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All photos © Tony’s Takes. Images are available for purchase as prints or as digital files for other uses. Please don’t steal; my prices aren’t expensive. For more information contact me here.
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Bison

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Oh, give me a home, where the Buffalo roam…

It is National Bison Day so I sure can’t let that go by without notice. This image was taken last weekend and is one I absolutely love. This massive Bison bull was hanging out alone on the Great Plains. In the distance, the snow-capped Rocky Mountains.

These massive animals were hunted to the brink of extinction in the 1700s and 1800s with as few as 750 reported by 1890. Their numbers have since rebounded with about 500,000 now living on public and private lands.

It used to be we called these buffalo but that actually was incorrect. While they are part of the same family that includes the European and African buffalo, the Bison is its own, distinct species. It is believed they were called buffalo by early North American explorers due to their resemblance to the Old-World species. Native Americans call them Tatanka, a Lakota word that translated means “bull buffalo.”

In May 2016 the Bison became the official mammal of the United States, a fitting and long overdue honor.

Taken at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge near Denver, Colorado.

An American Bison bull walks across the Great Plains with the snow-capped Rocky Mountains in the distance. (© Tony’s Takes)

An American Bison bull walks across the Great Plains with the snow-capped Rocky Mountains in the distance. (© Tony’s Takes)

Spirit Bison

Kind of an odd morning of weather this past Saturday. On the first round around the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge near Denver, Colorado, the skies were clear and it was gorgeous. On the second round, a very thick fog had rolled in making for some interesting shots, including this out. The massive bull was only 40 feet away but the fog made it impossible to get any detail out of the pictures thus creating a cool silhouette.

These impressive animals were hunted to the brink of extinction in the 1700s and 1800s with as few as 750 reported by 1890. Their numbers have since rebounded with about 500,000 now living on public and private lands. In May 2016 the Bison became the official mammal of the United States, a fitting and long overdue honor.

Someone suggested the title, “Spirit Bison” for this image and that seems fitting.

A Bison bull is shrouded in fog at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Bison bull is shrouded in fog at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. (© Tony’s Takes)

Bounding Bison calf for Tatanka Tuesday

This little one was a bundle of energy and joy as it bounded along the shores of the Madison River in Yellowstone National Park this past spring. And, no wonder! It and three other little ones had just survived a rather harrowing and dramatic crossing of the fast-moving river. Honestly it was a break taking scene that I will never forget.

You can read the whole story and view the entire sequence of images here.

While they are part of the same family that includes the European and African buffalo, the Bison is its own, distinct species. It is believed they were called buffalo by early North American explorers due to their resemblance to the Old-World species. Native Americans call them Tatanka, a Lakota word that translated means “bull buffalo.”

A wet Bison calf bounds through the grass along the Madison River in Yellowstone National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

A wet Bison calf bounds through the grass along the Madison River in Yellowstone National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

This one for all the folks here in Colorado

Kickoff for the Rocky Mountain Showdown is in less than a half hour. Where does your allegiance lie? With the Colorado State Rams or Colorado Buffaloes? Do you stand with Cam or Ralphie? I don’t have a preference unless it involves Navy Football.  😉

The Bighorn Sheep - Mascot of the Colorado State University Rams. (© Tony’s Takes)

The Bighorn Sheep – Mascot of the Colorado State University Rams. (© Tony’s Takes)

The American Bison - Mascot of the University of Colorado Buffaloes. (© Tony’s Takes)

The American Bison – Mascot of the University of Colorado Buffaloes. (© Tony’s Takes)

Well, hello there, big lady!

It isn’t too often a big Bison is going to catch you by surprise as they are kind of hard to miss. However, such was the case with this cow on my visit to Yellowstone National Park in June.

I had stopped at Soda Butte, the remnants of an extinct geyser in the Lamar Valley, to snap a few pictures. As I rounded the side of the butte opposite the road, I came face to face with this large, hairy creature. Oops! She was working her way up and directly toward me. Needless to say, I quickly backpedaled and gave her all the room she wanted. 😉

These impressive animals were hunted to the brink of extinction in the 1700s and 1800s with as few as 750 reported by 1890. Their numbers have since rebounded with about 500,000 now living on public and private lands.

A Bison stakes out its ground at Soda Butte in Yellowstone National Park's Lamar Valley.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Bison stakes out its ground at Soda Butte in Yellowstone National Park’s Lamar Valley. (© Tony’s Takes)

Bison graze at ease along the Madison River

This beautiful scene kickstarted our visit to Yellowstone National Park last month. Winter had been harsh up there with a great deal of snowfall and the spring was a wet one. However, all that moisture made for a lush, green landscape and rivers flowing full and quick.

Soon after arrival we set out for a quick exploration trip and found a herd of bison grazing along the banks of the river. Above, a cloud-dotted sky with spots of bright blue peering through. Truly a scene showing nature at its finest and a scene I will never forget.

An American Bison herd grazes along the Madison River in Yellowstone National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

An American Bison herd grazes along the Madison River in Yellowstone National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

A scene out of the Old West

One for Tatanka Tuesday. There was a time when the American Bison roamed the plains freely with numbers in the hundreds of thousands (millions?). Some of the pictures of the Old West show scenes of a landscape covered in these massive creatures. That of course is no longer the case but this small herd and some creative editing help to invoke those types of scenes I think.

These impressive animals were hunted to the brink of extinction in the 1700s and 1800s with as few as 750 reported by 1890. Their numbers have since rebounded with about 500,000 now living on public and private lands. It used to be we called these buffalo but that actually was incorrect.

While they are part of the same family that includes the European and African buffalo, the Bison is its own, distinct species. It is believed they were called buffalo by early North American explorers due to their resemblance to the Old-World species.

Native Americans call them Tatanka, a Lakota word that translated means “bull buffalo.”

In May 2016 the Bison became the official mammal of the United States, a fitting and long overdue honor. Taken at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge near Denver, Colorado.

A herd of American Bison roams the plains of Colorado.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A herd of American Bison roams the plains of Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Wildlife drama as Bison calves struggle to cross fast-moving river

Our first day in Yellowstone National Park last week provided some heart-pounding action. Arriving in the afternoon we only had time for a quick drive and checked out the west side of the park along the Madison River. We were happy to find a Bison herd farther west than we had seen them in the past.

Soon though, a drama unfolded as four calves had become separated from the herd and were on the opposite side of the river. A wet winter and spring had the river running very fast and very full. The calves ran back and forth along the river’s edge before finally making the plunge.

They struggled mightily against the fast-moving current and those of us watching couldn’t help but feel scared for them. With lumps in our throats we cheered then on and thankfully, all four made it across and were reunited with their very happy mothers.

Scroll down to view the complete series of images.  To purchase my imagery of the great Bison, click here.

Bison calves struggle to swim across the fast-moving Madison River in Yellowstone National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

Bison calves struggle to swim across the fast-moving Madison River in Yellowstone National Park. (© Tony’s Takes)

Bison calf enjoys the lazy days of spring

Springtime means babies in the animal world and the herd has had a bumper crop this year. By my count there were nine new calves at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, all born within the past month. This past weekend the temperatures in the sun were comfortable and conditions calm so it seemed like a great day to just lay down in a field among the wildflowers and take in the new world these little guys just came into.

A Bison calf lounges among the grasses and wildflowers on the Colorado plains. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Bison calf lounges among the grasses and wildflowers on the Colorado plains. (© Tony’s Takes)

Bison bull marches head on in black and white

A fitting image for Tatanka Tuesday. When you see this big guy coming, there is little doubt who has the right of way. 😉

Poor weather with heavily overcast skies and light rain limited the photo opportunities on my after work drive last Friday. Thankfully two, massive, Bison bulls gave me some great pics as they marched right toward my truck.

There is something about these animals that to me compel a conversion to black and white. In my mind, it helps to convey the Old West that they are most often associated with plus it just makes them look really cool. What do think?

Native Americans call the bison Tatanka, a Lakota word that translated means “bull buffalo.” In May 2016 the Bison became the official mammal of the United States, a fitting and long overdue honor.

If you’re interested, this image is available for sale here.

An American Bison bull walks menacingly directly toward the viewer. (© Tony’s Takes)

An American Bison bull walks menacingly directly toward the viewer. (© Tony’s Takes)

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