Saturday, February 25, 2017
SNOWY VISIT TO THE BUFFALO FARM
It was snowing hard, but I had an idea for my blog that I wanted to go through with, despite the weather. Looking back, I didn't get the quality of images I was hoping for, but at least I can truthfully blame it on the weather.
Oleson's Buffalo Farm sits on both sides of Kyselka Road off U.S. 31. It's an idyllic setting, hilly and picturesque, but on this morning, the farm was so obscured by the heavy snowfall that the image looked black and white.
The buffalo were congregated in clumps all over the hillsides. Actually, calling these animals buffalo is a misnomer because they are really American Bison. True buffalo are only found in Africa and Asia.
The Oleson herd is about 250-350 strong. These critters are known for their massive heads and large shoulder humps. They also have thick, shaggy coats which keep them warm on winter days, like this one. They have long, unkempt "hipster" beards too.
While most of the bison I saw were adults, there were a few calves in the herd. They still had some of the reddish-orange hair they are born with. I had parked on a hill so I was above the high fence that surrounded the herd's grazing grounds. This one came almost to the fence to greet me. Probably just a curious youngster.
I wanted to get a close-up of the calf's face, but the snowy conditions made it hard to capture the detail I was hoping for. It was still fun to see one so close.
I think of bison as slow, lumbering animals, but I got a real thrill when these two bulls came running full tilt down the hillside. They were really moving! I hope to come back on another day when the weather is clearer so I can get better close-ups of America's National Mammal.