I drove down to camp yesterday – it was the first time in several weeks that the meadow was dry enough that I could actually drive the truck all the way to camp instead of having to hike over the water soaked meadow. I left the gate open because I could see the bison herd a quarter mile away, far up on the mountain side, and figured I didn’t need to be concerned about my shaggy friends paying a surprise visit (there’s a reason we keep them fenced out of Bison Quest camp)! I wandered around filling up bird feeders with sunflower and thistle seeds when I heard a gentle grunt – and then another. I know that sound! I raced for the gate without even looking to see where the sound was coming from – first item is to get that gate closed! As I reached the gate, I could see the bison cow who was making the “mama grunts” (the kind of grunts mama bison make to their babies – someday I’ll tell you all about that). It was Gracie and GG (Gracie’s Girl – her daughter) walking past the camp fence. Gracie was still swollen with her unborn calf but, at her daughter GG’s side, toddled an unsteady, not-quite-dry newborn calf. Grandma Gracie and her daughter stopped to look at me as I reached the gate, and the little baby peeked out from behind his mom’s legs. I congratulated GG on her newborn, but both cows were singularly unimpressed with my salutations and, after assuring themselves that I didn’t have anything worthwhile to offer (that would translate into, “she doesn’t have any treats for us”), they both continued on their way past camp with the little one, wobbly but determined, at their heels. I watched them go and then let my eyes wander up the mountain. And up, and up – up to where I knew the herd was grazing. All I could do was shake my head in amazement at this brand new little mite taking such a trek in the first hour or two of life. Those baby bison are tough little critters!
Baby bison are tough little critters! May 8, 2009