Thursday, January 31, 2008

Hey, Doesn't Anybody Wanna Play?

Love this video of a young buffalo romping in the snow. The last couple of seconds is hilarious. And speaking of a young buffalo, Red Chief and I will be out in what could be as much as a foot of snow that has begun to fall this afternoon. Will post some photos of our outing.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Riddle Run: Smokey Clothes, Cold Nose

Me (left) and fellow buffaloes Goose Buster and Mr. Bill.

Buffalo, run director and self-appointed race committee and dictator Jeff Riddle and his wife Debbie. Deb has made cupcakes for all nine Riddle Runs.

Who says chocolate is not good for dogs? My buffalo buddy Devil Dawg, who is the herd's Chief of Communications, contemplates a cupcake.

This is Otis Riddle, completely fierce buffalo companion and guardian of the Buffalo Trace Trail.

One of last year's runners hung around a little too long in the cold.

Runners await the start of Riddle Run IX. They had to forego the usual rantings of the race director, who promised no aid and stated that the race committee, which is comprised of himself, did not care what happened to the runners.

My fire and my lunch during the Riddle Run.

Last Saturday's Riddle Run on the Buffalo Trace Trail was a grand affair in keeping with its usual complete disregard of normal human behavior. Temperatures were quite tolerable (25 degrees at run start at 8 a.m.), warmer than I had anticipated and balmy compared to the -11 temp of a few years back. I ran only four miles because I brought my fire pit and a big load of firewood and fed the fire all day to warm the runners. A record 93 runners participated and a record 105 cupcakes were made by Debbie Riddle. I stayed until late afternoon because I knew from past experience that those who stay later might get an extra cupcake. They did. The "winner" of the race managed to cover more than 28 miles in a record 3 hours, 39 minutes. For his efforts he got a cupcake and the traveling trophy, a roll of toilet paper.

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Run for the Cupcake: On the Frozen Tundra of Buffalo Trace

I'm pumped for one of my favorite running events, the annual Riddle Run, which will be held tomorrow morning at the Buffalo Trace Trail at Mahomet. This is always big fun, running on a trail no matter what the weather on the last Saturday of January. This is the ninth Riddle Run, and I am one of only a few who have run all nine, having endured sub-zero temperatures, freezing rain, ice, and three-foot snow drifts, but also basking one year in 60-degree temps. It will be in the single digits at race start tomorrow. My fellow buffaloes and members of my running club, Second Wind, will come out and run as little as 4 miles or as much as 28 miles, whatever a runner feels like doing. Food and drink abound and I plan to bring a fire pit and wood for cooking hot dogs and marshmallows. I'll post photos and an account of the run soon.

If for no other reason I must show up at the Riddle Run for a cupcake. For the first Riddle Run, race director Jeff Riddle brought out some cupcakes his wife had baked for him. Now it has become tradition to have a cupcake for every runner who completes at least four miles. This year Debbie Riddle will be baking a record number of cupcakes because a little over 100 runners have said they will participate.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Little Bull: Tiny Buffalo is Ready for the World

The latest photo of my grandson Devin, also known as Little Bull (Tatanka Chikala). Little Bull, now just over a week old, is cousin to Red Chief (Wichashita Luta). I'll have to revise the side panel of this blog to include my little herd's "cast of characters." Perry the kitchen pig and Roary the patio lion will be leaving "Adventures," but will still be solid fixtures of my household.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Big Bad Wolf: Grandma had Security Guards and an Astronaut

In response to THIS, watch and listen carefully to the above video. To avoid being eaten by wolves, pack some Milk Bones the next time you head to the woods. It's frightening out there.

Buffalaw: "May I see your license and registration, please?"

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Slumbering Bull

Newborn grandson Devin, now known in these pages as Little Bull, is sleeping a lot these days, like this buffalo calf. I've seen Devin's eyes open for only a split second.

Monday, January 14, 2008

New Addition to the Herd

Tiny buffalo: Devin Timothy Rice

Lanata, Tim and their little boy.

My son Tim and his lady Lanata added a little guy to the herd yesterday. Little Devin took his sweet time entering the world but he's here and will now have to endure a proud grandpa, who will no doubt give him a nickname and teach him the ways of the buffalo. His cousin Red Chief knows all about that.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Death Knell, Loud and Often

THIS article sums up a bad situation. When I picked up a Casper, Wyoming newspaper upon leaving the Yellowstone Park area this last October, the front page had an article about the near-record number of buffaloes in the park. That was the first I had heard of such a rebound in numbers. My first thought: "Uh oh." I couldn't be happy about the news because I feared increased hunting and harassment of the herd. The death knell won't be the sound of bells, but of rifle shots and helicopters.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

What Would Sitting Bull Think?

Sitting Bull (Tatanka Iyotake), leader of the Lakota Sioux in the late 1800s, resisted the takeover of Sioux lands and played a major role in the defeat of General Custer at the battle of Little Big Horn in 1876. "If the Great Spirit had desired me to be a white man, he would have made me so in the first place," Sitting Bull said. "He put in your heart certain wishes and plans, and in my heart he put other and different desires. It is not necessary for eagles to be crows."

Buried among media accounts of the presidential race, football playoffs, Christmas shopping, and Britney Spears was news of the declaration by Lakota Sioux leaders on December 17 that their tribe had seceded from the United States. THIS article gives the basics, and HERE is the website of the new republic. The comments HERE are a lively discussion of the issue. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Friday, January 04, 2008

In the Lens of a Buffalo

Red Chief and the Princess in an arm wrestling death grip.

The Chief and his Princess Mother at school Christmas party.

The Dairy Queen Wolf Woman gave me snowshoes for Christmas. I have wanted snowshoes for a long time, and can't wait to use them, so naturally there has been no snow and the next several days will have temps in the 40s and 50s. Sheesh.

Here's a few holiday photos. Christmas and New Years went by remarkably fast, which is fine. Meanwhile, disturbing news about Yellowstone buffalo and other endangered wildlife of that area has darkened these winter days. More on that to come.