I’ve taken a lot of bison photos over the years. My frequent trips to the Niobrara Valley Preserve have given me extraordinary access to bison in an expansive and gorgeous landscape – something I’m very grateful for. I’ve had one big gap in my bison coverage, though, which is that I have almost no photos of bison in snow. Until now.
While Kim and I were on our holiday break adventure at the Niobrara Valley Preserve in late December, I finally got the chance to hang out with some bison in the snow. As the multi-day snow storm was winding down, I ventured out with the pickup one morning and came upon a small group of bison. The weather was frigid and gusty, but the overcast skies were starting to break up a little and the snow fall had lightened up considerably.
When I first approached them, the bison trotted off over the hill, but not like they really meant it. I let them settle back down and then edged closer with the truck until we reached a tacit agreement that I’d keep a certain distance if they’d resume their grazing. We kept that up for about an hour before I finally backed slowly away and left them quietly munching away in the hills. It was a serene and gratifying experience. I hope you enjoy this selection of photos from that morning.
Every December, I post some my favorite photos and writings from the year. This year, I was either particularly prolific or particularly bad at narrowing things down. Regardless, I decided to split my “Best of 2018” blog post into two parts so I could include more without making a single overwhelmingly-large post.
Of course, these “Best of” posts are common across many media platforms this year. It’s fun to look back at previous work. It’s also, of course, nice to take a break from creating NEW content and just recycle old content! So yes, I’m being extra lazy by getting out of creating content twice instead of once. If it makes me (I mean you) feel better, I’ve also been working on a lot of data that should provide fodder for some pithy posts within the next month or two. Maybe that will help make up for my laziness this month.
In Part 1 of this two part series, then, I’m including half of my favorite photos from 2018, along with about half of the posts I thought were most interesting, or at least fun to write this year. That, of course, includes the project that consumed much of my time this year – my square meter photography project. After an initial post in January that described the project, I posted 6 updates throughout the year that summarized activity from the months of May, June, July, August, September, and October. You can also read an encapsulation of the whole project here.
I also wrote several natural history profiles, including this one on the secret lives of grasshoppers and this one on the oil beetle, which has larvae that trick bees into taking them home to eat baby bees. Plants weren’t ignored either, as I wrote a post talking about the value of both ironweed and marestail, which are often misunderstood to be pests.
But hey, I’m sure you already read those posts and remember every detail. If that’s the case, here is the first half of my favorite photos from 2018 for your perusal and (hopefully) enjoyment.