Jan here, with an update from last Monday's post...
...because Spring has finally arrived in the Black Hills!
My dear husband and I packed a picnic supper last Thursday and made our way to one of our favorite places, Custer State Park.
The baby bison have begun to arrive and the mothers are eating All. The. Time. We noticed that the rangers have been giving them some hay to supplement the green grass, since much of the winter grazing burned off in November's fire.
But do you see the green in these pictures? Spring is here!
As always in the spring, the bison have lost weight. You can see it in their humps.
Do you see that divot in this cow's shoulder? The bison store fat in their humps all summer long, then live off that fat during the hard winter months. By spring you can see the ridge of their backbones and the hollow places above their shoulders.
This is what she'll look like in the fall - -
Okay, you're right. She won't look exactly like this, since this is a picture of a bull. But you can see the difference between April and October. This bull is wearing his winter coat and his hump is filled out. I'm sure he made it through the winter with no problems at all.
Another sign of spring is that the logging crews can get into the parts of the park that were hit worst during the fire last fall. They are going in and taking out the trees that didn't survive - in some places, entire mountainsides are bare. The wood will go to the mill where much of it will be turned into bedding for livestock. I know the sheep ranchers rely on the shaved wood bedding during lambing time.
And the final sign that spring is here? As soon as I turn in my newest book next week, I'm putting on my hiking boots and heading out to the Hills....
What is your favorite way to celebrate spring?
Jan Drexler lives in the Black Hills of South Dakota with her husband and growing family. When she isn't writing, she loves hiking in the Hills or satisfying her cross stitch addiction.
You can find Jan on Facebook, Jan Drexler, author, or her website, Jan Drexler.com.