Apart from the mud volcano and the mud pots and a few fumaroles at the beginning of our day, we mainly saw animals. So many that we never got to the next geothermal feature. And mostly we saw bison.
I have always had a soft spot for bison. The first time I remember seeing a live bison was when I was in Artis–the Amsterdam city zoo–when I was about sixteen. I was immediately in love. Big and fierce, not overly bright, but I could forgive that, because he was soooo cuddly.
He was by himself, in a cage of about twelve by twelve feet, and knowing now that they are animals of the endless plains, having a bison in a zoo, in any kind of enclosure, seems absolutely criminal.
So even though it’s thrilling to see a bison up close . . .
. . . what I loved most was seeing them in their natural habitat, in the wide open spaces, kicking up dirt . . .
. . . going wherever they want . . .
. . . taking their time . . .
. . . or just hanging out in a perfect Dances With Wolves landscape.
Toward sunset a few bison were especially accommodating for us homo sapiens photographus.
This herd was hanging around near the road until the sun went down, at which point one male walked up a little rise to have his silhouette photo taken. Thank you, sir!