, my feet disturbed the dust that “covered” my face". I rode to the winter pastures and observed the patient herding of the buffalo. I smelled the sage and heard the drumming and singing. I LIVED that book thru Dan’s words. And now, I am “waking the land with you” as I view the pictures. THANK YOU

btw… LOVING the sweet mild flavor of the buffalo and the life energy that remains in the meat.

David lofgren

April 07, 2018

I have been a fan of the buffalo ever since I was 12yrs. Old. I’m now 68yrs. Old and still hold the same reverence for them now as I did then. I photograph them as my favorite subject. And build my own frames for each buffalo I capture. Not one is the same. They have given me great pleasure for many yrs. The pictures are what I’ve laid on the snowy ground for hrs. To capture. And on the still praire. The Thunder Beast reins the open lands.

Linda M. Hasselstrom

April 08, 2018

We had a flock of bluebirds a few days ago, and they appear to be nesting in the junipers around the retreat house. Also have two great-horned owls that like to perch above the retreat house and I hope are eating rabbits.

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