Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Drive Through the Buffalo

My family loves to work together.  Is that weird?  For family reunions we have cut a horse (castrated him),  built fence, and put up drywall.  Everyone does stuff like that, right?!  Someone once told me that so long as you are doing something you enjoy, you can consider it recreation.  We like to recreate by working, sweating, stinking...  Ok, maybe not everyone and not all of the time... there are times we like to sit and do nothing.  But that doesn't last long at all.  

So whenever my older brother announces that he has big work days like preg checking the buffalo, we all (those within a reasonable distance) head out there.

The kids and I showed up the night before the big day, not long before The Lemhi Rancher (my brother) walked in the house.  He sat down with a sigh and said, "All the buffalo are in the corrals... what a relief!"  You could see that he REALLY was relieved.  Working buffalo carries a little more anxiety than working cows.  There is nothing really domestic about these animals.  They are still so primeval that whenever they encounter anything that stresses them out they go fight or flight.   Hard core fight or flight.  So for the work to go well, for the buffalo to get in the corral without any intense effort, IS relieving. 

We had one long day of work (more about that later...), like so long that at the end we had a few phones out to shed some light on the work.  Working hard all day meant that I didn't have anytime for pictures.  Which was just fine... That meant I had to take a drive the next day to satisfy the photographer in me!

I loaded up my kids and the cousins (to open the gates of course!) and we drove through the buffalo.  This was a first for us in a sorts.  We are usually up in the spring and summer, so to see the buffalo not losing their hair and in the snowy fields was a fun change.  I'm awed to watch the buffalo and like to imagine what it might have been when they roamed for hundreds of miles on end.  They are constantly moving, almost like they still have that instinct to migrate.  Good thing The Lemhi Rancher has some big pasture!

Like I said, primal... not domestic...  Certainly interesting, entertaining and always making a fun shot for this Rancher's Wife.

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