Friday, January 02, 2009
Astonishing nature day - I think I may love Wildlife refuges even more than National Parks - fewer people and more focus on the beasts - Today we had very close views of all the big three - a group of five buffalo who were close enough to be scary but not actually dangerous (really more awe inspiring than scary) when we stood inside a pioneer dwelling while they passed - a beautiful female elk seen suddenly as she appeared in winter pale prairie below after we crested a hill, a multicolored herd of longhorn cattle lowing around the same rocks near the visitor's center that the boys had climbed earlier. They were suitably impressed. So were we older ones. THe prairie dog colony is spreading, to our delight. We've watched it grow over the last ten years. A morals issue with the kids was what to do about people crossing the fence and disturbing the rairie dog colony. we never have seen this behavior until this visit. The kids wanted to confront them and Bob and I resisted - now I think I regret resisting. There were not clearly posted rules so Bob and I felt shy abpppp bout talking to strangers about their behavior - but crossing a fence to walk among wild animals in their community seems so clearly wrong. All three kids were hard to deter in their desire to protect the prairie dogs.