19th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Mobile
The Pride of Yellowstone

One of my favorite photos yet to date. I was hiking in Yellowstone when I came across this small herd of bison. This was the alfa male and he began to approach the trail I was on, getting closer to me. He was not aggressive, I believe he was simply curious and mainly giving me a warning to make sure I wasn't a threat. So I kindly and respectfully backed away from him and moved down the trail, trying to tell him that I am have no interest other than to respect his wishes. With enough distance I stopped, and we simply looked into each other. Neither of us moving, simply, and calmly taking each other in. I quickly took this photo, and it still takes my breath away because it so vividly takes me back to that moment in time. And in that moment I felt so many things, amazement, wonder, peace, gratitude, etc., but the feeling I remember the most was pride. I was so humbled by this land and by the animals here, especially him, and to feel what it is to be a stranger, yet also welcomed. Everything brought such pride to my soul to feel the wild of this place, and to feel the pride in what it is to be truly and humbly free.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 06.2020
Date Uploaded: 11.2021
Photo Location: Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, United States of America
Camera: iPhone 7
Copyright: © Karissa McGrane