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March 22, 2019


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Winter in the Rear-View Mirror

When it comes to winters... we are more than happy to see this one go. Here are a series of photos captured this past winter from around the ranch. It's time to view (hopefully) Jack Frost in the rear-view mirror!

Cheyenne River The Cheyenne River on the first day of winter December 21st.

The Cheyenne river  A rock cold heart exposed itself from the icy river water.

Winters first storm moved in that eventually blocked out the sun and dropped the conditions to below zero and single digit temps.

Bison in snow Storm

The human complaining began, but the buffalo move through unaffected with their thick, insulated coats. 

Snow PlantWinters crystals clung to plants turning them into sculpture. 

And frosted the buffalos coats like powdered sugared donuts (I wouldn't know anything about powdered sugar donuts... ;) ).

The bison foraged through the snow for food as they have done for thousands of years. 

The occasional brilliant blue sky gave the illusion of warmth, but winter is a magician at temperature trickery.

Ferruginous HawkFerruginous hawks and other like species soared through the skies in search of their next meal. 

Bison in WinterThe buffalo just chillin' on a wintry day.

The herd on the bottom ground, playful and waiting for spring! 

But... more winter was in store and continued to blanket the prairie tundra. 

The lead cow is on the move - taking the herd to new grazing ground. 

A coyote moves around the edge of the herd unnoticed. 

The buffalo moved over the winter ground kicking up snow as they go. 

The bearded ones... they "herd" it was trendy!

March 8th, Colton and I open iced-over gates to get to the buffalo. 

Colton unrolled a bale of hay with caution, offering the buffalo a little treat from their winter foraging. 

The snow flakes caught glimpses of the sun, turning them into a confetti of color that floated over the buffalo. 

Despite the cold, when the prairie meets the cobalt blue sky it is breathtaking in contrast. 

A winter wonderland archway leads to home.

The thaw begins... and the mud follows, adding another layer to the buffalos coat. 

On the first day of spring the sunrise painted the horizon, offering the promise of warmer days ahead.

The buffalo walked in the sun until it hid behind the horizon, waiting for the full moon. 

Welcome spring! We've missed you. 

Photo Credit: Jill O'Brien






Bette Korber

March 23, 2019

I love these pictures, just beautiful. Thank you Jill. Nice to sit in my warm study with a hot coffee and look through them. One of my favorite of the many things I started thinking about upon my first reading of “Buffalo for the Broken Heart” was that Buffalo were, well, buff, that they were able to take the extreme cold, forage in the windswept spaces. We’ve had a long cold winter in New Mexico too, but were very glad of the snow here, which keeps coming, and is glorious on the peaks this morning, and promises a relief in 2019 from a decade of drought.

Bill Day (North Georgia Mountains)

March 23, 2019

GREAT pictures Jill. Thanks for sharing.

Liz Aicher

March 23, 2019

Thanks, Jill, for sharing your home, and the bison’s, with us!

James M. Pierce

March 23, 2019

Beautiful pictures! You are our “go to meat”. Expensive but oh so worth it.


March 23, 2019

Thank you so much for sharing your Buffalo and Land Scap Photo’s. So beautiful.

Mark Holloway

March 23, 2019

So very beautiful!!

Marian Walsh Rusher

March 23, 2019

You have a nice herd. Thanks for the pictures. The Bison are wooly majestic creatures. I am glad they were brought back from the brink extinction.


March 23, 2019

Très belles photos de mes animaux préférés que je n ai malheureusement pas pu voir lors de mon séjour à Rapid City au mois de juin 2018 suite à des pluies diluviennes mais ce n ’ est que partie remise !
A bientôt de nouveaux clichés et merci

Pat Hasek

March 23, 2019

Jill the pictures you took are beautiful.
My grand father who was a farmer in Iowa use to say if you don’t have snow to keep the ground moist and hold the top soil down you won’t have good crops or good grass for the buffalo to eat.He always had the best crops and the best garden around. This winter has been rough no matter where you live but things will improve soonOne last thought, thank you for what you and Dan are doing for the buffalo and for your work to save the monarch butterflies.

Cheves Leland

March 23, 2019

Thank you for the photos and commentary. So different from what I know, but awesome and wonderful. Glad spring is here and coming to you all. Take care.

Kathy Somoroff

March 23, 2019

Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures! My husband Erik and I are discussing how much we would love to travel out to South Dakota this year and see your ranch.

Jane Murphy

March 23, 2019

Jill – The photos are beautiful and tell a hopeful story about the weeks ahead! The image with the coyote is fantastic! Thanks for sharing with all of us. I’ll pick up my Wild Idea order this week!

Dale. Noack

March 23, 2019

Thanks for the beautiful pictures of what I consider a very majestic animal.
They are truly amazing and it also shows what can happen when a creatures habitat is not messed with by man. Keep up work. It is appreciated by many I’m sure!

Karen DeAntoni

March 23, 2019

Jill, these are exquisite portrayals of the herd and the plain they roam on. You capture their rugged beauty perfectly. For those of us who have been lucky enough to be up close and personal with bison…well, it sends shivers. Thank you for sharing your talents with us.

Roxanne Harrington

March 24, 2019

The spikes of frost on the gate chilled my bones, but, as you say, a bright blue sky above a frozen prairie in incomparable. Here’s to Spring, and baby bison kicking up their heels! and continued success to you all!


March 24, 2019

Always beautiful pictures from Jill. Thank you so much for sharing. I am excited when I see that photos are included in my emails from Wild Idea, the absolutely best tasting meat on the planet!!


March 24, 2019

Thank you so much for sharing the beautiful photos. They took me away to another place of wonder and tranquility. I really enjoyed the captions, too. The one where you made the comment about powdered sugar donuts, when I took another look at the photo, the buffalo on the right seemed to be smiling, like me! :) You are truly blessed to be where you are. Thank you for sharing your art and your buffalo. Happy Spring!


March 24, 2019

What gorgeous photojournalism. Thank you for sharing!

Mary Flaherty

March 24, 2019

Pictures are truly beautiful. Thanks for sharing. Always like your writings too.

Lore Pease

March 24, 2019

These photos are amazing!! It feels like the true life of the buffalo and the people who live with them are one — We have plans to stay this year – and experience all there is in the wide spaces you depict in the pictures. What a pleasure to envision these incredible animals roaming the hills. Thank you for making my day – Lore

Lore Pease

March 24, 2019

These photos are amazing!! It feels like the true life of the buffalo and the people who live with them are one — We have plans to stay this year – and experience all there is in the wide spaces you depict in the pictures. What a pleasure to envision these incredible animals roaming the hills. Thank you for making my day – Lore

Donna Barr..York pa..

March 24, 2019

Thank you for posting the beautiful pictures..i can only imagaine what the buffalo look like close up..So glad spring is on its way..

Priss DePetris

March 25, 2019

Beautiful photos! Thank you for sharing them.

Lawrence Massa

March 25, 2019

See you this summer !

Carol Ireland McLean

March 25, 2019

Jill, I recommended Dan’s book to a couple of book clubs on Vashon Island, Wa. Everyone loved them and some ordered meat from you. I was treated to The delicacy when I visited my friend Carla last fall. Keep us all posted on the work you are doing for the Buffalo.

Valerie Dodge

March 25, 2019

Thank you Jill for posting the pictures of the buffalo. We just love them, keep posting and writing.

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