Though it is early, the heat of the day has already set in. But here I stand.
On the edge of a bluff, with no cooling breeze, here I stand.
Heat reflected off the valley floor, rolls ever upward to my viewing post, and it is here I stand, for this is my valley.
A lone sentinel, I watch.
I watch as the birds fly by and the rabbits play.
I watch as the strange metal beasts come and go. Stopping and opening up their bellies, allowing strange bi-pedded beings to escape. These beings wander around for a bit, some with purpose, some aimlessly but all under my watchful eye.
Eventually they return to the belly of the metal beast and travel away. Once again leaving me alone to watch over my valley.
My kind once filled these great plains and canyons, but now we are just a few small herds, for I am the great American Bison and I am forever watchful high above the valley.
I was just approaching the high point on Wind Canyon Trail, in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, when another hiker was coming down the trail. He was really excited when he whispered to me, “there’s a really big buffalo just over the ridge.”
“Cool!” I replied, increasing my speed to the top. I was excited to get an up-close shot of a buffalo from a safe perch.
While I never quite got the shot I was looking for, I was not disappointed. This was a huge male Bison. He looked like he was sleeping when I got to the top, but that soon changed. A herd of Bison were moving down in the valley below and he began to perk up.
The male from the herd below, began to bellow. I couldn’t believe how clearly you could hear him, since they were quite a distance away. This perked up my hilltop Bison and he began to paw the earth, sending clouds of dust into the air. He was grunting and pawing, then he peed, pawed some more and then he rolled in it. He was so close to the edge of the bluff, I thought he would roll right off.
Once he finished rolling, he got back up to his feet, sides heaving, he continued to let out a low humph-ing sound. I am not sure if it carried to the Bison below, but he kept making the sound and you could hear other Bison bellowing from the valley.
I truly could have stayed here all day watching this fellow, but alas we only had one day here in Theodore Roosevelt National park and we had several more stops to make. I will be returning here in September so maybe I will be blessed with a similar sight or something even better.
To view more images from Theodore Roosevelt National Park please visit: Theodore Roosevelt
Thanks for stopping & Adventure On!