Thursday, September 4, 2014

Bison in Yellowstone National Park

One of the pleasures of visiting Yellowstone National Park is getting to experience the bison in their natural setting, probably the oldest and largest bison herd in the United States.

The herd is actually divided into two sub-herds that are mostly isolated from one another.  The Northern Herd ranges from the northern entrance of the park near Gardner, Montana, through the Black Tail Plateau and into the Lamar Valley.

The Central Interior herd, pictured here, ranges from the Madison River valley into the Hayden Valley, and Upper and Lower Geyser Basin.

The scene of bison, or American Buffalo, in such a wild classic setting as Yellowstone, is unforgettable.  Maybe this is why such an image is so attractive to marketers in the tourism industry.  They want images that reach out to their audience and make them want to be there.  Does this image (or any similar image) make you want to drop what you are doing and go?  It does me.

This image was recently licensed for worldwide usage for a travel client in the travel & tourism industry.  I took it early one morning along the Firehole River along the Fountain Flat Drive in Yellowstone.  It was a pretty special morning, and one that still seems like yesterday to me.  Often, the camera just fell to my side as I watched these animals in their natural environment, even watching them crossing the Firehole River, sometimes just to cross back again a short time later.

I also photographed several young calves as they grazed near mom.  They were a joy to watch.

I will share a funny story about this image.  I took this image (and many, many more) from the side of the road, using my truck as a blind, standing on the driver's side door step and shooting over the top with the door half closed.  I was so focused on and inebriated by this scene that I failed to pay attention to what was happening behind me.  Suddenly I caught movement out of the corner of my eye and saw a huge beast of a bison approaching!  It was on the other side of the two-lane road, walking down the shoulder, but still waaaay too close for my comfort level!  I immediately relocated around to the other side of my truck, shared with the bison in this picture, as safe as that might be!

If you haven't already, I hope you get to have a bison viewing experience of your own at Yellowstone some day very soon.

You may view more images from Yellowston National Park in my Yellowstone Gallery.

Thanks for reading.

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