Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Blessed by Nature's Bounty

(Internet)
If I told you that we just saw a pair of beaver 150 yards from our house, would you believe me?  How about a moose?  Maybe turkeys or deer would be more credible.  Well, folks, in the last week or so, it's been all that and more.  Read on!

Since I am a moose nut, I will start there.  Spousal Unit was the first to spot the moose, the evening of Mother's Day!  Casually looking out the window.  "What's that?!" led to a scramble to the spotting scope.  And what should our wondering eyes behold but a cow moose grazing on the far side of the lake.  We took turns at the scope until she trotted into the woods and out of sight.  (I jokingly accused him of 'arranging' for her to be there for Mother's Day.)

Let me remind you that we have been in Montana for just over a year (we arrived May 3, to be precise) and have seen only one other moose, a fleeting glimpse on the side of the road when my younger brother and his wife were visiting.  So, I would be within my rights to think this was another rare encounter, not to be repeated.  Guess again.  The next day, hoping against hope, we strolled to the lake in the early evening.  Before we knew it, she was behind us and approaching.  Check out this video.  (Adrenaline was pumping, folks - don't know how I kept my phone as still as I did.)

Since this video, she has put in an appearance (at least, when we were looking) twice.  We believe we have seen a different moose as well (larger, perhaps a male).  Seems our valley is a good neighborhood for the largest member of the deer family, which requires habitat with adequate edible plants, cover from predators, and protection from extremely hot or cold weather.

Mother's Day was a bonus day, let me tell you.  While scanning the shoreline for the cow moose after she sauntered into the woods, we spotted a couple of sleek bodies sliding on and off a wood platform.  Otter?  Mink?  A closer inspection identified a pair of beaver.  And the pieces of the puzzle started to fall into place.
Culvert on April 22
Our lake has a man-made earthen berm with a culvert designed to control water flow out of the lake.  In recent days, when my running route would take me across the berm, I noticed planks of wood, reeds and mud piled in and around the culvert.  I assumed water had drawn these elements to the culvert.  But now we had a different theory: beavers at work, damming the flow.  Since then, we have located the lodge, and last night, the incontrovertible proof: we saw a beaver carrying items to the culvert and climbing upon it.  Eureka!  Meanwhile, the partner stood atop the lodge at the other end of the lake, nibbling at recently cut aspen.  Can you believe it?  I saw it myself, and I can hardly believe it!
Culvert today
The water level has gone up at least three inches due to their efforts.  I know this because we had placed the trail cam on a log at the edge of the lake - accessible without going in the water.  Yesterday morning, to retrieve the cam, I waded into ankle-deep water!!  Nature's engineers, doing what they do best.  The irony in this?  Our HOA was planning to repair the culvert, and perhaps the berm as well.  Maybe our prayers were answered in a way we never expected!
Now our lake is a reflecting pool!!!

So, now that we have all of that excitement out of the way, here are photos retrieved from the cam. 
Upper left - raindrops are falling ...
I am wondering why the beaver did not show up in any of these, but oh, well, you can't have everything!

And a couple of pictures from earlier in the month, when I had the cam in our 'woods'.

And when I don't go to Nature, it comes to me.  This cheeky squirrel is testing out the patio furniture directly outside our dining room sliding doors.

Of course, critters are not the only aspects of Nature around these parts.  I get a real kick walking around our property and the 'neighborhood', breathing in the freshness of Spring.
Lower left: Glacier Lily; Center: Blue Violet; Lower right: Aspen
Upper right: Kinnikinnick

Upper left: Serviceberry; Upper Center: Heartleaf Arnica; Upper right: Wild Strawberry
Lower left: Oregon grape; Lower Center: Not sure; Lower right: Lodgepole pine

Even the clouds get into the act, providing an artist's canvas for the greening larches and leafing-out aspens.
May 5
May 23
Not to be outdone, the Sun touches her brush to the canvas; so ends another day in Paradise.

Linking to:


All Seasons


Floral Friday Fotos
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Mosaic Monday


Nature Notes


Saturday's Critters

Skywatch Friday

Thursday Likes







51 comments:

  1. It is called Meadow Clary! I had to look it up as at first I thought it to be Meadow Lupine but the blossom is different. Apparently not very common anymore. Not sure if the farmer planted this intentionally or if it just occured on it's own. http://travelingbugwiththreeboys-kelleyn.blogspot.de/2018/05/ulm.html

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  2. You are fortunate indeed to have all this wildlife so close at hand.

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  3. ...what a gorgeous neck of the woods. We have moose in the Adirondack Mountains, but never seen one. Sure would love to!

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  4. You most certainly live in Paradise.

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  5. What a wonderful place to live. All that beauty.

    Have a fabulous day. ♥

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  6. What a paradise for someone who loves nature. It would be almost enough to sit on your porch and paint, or write, or think... The mama moose was so graceful running, and checked you out. Apparently you passed the safety test. Love the moose lovers sculpture too!

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  7. forgot to tell my beaver story. I was walking around Lake Louise when I came across one harvesting wood. It must not have known I was there. People slowly joined me in watching. Suddenly! It turned and saw us, slapped an enormous tail flat on the water and went under! What a moment!

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  8. Hi Angie,
    Wow - that moose was keeping her eyes on you wasn't she! I visited an animal refuge while in Alaska once, and got an up-close view of a male moose. Holy moly - I was very intimidated by his size but he happily ate the tree branch and leaves I offered. Such beauty to enjoy! Happy Thursday! ~smile~ Roseanne

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  9. Your visitors are awesome. Gorgeous pictures, videos, and the flowers are breath taking.

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  10. How fabulous. Love the moose and the beavers! Spring is beautiful out your windows and down the lanes. That moose was really interested in you! That squirrel really is cheeky! Hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.

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  11. Seeing your landscapes has me wonder how awed the old European painters (pick any age) would have been to see what you see. I wonder how much more wildernessy (I'm making up words now) your area looked in their time. In Heaven, you are, Angie. :-)

    In your first mosaic, second photo in right column, sits a butterfly or mushroom in a pose that I've been imagining the monarch butterflies will take in my ABC wedding of Thomas and Winnie. :-)

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  12. You live in such a beautiful place! We have beavers on our lake and a couple of weeks ago, one got lost in the village and had to be helped back down to the water (by experts).

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  13. Exciting post! How magical to see these special animals!

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  14. Great reflection and a lot of splendid nature pic's. I like that.

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  15. You are so blessed with many natural sigthings - I would love to see the moose and beavers

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  16. Wow!! Breathtaking post! The video of the moose is wonderful and the sunset is just spectacular!!! Thank you and thank you, too, for your visit to my blog! Have a grand weekend!

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  17. Wow!That's a beautiful lake reflection captured

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  18. Wow amazing to see so many different kinds of wildlife.
    All your photos are fantastic.
    What a beautiful place you get to call home.

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  19. That's amazing! I thought the moose was going to come right at you! Was it on your land? The beaver are pretty neat to look at; are they going to be a problem?

    Again, your trail cam takes great shots. I don't know if I've asked before, but what brand is it?

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  20. 'Paradise' is right! Beavers, wow! And moose, more than one moose! Never mind that exquisite sky photo...sigh.
    You really do live in paradise!
    Kay
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

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  21. Incredible video! My first thought as she started trotting toward you was RUN!! Way to keep you cool. Great sky shots, too. I really like the last photo.

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  22. Hello, you do live in a beautiful area. I would love to see moose in my neighborhood. Love the pretty Sparrow. Great photos. Thank you so much for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your day and weekend!

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  23. These photos are beautiful Angie and you are surrounded by such a wonderful area filled with blooms and wildlife. Enjoy the holiday weekend!

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  24. Great news Angie. You now have a "moose loose about your hoose" and a beaver or two beavering away to make your own reservoir. I'm really impressed with how those trail cams work.

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  25. What a glorious place to live...the critters, the scenery, the flowers! I too love moose and would LOVE to see one. Alas, they don't have them here in Oregon. :-)

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  26. Critters, flowers, and a gorgeous sunset. Nice post!

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  27. Lucky you to have this abundance around you. And lucky us that you are sharing :-)
    Amalia
    xo

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  28. You live in a beautiful place. I love when we travel to Montana.

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  29. That's exciting! I've only seen a couple of wild moose (meese?) but beavers (or at least their works) are fairly common around here.

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  30. lovely photos and great wildlife sightings

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  31. Amazing photos! LOVE that reflection!!!

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  32. Awesome nature photography ~ what a delightful place you moved to ~ enjoy every moment!

    Peaceful Memorial Day to you,
    C & Z

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  33. Isn't this state so incredible? Love your photos! Always so much to see. Right now I can look outside and see lilacs, green trees and snow capped mountains. Amazing! Last day of sleeping in, but pretty soon, I will all the time...lol Happy Memorial Day! Kit

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  34. How exciting for you to have the opportunities to see the massive creatures the Moose. In all of our many journeys to Montana...a favorite destination for us...we have only ever seen one Moose, a cow and she was pretty amazing too~

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  35. Oh my gosh Angie -- such adventure right in your own yard. How wonderful. (That would be my idea of a perfect Mother's Day gift by the way.) Beautiful photos, thanks for sharing them all.
    Oh, at our Oregon house (the previous-life one) we had a squirrel who would seriously come and knock on the glass patio door if our bird feeders were empty.

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  36. You certainly have some amazing wildlife in your area! How neat to get such good photos too. Would love to watch a beaver work! Hugs!

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  37. I almost put a photo of a baby moose we spotted trying to cross a mountain road on my blog this week, but I wanted to keep my post short so left him out. We stopped our car to let him cross but he got scared and climbed back up the hill. He was so cute! The moose population is certainly growing in Colorado, and I'm sure there are also many in Montana. They do not have many natural predators except for wolves and mountain lions, and of course hunters with rifles ;(
    They love to eat willows, so you will probably see many along your lake. Just be careful--they are not friendly animals and their kick can kill!


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  38. You've seen so many wonderful animals lately, in their natural habitat. I love moose - when we lived up north we would see them more often (and hunt them for winter meat). Beavers doing your work for you sounds like a great idea! They are fun to watch.

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  39. Nice sharing your wildlife videos. Have a great week

    much love...

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  40. Dearest Angie; Oh My; What a great and beautiful nature and wildlife you are surrounded and enjoy♧♧♧ Love the video of Cheeky Squirrel p;-) Wish to see moose with my own eyes. Grate collages with flowers and trees.
    And my favorite is the gorgeous last picture and phrase♫♫♫
    Sending Lots of Love and Hugs from Japan to my Dear friend, xoxo Miyako*

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  41. Amazing view of nature with those animals and various flowers!
    What a great moment of the water reflecting.Looks so quiet.I am hearing the sound of wind here in my place. Your colorful blog format is beautiful, Angie.
    Wonderful day to you!

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  42. Paradise indeed, you certainly chose a stunning location for your new home and the neighbours seem a friendly bunch too. I had to laugh when I heard your husband say "hello" to the moose, that's just what I would do.
    Thank you for sharing your incredible photos with the MM crowd this week.

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  43. Many great and nice photos here!

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  44. we have beavers around and every time I walk in the forest I see the signs. Earlier I had a kayak and was paddling close to huts but so far I have never seen them. :(

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  45. Nature is so wonderful with its surprises and awesome colors!

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  46. Wow....I would be a moose nut too...What amazing video and scenery... Lucky you and thank you for sharing with Nature Notes...Michelle

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  47. Reading this takes me back to my home province of Alberta, which shares a border with you. We lived just outside of Edmonton, where moose in our area and yard were common, and downright maddening at times, like the year one neatly munched every single strawberry in my patch and left a couple large hoofprints as it’s signature. Deer, fox, beaver, Canada geese, coyotes, ducks of al kinds, blue heron, and a myriad of other wild and beautiful creatures were around to marvel at on a daily basis. Now we have relocated back to southern Ontario where the deer territory is drawn up perfect, but rare sightings have we had, and we think it may be due to the presence of man in more abundance than in Alberta, but also due to so much greenhouse and farming activity, sadly.

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  48. You're going to be enjoying lots of wonderful wildlife no matter the season!

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