Spring Bloom

Spring Bloom
Spring Bloom

Monday, September 23, 2013

Vacation Bigs

While on vacation I accidentally or purposely visited some giants.  Most of these were in North Dakota which seems somehow compelled to make them.

I purposely visited Jamestown to see the world's largest buffalo.  While there, I also found that it was the home of a Big author, Louis L'Amore, who was  born in Jamestown. There is a little town built of old buildings that have been moved to the site of the World's Largest Buffalo. One of the buildings is devoted to him and holds (probably) a copy of each of his 126 books.

I also hoped to see  and photograph the white buffalo, White Cloud who is lives as part of a small heard of buffalo maintained by the National Buffalo Museum at this same site in Jamestown.  However, the only view of her was a very distant one of her lying down with her back to me.

World's largest buffalo

Display of Louis L'Amore's books

Then I accidentally found two more Bigs - a huge sandhill crane, named Sandy, in Steel, ND and a Holstein cow, named Salem Sue, who resides on a hilltop near New Salem, ND.

Sandy

Salem Sue

 On our trip to Minneapolis to drop Bob off, we stopped to visit another Big - this time a real, living person, Judy Bell.  Judy is an ex principal - that will command your attention -  and a fellow National Wildlife Refuge volunteer and blogger. She writes a blog almost every day and takes better wildlife pictures than I do.  She is also a better birder. I'd like to grow up to be just like her, except I'm already older than her and can't figure out how to reverse that condition.  Check out her blog, Travels with Emma. Emma is her high energy dog.

We were supposed to get to Tamarac NWR  in time to tour the refuge with her, but got there too late to do much more than see a host of trumpeter swans. There were at least fifty of them when we drove up, the most I've ever seen together.  Then we had a short but lovely time eating supper together at a little restaurant.  We still had a few more hours of driving to our camp site so didn't get to visit long.

Trumpeter swans with other birds

Judy

The last Big I found was in Akeley, Minnesota, on my way home.  It is of my childhood hero, Paul Bunyan. Here are some of the tall tales about him.

Paul Bunyan - holding a treat for Babe?
I made it home last night after two long days of travel.  I was surprised I was only two days from the National Bison Range.  It felt like it might take a week, at least, to get back here. After attending a staff meeting, I've spend most of the day cleaning and sorting my stuff and still have more to go. I'm going to close the refuge tonight.  I hoped it would be a sunny day but we are having lots of rain showers and the day is very dark already. So I'll probably get no pictures tonight. I'll work on catching up on editing pictures and getting up a blog or so about our Boundary Waters trips.