Hello to the Bison Herd. Prairie State Park, Missouri, USA. November 2016.
After months of visiting Prairie State Park and searching for the bison herd, I found them. How I wish I had a better lens! I’ll post more photos, but all will be seriously edited as I simply stood quietly at a distance to admire and shoot them.
This prairie is my ancestral homeland. My father’s people were born here, farmed here, and many are buried down the road, where I’ll join them someday. Until yesterday, I felt that this was my prairie, visiting for solace and reflection. Observing these magnificent bison on their homeland, just as they would have been years before me and my ancestors, changed that. It was never my prairie. I’m glad they share it with me and I thanked them and the Great Spirit.
Amy taught me the value of looking closer at what I photograph, much closer. Look who I found on the open prairie, the rare and elusive prairie crayfish, and seconds after this shot, it ran from me. By the way, most people track buffalo and elk at Prairie State Park.
The whooping crane is currently trying to make a comeback. In the 1940s there were 21 birds left in a single flock. Thanks to recovery efforts and wetlands restorations, there are currently around 600 whooping cranes today with over 400 individuals in the wild, though their futures remains uncertain.