Kathleen O'Neal Gear & W Michael Gear

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W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O’Neal Gear are best selling authors & award winning archaeologists who have written over 50 books.

Summer Newsletter, August 2014

SUMMER NEWSLETTER, AUGUST 2014

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

We might have stepped thirty years back in time given Wyoming’s delightfully cool and wet spring. This July, however, has no equal in our memory with temperatures in the low eighties and patterns of rain every three or four days. Our high steppe environment is lush, bursting with greenery and seeds. We have birds, rabbits, packrats, and mice like we haven’t seen in years. The land seems to sigh, whispering, “Yes! This is the way it is supposed to be!”

Given the wonderful grass, the Red Canyon Ranch bison herd is looking sleek and sassy, the cows and calves covered with a healthy layer of fat and muscle. Our bulls, Tiber and Bow, are striding into breeding season with that masculine arrogance that only a male bison can project. Young Storm, our beloved Pia’s last bull calf, looks more like a coming two-year-old than a yearling. He, along with his sister Sage, remains Pia’s legacy to Red Canyon and ties us to her beautiful memory every time we see either of them.

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APRIL, 2014, NEWSLETTER

IN MEMORY OF PIA, BUFFALO EXTRAORDINAIRE

HERE AT RED CANYON RANCH…

For everyone who has ever been kind enough to write inquiring about Pia and her health, we wanted you to know that she died today, April 11, 2014, at 1:32 P.M. She was the first orphaned buffalo calf we bottle-raised. She was our buffalo daughter.

This morning we found the herd and noticed she was missing. We knew something was really wrong. We've been giving her meloxicam for her joint pain for almost a year, but her condition has progressively gotten worse. When we went to look for her, we found her far away walking down the road in so much pain she could barely move. We tried to give her meloxicam and she refused to eat it. Next we tried to give her a shot of Banamine, and she refused to let us. It was as though she was saying, "Come on, guys, enough is enough."

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SPRING NEWSLETTER, 2014

HERE AT RED CANYON…

We woke at 4:00 a.m. to discover it was raining, our first rainstorm of the year. Starlight was shining through gaps in the clouds, and the air was fragrant with the mingled scents of wet earth and drenched junipers. What all that means is that, for the moment, spring has arrived.

The thing about northern Wyoming, however, is that you may have a lovely few days in March, but they are inevitably followed by subzero temperatures, so we never put away our down coats until the end of May. Still, green grass and wildflowers are erupting everywhere. The hills have a faintly green shade and the buffalo have started to shed their heavy winter coats.

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DECEMBER, 2013, NEWSLETTER

THE RANCH

It’s a cold cloudy afternoon here, 38 degrees. We’ve seen several days of sub-zero temperatures this month, which means the buffalo are growing long thick coats. Out the window in front of us, they are using their heads as snow shovels to get to the grass beneath the crusted ice. If you listen, and the wind is just right, you can hear them talking to each other in deep-throated rumbles. Like the echo of thunder in your dreams, buffalo voices seem to call to human beings, as they have for hundreds of thousands of years, promising that springtime, warmth, and renewal are not too distant. It’s a comforting sound. Probably because somewhere deep in the human consciousness, their voices mean food is near, and you and your children are safe.

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AUTUMN NEWSLETTER, 2013

October, 2013

HERE AT RED CANYON RANCH…

It’s snowing hard in northern Wyoming, our second snow in the past ten days, and a sure sign that summer is over. In anticipation of the storm, this morning we picked the last of our green tomatoes, as well as the tomatillos, tiny squashes, and squash blossoms. After dredging slices in egg and flour, we fried them in olive oil for lunch. They were delicious, more so because we knew they represented the last gasp of summer.

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Summer Newsletter, 2012

We woke up to a cool morning, 52 degrees, which is unusual for the first of August in northern Wyoming. As we sat on the porch with our cups of coffee, the sun rose over the red cliffs and shone out across the meadow where the buffalo were grazing. It’s always a quiet moment for us. The sight of grazing animals seems to touch something deep in the human soul that generates a sense of peace. Maybe it’s just the presence of the Wild so close. Maybe it’s because everything is connected to everything else and, for just a few moments, the boundary between animal and human ceases to exist, and we share the land and air as One.

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