Buffalo mom and baby

(Photography by Ryan Postel)

Seen and herd

Bison bundles of joy.

Scientists around the world know Fermilab as a home for particle physics research. For a small herd of bison, however, it’s just home. How did the unlikely combination of bosons and bison come to be? The herd was the brainchild of Fermilab’s first director, Wyoming native Robert Wilson, who wanted to symbolize the lab’s position at the frontiers of physics and celebrate the prairie landscape of the Midwest. Millions of American bison once roamed from the Appalachians to the Rockies before the species faced extinction in the late 19th century. Fermilab’s first five bison arrived in 1969; since then, they’ve been a beloved presence at the Batavia, Illinois, facility—especially during the springtime calving season, when fuzzy new arrivals can be spotted exploring their grazing area on spindly legs. This year the herd welcomed 19 bison bundles of joy. (For more, see “Where the Buffalo Roam.”)