Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Unexpected Connections

        I started reading a book by one of my favorite authors the otherr day. I had accidentally found "Buffalo" by Grant MacEwan when I was doing the annual inventory for the Red Deer River Naturalists.

       I've got about fifty pages into "Buffalo" and find it one of Grant MacEwan's fascinating tales. One section cover the personality of the buffalo. They can be fairly placid and they can be one of the most fearsome animals you could ever meet. Don't get between a cow and her calf. Give old bulls a wide birth as  they are totally unpredictable. MacEwan does his research well and has excellent anecdotes to illustrate his story.

      This morning I had a long wait in a waiting room. I got talking to the guy beside me. He goes into remote areas as a relief ambulance driver. One of his stories was about his stint  at Fort Chipewyan before Christmas. There is a large herd of free roaming wood buffalo in that area. These buffalo missed the near extermination of the prairie bison and have continued to roam free. The ambulance had to regularly drive through Wood Buffalo National Park. One day they were following a mini van. A half dozen large buffalo bulls were on the road. These bulls own the territory and they were in no hurry to move. The minivan driver tooted the horn. One old bull sauntered over to the mini van , lowered his head and some how caught the fender and the next thing that happened the mini van was turned on its side. The driver of the ambulance asked if he should turn on the siren!!! My friend said don't you dare. This old bull is mad enough already.

      So rather funny how I'm reading a book on buffalo and somebody tells me of an interesting encounter with a buffalo. So it was an unexpected connection.

     After that I got thinking about a line in one of Roger Miller's songs. "Oh you can't ride a bicycle in a buffalo herd. You can't ride a bicycle in a buffalo herd. But you can if you want to. So I had a third connection to buffalo.

    This morning when I woke up this was a post I had no idea of making.