August 12, 2012

Buffalo in the mist.

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Yesterday, in Yellowstone.

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63 comments:

kentuckyliz said...

It's a bison in steam.

I worked at Yellowstone Hotel in '93, night shift hotel desk clerk.

Walking to work one dark night, I almost walked right smack into a bison. I sensed it at the last second and walked the other way, praying not to get gored.

edutcher said...

Have to show these to The Blonde.

Her memory of buffalo in Yellowstone is mostly about trying to get one out of her van after her mother opened the door and let one in, trying to get a better look at it.

Palladian said...

He'll be the first to fall into the caldera.

PfMoen said...

Should swing through Billings. I'd love to buy you two beers at one of the many local breweries!

Pete said...

Careful, Althouse. Though they look gentle, they're still wild animals and should be treated as such.

garage mahal said...

Yellowstone is magical. I stumbled into a buffalo at dawn in the parking lot of the Old Faithful Inn. Pretty shocking how big they appear less than 10 feet away, when you're not expecting them.

pm317 said...

My Yellowstone bisons

You missed R(square) today. What wonderful pics and update we could have got from you if you had not. There were 10K people in NC, wow!

garage mahal said...

@kentuckyliz
I swear to God I didn't read your post! I wonder if it was the same buffalo? WEIRD.

cold pizza said...

Last year, driving through Yellowstone, my SO yelled: "It's a THING!"

Turned out to be a bison laying down next to the road.

Pictures ensued.

Now, whenever we take the kids somewhere, one is bound to point at something and say, "Look! It's a thing!" -CP

Rabel said...

Nice pics.

Don't let Meade use that fisheye on you from behind.

Hagar said...

and an irritated bison is a 1500 pound irritated and unpredictable wild animal with very sharp horns and a sneaky way of using them!

Bob Ellison said...

I saw Buffalo In the Mist open for Toad the Wet Sprocket.

kentuckyliz said...

Bison in the Steam.

Can't you hear Jim Morrison singing that?!

The park employees laugh at the tourists who get gored. We are nice though--we only laugh behind your back.

Quaestor said...

Walking to work one dark night, I almost walked right smack into a bison. I sensed it at the last second and walked the other way, praying not to get gored.

The sad thing is much of the megafauna in Yellowstone were introduced during the early history of the park, and are not really indigenous to the area, the bison especially.

garage mahal said...

Liz, is the Yellowstone Hotel the same as the Old Faithful Inn?

Thinking back that buffalo had some crazy ass eyes going on. And the mist coming out of its mouth and nostrils. I'm glad that buffalo didn't fuck me up against those cars!

pm317 said...

The weirdest thing is to see their footprints in the hot hot springs.

garage mahal said...

Think you've had a bad day?
Bear chases badly burnt buffalo.

jeff said...

Those buffalo are big cows that can run 30 mph and kill more people in yellowstone than anything else. I would keep my distance.

Alan said...

Please be careful. If you get gored by a bison, or maimed by some other beast it will reflect poorly on your readers.

DADvocate said...

Beautiful pictures of the buffalo. Wow, just wow.

The Godfather said...

I was in Yellowstone in August 1960. I didn't see any Bison close up, but brown bears walked through the camp ground all day -- and tried to get into cars on the roads if the drivers were foolish enough to roll down the windows.

On August 15, the day we were supposed to leave, it snowed and closed the passes to the south for two days. If you want to extend your trip, Ann, you might get lucky.

chickelit said...

garage mahal revealed: I'm glad that buffalo didn't fuck me up against those cars!

I can't imagine what you did coax such a response...bison pheromones? But up against a car has gotta hurt, garage. Not the beemer I hope.

Michael K said...

"Walking to work one dark night, I almost walked right smack into a bison. I sensed it at the last second and walked the other way, praying not to get gored."

There used to be a herd of Bison on Catalina Island. It began with the filming of some movie in the 20s. By 1980, there were about 400 of them. They used to come down to the isthmus where the island is narrow and low. We walked around them at some distance but they never bothered anybody. I've walked up to one unexpectedly going around a building. No problem.

Then about 15 years ago, some idiot woman went up to one to have her husband take her photo next to it. Of course, it butted her. She sued and the Catalina Island Company fenced off the remnant after moving most of the herd to Montana.

Then some idiot enviros decided that the goats that had been on the island since the Spanish left them there about 1500 were "non-native" and had to be all killed. It took about five years to kill them all. I'm glad I had my boats when there were still goats and bison on the island. Sometimes getting older is OK.

The wonders of Greens.

Lem said...

You Can't Rollerskate in a Buffalo Herd

Alex said...

Speaking of megafauna, the real indigenous ones died out 15K years ago for no apparent reason.

Lem said...

Home on the Range..

Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam
Where the deer and the antelope play
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word
And the skies are not cloudy all day

jeff said...

"I didn't see any Bison close up, but brown bears walked through the camp ground all day -- and tried to get into cars on the roads if the drivers were foolish enough to roll down the windows." I was there around '64 as a very small boy and I remember those bears well. They were used to begging for food back then and getting fed without working for it. The rangers changed that years ago. Apparently if someone just gives them stuff, they refuse to do it for themselves. There's a metaphor in there somewhere, just cant put my finger on it.

AllieOop said...

Garage, maybe the smell of roasted buffalo meat was just too much of a temptation for the bear. That is a freaky picture.

Michael K said...

"Speaking of megafauna, the real indigenous ones died out 15K years ago for no apparent reason."

The horses were almost certainly killed for food by the first Indians when they came down from Alaska. The Spanish reintroduced them about 1700.

Lem said...

..the real indigenous ones died out 15K years ago for no apparent reason.

What you leaving out is the Romney was still at Bain Capital at that time.

Synova said...

Love the song, Lem. I'm sure I've heard it before. Any idea what it is you can't change with a kid on your back?

No doubt someone would think it's completely hateful to tell people to be buckle down and "do it" and be responsible for being happy.

But it made me smile.

Lem said...

See that Buffalo dying of thirst?.. cant drink the water because its too hot.. global warming caused by Bain Capital with Mitt Romney as its brain-trust.

Ok garage.. you are going to have to take over soon.

garage mahal said...

@Allie
Not sure if you seen it but there is a series of shots at that link. The buffalo did manage to get away from the bear. Almost like the bear was just bored maybe.

AprilApple said...

Yellowstone. Nice. I once had to sit and wait in Yellowstone while a huge herd of buffalo crossed the road. My kind of traffic jam.

btw Ann, this is what's happening back in WI.

Lem said...

You cant change film with a kid on your back..

I wander what kind of film they were talking about though.

Titus said...

Paul Ryan has voted to ban gay couples from adopting children, to ban same-sex marriage, and he voted against repealing "don't ask, don't tell" in the military.

And yet Althouse is having an orgasm over him and Meade, who doesn't work, is naturally splewing all over Yellowstone Park.

No wonder the only fags left here are morbidly obese and really unattractive

avwh said...

I've only been once. Terrific park:

http://allenh.zenfolio.com/p297405558

Buffalo everywhere.

Lem said...

Oh.. Its like a moral.. after you have a kid, don't expect to continue in the limelight?

or something.

avwh said...

Should have mentioned Yellowstone is larger than Rhode Island and Delaware combined.

AprilApple said...

Not everyone thinks that gay marriage is the end all/be all of things to care about right now. Even some of my gay friends agree with me on that one.

Chip Ahoy said...

Get closer.

AllieOop said...

Went through all 16 photos, Garage, what. Sight to see running down the highway. Maybe the bear got a better whiff and decided the poor beast didn't smell so yummy after all.

Ralph L said...

the first Indians when they came down from Alaska
The optimism--or desperation--of the people who left Russia for Alaska must have been phenomenal. If we keep going, maybe it will get warmer, for how many generations and 1000s of miles?

Ralph L said...

Wrong thread, AA.
We're talking about bestiality and Garage on this one.

Alex said...

Ralph - my point exactly. I can't believe the Clovis people had the means and the #s to hunt the megafauna to extinction 15K years ago. There must have been climate & disease factors.

Michael K said...

"The optimism--or desperation--of the people who left Russia for Alaska must have been phenomenal. If we keep going, maybe it will get warmer, for how many generations and 1000s of miles?"

How about the Polynesians ? They are all mixed up genetically because people leaving on canoe trips would give their small children to those staying behind and take older children who could survive the voyage.

chickelit said...

The "Buffalo" nickel was introduced 100 years ago next year. They were a hardy coin and the design served through WW I, the roaring 20's, the Crash and the Great Depression. The mint retired in 1937 and replaced it with the current Jefferson nickel.

Buffalo meat is delicious. Trader Joes' buffalo burgers are actually quite tasty, thawed, seasoned, and grilled.

Man cannot live by brat alone.

AprilApple said...

plz e-mail me a pdf of proper talking points. Someone's partaking in beastiality in the garage. etc..

Ann Althouse said...

Driving into Yellowstone, Meade and I had a conversation about whether we preferred to say "bison" (the technically correct term) or "buffalo" (the colloquial american name for the beast). We decided on buffalo. It's more American and it's just a cooler word.

"Bison" -- it's like gay son. I have a gay son. You have a bi- son.

Lem said...

Speaking of talking points..

Ever since Ryan was tapped, Garage has been quiet... too quiet.

Ann Althouse said...

"Careful, Althouse. Though they look gentle, they're still wild animals and should be treated as such."

We were on a boardwalk that is about 2 miles long. You can't go any other way (unless you go back). You can't walk on the ground. We were just trying to get back out to the parking lot, and the buffalo was right there. I was scared, but I had to walk past it. There was no other way to go.

I am not one of these people who go up to the animals. I'm about photographing the landscapes.

Ann Althouse said...

I thought the park was overly infested with buffalo. I think maybe a cull is in order.

Lem said...

A buffalo infestation?

I'm not taking that bait...

The professor is blaspheming!

Ralph L said...

Sorry, AprilApple, I somehow missed Titus' little dropping on this thread, so yours seemed to go on the Romney one. You don't need to talk or even think about Garage being buggered by a buffalo on his BMW, but it will make his future comments more interesting if you do.

Alex said...

Hmmm a buffalo cull = cheaper tasty buffalo burgers!

bagoh20 said...

"I thought the park was overly infested with buffalo. I think maybe a cull is in order."

I bet that buffalo wrote the same thing on his blog about you. Maybe you will get invited on to Buffalo Blogging Heads. They have excellent technology, including the latest in internet smell-o-rama.

Curious George said...

Last time I was in Yellowstone it was late August, and the Bison rut was on. Watching the males battle along the Yellowstone River was pretty cool. Grizzlies were down there too feeding on the carcasses of those losers that died. They closed off seven miles of the river to make sure idiots didn't get too close. And there are idiots aplenty...I saw a dad filmin ga bison from 20' with his 4-5 year old daughter standing next to him.

Aridog said...

August = Rutting Season in buffalo country.

Particularly at higher elevations like Yellowstone. Don't get between a mature bull (6+ years old) and some mature cows in estrous. Bull could care less about you, but can mess you up if you get between him and his object of desire. My experience tells me that the cows actually decide what bull is worthy, not vice versa. Result is plenty of frustrated bulls I presume ... which might make them a tad cranky. :-)

As for wild fauna in Yellowstone, conventional wisdom and historical evidence says American Bison were there historically, but hunted down to a scant couple dozen in remote Pelican Valley. Later "plains" bison from lower plains elevations were introduced in to the Lamarr Valley. Both groups presumably intermingled and became the Yellowstone Herd, purportedly the only remaining historically "wild" herd left....never-the-less, the park herd was managed as husbanded livestock until the 1960's or so.

Ted Turner owns more buffalo than anyone else on earth. Who knew, eh? I saw my first buffalo as a livestock animal near Traverse City, Michigan around 1950. My first Yellowstone visit around 1953 with parents involved bears everywhere, lots of coyotes, some elk, some moose, and few buffalo.

My favorite bear was "Old Joe" a black bear that habituated the Yellowstone Lake Hotel parking lot waiting for fishermen to come in from the lake bringing their fish to the kitchen. You could pet him easily, he just wanted the fish...unwise is not a concept 12-13 year old boys grasp well.

Today I find buffalo and elk everywhere, fewer coyotes, wolves in the distance occasionally, and bears "managed" highly, especially in areas like the Pelican Valley on the northern end of Yellowstone Lake.

Me, I find more amusement watching the tourists ...like these in Yankee Jim Canyon, north of Yellowstone.

LakeLevel said...

I think I saw that same buffalo. My brothers and I were snowmobiling on the last year that they allowed anyone to do so by themselves. -20F. we left Old Faithful at the crack of dawn and didn't see another human being for 4 hours. Fantastic. Well we stopped at yellowstone lake west geiser basin and walked the boardwalk and when we made it almost all the way. Out of the steam, like some proto-historic saga, the great beast appeared. We debated weather we should try to go around it. When we started to inch around the beast, a dis-embodied voice came out of the steam: "I wouldn't do that". My brother said "was that the buffalo?". The un-seen park ranger told us to go back the other way.

AprilApple said...

Ralph L
No worries from me. A BMW, eh?

Peter said...

The photos don't show the sulpher stink.

BTW, when I was there a bunch of tourists had surrounded a buffalo (aka American bison), and kids were poking sticks around the animal's eyes.

Apparently they thought Yellowstone was a petting zoo? As far as I know, no one got hurt but if so it was luck. A buffalo is an herbivore, but it's still two tons of animal. You don't want to be near one when it gets angry.

Aridog said...

I need to add something about Yellowstone wildlife in general. I've seen idiotic stuff like @Peter cites by tourists. Only reason they get away with any of that behavior is because they're interacting with the animals on or near a roadway. Pull that crap 10+ miles hiking inland from the roads and see how it goes. Rangers will notify your kin when they find you. If they find you.

Even the bears are somewhat tolerant of human idiots near the roads....they expect humans to be idiots and have learned not to fear them near roads, campsites, and parking lots. It is combination form of habituation ...both situational and social familiarity playing on it ... they do NOT "love" you however. A bear might tolerate your physical presence within 50 feet on or near a roadway...same bear will NOT tolerate that same presence if your are inland away from the roads altogether....the recommended distance there is 100 yards plus at a minimum. Don't believe me ... okay, try hiking around in the Pelican Valley bear management zone during open hours, get good and close to ole Grizz ... even sneak a stay over night if you can. Rangers will notify your kin...etc.

Human tourists often try to be "friendly" to wildlife by offering food, or just being careless about food. What they don't understand is that they are putting the more social wildlife (coyotes, wolves, some bears, most elk, etc.) at risk.

My associate and regular exploration companion in the Park had two adult gray wolves walk right up to him this spring ... and sit down as if waiting for something. Obviously, someone had given them food or they'd found food where humans usually go. Trust me, wolves are suspicious and for them to basically reach stage 3 habituation within the park is wildly huge, unusual, and dangerous...to them. Wolves are also extremely social and the slightest errors in your social interaction with them can harm them, much more than you.

If tempted to feed a cute coyote or fox in as wilderness park ...don't. You will be killing it as sure as if you shot it.

I'll go away now and put my soap box up. :-)

city said...

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