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March 20, 2021

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Spring Returns with Snow

At the end of February, fences are checked and we begin to lookout for the buffalo that are across the Cheyenne River on their winter grazing grounds of the Buffalo Gap National Grasslands. When there are sightings of them, we will start to bring them home.

Intuitively, the bison know it's time to return to the ranch and luckily this year, it went well.

Bison on the move

Other than a two week cold snap with a skiff of ice and snow, we hadn't had much of a winter. But... it was on its way. 

We moved the herd through a series of gates before they got to their final destination. 

They love to move and once they arrived to the designated pasture - they put their heads down and started grazing. 

Six hours later, snow was falling. We would receive and happily welcome two snow storms before the first day of spring.

Unpredictable weather patterns are common on the Great Plains - which the buffalo are well adapted for. 

Winter photos can be difficult to capture, as often the buffalo are far away and getting stuck in severe weather in the middle of nowhere without cell service is not my idea of a good time. With the bison now closer to home, I set out and captured some images that I hope you enjoy. 

Bull Bison Head Shot in snow

A puff of air releases as the big bull gives a soft grunt.

On the move to a treat of hay.

Hay - I'm a buffalo - I can take the snow - no worries.
 

Catching snowflakes. 

Assessing the situation... Or, "Can you hear me now? Yes, I can... but the roaming charges are killing me." ;)

Boys will be boys.

Dashing through the snow...

A winter calf (very uncommon) runs to catch up to its mother after seeing me.

This beautiful young buffalo paused for a photo shoot. 

 Bring it on.

Pretty.

Hold still now so I can take your picture....

A family group on the move. 

Bison Cow Calf Silhouette

Spring is on the horizon, with the snow mostly melted into the earth for the promise of green grass to come. Happy Spring!


Comments

Holly

March 20, 2021

Thank you Jill for sharing these gorgeous photographs with us. You’ve put a lot of effort into taking them, and you have an artistic eye. Seeing them helps my day go better.

Peter Johnson

March 20, 2021

These are lovely photos. Thank you for sharing them.

Joyce Eileen Patterson

March 20, 2021

Love your pictures very interesting to see how they remembered where to go.

Melanie Black Elk

March 20, 2021

Thank you so much for the beautiful pictures of the TATANKA💞!

Larry O'Connor

March 20, 2021

Awesome photography. Thank you for capturing the majesty of these noble beings.

Tony Gilkyson

March 20, 2021

Glad you had a real winter with some moisture. What a privilege to have a life surrounded by these remarkable animals.

Patricia Lopez

March 20, 2021

Buffalo are incredible, and I love seeing them free to move where they want in their natural habitat. Love all the photos.

Janet Wainwright

March 20, 2021

The photos made me feel I was right there with the herd. I even got a little chill from the cold.

Kathy Antonen

March 20, 2021

Inspiring photographs and creative captions.
Thank you, thank you.

Josie merck

March 20, 2021

Such a good story felt
Through each picture! Thanks!!!

Wiskie Stout

March 20, 2021

“Roaming charges” lol I will smile all day! Love all of these, but today Family Group especially touched my heart. Thank you for the beautiful pictures. Thank you all for finding a way to honor the Buffalo and the land we all belong to.

Paul Anderson

March 20, 2021

Buffalo are my favorite South Dakota animal followed closely by pronghorns. Thanks for ALL the photos.

Vern in oregon

March 20, 2021

Wonderful photos. Thanks. They so set a mood that lasts the whole day!

Mike wiltgen

March 20, 2021

Hay?/. I thought is was grass, sunshine, and watwe

Jill

March 20, 2021

Hay Mike. You are so right – it’s grass hay. We put up grass hay in good grass years. :)

Chris and Kim

March 20, 2021

Beautiful photos Jill! Thank you for sharing them!!

Karen Brick

March 20, 2021

These are terrific photos! I’m almost finished reading Dan’s book, Buffalo for the Broken Heart – and have such a better appreciation of what it takes to raise buffalo because of his book. I am in awe of the work all of you do to keep this going – not to mention how delicious the meat is. :)

janice barry

March 20, 2021

I just finished reading Wild Idea while I was in, oddly, Panamà.
Your touching photos transport me to South Dakota.
Beautiful. Thank you!

Blake O'Quinn

March 20, 2021

thanks for sharing this quality work-up with us, Jill. excellent photos, beautiful land, magnificent critters all in one.

chris hearn

March 22, 2021

I have dreamed of seeing these animals since a kid and your photos keep that dream alive for me
I’ll get there sometime. Thank You

Mark Holloway

March 26, 2021

Beautiful!

Jane Murphy

March 28, 2021

I love how intimate your images are – your love shows up in every one of them!

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