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BISON TALES

Our Daily Walk Down the Dirt Road

June 12, 2000

Every day I try to walk our Bernese Mountain Dog, Marty down the dirt road that runs along our property.

Daily Walk with Marty

It's a beautiful walk and we hardly ever see a vehicle. It makes walking the dog so enjoyable, no traffic and we often see the buffalo close to the fence. Our pasture has gently rolling hills with small indents in the land. It's like nature has made little sleeping areas for the bison calves.

This particular day was bright and sunny. The wild sage along the ditches filled the air with a wonderful scent and the buffalo were grazing quietly on the hill. Quite often I see something interesting with the buffalo and wish I had my camera handy, and of course on this day, I had left the camera at home. One of my favorite cows – Fifteen Orange – was standing close to her calf who appeared to be sound asleep on the side of the hill in one of the many divets. It was a peaceful scene, almost a little too peaceful. I stopped and watched for a few minutes and waited to see if I could see any movement of the calf – a tail swishing, or the rise and fall of breathing on the calves chest. There appeared to be none, and so I yelled at the pair. Still nothing, so I yelled again, louder. Wake up!! It seemed the calf had died, and her mother – Fifteen Orange – was staying close to her. It's normal for a cow to stay close to her calf after it has died. It wasn't the first calf we had lost that year, but it still made me sad. I decided to continue my walk with Marty. There was nothing I could do anyway.

After we turned around for our walk home, I wasn't looking forward to seeing the poor dead calf again, but to my surprise the calf was standing up and drinking eagerly from her mother. I guess some babies are really sound sleepers. It was sure a relief to see a healthy buffalo calf.

Revived Calf