Sharing moments in time…

Yellowstone Icons – the American Bison (Buffalo)


So after thousands of miles driving and thousands of shutter clicks, I’m back home from Yellowstone National Park.  It was a wonderful trip – meeting up with my two Scottish friends (who are still there) and then once again experiencing the beauty and wildlife wealth of that incredible park.  We saw almost every animal that we could have hoped to see and I’ll share my images of them over the coming weeks – but today I thought I’d start with the Bison.  Its a good place to start as they are the most frequent animals evident in the park and they also were my first “subject” after entering the park.  Shortly after entering the park near West Yellowstone, I saw a lone Bison on the opposite bank of the River presenting a nice morning reflection shot as he drank by the riverside.  By the time I got out of the car and grabbed my camera, he (and his friends – as several other Bison came down the the hillside behind him) gave me a better opportunity and one that I hadn’t witnessed before.  He just turned into the water, waded in, and then began to swim across the river right toward me.

Bison incarnation of Michael Phelps?

Bison incarnation of Michael Phelps?

I had seen Bison cross small streams before but never have to swim.  He kinda just chugged on through and seemed to have a pretty easy swim even in the swiftly moving water.  As he came up the bank, he was very close to me and looking directly at me.

What YOU looking at?

What YOU looking at?

Then, as if he was saying “I’m not done yet” – he gave a shake of his massive head and mane and provided yet another photograph that you always look and hope for….

Shake it up, baby....

Shake it up, baby….

Welcome to Yellowstone.

 

21 responses

  1. Hi Scott,
    great pictures of the Bison. I love them. Can’t wait to see your other photos.
    May I ask what kind of lens you used ?
    Cheers Angela 🙂

    May 30, 2013 at 10:16 am

    • Hi Angela – Thanks!Lots more to come. Funny you should ask about the lens – almost all of my photos are taken with a Sigma 150-500 lens on a Nikon body. I’ve always thought it does a great job for the money. My two Scottish friends were shooting canon lens – the 500mm and 600mm f4 prime lenses – incredible performance. I was finally convinced that I needed a better lens although those lenses are far to large and heavy for my liking. I found a Nikon 300mm f2.8 prime on ebay yesterday which I plan to use with teleconverters to provide more reach. My first chance to give that combo a real workout will be Alaska (Bears) in August.

      May 30, 2013 at 10:45 am

      • Hi Scott,
        I am thinking of buying the Sigma lens too, as you said it is not so expensive 😉
        Thanks a lot for your answer, this might help my decision.
        Looking foward to see all your great photos coming 🙂
        Cheers Angela

        June 1, 2013 at 6:01 am

      • Angela – If you look through my archives, I’ve taken thousands of wildlife photos with that lens. I’ve never had any problems with it and it has taken some great images. I think you would be very satisfied with it.

        June 1, 2013 at 8:49 am

      • Thank you very much Scott.
        I already have a Sigma lens 10 – 20 mm and I am very satisfied with it.
        Cheers Angela

        June 1, 2013 at 8:59 am

  2. Welcome home! What a great opening sequence. Still trying to break the “buffalo” habit. They are really American icons! Can’t imagine them with a longer lens. Probably wouldn’t fit in the frame.

    May 30, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    • Thanks Cathy! I know what you mean – my two Scottish buds always referred to them as Bison and I always talked about the Buffalo. Not really longer lenses – just better.

      May 30, 2013 at 2:13 pm

  3. Fabulous shots of Bison. Looking forward to more shots.

    May 31, 2013 at 7:57 am

    • Lots more coming Cheryl – including 3 members of the canine family!

      May 31, 2013 at 9:52 am

  4. Great shots! I would’ve backed up a bit if I saw a bison coming towards me! Yellowstone is a magical place. I’ve never heard of anyone returning from a visit and say they didn’t enjoy it.

    May 31, 2013 at 9:58 am

    • You are definitely right – Yellowstone is incredible. Every time I’ve been there, this former Jersey boy has seen something amazing. This time was not exception. I hope you’ll come back as I try to share those experiences.

      May 31, 2013 at 6:40 pm

  5. You made good use of such a golden opportunity. I love these and look forward to hearing more about your trip. What a tantalising introduction.

    May 31, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    • MightWar – Thanks – it was a great way to start the day and trip. There is SO much more to share – come on back.

      May 31, 2013 at 6:45 pm

  6. Especially the last photo is incredible. Everything is perfect: foreground, shutter, aperture … well done 🙂

    May 31, 2013 at 11:57 pm

    • Thank you. You have some great photography on your blog so I am especially appreciative.

      June 1, 2013 at 8:56 am

  7. Fantastic sequence Scott !
    Great !
    Ciao

    June 1, 2013 at 12:59 am

    • Grazie Mille Max – Glad you liked them.

      June 1, 2013 at 8:53 am

  8. The bison are really fascinating. This guy didn’t seem to have much fear of humans. Was this an unusually brave bison? Do you know if being in a protected national park makes them a bit less fearful?

    June 1, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    • Jackie – It was basically just him and me so I guess I’m not too intimidating. The Bison in the park are pretty docile most of the time (and there are thousands of them) but you don’t want to push your luck with a 1400# animal….

      June 1, 2013 at 5:54 pm

  9. And a great time was had by all! Great sequence Scott and still to get a Bison shot I am really happy with,maybe next time!

    June 2, 2013 at 8:24 am

    • Thanks Ross – We’ll need to talk about when and where “next time” is in August.

      June 2, 2013 at 8:50 am

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