21 August 2011

a new favorite ~ {american buffalo}

I've been painting and drawing bison lately.

Our road trip this summer took us to the Grand Tetons in Wyoming where we saw our first group of bison, or American Buffalo. Such a thrill to see them grazing on the high plains, almost as big as our car, so top-heavy with their hunky shoulders over tiny legs.

Slightly north, in Yellowstone National Park, we came upon this one grazing next to a mini-van.

And he answered the question for us, "Why did the buffalo cross the road?"

Think you know the answer?

A: To poop on the other side.

Is that inappropriate? Sorry, I thought it was cute the way he went all knock-kneed to do it. :)

The Yellowstone Hotel gift shop was selling buffalo-poop Christmas ornaments. Imagine, I could have collected this and made some of my own! A missed opportunity, to be sure...

Look how cute they are when they rest in a field. Reminded me of my bunny relaxing on the lawn at home. (And just to be clear, bunnies remain my #1 favorite. I can't be disloyal to my bunny.)

Hard to imagine them ramming and goring anyone with their horns when they look so tranquil, but the park brochures warn that it does occur. Yikes.

When we got to South Dakota, a young bison led us to our hotel in Custer State Park. A very charming escort.

We felt really welcomed.

Incidentally, they have a buffalo drive every fall in the Black Hills and park rangers on horseback do a big cowboy-style round-up of all the buffalo in the park. They count them, check their health and monitor the population. It's a big event that draws a lot of visitors.

Whoops, this darling creature is not a bison. 

But he's so cute! We met him just outside Mt. Rushmore, drinking water off the rocks. These goats are another new favorite of mine because their mouths turn up in little smiles. They're just so sweet. But back to this post's main feature...

The funny thing about buffalo is that they have "extra" fur over their backs that are kind of like blankets. Some are really ragged looking (more like the buffalo that crossed the road's irregular look). But some, like this young fellow, are very smooth and pretty. I wonder if it has to do with age?

Well, I thank you for bearing with my bison adoration post. I leave you with a last look at a group of friends grazing in the Black Hills and another silly joke.

Q: What did the father buffalo say to his son when it was time for him to leave home?

A: Bison


SaylorMade said...

I giggled out loud reading this post and even turned my laptop around so my husband could get a peek at the awkwardly dainty squat of the buffalo. They really are amazing creatures, aren't they? Your buffalo (mixed media?) piece is lovely!

WindFlower7 said...

WOW! Nice shot! They are magnificent animals and structurally coupled with the natural environment, so beautiful!!

kimi said...

So nice of you gals to comment! There's just something about these creatures that makes me joyful (even when they poop!). :)

Juriko Kosaka said...

Great pictures!! Kimi:)
I like big animals.
That's very nice to see real bison.
I'd like to see them closely too!
And your drawing is also beautiful!
beautiful color.
I feel power of nature, charming and strong.

kimi said...

Hmm, yes, that's what makes them special. They're quite gentle and yet they're full of potential energy and power. And charming too...

The artwork is an attempt to watercolor on thick, fairly rough washi paper. The experiment was interesting, but didn't quite work out as planned as the color tended to seep, soak and come out blurred on the other side. After many applications of color, I used a pen to give the definition I was looking for and I was happy with the result. I probably won't try to paint on washi anymore though.

Kye Sangha said...

Those prairie/plains creatures sure are funny looking critters. I think god was stoned by the time he got to them & the Galapagos Islands!
Love the Billy goat-so cute! Yay goats!

Kye Sangha said...

PS: your art is beautiful...so textured I want to touch it!