Mark Lesser, a Minot area man, realized that with the coming of spring, his last chance to build an ice and snow sculpture this winter was nearing.
Lesser created a sculpture of a buffalo in the front yard of his home northwest of Minot as a tribute to many people in his life and to the strength and spirit the buffalo represents.
"The buffalo became an important symbol in my life after a number of years of taking part in Native American ceremonies. It's certainly a symbol of strength, and fortitude," Lesser said.
Gina Daniels, left, and Mark Lesser, right, stand next to the buffalo sculpture Lesser created.
"In times of storm, other animals, including cattle, will try to go from it, but the buffalo heads straight into it, because they know they will come out of it," he added.
Gina Daniels, who helped some with the sculpture, agreed.
"That's like the spirit of a lot of North Dakotans, they all work so hard," she said.
Lesser said the sculpture went up in two days. He and Daniels went to the river with a sled and a chainsaw, and brought back a block of ice to create the horns. The buffalo's eyes are chunks of coal, and the brown color was created by spraying coffee on the sculpture with a garden sprayer.
"This (sculpture) was a twofold offering. First, to the different dimension of living I have learned from the natives, how they have helped me in the understanding of life, and to all those who have helped me and carried me," Lesser said.
"It was more for everyone else than for myself," he added.