Memorable Moments

There have been quite a few.  Worst part is I am sure there are more of them that no longer occupy front and center in the memory bank.  At least until some helpful person or event brings them up and reminds me.  I’ll get to the former in just a moment, but as to the latter … someone shocking me back to the excellent memories of the past, that just happened yesterday (well … the “yesterday is actually March 17, 2024 when I started putting this on paper).  Ron was partly responsible.  That person was Ed Mountain, soon to be past president of the Texas Bison Association (Thank you Ed for all the great time and energy you put into the group).  He was on a quest to find pictures of the grand beginning of the TBA.  Here is the long forgotten picture … of Vicky and myself at the gathering that was the beginning of the Texas Bison Association.  It is stuck in the TBA scrapbook that had been created and buried for quite a while.  TBA turns 30 this year!

Had I know then what a grand adventure through which “bison” would lead our family …but the future is only ours to experience.  Planning is good, but not necessarily the outcome.  So, on to some of the moments that really stand out from my days with bison.

One of the most memorable was on the great Diamond Tail Ranch near the Colorado-Wyoming border.  The National Bison Association board was gathering there for a strategic planning session.  Sun was just peaking up and the morning was late fall crisp.  The headquarters was on a flat with a beautiful stream flowing into a series of impoundments.  To the north was a small rise, and as light started over that little hill, bison … first just singles but with more behind them – moved slowly and methodically over the rise and into view as they came to drink.   On the came until there must have been a couple hundred.   I could not count.  It was though there was no end to the herd.  But there was.  The view then was my best mental image  of what it must have been like when the great herds were on the prairie.  No idea of how many were still to come.  What a memorable sight.

Another was actually witnessing the birth of one of our calves.  Over the years, even with our small herd that never numbered much above 20 head, we probably had in excess of 50 births.  What a joy they always were!  But of all those, I was only able to see one born.  It was back at our place in Burleson, Texas.  Actually, it was on my neighbors woods that we had fenced and were using as “pasture”.  One of our early cows was belly full; udder distended and we knew she would deliver soon.  I just happened to be back there checking on them when I saw it.  It was over and done in less than a minute. It was not her first and she immediately started the “clean-up”.  Watching life emerge so naturally; so automatically and yet so preciously is another one of the joys of this life we have wandered though for more than 30 years now.

I won’t bore you with more … but man, there are plenty more I could.  Promise.

Cecil Miskin