Home on the Range

While I was out in Kentucky, it was rather hard to find something interesting to do. After all there is not as much man made amusement as there is here in Chicago. So after a short time we thought what better thing to do than enjoy the natural environment and take in the local wildlife... This time I don't mean the people but actual wild animals.

One of Katie's friends at college (who was a pleasure to have met) has this healthy preoccupation with buffalos. In fact, it's a rather fully developed obsession, complete with posters on the wall, plush bison on her bed and various other buffalo paraphernalia. And being such a nice person that she is, everyone decided to treat her and take her out to the local bison/elk range... As a surprise.

So we all hopped in the car for the short drive to the Land Between the Lakes (LBL) and headed to the bison range. And boy did we see a lot of bison. I guess there had to be at least forty of these giant animals. It was quite a sight. Katie's friend was utterly shocked as well. She said the last time she went to the range, all she saw was elk and no bison. This time there was a ton of bison, but no elk. That's ok because they had one stuffed at the visitor's center.

The range itself was basically just a 3 mile paved road that went through a natural preserve that was home to both a number of elk and a large heard of buffalo. Although, there was no elk to be seen, the buffalo were out in the open and easily spotted at the beginning of the trail. They were fairly close to the paved trail, grazing along, but the real close up views were to be had just outside the fencing that kept the bison in. So we thought we might get a closer look, get out of the car and steal a quick picture or two. Well, it didn't take long for the LBL ranger to heed us a warning not to get too close, because the bison have been know to charge through the rather inadequate fencing. We certainly did not want to go head to head with these animals so we snapped our pictures from where we were and headed on our way.

And what a great time of the year to enjoy seeing these animals. Most of the leaves had turned, which made for a rather impressive landscape and the weather was perfect, a 70 degree autumn day.

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