Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Bison wander freely

with 17 comments

Bison wander freely in South Dakota’s Custer State Park, especially through land along the Wildlife Loop Road. On June 2nd I stared at this animal that zoologists have redundantly named Bison bison. Handsome handsome though it was, I can’t say that it was a bison without peer, because it did peer periodically back at me. (In case you’re wondering, the other extant species in the genus is Bison bonasus.)

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 7, 2017 at 5:05 AM

17 Responses

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  1. so cool that they roam free


    July 7, 2017 at 5:33 AM

    • The response of some drivers we saw was to quit roaming free and stop right in the middle of the road to watch and take pictures.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 7, 2017 at 5:43 AM

  2. I can’t get over the similarity in texture between the grass and the bison’s fur. It gives the image a painterly quality that’s quite lovely. Especially along the animal’s edges, it’s not immediately obvious where the hair ends and the grass begins. The expression on the bison’s face suggests it might not know where to begin, either, surrounded as it is by such luscious grass.


    July 7, 2017 at 6:42 AM

    • Especially with animals, we usually don’t get to choose our backgrounds, so this soft one that contrasted in color yet harmonized in texture with my subject was a gift. So was the fact that this bison was momentarily isolated from others in the herd that would have distracted from it. I was briefly a distraction for it, but otherwise this animal, like the others around it, kept right on eating.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 7, 2017 at 7:00 AM

  3. Great capture!


    July 7, 2017 at 6:47 AM

    • Thanks. The last time I had a chance to photograph a bison was three years ago in the Texas Panhandle, where the animals similarly roam free in Caprock Canyons State Park.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 7, 2017 at 7:03 AM

  4. We drove that Loop years ago on our way to breakfast at the Custer Game Lodge. We got stopped in the middle of the herd for a while. That was fun. They hurry for no one.

    Jim R

    July 7, 2017 at 6:55 AM

    • I don’t know how it was then, but now there are also free-roaming burros in the park. We saw people stop in the road and roll down their car windows so burros could stick their heads inside the cars to be fed (in spite of signs saying not to feed the animals).

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 7, 2017 at 7:07 AM

  5. What a magnificent creature!!


    July 9, 2017 at 7:41 PM

  6. Beautiful. I may have mentioned that they have been reintroduced to two nature preserves here in Illinois. What a proud moment for the prairie folk, when they have restored a prairie to the point where it will once again support a herd of bison.


    September 26, 2017 at 10:30 AM

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