Borrego Springs, CA

Friday, August 6, 2010

A Bountiful Burgeoning of Bellowing Bison :)

Oh what a time I had today!  After checking my comments, and seeing that the vast majority of you felt I should give Yellowstone one more try, Emma and I hit the road just before 7:00.  You can bet that I checked the camera three times to be sure everything was in order.  :)

I was feeling a little disappointed as I entered the Hayden Valley, and no bison were in sight.  For the last month I’ve literally seen hundreds of bison carpeting the floor of the valley.  Maybe I was just a bit early?  Eventually, they began to appear.  I went up and down that section of the road three times, but I’m sure glad I did.  I learned a lot.

It seems to me that there is a ritual that these male bison go through during the rutting season, and I was able to see it unfold before me.  If you’re a male bison, here’s what you do…
_MG_3462After giving a few good guttural bellows at a chosen dust bath location, go down in the fine dust and begin to roll.
_MG_3463Face and neck first, and then one side while kicking up dust to coat the outer side.
_MG_3465Then roll your head around to get the back of your neck.
_MG_3467And then, onto your back with your feet in the air so that white dust covers you everywhere!
_MG_3468Then, sit still for a minute as the dust settles before getting up and shaking like a dog.
_MG_3480Once that’s all over with, start bellowing again.  :)  Be sure to stick your tongue out.
_MG_3524If a good looking lady walks by, follow her!  Notice how much larger the males are than the females?
_MG_3530Give her a sniff, and lick your lips.
_MG_3537If she tries to give you the slip, run after her!  :)

I’m sure glad I went back for one last trip through this amazing National Park.  It was our first National Park, you know, and I’m so happy Teddy Roosevelt got this accomplished!
_MG_3600 I have several other pictures from the rest of this journey, but I think I’ll save them for tomorrow.  We had one gully washer of a storm last night, and it looks like another one is on its way in a couple of minutes.  I’d better get this posted before the wifi goes out.  :)

Thanks for stopping by….talk to you later,  Judy


  1. Who knew? A dust bath is what will best attract the ladies. Don't need Facebook or the internet....just a dust bath! Great photos again, Judy.

  2. Great pictures, Judy! Thanks for posting them. I'm glad you were able to go back to Yellowstone one more time before you move on.

  3. Great post today!! I never knew any of this information regarding the dating habits of bison! A dust bath....who would have thought??

    I am so glad you decided to return to Yellowstone one more time. It is a wonderful place....can't wait to see the rest of the pics!

    Mike & Gerri (happytrails)

  4. Great pictures! Somehow I knew you would go back :)

  5. there now!!..wasn't it worth it..thanks for the bison lesson..such an old horn dog that bison is!!!

  6. I'm glad you went back, and even more glad you got such good pictures.

  7. Awwww shucks, that dust bath routine used to work for me all the time years ago. Nice pics. I have seen donkey's doing that dust roll as well. Good thing you pointed out it was a Bison rolling over though or I might have thought it was one of those Hummer SUV's rolling over alongside the road!!

  8. Great photos! I really like the one with the bison's hooves in the air.

    I'm glad you went back!

  9. I'll have to remember that dust bath, But if I do it, Donna will watch me like a hawk. Don't know about bellowing either, haven't done that in awhile since the boys grew up.Glad you made the decision to returm it sure looks like it was worth it from the pictures, they are so clear and sharp, I'm sure you will recognize that bull if you see him again. Be safe in your travels. Sam & Donna.

  10. Going back for one more day looks to have been the right decision. At least now, you'll have good memories of your last day at Yellowstone instead of kicking yourself for forgetting the digital card.

  11. Oh Judy! Loved the brilliant beauties bathing and bellowing! Things happen for a reason! That fluke with the camera caused you to return and experience a dramatic diorama of dusting! So glad you had an amazing day!