Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Surrounded By Bison

The same day that we encountered the grizzlies (see previous post) we were surrounded by a herd of about twenty bison in Grand Teton National Park.  We first saw them grazing in a beautiful aspen grove at Mormon Row.
Some tourists were standing nearby, and one big male was giving them the evil eye.  I put my camera on the "continuous" setting in case I got an opportunity to photograph action shots as the bison charged the tourists, but no such luck.

The tourists eventually left, so I drove closer and parked so that Linda would have a clear view out the passenger window.

The bison were much more comfortable around the car than around the tourists, and they walked right up to us.  It turned out that I had parked next to rain puddles, and that must have been why the bison were waiting for the tourists to leave.

The huge animals all drank from the puddles as we took photos from just a few feet away.
I had a tough time getting a clear view because I had to shoot past Linda.  But it worked out OK because my restricted viewpoint encouraged close-ups of the bison as they drank.  The huge animals didn't seem threatening at all, as long as we stayed in the car, but I did wonder what would happen if they decided we didn't belong there.

As they finished drinking, the herd wandered around the car to a field, surrounding us for awhile.  I enjoyed watching a calf watch me as a big one passed behind the car.  What a day of wildlife photography!

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