It's been a prolific spring on the Durham Ranch. Calves and grass abound. Having a buddy in town who has a love for buffalo, we set up a tour with my friend and ranch head honcho John Flocchini.
There's pushing 800 calves on the ground on this 55k acre ranch north of Wright.
Fr. Alan Bower is a priest for the Diocese of St. Augustine in Florida and is currently working with Cross Catholic Outreach, an international charitable organization. He celebrated the morning Masses in Gillette and then ran down to Wright with me in the afternoon.
John is always a gracious tour guide.
The buffalo are neat, but John's always interested in the terrain. Their grazing program mirrors the days when the Bison ran free. They're only in this pasture for 3-4 days before moving on, and won't be back here for another 400 days or so.
Part of this intensive grazing is the Buff's hooves stirring up the dirt, so when a bit of rain comes it soaks right in.
The calves are a good month old by now and all the adults are shedding their winter coats.
Their wool rolls around the prairie and gets picked up by mice and birds for nests.
With a wet spring, the cactus is in good bloom.
The Lupine is looking good too.
To top it off, John sent us home with some homegrown top sirloin Bison steaks. Fr. Alan sure enjoyed it. I stuck to the beef.
It's always fun to get to know brother priests. Fr. Alan has a good heart and a joyful disposition, two fine characteristics in a man of the cloth. Keep up the good work, Padre. The world needs more holy priests!