The American Bison are the official mammal of the United States of America (thanks to the National Bison Legacy Act). Their heritage is one entrenched in tragic beauty. They are a prehistoric animal that have continued to roam our lands, for thousands of years. The American Bison ensnare its audience with a bold presence of strength and endurance. These dignified beasts are the emblem of my New Year.
The American Bison have provided the Native American’s tribal lands with “fuel, clothing, food, tools, shelter, and spiritual value (US Dept of Interior, 2017).” Cows (female bison) often weigh 1,000 pounds and bulls (male bison) can weigh up to 2,000 pounds, with heights between 4-6 feet. A bison’s mood can be determined by the his or her tail. If the tail is pointing straight then stay even further back. Always maintain safe distances (a football field) from a bison. (US Dept of Interior, 2017)
The American Bison are powerful swimmers, fast runners (up to 35 mph), and have the ability to jump. Their diets consist of leafy greens and weeds; they forge for 9-11 hours, per day. Their humps provide agility for their head to move snow when locating food. Bison have a life span between 10-20 years. Bison “wallow” in dirt, meaning they roll around in dirt. Bison wallow to shed old fur and create a layer of protection from insects. Male bison also use wallowing to leave their scent behind, during mating season. (US Dept of Interior, 2017)
Life lessons from the American Bison
- Own your presence in this world. Stand firm and strong.
- Keep forging on. Swing that head, move those mounds of snow in front of you and forge the heck out of the day before you.
- Your hide may be torn and tattered; nonetheless it still is protecting you.
- Keep roaming over these amber waves of grain. Take help from others to maintain places of safe haven for your herd.
- A little dirt will not hurt you. It may protect you later in life and help you shed old skin.
With the dawn of a new year, I am choosing to live in a way that mimics that of the majestic American Bison. An emblem of my nation’s history. A noble beast that captured the heart of President Theodore Roosevelt, thus marking the first strides in conservation efforts of the American Bison. In this new year, I will forge and wallow, in ways I have never before. Happy New Year!
US Department of Interior (12/2017). 15 Facts About Our National Mammal American Bison. Retrieved from https://www.doi.gov/blog/15-facts-about-our-national-mammal-american-bison
Disclaimer: This post is my personal thoughts, research, and experience. I am receiving no financial compensation for this blog post.