Monday, October 20, 2008

on the range of the buffalo

Last Sunday TM and I drove out to Land Between the Lakes for a romantic/snooty afternooon picnic, complete with:

-A sun-dappled patch of grass near a lake
-A rustic loaf of bread, some prosciutto, a hunk of asiago cheese, and a pocket knife with deer etched on the handle with which to hack at the cheese
-Half the contents of the Kroger olive bar (my new favorite grocery store feature, surpassing extended hours and self check-out)
-Three varieties of grapes and one spiky alien piece of fruit marketed as a "Kiwano," which claimed to have a "banana-cucumber like flavor" (this was not entirely true).
-One million gnats and flies
-A digital camera and a great deal of enthusiasm

That yellow thing in the middle is the "Kiwano." Kiwano is a copyrighted name, by the way, so don't you go trying to name your newest inedible genetically-engineered hybrid "food product" a Kiwano. Better name it a Cucunana or a Banumber or a Kimora or something.

The inside was a marvel of bright green gelatinous pods encapsulating cucumber-like seeds. These pods were impossible to separate from the seeds, impossible to chew, and very probably impossible to digest. I am pretty sure this disqualifies the Kiwano from being classified as food.

Better than cheese. Crazy but true.


After picnicking we headed back toward the Elk & Bison Prairie in hopes that we might spot a few of the beasts during their favored feeding hour, at dusk. Since there are no buffalo in either South Florida or New York City, I was nearly pissing myself with anticipation.

I decided to take an unmarked "scenic-looking" route back to the park's entrance. This sign appeared approximately four and a half miles into our trek down a rutted one-way path through the woods. We were not deterred.

We made it to the prairie, and good mother of god, did we hit the jackpot. It was incredible, they were everywhere, at times so close we could have reached out and touched their fur.

I don't know if you know this, but buffalo are awesome.

The elk were also majestic and all that, but we didn't get close enough to really appreciate their size or their beauty. You can hear this sexy guy below, though.

We filmed a rogue nature documentary on the Elk & Bison Prairie. Here it is:


Frank said...

Are you sure that this Kiwano wasn't just some Nerf toy they sold you as a joke?

jesse said...

That's incredible. Were you the only eco-tourists around?

V said...

It was incredible. Unfortunately, we were not the only bison admirers. There were at least six or eight other vehicles full of people around us, one of which was a pickup truck with a bunch of loud talking, fried-chicken-eating yahoos in the back. Most people try to be as respectful and unobtrusive as possible, though. A few times we escaped the masses and got to a place where we couldn't see anyone else, and it was quite majestic.