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..bison were the gift of a good spirit and were our strength…” BLACK ELK, from the book BLACK ELK SPEAKS. Find it here.

While driving on LaBrea Avenue in L.A., I saw a vacant storefront where a street artist had painted a graphic version of the Buffalo Nickel. I was at a red light and snapped the image through my windshield, telling myself I’d try to stop by again and get a good shot before the people trying to lease the building obliterated the buffalo. Often, I will drive to a meeting in the morning and see a beautiful piece of street art that’s gone when I return in the afternoon. L.A. is always in flux.

When I got home, I looked up bison and buffalo on animal totem websites and learned that they bring good fortune. If you’ve read this far, I share all my good fortune with you today. The image above is a graphic I made from the blurry image shot through my windshield. Many thanks to the artist — I think your work is beautiful.

Update, August 6, 2012: I learned that this is a wheat paste poster (not painted) and the artist’s name is Common Cents. Again, thank you! Your art made my day.

Illustration: Street art in Los Angeles, photo by Silver Birch