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There are things that drain you during your day, and there are things that fill you up. When I’m on the prairie, waiting for the bison herd to move over the hill, I am filled.

I love the sound of the wind on the open plains. Sitting alone in silence, no radio, no traffic and no one else to talk to. I pass the time by imagining the early immigrants meandering over the hills with just the sound of the wagon wheels and the wind.

The wind is a constant on the plains. It is invisible, and yet its effect is ever present, betrayed by the whisper in your ear and by the swaying of the grass. The grass and the sparse trees betray the invisible tides of the wind on the prairie. The tall grass bends and moves in rhythm, dancing with the gusts. Like waves it moves and swirls the blades forcing them to expose their underside. I imagine the grass’s embarrassment and modest irritation of being forced to show the underside of their fresh green leaves.

The bison move slowly, heads down and grazing all the way. They take their sweet time, sit, rest and ruminate. Individuals in the herd leapfrog past the loiterers in slow motion but soon they will rise and follow. The herd progresses over the hill, walking into the wind, as they have done for thousands of years.

In the spring, with the addition of new calves, the herd is shy and protective. The new Moms stay away from the road and inquisitive onlookers depriving me of any photos I can use for paintings. Today the memory card on my camera may be empty, but I got filled up.

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