Thursday, October 11, 2012

Bison Herd

Another afternoon in the Tetons got later in the day and with the clouds almost non existent in the sky, I decided to work on a different kind of image.  Others were headed to Oxbow Bend or Mormon Row barns, I decided to work the backlit grasses with the Tetons that I had noticed earlier in the day.

I parked over by the barns and wandered out in the knee deep green spring grass going toward the mountains.  I set my tripod low and wanted to take in the expanse of the grass and the mighty Teton Range.

I started making images and then noticed bison moving my direction across the valley.  The animals have pretty much free range over the entire valley that is Jackson Hole and they are wild.  I consider myself smart enough not to approach a wild animal and stayed where I was.  As the shadows got longer they moved closer and I just set there and watched them, taking an occasional image and wondering if that got too close what direction would I retreat.  

The animals, of course, knew right where I was and the herd split making their way around me about 60 yards away on either side.  They seemed neither interested nor bothered by one lone individual sitting in the grass.

I photographed the animals as the worked their way around me and the sun set behind the peaks.  The light lit the scene and the animals moved and grazed.  In just a few minutes the bison had moved past me and reformed a single hers headed east away from the peaks.  It was like water flowing around a rock and I was the rock.

It was an experience I could only describe as primordial and a one of a kind sight.  I sat there thinking it was another great day to be here.  Then I wondered what the next day might bring.

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