A visit to the Lamar Valley allows us to witness nature at her incomparable best, with soul-shaking landscapes and wildlife watching unrivaled anywhere in North America. Upon entering Lamar, one immediately begins sensing the landmarks while easing into the particular characteristics of this place. It is reminiscent of Charles Gaines’ description in The Next Valley Over, like “getting off a train late at night, and recognizing just from the way the air feels, a place you are happy to have traveled a long way to return to.”
We live in a world in which we’re besieged by a relentless torrent of emails, phone calls, texts, social media messages, and things to do. In this hyper-connected state, we are ironically more disconnected than ever from the very system that spawned our species: the natural world. Our minds filled with endless chatter, our mental and spiritual tanks often empty, we need a place to recalibrate and recharge our mind and spirit. The Lamar Valley is such a place. To be in Lamar is to be reminded of a different way of being in the world; quieter, reconnected.
Here at the Lamar Buffalo Ranch, watching wildlife is just one way to reconnect to the natural world. In the last month, this activity has been spectacular! Both the Mollies and the Lamar Canyon wolf packs have been regularly spotted in their movements up and down the valley. The packs have been viewed for extended periods of time from the Lamar Buffalo Ranch attempting to take down bison. A bighorn ram died from unknown causes (no visible injuries) along the Rose Creek Pen Trail near the Ranch, bringing in coyotes, ravens, magpies, and bald eagles. Three great horned owls were spotted and heard next to the Bunkhouse in what we guess may be their preparations for mating. Several foxes have been spotted, almost daily, hunting on or near the campus late in the evening. In a rare sighting, a cougar was spotted crossing the road adjacent to the ranch early one morning at 2 a.m. A cottontail, resident at the Ranch all winter, continues to survive surrounded by predators. As we approach the last months of winter, snow, sun, and wind all contrive to reshape the landscape and vistas daily. March should be a month to remember!
Time in Lamar is spent observing and participating in the natural drama taking place in the valley each day. And each day, small intricate moments weave themselves together in such a way that we see the world differently by having been here.
See you all in Lamar!