For the past couple of days our family, and the horses and dogs, have been keeping an eye out for a little yearling buffalo. She has decided to stay close to the fence across the street from Jeremiah’s Crossing, even though she has over 200 acres to roam.
The horses discovered her first, standing at attention, ears perked forward, as they kept careful watch. They never know if the little one will come through the fence, you know. So far, they have nothing to worry about.
The dogs and I seem to have noticed her at about the same time. They usually think that barking will solve every challenge, so they greeted her, encouraged her, and then thought they’d send her on her way. Their greetings seem to have fallen on deaf ears as she is still sticking around two days later.
Of course, I grabbed the camera. A yearling buffalo at the fence is too tempting a photo op to ignore. I brought the telephoto lens and started taking pictures as soon as I could get her image to fill the frame. Then, as I took photos, I walked toward her. She didn’t move, although she did bat her beautiful eyelashes at me.
She sure was a great subject for my photos. At one point she did walk away, over to the next post where she made sure the fence post was between us. She played a cute game of “you can’t see me now!” She looked a bit surprised when I appeared on the other side of the post!
The little one was not afraid. I think she may have held her breath now and again. But she didn’t run, or shake, or act like I bothered her. She doubled back on her tracks, made a little loop, and headed down the fence line a little further. The fence seemed to be just a temporary barrier in her mind. I firmly believe she would have walked to Babcock if the fence had not been in her way.
The next morning I drove down the road and saw the little one sleeping under a grove of small oak trees. The herd had joined her; staying about 100 yards away. On my return trip, there she was, circling her little grove of trees. The herd, no where to be seen.
So, Roger called Sandhill Wildlife Area to let them know about our little friend. Wayne assured him that they knew about her, and that she has been a bit stand-offish since she was really little. Even so, someone came out on a snowmobile to check on her. And, yes, she is a “she.”
This morning, the little one is still here at the fence. If she stays much longer we may have to give her a name. We’ve had buffalo (American Bison if you want to be accurate) visit us at the fence before. We have some pretty incredible stories. This one, however, has visited for the longest period of time. She is a reminder of spring, that God’s creatures are beginning to search for the newness that this season will bring, of the fact that friendship can come in many forms. Sometimes you just have to look across the street.