The unusual green hills resulted from a rainy season. September’s single digit temperatures made for quick plein air paintings on the wet hillsides. On a high butte scattered with tipi rings and a view of the Frenchman River Valley, I found my favorite painting site. This large scale studio painting was inspired by plein air paintings created here
Exploring the wide valley near the tipi rings, I followed a path through sagebrush, shrubs and late blooming flowers. Over the crest of a hill I stopped in my tracks at the sight of an enormous bison nearby. Slightly shocked, I backed away slowly from this indifferent beast. In GNP, bison are a potential hazard. Rule of thumb, if you see the bison and you hold up your thumb, if the bison is bigger than your thumb, you are too close. Back away! Returning to the high point, I made my paintings where I had a clear view of all directions.
“Plains bison (Bison bison bison) were re-introduced in Grasslands National Park in December 2005, after 120 years of absence. The results of the spring count in April 2013, suggest that there are approximately 330 adult bison and 40 calves in the park.
Bison were reintroduced to restore a 'grazing regime' of large herbivores in a portion of the West Block of the park. Bison are symbolic of the prairies and provide visitors a greater diversity of native species to view when visiting the park. The reintroduction will contribute to the Canadian and greater North American restoration efforts of bison.”- Parks Canada