Sunday, April 7, 2019

Mosaic Monday #22 - March in the Mountains

I enjoyed March.  It brought a tremendous variety of entertainment, certainly too much to cram into one post (and this may be too long already for some folks with short attention spans - LOL!  But I encourage you to stick with it for the ending!)  So, some of the month's highlights will float further into April - check back for a future post.  For now, let's get on with the show!

How dramatic the weather transformation in the last 30 days!  I took these pictures on the pristine white morning of March 13, as I reported for my volunteer shift at the Whitefish Historical Museum.

Eight short days later, Spousal Unit and I sat on the front porch, basking in the afternoon sun and indulging in an adult beverage.  Yes, Spring has arrived.

Beyond the warmer temperatures and melting snow, birds are one of Nature's great harbingers of seasonal shifts.  You may recall that I previously wrote about taking pictures through my spotting scope.  This month, I shouldered my scope and ventured down to Hodge Creek.  A 200-yard walk from the house, Hodge Creek forms one border of our property, and it positively teems with wildlife.  I set up the scope with my phone attachment and snapped away.  

Northern Shrike - a new bird for me
How delightful to see a breeding pair of mountain bluebirds, the first I had seen near our house this spring.

I shared some of these photos with my neighbor, and I had labeled this shot as a Cedar Waxwing.  Being the dedicated teacher that she is, she did her homework and came back to me asking about the differences between a Bohemian and a Cedar Waxwing.  Off I went to consult the National Audubon Society Field Guide to Birds, and darn it if she wasn't right.  My birding buddies would probably be shocked to read that I didn't even know about the Bohemian species!!!  Now I know that one of the distinguishing features of the Bohemian is a rusty underside to the tail - on the Cedar, the underside of the tail is white.  

The Northern Shrike repeatedly left this perch for bugs - here he is 
crunching one of his snacks
Dare I say it?  I think I am getting a bit addicted to this birding thing.  Or maybe it's a combination of seeing/identifying new birds and achieving quality pictures that has me hooked.  Speaking of which, I am not satisfied with these photos.  It is a challenge to figure out the ideal combination of settings on the scope and the phone, and to do it quickly while the bird is still visible.  So, I asked Spousal Unit to accompany me for one outing, and perhaps advise on a better approach.

That day, it was quite windy, which only added to the difficulty as the little birds were perched on top of trees that swayed dramatically.  In the end, Spousal Unit suggested that I should set up on the deck, and take pictures of stationary objects such as tree stumps using a variety of settings.  I could note the settings and then correlate them back to the quality of the shot.  So, stay tuned - more experiments coming your way!  (Or, as I joked to Spousal Unit with a wink, maybe I should just buy a camera that can handle long-distance shots!)
From left: female Mountain Bluebird, Bohemian Waxwing, male Mountain Bluebird, female Mountain Bluebird
When we aren't tramping around in the woods, Spousal Unit and I have teamed up in the kitchen for new culinary delights.  And all of them are keepers!

Cajun Asparagus Skillet

Chickpea Curry with Flatbread

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

Chicken Meatballs

Of course, Spousal Unit is Chef with Hat in our house, and March was busting out of its seams (or maybe WE are busting ...) with other first-rate eats.  For the last few weeks, he has been on a bread kick, so the breadmaker is getting a workout with pumpernickel, dill bread, raisin bread, Dijon rye and half whole wheat.

And every once in a while he likes to surprise me.

This month has had its share of social events.  One of our fellow Mountain Ambassadors is one-half of a musical duo called The Cutaways, and a half dozen Ambassadors with spouses attended one of his gigs.  It was a fun-filled evening, partly due to the smashing location - the Sacred Waters Brewery.  The Brewery anchors one end of a small complex that also includes Glacier Sun Winery and a produce market.  Open doorways between the businesses encourage you to move freely among them, and you are also allowed to bring food and beverages from one into the other.  As someone who does not drink beer, this was a huge boon for me - I could buy cider or wine at the Winery and bring it into the bar.
We ordered the Elk Slider Duet from the surprisingly eclectic menu.  Yummy!

Earlier in the month, with prime snow conditions, I went snowshoeing with some friends and cross-country skiing with a neighbor.
When I go skiing with my neighbor, it's a bonus to see her animals, including these newborn goats
Are you getting the gist?  It was a busy 31 days.  Even so, I made time for some drawing.

I can't think of a better way to close this post than an AWESOME series of coyote photos from the trail cam (these pictures all took place within 3 minutes).  It certainly was a magical March in our mountains.

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.

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  1. WOW, such pretty and amazing photos of the coolest critters and yummy foods!

  2. ...beautiful winter scenes, but I'm ready to move on to spring.

  3. Wow, this is a monsterpost,
    so many great photos of different themes !
    Warm regards from Germany

  4. Dearest Angie; Wow Wow!!! You might know I got so fascinated by your bird watching part of this post. Pictures of them taken by the spotting scope look really sweet and elegant♡♡♡ Thanks for the word "harbinger". I can't help agreeing your explanation the reason of the fun of bird watching ;-:)
    I LOVE the delicious meals you and your husband.
    And also tail cam must be really wonderful camera. Wished to see coyotes, haha.
    Thank you SO much for this post and hosting.
    Sending Lots of Love and Hugs from Japan, xoxo Miyako*

  5. Oh gosh, I was ecstatic to see all your birds (how wonderful to have that creek on your property)...but then when I saw your mouth-watering food pictures, all thoughts about what I was going to say fled my mind ... I’m hungry and maybe I should eat dinner and then come back to comment. ... but in case it takes me a while, just a quick thanks for sharing your beautiful and busy March ... and, as always, for hosting.

  6. Look at those coyotes!! Great photos. Glad you are having such fun. Pretty unspring like here. Getting some rain and wind. Not too many plants up. :) Kit

  7. A full and beautiful March in the mountains. Love the variety of birds you have enjoyed. The coyote shots are great. It was posing for you. :) Our son got one good shot of a coyote from his driveway cam. Your resident chef is amazing. I'm drooling over here. Glad you are getting so connected in your new community. Wonderful days out snowshoeing and cross country skiing. Happy new week to you! Soon we'll be celebrating a new grandson and Easter!

  8. peeps! I saw peeps on a stick today at Khols. Your photos are terrific and I need to come eat at your place since you cook fancy meals!

  9. You don't have a minute to spare do you. =) Cameras seem to be a tad tricky to me. There is a lot of playing with them to get the shots you want. Your bird photos are great and love the coyote ones as well. Looking at what's on the menu at your 'restaurant' it looks thoroughly delicious. Give my compliments to the chef, please. How fabulous you have a creek as one of the borders of your property. I can just imagine all the flora and fauna that live there. Such a gorgeous post, Angie. Enjoy a beautiful week!

  10. March looked like a very full month for you, Angie! Aren't you laughing at all those who told you that you would be bored in retirement?
    Your culinary delights look restaurant worthy and I love all the birds photos and the hunting coyote. I know that most professional wildlife photographers use a combination of high powered zoom lenses and tripods. A facebook friend of mine gets incredible photos from her porch in Evergreen, CO, using that combination. In fact, one she took of a red fox tossing a mouse into the air was just chosen by National Geographic as their "photo of the week"! I'm not good with dragging a tripod around but I know it is the best way to get an extra clear shot.
    We have been having very spring like temperatures in the 70's but more snow is predicted for the end of the week! The good thing is that it melts very quickly this time of the year.
    Have a wonderful week!

  11. March was magical and marvelous! Those coyote pictures are awesome. I love birdwatching and, of course, want to know what I'm looking at so am always doing research. The same with flowers and insects. My best friend here thinks I'm a walking encyclopedia on such things. Ha! Chickpeas are one of my favorite things to cook with as they are so versatile. I used to be addicted to those malted Robins Eggs every time Easter would roll around. Nice doodling. Happy April!

  12. That's a lovely review of your March. I enjoyed the description, the delicate meals and most of them the wildlife.

    Happy MosaicMonday! I wish you a very good week. Thank you för hosting.

    Heidrun xxx

  13. Luv the curry chickpeas and flat bread. Here we say Curry Channa and Roti.
    Happy Monday

    much love...

  14. Hello, I think you had a wonderful month of March. The food looks yummy. The coyote photos are cool. Great bird sightings. I would love to see the Bohemian Waxwing. The Mountain Bluebirds are beautiful. Wonderful photos and mosaics. Thanks for hosting. Happy Monday, enjoy your day! Wishing you a happy new week!

  15. Thanks for all the great photos. I like the coyote photos, and the food photos have made me want to try some new recipes.

  16. You've had a busy month for sure! Love seeing you out in the snow having fun and that beautiful coyote caught on the cam! Carbs are good when you're getting so much exercise...everything looks amazing! I have been homemade pizza crazy lately! Happy MM! Hugs!

  17. That was quite the month, wasn't it?! I totally forgot about mosaics. Yours are wonderful.
    I love the coyotes! Ours don't like the camera, which is fine.
    Great photos of the birds. I never thought of that. The long-distance shots are tricky.

  18. What a great post, Angie! Lovely photos of your eventful month. While Spring is coming to the Northern Hemisphere, we are glad to see Autumn's arrival.

  19. Great photos of the birds. I've never heard of a Bohemian either, now I'll have to see if it comes our way too. As usual, your game camera photos amaze me with their clarity. Have a great week!

  20. It must be truly amazing to see the seasons change so dramatically as the snow melts. We don't have anything like that where we live. Right now we know autumn is here as it is colder at night and in the morning. But the days are gloriously sunny. Enjoy the coming of spring!

  21. Excellent photos. Favorites were of the the coyote.

  22. You're right those coyote photos are awesome - I want one, a trail cam and a coyote in the garden too! I'm glad you are getting into birding some more. How lovely to be able to invite friends over to go off cross country skiing from your house, it looks a pretty cold march but stunning nevertheless.
    Thank you for hosting, have a great April!
    Wren x

  23. That one shot of the coyote looking right at the camera- it makes you wonder what they think of the device.

  24. Love you lettering. That's something I'm trying to work on for my journal. - Margy

  25. A delightful post! Love the coyote! Awesome.

  26. Impressive coyote photos and it looks like you are eating well. The birds have finally returned to Georgia. I spotted cardinals and robins in my yard yesterday.

  27. i enjoyed our march too, i am enjoying april more!!! i have experienced the love for birds for many years, be prepared, it is a hobby you will grow to love....and it looks like you are already, your captures of them are beautiful!!!

    all of the meals look very yummy. i love when the hubs and i cook together in the kitchen. it is nice to have the help and it is fun time together!!!

    that coyote is gorgeous, in the snow, looking back at you!!!!

  28. Wow! Beautiful to see the coyote so close up! And lovely shots of blue skies and snow.

  29. The Coyote was astounding, and the scenery was snow white, beautiful.

  30. Great post again Angie. And yes, I think Spousal Unit and you should invest jointly in a Canon 80D + Sigma 150-600mm. Think of the fun you would BOTH have that combo. Love the coyote, the menu and that selection of birds. Good to see you thinking about all the different birds you see and all the ones you will picture with your new camera!

    I could do some damage to that menu.

  31. what a beautiful array of gorgeous photos ~ love the feathered friends, the fox, and the sweet goats ~ ^_^

    Happy Days to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  32. beautiful series of photos...
    thank you for sharing

  33. Wow, wow and wow again!
    Fabulous post and photographs.
    Just loved everything and the food looks so delicious :)

    Great post.

    All the best Jan

  34. Another wonderful post. Great photos, food looks delicious and the cam shots of the coyote are absolutely grogeous. Thanks for sharing, Angie!

  35. you did have a great month :)

    We have the Bohemian waxwing where I live in Sweden. A lovely bird seen in late fall and winter if food is scarse elswhere. I love it´s sound. Mostly you here them before you see them. And they love treetops. and apples. :) Gret shots of the coyote. I was lucky to see three of them in Yellowstone 18 months ago :)

  36. Your scenes are just fabulous! The snow is gorgeous and the coyote photos are so great to see!


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