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Bison

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Stampeding Bison on the Great Plains

Kind of a fun image taken this past weekend for Tatanka Tuesday.

The herd at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge near Denver, Colorado saw a boom in population this spring with more than a dozen new calves. Despite multiple attempts, the little ones were always too far off for me to get a decent look – until this day.

The herd was moving with purpose and with some patience, they came right up on me. I managed tons of pics of the little ones and their moms but this one is one of the more fun ones. For whatever reason, the herd decided to pick up the pace and took off running. It was very exciting – and somewhat intimidating – to hear the thunder of their hooves as they raced across the grassland.

Don’t let their massive size fool you, these beasts can move very fast when they want to. While there was “only” about 50 of them, it made it easy to imagine the days in the Old West when thousands would stage similar scenes.

American Bison stampede across the plains of Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

American Bison stampede across the plains of Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

High key Bison bull head on

One for Tatanka Tuesday! The Bison herd at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge near Denver, Colorado has seen a half dozen new births this spring. I keep trying but I have yet to get good pics of the little ones as they keep hanging out too far away.

This past weekend, some of the big bulls provided a nice consolation prize. Here, one of the big boys marches right toward me. The light was drab due to overcast skies and not particularly flattering so I opted to make a conversion to black and white, blowing up the highlights to give it a high key look.

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.”

If you’re interested in owning this image, check it out here.

High key black and white image of an American Bison head on.  (© Tony’s Takes)

High key black and white image of an American Bison head on. (© Tony’s Takes)

Bison bull stands strong against the storm

Another round of snow here on the Colorado Front Range today. This image was taken from the previous round of white stuff received this past weekend. The Bison are of course well-built to handle the cold and the wet although I certainly do not envy them being out in the elements.

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. 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 Bison bull weathers a spring snow at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Bison bull weathers a spring snow at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. (© Tony’s Takes)

Some days you just feel like beating your head against a wall – or a tree stump

It is Tatanka Tuesday but this is how I felt Monday. Just one of those days! 😉 Thankfully for this massive Bison bull, it wasn’t frustration but simply an itch that had it scratching its head this past weekend.

This particular guy is the biggest at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge and is easily distinguished from others by that huge coif of hair he has on his head. I’ve never seen another bison with that cool of a hairdo.

An American Bison scratches its head on a tree stump. (© Tony’s Takes)

An American Bison scratches its head on a tree stump. (© Tony’s Takes)

Bison, deer and the Flatirons

One for Tatanka Tuesday! Taken this past weekend, some of the Bison herd at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, Colorado were a good ways out across the prairie.

The skies were kind of dim but also slightly dramatic and best of all, conditions were extraordinarily clear with no ground level haze. This afforded a fantastic view of the Flatirons near Boulder with those dramatic skies above. In the foreground, the Bison and even a couple of deer.

In the end, I am pretty pleased with this image.

Bison graze on the Colorado Front Range plains while in the background are the Flatirons near Boulder. (© Tony’s Takes)

Bison graze on the Colorado Front Range plains while in the background are the Flatirons near Boulder. (© Tony’s Takes)

Black and white Bison bull up close and personal

There is something about these holdovers from the Old West that oftentimes (to me) just begs for a monochrome treatment. Perhaps it is because when seeing them my mind can’t help but drift back 250 years when millions of these massive creatures roamed freely across the plains.

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

If you’re interested in owning this image, please see here.

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

Black and white closeup of a Bison bull at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge.  (© Tony’s Takes)

Black and white closeup of a Bison bull at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. (© Tony’s Takes)

Bison weather the snowstorm

I haven’t done a Tatanka Tuesday in a while so here you go.

The weather early Sunday was pretty yucky with freezing drizzle, snow and cold. While it was not fit for man, the beasts are built for this, particularly these massive creatures. This bull is one of the top big boys of the heard and large and in charge to say the least.

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.”

A massive Bison bull and others from his herd weather a snowstorm in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

A massive Bison bull and others from his herd weather a snowstorm in Colorado. (© Tony’s Takes)

Frosty Bison cow on a frosty landscape

It was pretty darned cold this past Saturday here on the Colorado Front Range as you can tell. While the Bison didn’t mind, this photographer wasn’t really caring too much for it. 😉 The early morning sun which had just popped over the horizon put some nice light on the lady. More Bison pics here.

A Bison cow with frost on her endures a cold morning on the Colorado plains. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Bison cow with frost on her endures a cold morning on the Colorado plains. (© Tony’s Takes)

Bison cow takes a whiff of Tatanka Tuesday

Perhaps I forgot to wear deodorant on this morning or, more likely, the males of the herd were smelling things up for the rut. This female cow was among the many being courted by the males last month.

She was actually demonstrating what is called the flehmen response. Many mammals will do this, curling their lips, raising their head and inhaling deeply allowing them to get a better sampling of a particular smell that interests them – kind of like a human taking a big whiff to smell something.

A Bison cow demonstrates the flehmen response at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge.  (© Tony’s Takes)

A Bison cow demonstrates the flehmen response at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. (© Tony’s Takes)

Beautiful Bison pair for Tatanka Tuesday

Now isn’t this just a picture perfect couple? This bull and cow were standing away from the rest of the herd, avoiding the pushing and shoving that was taking place during the rut. Both looked resplendent in the early morning light and the fall landscape gives them a nice place to pose.

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.

You can own your own copy of this image by clicking here.

A Bison bull and cow enjoy a quiet morning on the Great Plains. (© Tony’s Takes)

A Bison bull and cow enjoy a quiet morning on the Great Plains. (© Tony’s Takes)

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