How bison spend a rainy afternoon

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Comments (14)

Lilypon on October 16, 2007

:D :D :D When, and where, did you photograph this one Ryan? :D

Lilypon on October 16, 2007

never mind the where (I just looked at your tag ;)

Ryan Calhoun on October 16, 2007

Pam, it was Monday the 8th. Last time I'd been to Lone Elk Park is before I can remember. It was cloudy and raining, but I decided to drive through just to see what was there. It's great because you can just drive through and stop whenever you like, and the animals just roam freely inside the park, sometimes very close to the road. It was so dark this first day, that most of my shots had motion blurs from my hands shaking (long exposures). So I went back a couple more times, and I have plenty more pictures to get through. :-)

Lilypon on October 16, 2007

I love it when the animals are accustomed to people (to a certain extent). What a wonderful day you must have had! :D

Those motion blurs due to failing light I know all too well. :'( I'm glad you have plenty more for us to enjoy because, at this time of year, it becomes more difficult to do a daily upload (it's pretty close to sunset by the time I get off work).

Ryan Calhoun on October 16, 2007

Yes, I agree, with one condition. When the animals are more or less indifferent to people. They're accustomed to cars going through and cameras clicking, but they don't approach and they don't run away. They've never gotten any handouts, and they don't dig through picnic sites for garbage. They're still very wild, and they go about their business with no regard for where the people are at all. They often gather (and even lay down) on the roads, and wander in and out of the picnic sites and visitor center. And the visitors do a great job at keeping a good distance, and letting the animals move along at their own pace.

I think it's such a shame at some parks, where the "wildlife" comes running up when they see people, expecting food. I saw a bit on tv the other day about grizzlies in Yellowstone, and how in the 70s they actually set up garbage dumps for the bears to dig through as a tourist attraction. Thankfully, the national parks are noble and wild again, and this park does a good job at maintaining the same atmosphere as well, even though it's fenced in.

Lilypon on October 16, 2007

uh huh your condition was what I meant by (to a certain extent).....and Yellowstone was the park I was thinking of when I posted that). I remember well those years where the bears would stick their heads in our car, tent and make themselves at home at the picnic table too. ;)

Lilypon on October 16, 2007

And my mother would never allow us to feed them.

Ryan Calhoun on October 16, 2007

It seems we agree completely! :-) I actually had a guess that's what you meant, Pam. I hadn't been to Yellowstone back in those days, so I had no idea it used to be like that.

Back on one of the squirrel pictures, Yellowstone was also the park I was thinking of, and the Tetons to some extent as well. The squirrels and chipmunks there are so used to handouts that they'll sometimes run right up and try to take food (that you're trying to eat) right out of your hands. Most people are very good about not feeding the larger animals, but somehow some people think the small ones are an exception.

Thankfully, I've never had a bear that close!

Margrit M. Berger (S… on October 17, 2007

How bison and Ryan spend a rainy afternoon! You taking pictures in the park. Very nice! But somehow this one looks smaller than the ones from Pam. Are there great differences in size!

Greetings, May

Ryan Calhoun on October 17, 2007

Thanks, Bruce and May! Yes, the bison herd is very happy here, and they have plenty of space they can visit which is not even in view of the road. The bison are kept in a separate area away from the picnic sites, and you're not allowed to get out of your car while you drive through. And there are warning signs that the bison have been known to damage cars as well!

May, these are plains bison, brought in from South Dakota. They're smaller than the wood bison that Pam found, and they have a more rounded hump above their shoulders. Right, Pam?

Greetings, Ryan

Lilypon on October 17, 2007

Right Ryan... the Plains Bison (Bison bison bison), is distinguished by its smaller size and more rounded hump, and the Wood Bison (Bison bison athabascae), is distinguished by its larger size and taller square hump.

Mine also looked bigger because I shot the picture with the Bison standing at the same level I was. It looks like Ryan was shooting down into a ravine.

Ryan's Bison above looks more mature than the ones I was taking a picture of. Their bodies weren't as blocky as his, and the male, at shoulder height , was standing at less than 6 feet (more like 5) so I suspect mine were under 3 years of age.

Lilypon on October 17, 2007

BTW just how tall are you Ryan?????

Ryan Calhoun on October 17, 2007

I'm 6'1 when I'm standing up, but to take this I was sitting in my car, so my eye level was probably about 5 feet. I don't think he was very much lower than me, maybe just a little, but the hill slopes upward behind him.

Epi F.Villanueva on November 24, 2007

Hola Ryan Can you make oneonly with the face of bison, If you can, let me know. Saludos Epi

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on October 16, 2007
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Ryan Calhoun
    • Camera: Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XT
    • Taken on 2007/10/08 16:06:35
    • Exposure: 0.010s (1/100)
    • Focal Length: 170.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/5.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO400
    • Exposure Bias: -2.00 EV
    • No flash