I hope you won't mind if I present another post filled with photos of bison. I apologize, but I can't help it. On my last free day before going back to Afton Station full time, naturally I used it to drive up to my favorite place on earth, the Nature Conservancy's Tallgrass Prairie Reserve, to visit my favorite animals, bisons. I've written about this place before, and I've posted lots of bison photos, but you can never see enough of them, in my humble opinion.
Today, I hit the jackpot. I seldom make the 2-hour drive up there in the middle of winter, but I was curious to see the differences in the flora and fauna after a big snow. As it turned out, the snow was virtually all melted, but the dirt road (the only road for miles) was a sea of mud, made worse by the fact that the work crew was scraping the last of the mud and gunk off of it and piling it, for the most part, in the middle of the road. It was a messy drive, but worth every mud chunk and ice boulder that hit the underside of my car.
Here's the dirt road as one enters the reserve. At this point, it was clear and easily driveable. I love how it stretches out as far as the eye can see. It continues that way across the many miles of the reserve, with only an occasional electric pole to break my fantasy of being the first explorer to discover the land. (a fantasy I repeat every time I visit the prairie).
Of all my trips to the Tallgrass Prairie (and there have been many), there were more bison grazing within my sight this time than I've ever seen before. There are over 2,500 bison there, but the prairie reserve is so large that one usually only sees a few hundred per trip, depending on where the herds feel like grazing that day. Today, I believe that most of them chose to graze within my sight, and some of them chose to graze within a few feet of my car. Some even dared to cross the road in front of my car, which isn't really much of a risk, since I drive about 5 mph when I'm in the reserve.