An American Icon: Bison
Growing up on the east coast of the U.S., my first interaction with Bison was from a 1980s’ computer game called Oregon Trail. I remember the distinct shape drawn in 8-bit glory. They were plentiful in the game, and as a child, when I learned they we dwindling in population, I was really saddened. I distinctly remember checking a book out of the library that showed pictures of these gentle giants. In my head, my association with the land of “america” had Bison from sea-to-shinging-sea.
As an adult, when I finally saw one in real life in Yellowstone National Park, I was awe struck. This creature symbolized the heartland for me, the iconic figure danced from my childhood memory to reality. Suffice it to say, the real Bison roaming Montana far exceeded any 8-bit version or picture book.
While I was photography these magnificent animals, a tourist from Japan approached me with a huge smile on her face. She remarked to me how amazing this view was. She told me her husband and she had saved up money to come travel to see the Bison as it was in all the picture books about American when she was growing up. I shared her sentiment, and wondered if perhaps we had read the same book. We stayed together, enjoying the Bison in their natural habitat, in mutual silence and admiration.