16th Annual Smithsonian.com Photo Contest
Animal: American Bison & Calf
Location: Yellowstone National Park, United States of America
Observe the unpredictability and cold weather through this photo taken in Yellowstone National Park documenting a late Spring snowstorm. Surviving winter in one of the most severe locations on the planet is not enough for the Animals in Yellowstone. Even though the seasons change on your calendar, this ecosystem plays by its own rules. As the days get longer, and the animals start shedding their warm weather coats, this Bison calf was welcomed into the world by a late springtime flurry.
In an area dubbed the Serengeti of the North, animals of all kinds from Bison to Bears welcome the next generation into the world every spring. On a cool morning during the middle of May, I trekked into the backcountry of Yellowstone as the sun peaked above the mountains. As I scanned the plains walking towards the Bison herd it was amazing to see how many calves were born compared to just one day earlier.
Moments after I started photographing the herd a mid- May flurry started blanking the area in snow and greatly reducing the visibility. As I laid on the ground covered in freshly fallen snow, all the Bison calves were running and chasing each other. You could tell how old the Bison calf was by how often it fell. After the calves tuckered themselves out, the calf in the photo navigated its way back to its parent. As it stood in the flurry looking cold the parent approached the calf and started to comfort its baby by licking it. This moment shows why Mother Nature is truly the greatest artist of us all.
© Thomas Chadwick.
All rights reserved.
||July 4, 2018, 8:55 p.m.