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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

 

 

 

 

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26 comments

  • 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.

    Kathy Somoroff
  • 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.

    Cheves Leland
  • 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.

    Pat Hasek
  • 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

    Chanou
  • 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.

    Marian Walsh Rusher
  • So very beautiful!!

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

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

    James M. Pierce
  • Thanks, Jill, for sharing your home, and the bison’s, with us!

    Liz Aicher
  • GREAT pictures Jill. Thanks for sharing.

    Bill Day (North Georgia Mountains)
  • 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.

    Bette Korber

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