Saturday, November 12, 2011


Mother used to warn about the dangers of "loose women" but loose bison?  The Tall Grass Prairie Preserve near Bartlesville, Oklahoma, is privately owned and operated by the Nature Conservancy.  A herbaceous sea nearly seven feet high, the tallgrass prairie originally stretched from Texas to Saskatchewan.  With an additional National Preserve in Kansas of 140 million acres, the Tall Grass Prairie Preserve is the largest remnant of tallgrass prairie left on earth.  

The primary aim of the preserve is to restore and protect endangered native grasses, the largest of which grow over 7 feet tall with roots 9 feet deep.  In addition to its mission to restore and protect this dwindling ecosystem, The Tall Grass Prairie Preserve maintains a bison herd of nearly 2,500 head.  By 1888, only 541 bison remained in the United States, largely protected by ranchers who attempted to breed the bison with cattle.  Thanks to preservation efforts, bison are no longer a threatened species.  In order to protect the native grasses from over-graizing, and to isolate cattle genes and remove them from the herd, the Preserve conducts an annual Bison Roundup every October.  I managed to catch a glimpse of the herd from a distance, through binoculars.  For a close-up view, watch this video of the roundup below:

The Tall Grass Prairie Museum 

Armadillo shell 

Scat Identification tray

Weird cage in the men's restroom

Proud Buffalo statue, Colby wearing "scat identification bandana", trying to look grizzled  

Surveying the prairie


  1. uh, the shot of you from behind... now if you had just pulled your knickers
    down over your bum, we woulda had a nice shot of the moon on the prairie.
    Love your tourist blogs. Really makes me wanna go to Tulsa and bag some

  2. Odd, while you were surveying the prairie, I was surveying something else.

  3. The thing about prairie views is that they simply cannot be photographed. Using a lens restricts the view to a frame, which diminishes the impact of infinity stretching out in all directions from you. It can be simply amazing, and very hard to describe to bi-coastals, who are used to little postage stamp skies, framed by buildings and terrain. Just experiencing the prairie in person makes it obvious why most cultures posit an earth deity and a sky deity as the two primordial gods.