Sunday, March 10, 2019

Mosaic Monday #18 - Deep Freeze February

Northwest Montana just wrapped up the coldest February on record since 1936.  What does one do when the temperature peaks at less than 15 degrees Fahrenheit?  Add an extra layer or two, folks, and get on out there.  Even my oldest sister saw fit to visit us from Cincinnati during the month.  Check out these adventures in the great white, frigid north.


Skiing and snowboarding on Big Mountain is a weekly event, especially given our roles as Ambassadors for Whitefish Mountain Resort.  On one of my workdays, we took my sister to the 'office'.  Visitors can buy a walk-on pass for $24 and ride Chair 1 to the Summit.  Unfortunately, on that day, visibility was poor.
On a clear day, the mountains of Glacier National Park
would be in the background
At least she got a sense of our responsibilities as Ambassadors, and observed our operating environment first hand.  She worked her cross-stitch and chatted with skiers stopping into Summit House for a warmer-upper.  In the photo to the right, the temperature on the sign is unclear, but I recall it was minus 4 degrees at the time of that photo.


We thought we might take my sister to Glacier National Park to see the contrast between summer and winter (she had previously visited the Park in August 2017).  So, in preparation for her visit, we did some reconnaissance.  At this time of year, the Going to the Sun Road is plowed only as far as Lake McDonald lodge. 

Beyond that point,  cross-country skiers as well as snow-shoers can peacefully traverse a road that is bumper to bumper with traffic in the summer.  On the day of our investigation, everyone was using the same trail, when protocol calls for snow-shoers and hikers to be in a separate track from the skiers.
So Spousal Unit and I performed a little bit of community service by breaking trail for 2.5 miles.  It was quite the workout so we took turns at the lead.  It was amazing how much easier it is when following someone, and even more so on the return journey.  It was gratifying to see other snow-shoers using our trail as we re-traced our steps.  

After some consultation with my sister, we decided to limit our snow-shoeing to a trek around our property.


Middle left: Josie helps my sister with her Monsters quilt
My sister's stated goal for her trip was to hibernate, so we worked hard (!) to make that happen.

Hibernating is easier when you have Spousal Unit for your chef - no need to go out to a gourmet restaurant when these dishes are on offer.
Top: spaghetti with Brussel sprouts
Left: Chicken tortellini and home-made focaccia
Right: Goetta and eggs

We did take a couple of walks on the roads of our neighborhood, and I couldn't resist the temptation to snap the shot below of the entrance to our neighborhood.  The sign actually reads North Hodge Creek Reserve!!!

We also introduced my sister to a couple of "institutions" around here - Moose's and the Montana Club.  She marveled at the Bloody Mary at the Montana Club; the one she was served upon returning home was "no comparison".  I told her she would just have to come back!
Left and middle: Montana Club; Right: back in Ohio


No monthly summary is complete without a list of wildlife that we have witnessed.  Although deer, and trail cam photos of them, are ubiquitous, what makes the photos more interesting at this time of year is the depth of the snow, or catching them plodding through a snowstorm.

I am currently monitoring three trail cams, two of which belong to a future neighbor. In photos taken on February 3, I observed two coyotes that were captured on my trail cam at 3.14 pm, and then on my neighbor's trail cam at 3.30.  I am sure it is the same two.  What do you think?

Of special note this month is our ongoing "battle" with Mr. Bunny.  Earlier in the winter, we placed chicken wire around our burning bushes because I could see from tracks in the snow, as well as nibble marks on the shrubs, that Mr. Bunny had taken a liking to them.

A week ago, I noticed tracks and bunny kaka INSIDE the chicken wire - the snow is now deep enough to enable him to jump over the wire.  Argh.  So, we determined to pull the wire cages up higher.  As I rounded the front porch, heading for the last cage, there he was, inside it.  He jumped out and bounded onto the porch, WITH A BRANCH OF THE BURNING BUSH IN HIS MOUTH.  The cheek - he sat there and munched it as I went about adjusting that cage!
Left: track to Mr. Bunny's den           Middle: branch broken off bush by Mr. Bunny  
Right: Mr. Bunny in front of his den

Thwarted, he has now turned his attention to my dried arrangement on the front porch.  Did you know rabbits would eat pine and juniper?  I didn't.  When I got home yesterday, he was basking in the sun where the porch joins the house.  Maybe this was his way of thumbing his nose at me?  He didn't give a lick that I was taking pictures ...


Knowing what I know now, I wish we had taken my sister dog sledding … but it means she has at least one reason to return in winter!  Dog Sled Adventures Montana is a family-friendly operation, with Alaskan sled dogs that are just hankering to pull you through 12 miles of winter wonderland.  The mushers choose from nearly 130 Alaskan huskies to staff the 10 spots on each sled (each dog only does one run a day; most days the sleds go out at 10 am, 1 pm and 3.30 pm).  As you can see and hear in the video below, the dogs are all ASKING to be chosen.

But once the sleds took off, the dogs in the yard all fell silent.  The next video is just a small slice of our ride - when we weren't talking to Hannah, our driver, the only sound was the swish of the sled through the snow and her commands to the dogs.  Lightly falling snowflakes added to the romance of the experience.  We were astonished by the energy and stamina of the dogs, not to mention their personalities - that entertainment alone was worth the price of admission!  

I suppose I can put up with the deep freeze if it means making memories like these.

Welcome to Mosaic Monday, a weekly meme where we get together to share our photo mosaics and collages.
Please include at least one photo mosaic/collage in your post.
The link will be open from 1 p.m. Sunday until 11 p.m. Monday (U.S. Mountain time).
Remember to add the link to your Mosaic Monday post and not the one to your blog.
Please link back to this post so that your readers will be able to visit and enjoy more wonderful mosaics; taking the MM blog button from my sidebar is an easy way to link back.
As host I will visit every participant and leave a comment so that you know I stopped by.
Please try and visit as many other blogs as you can, especially those that join in later, so that everyone's creativity can be appreciated fully.
Thank you for joining in today and sharing your mosaics with us.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!


  1. Everything is just so beautiful but I'm seriously glad it's in your neck of the woods and not ours!

  2. Beautiful shots, and a cute bunny bunny 🐇

  3. ...beautiful, but way too cold for my old bones.

  4. There really is a lot to do if one is dressed properly.
    And winter sure makes us appreciate the days of summer! :)

  5. Beautiful photos but it really looks to cold for me!

  6. You sure know how to experience winter here! Wonderful events. Especially the dog sledding! Wow. I remember when we lived in Kalispell going to Glacier to cross country ski. So beautiful and quiet. And I love the Montana Club here in town. They have the best steaks and scampi. It looks like your gave your sister the best vacation ever. :) Kit

  7. You two really do know how to make Winter a wonderland. Almost makes me wish for a couple of weeks of it. Though i know I’d be more like your sister, enjoying hibernation and the fireplace far more than the trail breaking etc. But the dogsled ride sounds amazing! I’d do that. The good Bloody Mary reminds me of the best one we’ve found here in ?Florida, with that lovely fat shrimp garnish! (And that’s more of a miracle in Montana than here!). Fun post ... I do love experiencing Winter vicariously through your eyes!

  8. Viewing Wildlife is definitly my favorite thing. Such deep cold degrees are not good for my heart.

    Wonderful Post on MosaicMonday, thank you for sharing this and thank you for hosting.

    I wish you a very good week.
    Heidrun xxx

  9. Hello Angie, visiting from Lorrie of Fabric Paper Thread. How nice to find your blog. You captured a great collection of winter life.

  10. Wowie Zowie, what wonderful winter time memories you've made. Loved every part of your post. You are great Ambassadors for sure. We did some snowshoeing on Friday at the Chewelah Golf course and Country club. We had to make our own trail and it's hard work in deep snow for sure. Dog sledding looks amazing! Love what your cameras captured of the wildlife. Arrgh that pesky wabbit! Sister is right to notice the dismal Bloody Mary she went home to. I'm putting the Montana Club on my list of places I need to experience a Bloody Mary at! :) Cheers, Angie!

  11. We must be hardy types, Angie, as we love winter! It has alos been a very cold and snowy one here in Colorado. Dog sledding looks like fun and is on my bucket list to do someday. We had burning bushes in our yards but the deer ate them all! We had to replace them with a more hardy and less delicious shrub. I guess they also taste good to rabbits--hope you can keep yours away with the chicken wire. That Bloody Mary looked good and your husband's meals even better! I'm glad your sister had a wonderful time--I'm sure she will be back many more times.

  12. How long can you stay out when it is that cold? And how do you keep your fingers and toes warm? That's what I remember most from my childhood - it was always my cold toes that made me come in before I really wanted to.

  13. What an amazing winter wonderland you live much fun to be had. My goodness the dog sledding looks like so much fun! I was wondering the same thing as do you keep warm. =)

  14. Hello, sounds like your sister had a fun visit to your place. I enjoyed all the activities, the scenery is gorgeous. I love, deer, coyote and bunny. The food looks yummy! If bundled up, I would love to try the dog sledding, what fun! Happy Monday, enjoy your day! Have a great new week!

  15. You sure have had winter! So nice your sister paid a visit, I'm sure she liked your fantastic log home. The coyote looks like wolf! I have some Mr. Bunnies here eating my rose bushes!!!! Happy MM Angie.

  16. The dog sledding does look like fun! And I think your sister had a great time...I know I would! Love your cute little bunny. Hope some green sprigs sprout out soon...he's hungry! Happy MM!

  17. I long for a cold, long WInter. We rarely get snow in Melbourne and the nearest mountains that get snowed on are a decent drive away.
    Looks like a great time was had by all, Angie!

  18. I'd want to be with your sister... cross stitch while looking out a big window, and drinking an adult beverage. Looks like fun, and loved the dog sledding. Of course all the barking dogs got Milo off his perch to come see

  19. Great wildlife (and wild-life!) shots, Angie :-)

  20. Angie, Thanks for sharing the dog sled ride. It was wonderful. I love the coyote photos. Great shots. Have a great week. Sylvia D.

  21. I don't have a mosaic, but I really enjoyed yours!

  22. What a wonderful post, lovely stay for your sister, how nice to hibernate in your lovely house. The snow photos of the mountains and lake are stunning, that dog sled ride would be wonderful to do, I did one in Alaska and had a fantastic time. Great to see the night time animals.

  23. Amazing - If I was your sister I'd be booking in for next winter's dog sledding adventures and a bloody Mary or two right now! What an incredible part of the world you live in. It's wonderful to see how you contribute to your community, between the Ambassadors role and the snow shoeing you be keeping pretty fit! I'm afraid that Bunny looks as if he's adopted you! Much as it's annoying to lose plants when the thief shows up bold as brass and is entertaining (with the destruction) I think he's here to stay! Have a wonderful week.
    Wren x

  24. A very fun Montana winter post, thank you very much for sharing, Angie, you with your own Peter Rabbit. I'm with your sister: There's no comparison between the Bloody Mary's. Big pieces of shrimp, oh my. A cool thumbs up to your sister's monster quilt.

  25. I am seeing "Link party not found" so here's my post:

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I got it to work on a different browser.

  26. Lovely photos of the winter scenes. I really love seeing your snow and the fun you can have, nothing like that here in South Aus. Thanks for your blog.

  27. Looks like your sister had a great time and you are enjoying your winter wonderland. I would definitely do a lot of hibernating as I really really don't like to be cold. But a short daily jaunt outdoors would, of course, be required if only for a few photo ops. :) My Colorado boy did some snoeshowing a while back and enjoyed it; though he said the camping they did at that time was the coldest he'd ever felt. The nature cams are better than anything you can find on tv.

  28. It seems that Bunny had adopted you Angie. Clearly you are too kind in offering a smorgasbord of tasty treats and Bunny knows he is safe from revenge other than a moving of the goalposts.

    I would really like to try that dog sleddding, a meal from your resident chef, but sorry, not the snowshoe walk - far too energetic and cold.

    Such a shame that the coyotes visit in the early hours only, but your trail cam pictures are very good. I rather think I would sit up into the samall hours for a glimpse of such super creatures.

  29. winter and snow, i love it!!! you have gotten a bigger dose of winter and snow than we have!! the dog sledding looks fun!!

    and such a fun post, your home is beautiful!!

  30. I guess there is no chance of you getting bored :) Loved to see the snow, we did not have much of a winter here so I missed it. To bad the bunny only finds your BURNING BUSH to feed on :(

  31. Fantastic Angie, those mosaic are lovely, thanks.

  32. Dearest Angie; Wow,I was SO surprised with your sister's courage when I knew the temperature;-) But what a fun time you two had with fascinating activities. Wonderful that you captured deer and coyotes; and first to know about trail cam; wish to use one myself, haha. How exciting dog sledding must have been!!! Yes, your memories in the cold white world with your sister is a treasure♡♡♡ We really had the same tackling with posting video(♡˘◡˘♡)
    Well, my husband really surprised that your son used to play bassoon as he thinks it is not the instrument to play just for hobby.
    So sorry for my late comment, have a wonderful rest of the week.
    Sending Lots of Love and Hugs from Japan to my Dear friend, xoxo Miyako*

  33. What a beautiful winter wonderland Montana is. The cam shots are nice to see. I would be addicted to them and excited to see what animals strolled by. I love it. Super photos, Angie and have a wonderful day.

  34. Oh WOW! Your photographs are so beautiful, but brrr it really does look cold!
    Great post :)

    All the best Jan

  35. That dog sledding looks deluxe!! What a ride that would be. I'm thinking about heading up there for the bloody mary though. That's a whole meal.

  36. I remember having fun in the snow when I was a kid and it sounds like you all know how to do it, too!

  37. The only thing to do with winter is to get out and enjoy it. Obviously that was your intent in moving to Montana. I am sure you appreciate your husband cooking but spaghetti and brussel sprouts.........?

  38. You made some wonderful winter memories in the February freeze! I hope the lovely sound of trickling melting snow will be heard soon. Our February was unusually cold, too, and the first week of March. But this weekend things are supposed to warm up! Hooray!


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