Sunday at the National Bison Range

I spent another Sunday at the National Bison Range yesterday.

A herd of bison was along Pauline Creek. I tend to take bison for granted but yesterday I stopped and watched them for a while. I enjoyed watching the “little red doggies” play, nuzzle their mothers, nurse… I enjoyed watching the adults graze and wallow…

I think that Charlie Russel was in charge of painting clouds yesterday afternoon.

Charlie Russel Clouds

If you’ve ever seen Charlie Russel paintings, you know all about Charlie Russel clouds. If you haven’t, well, here’s a little introduction:

In old St. Louis over in Missouri
The mighty Mississippi, well,
it rolls and flows.
A son was born to Mary Russell
And it starts the legend every cowboy knows.

Young kid Russell was born to wander.
Ever westward he was bound to roam,
Just a kid of sixteen in 1880.
Up in wild Montana he found his home.

God made Montana for the wild man,
For the Piegan and the Sioux and Crow,
Saved His greatest gift for Charlie,
Said, “Get her all down before she goes.
You gotta get her all down ‘cause she’s bound to go.”

God hung the stars over Judith Basin.
God put the magic in young Charlie’s hands.
And all was seen and all remembered,
Every shining mountain, every longhorn brand.

He could paint the light on horsehide shining,
The great passing herds of the buffalo,
And a cow camp cold on a rainy morning,
And the twisting wrist of the Houlihan throw.

When the Lord called Charlie to his home up yonder
He said, “Kid Russell, I got a job for you.
You’re in charge of sunsets up in old Montana
‘Cause I can’t paint them quite as good as you,
And when you’re done, we’ll go out and have a few,
And Nancy Russell will make sure it’s just two.

~”The Gift” by Ian Tyson

Sticky geranium, lupine, prairie smoke, and wild hyacinth are putting on a show.

Sticky geranium:
Sticky Geranium

Prairie smoke:
Twin Flames

The bitterroots are just getting ready to bloom into their full glory. This is the most advanced specimen I found:
Bitterroot Buds


I enjoyed spending some time with the small wildlife…

Little green caterpillar in a prairie smoke flower:
Like a Moth to Flame...

The lupine were under attack by blister beetles

Under Attack!

I ended the day at the National Bison Range as I usually do, watching the light change on the Mission Mountains and watching the birds at the pond.

At Ease

Surveying his Domain

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