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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Bison videos - bellowing and grunting

Ever wonder what sounds a bison makes? Here is one bellowing.

This one is more of a grunt. Check out the tongue!

TwoBison_A Buffalo Dream Catcher - Home

Saturday, November 21, 2009

This and That: Blog Updates and a Break from the Daily Grind

Where is Moldova?

Since this blog’s inception in late September, I’ve been amazed at the amount of traffic it’s received from all over the United States and the world. 

Capriana Monastery in Moldova

Visitors from Texas, New York, Louisiana, and Illinois, as well as Moldova,  Pakistan, Egypt, Scotland, and Canada have somehow found their way to my little blog.   It really is a small world!  So, I added a fun feature over in the left panel:  a map that shows where visitors are from.  I just added it a few days ago, so it only includes recent visits, but over time, it should be interesting to see how small this world really is.

Receive Updates Via Email.  At the very top of this page is new feature that allows you sign up to receive an email whenever the blog is updated.  That way, you don’t have to keep checking back in, only to find that nothing new is here.  Between work, family, and sleeping, I sometimes go a couple a weeks between posts, and I surely don’t want to lose readers because of it!  So, please subscribe!  If you prefer RSS feeds, scroll down to the bottom of the page for several more options.

Blogs I Like. I’ve started a list of farm- and animal-related blogs (see the left panel) that I enjoy reading myself.  Check them out; they’re a fun read.

A Break from the Daily Grind

Life can get hectic for all of us, and sometimes we’re moving so fast we don’t even pause to enjoy the small things that create happiness in our daily lives.  So, today I’m paying tribute to the men in my life and some of the little ways they make my life fun.
Ryangoofy Both of my boys are introverts, but around the house you’d never know it.  They are entertainers extraordinaire.  My son Ryan is an excellent mimic, and his imitations of Gollum from the “Lord of the Rings” movies and Peter from the TV show, “Family Guy,” never fail to entertain.  He picks up on little-known phrases from movies and television, funny tidbits that others might miss, and entertains us with perfect renditions. 

100_0666My son Jeff is an astute observer; he notices the little things about people and places, and he’s not bashful about pointing them out.  This has resulted in some very accurate, and very funny, observations.  Some of them are sweet, like “Mom, you smell as good as a popsicle!”  Others are offbeat, like the one uttered with a smile on a foggy winter day:  “The air smells like white toenails.”  Only he knows what that means, but you have to admit it’s original.   

PagebbqMy sweet man—he loves to cook, and he especially loves to grill outdoors.  He’s funny, wise, and good with people.  Since he joined our home, my boys have gained confidence and maturity.  I’ve been a single parent since they were 6 and 5, and I’ve done a decent job, but Page has brought balance--in the form of a positive male influence--into their lives.  As for me, Page makes me laugh every single day.

Happy Buffalo Ranching

A prominent theory in the field of psychology postulates that humans strive for the highest level of their abilities, using their creativity to reach a pinnacle of consciousness and wisdom.  But, humans cannot achieve this level of “self-actualization” until certain basic needs are met, in ascending order:  physiological needs (food, water); safety needs; needs of love, affection, and belongingness; and needs for esteem, both self-esteem and the esteem earned from others.
bisongrazing2 The happiness Page and I get from each other and the boys allows us to dream and reach for that which fulfills our need for creativity and growth.  The excitement of building a business that requires us to learn new skills and think creatively has energized both of us.  Page and I, and even Ryan and Jeff, are all looking forward to a new experience:   happy buffalo ranching!
We cannot really love anybody without whom we never laugh.
-- Alice Reppler

TwoBison_A Buffalo Dream Catcher – Home

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Give Me a Home Where the Buffalo Roam

There is a reason that cowboys sing about a home on the range “where the buffalo roam.”  Bison are happiest when they have room to roam.  In the wild, they often travel one or two miles per day, foraging for food and water.  As settlers moved west across North America, they encountered the paths made by bison and deer as they traveled between feeding grounds and during their seasonal migration.  Because bison naturally chose the most convenient paths, avoiding muddy flats and other natural impediments, many of the east-west trails were also used by pioneers to travel across country.

Bison drive in snow at Upper Nez Perce Creek; Mary Meagher; 1966Bison migration in snow at Upper Nez Perce Creek; Mary Meagher; 1966

In the winter, the wild bison herd at Yellowstone National Park migrates to lower elevations outside the park in search of winter forage.  These wild bison are seen as a threat to many cattle ranchers in Montana , who fear that the bison may carry brucellosis, a  bacterial disease that affects livestock and wildlife, sometimes causing cattle to abort their first calf post-infection. However, there has never been a documented case of brucellosis being transmitted to cattle from wild bison.  Even so, the practice of “hazing” the bison back into the park occurs every year.
17735 Bison hazing near Undine Falls - 223 bison; Jim Peaco; February 27, 2003 

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

The American Bison is one of the most difficult livestock to keep contained, and can be one of the most elusive to capture.  A loose bison that has been spooked into leaping a fence or crashing through one can wreak havoc on neighboring property.Bison_Jumping_Fence
Fencing is a greater challenge for bison than for any other livestock because bison are so very powerful.  A runaway herd of bison is a formidable force when directed against a containment fence; an individual bison can leap five to six feet from a standing position and will leap a tall fence when motivated.

Strong, reliable fencing is critical for a bison ranch.  Page and I do not want to be in the position of having to round up a herd of scared bison, so we plan to install very tall, super strong fencing.  Bison can be trained to recognize and respect electric fencing; many ranchers start training the bison as calves.  Page plans to use solar energy as much as possible on the ranch, so it is likely that we will power our fence with a solar electric fence charger.

Wherever the location of our new ranch, Page and I hope to be good neighbors in more than just how we keep our bison safe, but also by welcoming our neighbors to the ranch.  We plan to introduce our bison to our neighbors through public events such as a yearly barbecue, ranch tours, and educational activities for kids.  We are thinking about ways we can reward our loyal blog readers, perhaps with discounts on our products.  We recognize the value of a good neighbor and cultivating those relationships will be a top priority for our new venture.

“A bad neighbor is a misfortune, as much as a good one is a great blessing.”  --  Hesiod

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