Bison on the Horizon

Last week M and I drove to Yellowknife for a conference. Six hours of driving through some pretty spectacular scenery – the best the Canadian Shield has to offer.

Near Yellowknife

Yellowknife has a sort of rugged prettiness about it. Sitting as it does on the edge of the world’s 10thlargest lake, there is every kind of boat and float plane.

A Slice of Yellowknife

Great Slave Lake is large enough to actually have a vanishing point.

Yellowknife and Great Slave Lake

On the way back, we saw woodland bison. Lots of woodland bison. They look very similar to the plains bison that were almost extinguished by over-hunting and a serious attempt to starve the indigenous peoples who depended on them.

A Bison Herd

M became a little concerned when a rather large and truculent-looking bull stood in the road and stared at us – might he charge??? – so we kept a respectful distance.

The white marks that you see in the photo are bug residues. There are lots of those, too. The mosquitos have been known to carry away small dogs. Well, not really, but I’m sure they could!

Stay tuned for more northern pictures. 🙂

8 thoughts on “Bison on the Horizon

  1. Great pics. One of the purest strains of Wood Buffalo were moved to Elk Island National Park where I spent 8 years while my Dad was Chief Park Warden. At the time, Wood Buffalo National Park was suffering a major case of brucellosis and the Parks Service was concerned the entire heard might be destroyed. A select few were moved to the “isolation area” in Elk Island. Part of this heard is still used to repopulate other areas that have lost their herds.

    M was very wise to give the bull a wide berth. I can speak from experience that having a p.o.’d bull buffalo chase you is not a good experience. Try going through a herd of bison in rutting season in a Volkswagen beetle! True story.

    • Wow – I didn’t know that about Elk Island. Did you have a great childhood there (and also Jasper if I remember correctly) or was it a situation where you wished to be like the city kids?

      I’ve been happy to see the plains bison making a comeback in some areas – it’s tragic how they were almost lost.

      I have to say that I think I would almost rather confront a bear. That bull really looked like he might take a run at us and I don’t think we could have manoeuvred our truck quickly enough if we had been closer. In a VW? During rutting? Oh. My. I would really like to read that story. Maybe a post about it? 🙂

    • It is spectacular. One of my next projects is to get some good photos of the aurora borealis – looking forward to that.

      The mossies are charming. 😉 Actually, a good bug spray works well and I haven’t really experienced much irritation – literally. 🙂

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