A storm covered southwest Missouri in 10 inches of ice. “Perfect,” said Wildlife Photographer Nop Paothong. A snowy, winter day was just what he wanted to photograph bison at Prairie State Park west of Lamar. Bison used to roam Missouri’s prairies, but now you can see them only on private ranches and in this state park.
Nop used a telephoto lens to zoom in on the massive animals, such as this one shaking snow off its head. Although bison can weigh up to 2,000 pounds, they are agile and can run up to 30 miles per hour. Nop wasn’t worried about them getting too close. He and the bison were having trouble walking on the slick, frozen ground.
Nop covered the lens with a neoprene cover to keep off the ice and snow. His down parka kept him warm. Every time he moved his arms, ice on his sleeves shattered like glass. In spite of the harsh wind and temperatures below zero, Nop shot photos for 10 hours a day for three days. See more cool photos at www.xplormo.org.
Nichole LeClair Terrill