COLORADO: Blizzard on the Prairie

The sun disappeared behind a grey overcast, and a great stillness fell over the eastern Colorado plains. After that a freezing wind rose, banged barn doors and snatched at the smoke from lonely ranch houses. It grew dark, and salt-like snow began hissing across leagues of sere buffalo grass. Then, for 48 hours, a blizzard—the worst in 33 years—moaned down out of Wyoming with nothing to stop it but fence posts and cottonwood trees.

As the prairies whitened, scores of thousands of chunky Hereford cattle turned tail to the storm, lowered their heads,...

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