WILDLIFE

There's plenty of wildlife in our neck of the woods. Some become adventurous and decide to visit the city side of things. I've had a couple of interesting visitors over the last few weeks, both at work and at home.

This big, beautiful golden eagle showed up for about 3 days in a row at work.

It was quite content to just hang about, and didn't seem to be bothered much at all by the traffic thru the scale house.

You can see how extremely large it was in comparison to the magpie a rail below and to the left in the pic. The magpies were ganging up and trying to bully the eagle into leaving. It didn't work. A bit of a joke since, size wise, they look like they are canary sized versus the 3 feet plus size of the eagle.

It was working really hard pulling the tarp back with it's big toes, trying to find something yummy to snitch out of that garbage laden trailer. Yucky!

Probably does smell pretty tempting judging by the number of crows, magpies, and other garbage eating birds that hang about on a daily basis. The department of transportation brings in all the road kill deer and other animals for disposal, which to carrion eaters, must smell delectable!

And speaking of delectable, cat food is a gourmet treat to be had if your nose is good enough to catch a whiff of it in your nightly meanderings.

Apparently this little critter has a really good sniffer, since he/she invited itself to a snack on our front porch this last week. I thought it seemed like my kitty was eating a lot more than was possible for her, and blamed it on the big cat that lives down the street.

It's finally been cooling down really well in the evenings, so I leave the doors open until I go to bed. I lock the screen door to the front porch and leave twinkle lights (wrapped on branches in a small barrel) on for a soft night light. I was reading the other night and could hear crunching. I assumed it was Angel and peeked out the door to check on her and caught this little busybody instead. The pictures aren't good because the light was so low, but it was a sight to see. It had made itself comfortable on Angel's blankets, laying flat on it's belly with it's little feet sticking out behind it, and would pull one piece of food out of the dish at a time with it's little paw and eat it. Then take a nice long drink of water followed by some more food. This went on for a long time, and when it decided it had had enough, got up, stretched, and waddled off into the flower bed and under the porch. It must sleep under the front porch all day and come out at night to eat and mosey about.

 

It was so darn cute to watch, but now we have to be very careful to turn lots of lights on outside in the back yard (we're staying away from the front yard at night for awhile) and whistle and talk before we take the dogs out to potty before bed. It is not a fun task washing a skunk squirted dog, let me tell you.

The deer are still thick in town. I saw a doe with tiny little twin fawns standing on the side of the street when I came up the hill to my house a few days ago. And the berries have been abundant this season, so there have been a wide variety of birds in my yard lately, also.

Pretty cheap entertainment!

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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A Vacation Day Morning

Enjoying the cool morning, on my vacation day.

Sitting in my porch glider, with my biggest cup full of Java, listening to the birds sing, and watching my silly puppies play. The trees are obscuring, from my neighbors, my still being in my pj's, and I'm happily flourishing on this beautiful summer morning.

So blessed!

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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Celebrating Independence Day!

Isn't this just awesome!

Man made fireworks competing with Mother Nature's fireworks! This is the rodeo and fireworks celebration we have over the 4th of July in our little town every year….but with a little extra kick this particular evening. I wanted to be sure and share this wonderful photo since we're not too far out from the 4th. We do have some extremely talented folks that live in our town, and I borrowed this from Facebook to share with you all.

Here are a few more shots I took myself while just moseying around close to home, over the last couple months. Since it'll be Christmas in just a few weeks, guess I'd better share the few warm weather photos I've taken (kidding!…….but not really :-/ )

 

 

The park geese with their new broods, in varying stages – some have newer fluffy yellow babies, some are 1/2 way to looking like their parents.

 

This is the Crazy mountain range.

This is about 7 miles from the cabin. Such a pretty day it was!

About 4 miles from the cabin as you top a hill and look southerly, this is the Absaroka mountain range.

 

A golden eagle in a field near the road.

And a bald eagle on a telephone pole just above the golden.

 

 

 

Hope you all are having a nice summer, and are making the most of it!

TTFN,

Teresa πŸ™‚

 

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Good Company

Look at this pretty little lady that came to share a gift with me.

Right outside my kitchen window, I got to watch the whole, beautiful process of her (and her mate) hatching and rearing their brood. Five perfectly blue eggs, where normally a robin lays only 4. I watched anxiously to see if all five would hatch off.

I stealthily checked each day when she was away from the nest so I wouldn't stress her. It only took a quick peek out my kitchen window to gage the progress. And soon enough…..

Two eggs left, so I kept a close watch to see if they'd hatch.

Four of the 5 hatch, and the funny thing is, the fifth egg just disappeared from the nest! I can't imagine what happened to it – I checked the ground beneath the nest and never did see the egg. So, 4 sweet little babies, and they were this big and feathered just a few short days after they hatched.

A couple more days and they are much more alert and aware of the happenings around them. Their parents spend a lot of time finding food for them. They also spend a lot of time fighting off the wicked awful magpies, who will eat the eggs as well as babies if they get the chance. I am not a fan of magpies. They are very pretty and extremely smart, but noisy, obnoxious, and ruthless.

 

They grow so rapidly that soon the nest is quite tight for them, and is literally overflowing, as they dangle over the nest edge to cool off. Two of them are a fair bit larger than the other 2.

Just a few more days, and the 2 larger chicks fledge. That really surprised me as I assumed they all left the nest at the same time. But nature is very ingenious. This worked perfectly because one parent tended to the fledged chicks, and the other parent kept feeding and tending the 2 smaller ones that remained in the nest.

The 2 smaller remaining chicks.

Only a couple more days of toting and fetching by the parent to the remaining 2, and they were all caught up in size to their siblings.

When I got up this morning and peeked out the window, this is what I saw. I will miss the daily adventure of watching this little family, but feel so blessed to have been able to witness the whole process. And, let me tell you, after having raised a few baby robins when I was a kid, it is a much easier job to watch their parents do all the work! My poor mom got the job of chopping up worms and feeding the babies my brother or I found on the ground because they had been unlucky enough to have been dislodged from their nests by some mishap all those years ago! I guess we must have been squeamish kids; we'd fetch the worms but Mom got the job of chopping and feeding. It was mighty handy having a “Dr. Doolittle” for a mom. She did a great job, and we raised and released several baby robins.

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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A Crazy Ride

Here are a few photos of a nice afternoon ride we took around the cabin on the 4 wheeler this summer. The Crazy Mountains are a beautiful place to be. This was a sort of last hurrah knowing that the work on the cabin was going to get very real, very shortly. So we dedicated the whole weekend to goofing off.

 

 

A lot of the mountain wild flowers were starting to peek out. It was cool, and beautiful, and the flies were not tormenting us.

 

 

 

We caught this gal taking a nap not far off the trail.

I was sorry we had disturbed her, but she didn't seem to be too bothered by Us.

I had taken Declan on short rides on the scooter and 4 wheeler, but this ride was a couple of hours, and she loved every minute! Since we've gotten Piper, she has gone on a few not quite as long jaunts, and is also quite the mountain girl. I just tuck one under each arm, ride on the back while Bruce drives, and off we go!

We came across this old abandoned cabin, which was quite large. I wonder if it was a family homestead back in the day, which many people often left for “proper houses” closer to town eventually. I wouldn't think someone would go to the trouble of building a weekend cabin just to let it fall to such ruin.

Since there were so many flowers coming out, there was an abundance of butterflies nectar hunting. I was able to catch a few shots of this one.

 

 

A lot of the old pine trees at higher elevations were covered with this moss. They looked a little spooky.

 

There are some pretty spectacular views to be had in the Crazies. I cannot tell you how blessed we feel to have a little piece of this paradise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Such a wonderful day!

Now back to reality, and the labor of love that lies in front of us! YIKES! A humongous labor of love!

TTFN,

Teresa πŸ™‚

 

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“East Meets West”

There's a new mural in town. It's very appropriately called “East Meets West”.

The City approved using a 17' x 48' side wall of the Civic Center for the mural. The mural was painted as part of the Yellowstone Asia Initiative summer art event that took place here in July. A local artist, Parks Reece, designed the mural, then he and several other artists, some local, some from China, painted the very unique and interesting story art on the building.

The Grizzly bear represents the West/Montana/USA in the painting.

The Panda bear represents East/China.

I love how wonderfully imaginative it is! There are several different animals representing both Countries; a bald eagle, a crane, a red fox, and a giant rainbow trout in the sky.

 

You can see how the Great Wall of China morphs into the Absarokee mountain range, and the sleeping giant is at the right of the mural, under the flying crane.

I'm not sure who the little guy with the yellow hat under the arrow sign is….maybe Parks. I'll have to look a lot closer next time I'm at the civic center. There are all kinds of little hidden things in the painting! Even tho it is at the back of the building, it faces the small park and bandshell where the Farmer's market is held each week in the summer. Everyone gets a nice clear view of it from there. How lucky are we?!!

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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One Thing Down, A Thousand More To Go

 

August is fire season in Montana. This year is no exception. We've gotten smoke here even from fires as far away as Canada, and more recently, the Missoula area, which is about 230 miles from here. Everything takes on an orangish hue, it gets very hazy, and distant views are very limited. Sometimes it smells very smoky out, at other times you barely notice. Montana is plagued with a pine bore beetle infestation. That makes for lots of standing dead pine trees in our forests, which is certainly fire fodder. That's why I was so happy the forest service came in last winter to the area where our cabin is, and did some clearing to hopefully reduce fire risk.

There was a huge standing dead pine, and a few smaller ones, on our property at the cabin.

Definitely not an asset. Too much big wind, lightning, heavy snow, etc., around here, and it needed to come down – with help, not on it's own, as it could possibly squash our little outhouse, or worse, if left to it's own devices, fall to where the cabin will be placed on it's new location (that'd be great, wouldn't it, to just get the cabin moved over, then have a huge tree fall on the roof?) Time to get gone, tree.

This tree was particularly bad as the top branched out in 3 different directions, which makes them even more dangerous. A pine tree with a single trunk and a split, multi branched out top is called a “school marm” by loggers. It also already had a bad crack down the side of the trunk, which considerably weakens the stability.

Bruce knows a fellow who formerly logged for a living, and asked him if he could come knock it down since he had the experience. He said he'd be happy to, and would enjoy it since he doesn't often have the opportunity to do that since he's changed professions. Very lucky for us. It took him no more than a few minutes, and he had that giant dead tree laying on the ground in just the right direction.

 

 

 

 

 

Bruce earlier took down the few other smaller trees himself, but this huge one was just too dangerous and really needed someone with the proper expertise to take it down. (Thanks Brian!!)

We had gotten a firewood permit last month from the forest service, and my big little son and I had made one trip up and gotten about a cord plus that we loaded up and brought to the cabin. That is only about a third of what probably will be needed for the winter up there. We knew we'd have to make at least a few more forays out amongst the giant, man eating horse flies (they are horrible up there this time of year, and bite like the dickens) to get a couple more cords, but now with these dead trees felled right here on our own property, there should be more than plenty to last the winter and spring.

Lucky Bruce now gets to cut all the logs to length with the beautiful, new chain saw I asked for for my birthday last year! One of the best, most useful presents I've ever gotten, and comes complete with a fella to run it πŸ™‚ .

There was a full moon when we stayed this last weekend.

We had a campfire and roasted marshmallows, and watched the big, bright moon rise over the mountains. Doesn't get much better than that.

The next morning, this doe was standing right outside the kitchen window as I made coffee.

You can see the wild raspberry bushes growing in front of and under the deck. Glee loves raspberries, so we picked all the ripe ones we could find and she ate them for a snack.

So, at least one more thing checked off the massive to-do list at Moose Springs. Gotta love that!

TTFN,

Teresa πŸ™‚

 

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Porch Appreciation

Nothing better than a little porch appreciation on a warm summer evening.

Sitting in the rocking chair with a kitty by my side. Crickets serenading, a cool breeze wafting, carrying on it's crest the scent of newly opened rose buds, and a nearly full moon lighting the big open sky.

Dear Summer,

Oh, how I adore you!!

Please slow down!!

Sincerely,

Teresa

 

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Grateful

It was a wonderful, but much too fast 4th of July holiday.

I wanted to share some photos from the “Art in the Park Festival”, but most booths would not allow photographing since the majority of what was displayed was original artwork, and I'm sure they worry about people trying to copy/replicate their work.

I enjoy looking at the flag display the Veterans put out around the park.

 

Lots of folks out having fun over the Holiday.

 

As I passed this grouping driving down the street, I was struck by how they perfectly emulate all the things our little town is comprised of – the granary represents our farming and ranching, as does the rodeo sign. The sign is also an indicator of the tourist trade we rely on to a certain extent. The rodeo pulls in approximately 10,000 people according to the roundup committee's website. That is pretty darned amazing considering our town has a population of about 7,500 people! The Mayors Landing sign represents many of the activities the Yellowstone River offers; from fishing, to boating, inner tubing, plein air painting, even rock skipping! There are so many fun things to do at the river. The trains at the right side of the photo are representative of how this town got a spot on the map to start with – if it weren't for the railroad, I don't know if this town would ever have rooted and been able to hang on. There are lots of ghost towns in Montana, and we might well have been one of them had it not been for the jobs the railroad sustained our community with. And last but certainly not least, the beautiful mountains that surround us on nearly every side! They say Montana is “The Last Best Place”, and I don't know about that for sure, because there are a lot of wonderful places in this big wide world we live in, but I feel very blessed to call this my home. That stork sure did me a favor when he dropped me at this longitude and latitude πŸ™‚

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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Happy Birthday USA!

I really can't believe Independence Day is this week! When I was a kid, it seemed the 4th of July marked your summer vacation half gone. It has been so cool and wet it still feels like Spring to me! But, according to the weather forecast, we are in for a baking spell starting tomorrow. That's OK, because this little town really hops over the 4th holiday, and it will be nice to be warm and dry for all the outdoor activities. The parade is Wednesday afternoon, and the 1st of 3 nights of Rodeo action starts that night. They have a terrific high purse rodeo here that draws pretty famous rodeo competitors. People drive for miles to attend. When the rodeo ends each night, they have a phenomenal fireworks show. They set off the fireworks on the golf course, which is directly behind the fairgrounds, so the extravaganza is huge, and explodes directly above your head! Pretty intense! There is also a wonderful crafts fair the 2nd thru 4th, and I will try to catch a few photos of that to share.

Anyway, thought I'd show you some patriotic tagging we have in our little town. We have our fair share of vandalistic scribbles here and there, but this is quite serious and a real benefit to our community.

Several years ago, a couple of teenage boys asked and were granted permission to paint this mural on the interstate bridge supports. Ninth street island is a small island (with homes on it) that runs between 2 chanels in the Yellowstone River. You can drive on the island and look at the mural and also the conglomeration of art on the other support. I believe this mural represents the planting of the flag at Iwo Jima.

Pretty awesome job if you ask me. Pretty awesome kids to have enough pride in their Country to take the time out of their busy kid schedules to gift our town with this reminder. It is starting to show some wear and tear. I hope it hangs on for many years to come.

This is what is painted by various artists on the other support.

 

 

 

 

 

Very interesting!

Then, unrelated but still fun to see, off the island and down the road to the baseball fields, there is an Osprey pair nesting on a support between the ball park and the river.

I couldn't see their babies heads popping up yet, so they must still be fairly little.

 

The male was flying back and forth over the river, fishing for his young brood. He was too fast for me to catch a picture of him.

This is pretty much the view they have from their perch.

The high water is clearing off enough now that I'm sure it's nice and easy for them to spot their fish.

We are getting time off work to go to the parade, and will also be closed all day Friday (YAY! Thought they were going to stay open – bonus!), so looking forward to having a fun week! Hope you do, too!

TTFN,

Teresa πŸ™‚

 

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