As I hurtle toward 48, I find that I view common place things differently. Such as the presentation by the Park Ranger in Yellowstone.
This year celebrates 20 years since the Yellowstone fires, which (for the math challenged) occurred in 1988. Throughout the park and its environs, videos have been made, books have been written and newspapers published which view the event in its historical and environmental perspective. I felt myself take a deep breath (if we’d not been in the midst of a crowd I think it would have been a gasp---followed by my own laughter) when she said, “Many of you may remember these fires. I, however, was only six at the time.” Either the Ranger’s really young or……
During our many forays into the park, we saw single buffalo (like the one pictured above) wandering the highways. Generally, buffalo hang out in packs. One of the tourists asked the Rangerette why it was that these guys were wandering alone along the highways. They are the old buffalo. They younger males are currently rutting, but these old guys have been displaced from the heard.
Buffalo are herd animals. In the wild, bulls will form separate herds or bachelor groups and join with the cow herd only during the breeding season. However, buffalo raised domestically will not separate by gender, and will remain in the same herd throughout the year. Buffalo have a highly structured social "pecking" order determined by seniority in the herd, size, and age. The pecking order is much more rigorously enforced than in domestic cattle, and ignoring the social status can result in serious injury.Apparently, then, they go out on long walks; probably stopping at watering holes for cold beers and a listening ear---maybe talking about the good old days.
Twenty years ago I couldn’t relate to the old buffalo. This year, I feel closer to the old bison than the young rangerette.
(Happy BD GB!)