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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Buffalo

These shaggy beasts are so awesome to look at!

 Can you imagine standing on an open plain, grasses waving in the breezes. The air is hot and dusty. You've just ridden your horse for two days and not spotted a living human.

Joshua scraped his stetson from his sweat soaked noggin and slapped it against his thigh. The resulting dust cloud choked his already heaving lungs. 

"Dam! Will this heat not stop?" He exclaimed! He still had a days ride before he could hope to gain the fort. (He was riding his very first pony express run with news....) He took in his surroundings.

He had dismounted at the base of a small rise with some relief from the incessant wind afforded by an outcropping of grim looking rocks.  He turned to his horse. 

"Well Turnip? Will we stop here for a bit?" His horse didn't reply and so, expecting the silence, Joshua also answered for the dun gelding. "Yes boss!  Let's have some of that water you bin toting!"

Joshua chuckled, gave the horse an affectionate pat on the nose and lifted the canteen to the large think lips of his steed. "There you go my faithful! Enjoy a little nip!"  The horse greedily sucked the tepid water. Joshua pulled the canteen away from the working mouth. "Now ya' gotta' leave a little for me!" 
And he lifted the same canteen to his own parched lips and drank. 
"There! Don't that whet your whistle Turnip?" He chuckled and tucked the leather water bottle back into Turnip's saddle for safe keeping and hooked his big felt hat over the horn
 He stood, feet firmly planted, hands on his hips and surveyed his surroundings. "Well Turnip, I think this would be as good a place as any to spend the night! I'm a goin' to have a little look see over this pile o' rocks first though, what do ya think?"  Of course Turnip didn't reply this time either and so heaving a sigh, Joshua dropped the reins to ground tie his steed and proceeded to shimmy up the rock face; about a ten foot climb.
      Foot by foot and handhold by hand hold he scaled the rocks and then very slowly, he peeked up over the top. He muttered, "No point in letting the cat outa' the bag if'n there's rustlers over this here hill" 

.....And this is what he saw.... (minus the fences and trees of course!)

Imagine what those original frontiersmen thought when they first laid eyes on these animals?

The huge, furry beasts are scary enough when they're laying down like this...

 But picture if you will, a thousand galloping buffalo rushing headlong across the plains of the west in masses too huge to take in all at once?

Joshua slowly ducked his head back down behind the rocks. "Whew!" He exclaimed as he as quietly and carefully made his way back down and over to Turnip. "Whew! He whispered as he plunked the filthy stetson back on his head and shakily climbed the stirrup and mounted.  

"Come on' Turnip," he softly cajoled, "We need to walk a piece up this way..."

And he and the horse spent the night farther along the trail where there were no giant critters to frighten the bee-geebers out of them!

All of these photos were again shot and loaded directly from my Nikon P90 and then posted without alteration of any kind.


Eva Gallant said...

The thing about buffalo is they look so old. As though they've been around since the dawn of mankind; maybe they have.

Brian Miller said...

i would love to have been there...back then, or now...magnificent beasts...

Lori E said...

Great story. Picture them with steam coming out of their noses, frost all over their coats in the depths of winter. Amazing.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

What a great story and pictures too. It's amazing to think about what the trail blazers of our country did see.