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. 

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  • 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.

    Linda M. Hasselstrom
  • 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.

    David lofgren
  • 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.

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

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

    Rachel Wester - Breadroot Natural Foods Co-op
  • Thank you for sharing your spring with this Easterner! Lots of robins and other songbirds are around as well as a frisky fox!

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

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

    Jackie Johnson
  • 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.

  • 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.

    Jerry and Norma Reynolds
  • Great pix, keep em coming:-) Have a great day , God bless.

    Bob Watland
  • 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!

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

  • 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!

    John Hershey
  • 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.


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