Sunday, August 4, 2019

Mosaic Monday #39: Summer Days, Drifting Away

Female Nokomis Fritillary butterfly on bee balm in my garden - thanks to
David of Travels with Birds for the identification

"August is like the Sunday of summer."  Unknown.

Well, folks, I don't know about you, but I am not even close to ready for summer to flit on by, so we are going to ignore for the moment that the calendar page has inexorably flipped to August.  Instead, we shall linger in those lazy (well, maybe not so lazy), hazy (well, we actually have crystal blue skies here in Montana) days of July 2019.

Evening light at our lake
How did you spend your July?

It will come as no surprise to you that I treasure the long light of summer.  It enables early mornings on the deck, with coffee of course.  Or twilight walks to the lake at the bottom of our property.  And sunset kayaking with my dear neighbor friend on her lake.  

Early July saw regular rainfall, and I reveled in pulling on my wellies and wandering a sparkling fresh world.
Storm clouds gather on the western horizon

The naturally occurring plants on our property provide unending entertainment and photo opportunities for me.
Left: Showy Death Camas    Upper right: Blue-eyed Grass
Lower right: White Spirea

On one such outing, my little eye spied something white in the dead branches of a lodgepole pine.  Can you see it?  Hmmm .... what could that be?

Upon closer inspection, it was easy to identify a mushroom, impaled on the branch.  Now, how did that GET there?  Why, your local neighborhood squirrel put it there.  

Being off the ground helps the mushrooms dry quickly and become tough and brittle.  These dried mushrooms resist decay and the squirrels stash them away for winter snacks.  For me, this falls in the category of "Now I have seen everything!"

Everyone knows the saying "Make hay while the sun shines," and now Spousal Unit and I have a new appreciation for it.  My dear neighbor friend and her entire family engage deeply in the haying process during the summer.  When conditions are right, it's all hands on deck for this labor-intensive operation.  That's how we found ourselves at the farm, helping where it was needed most.  (Actually, my role was observer and photographer.)  
Mowing.  Mown hay has to dry thoroughly before it can be raked and baled.
Raking - Spousal Unit is driving the red tractor, a 1959 Ford
Workmaster 641 - suffice it to say he was like a kid in a
candy store!
Baling - hubby of my dear neighbor friend drives the
tractor while his grand-daughter drives the baler
under the careful oversight of her dad
Looks simple and organized, but the bales to the left and the mown hay to the right - a gargantuan team effort
Spousal Unit loads bales onto the sled while my dear neighbor friend
drives the tractor

Spousal Unit moves bales from sled to elevator, which takes them to
the hay loft, where dear neighbor friend stacks them

Hay loft.  This hay is kept for the farm to use; the
rest is sold and goes direct from the field to the customer.
Work hard, play hard.  That could be Montana's motto.  So, when my dear neighbor friend needs to relax after all that haying, she kayaks on the lake.  And sometimes I am along for the ride.
We got this close to the loon nest only after concluding that the eggs were unlikely to hatch.  And wrong we were -
2 weeks later the eggs lay broken in the nest and the young ones were bobbing about

Stuffed breakfast biscuits
The family summer vacation is as iconic as motherhood and apple pie, and during July we were glad to welcome friends from Cleveland, along with their twin sons.  In his usual fashion, Head Chef fed them well.

A highlight of the visit was our hike along the Highline in Glacier National Park.  But that's a subject for a future post.  For now, I will tease you with a picture taken by one of our visitors - this year is a bumper crop of beargrass!

Of course, there's nothing like a summer night to light a fire and host neighbors and friends for chit-chat and s'mores.  When the last guest has gone, and the stars are sprinkled on the night sky like so much glittery confetti, we linger by the fire.  And we give thanks. For our dream home.  For excellent health, to enjoy the glorious world on our doorstep.  For good neighbors.  And for long summer days, even as they drift into the past.  


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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Click here to enter


  1. The upside down mushroom is a marvel and the haying process a lot of hard work. This post shows exactly why working hard and playing hard equals a very good life!

  2. ...gorgeous scenes in your neck of the woods. The image of the beargrass in the foreground of the mountains is magical. Thank for hosting Angie.

  3. Hi Angie i thoroughly enjoyed your post.
    How wonderful you can go kayaking with your neighbour,sounds like a lot of fun.
    We travelled all of June and half of July.
    How lovely that you had friends come and visit the food looks yummy.
    I love the last picture what a beautiful home,hope you have a lovely day my friend xx

  4. Great post! You are the best neighbors to help with haying. That is hard work. And remember we don't have to worry that summer is ending yet in Montana. We consider September part of summer here! We are in for some glorious days to come. Have a wonderful week! Kit

  5. Hi! Work hard, play hard is very cool. Your scenery photos are very beautiful too. Thanks for sharing.

  6. I have never seen bear grass before - nor did I imagine that squirrels would harvest and dry mushrooms!!

    Very much enjoyed all of this post.

  7. Your photos are always so amazing, we feel like we are right there with you!

  8. Every picture is as beautiful as can be! Montana is wonderful in summer! I too feel as if August is just the start of summer ...not at all ready for it to end. I really enjoyed learning about the haying documented it well in words and pictures!

  9. So that's how haying is done! I really appreciate seeing your photos and reading your explanations because my Pilates teacher's husband has been "haying" for weeks now and while I hear her talk about it, I couldn't imagine it. And lucky you to have a lake right near you to kayak on.

  10. Making hay is hard work even with so many machines-- and good neighbors like yourselves-- to help! July and now the beginning of August will be quiet while my husband recovers, but we are relishing our memories of our trip to Alaska in June. I like autumn, so the end of summer doesn't make me sad, but I do like the longer daylight hours right now.

  11. That butterfly is awesome...I do not know it, unfortunately.

  12. Smart squirrels. I would never have guessed that was why. Our July was spent up at the cabin and ended with a road trip that you can read about from the link. - Margy

  13. What a fabulous post...I marveled at the smarts of that squirrel and was delighted by the beautiful scenic photos. Your pics of hay baling brought the smells of summer back to me. I just love the smell of hay being cut...where I live this usually happens from the end of December. My favourite photo was the white flowers...never seen those before.

  14. Bear grass is new to me, but it looks very appealing indeed.

  15. Forget to mention, your butterfly is definitely not a White Admiral. I am not sure what it is, not being familiar with western species, but it looks like some kind of checkerspot.

  16. Hi again Angie: I checked my reference books and I am pretty sure now that it is a female Nokomis Fritillary (Speyeria nokomis).

  17. Hello, haying is a lot of hard work, kudos to you all helping out your neighbors. The butterfly is gorgeous, not sure of the id. Pretty scenery and flowers. The last two photos are just gorgeous. Thanks for hosting MM. Enjoy your day, have a happy new week!

  18. Hello, Angie, so wonderful to see your Summer photos as we have a week of wild wintry weather forecast. Never mind, we'll stay in and snuggle up and to wonderful indoors things :-)

  19. PS: Haymaking is hard work, but also fun. I remember having helped out a friend of mine from school a couple of times in his farm.

  20. Your home looks so beautiful with all the lights welcoming! Love seeing the hay making process! BIG!!! And that mushroom is so funny! Now I've seen everything TOO! Happy MM! Hugs!

  21. Your house all lit up at night is such a welcoming sight, Angie.

  22. Wonderful post. Looks like an Indra Swallowtail--butterfly that is. Oh Haying---used to hay our fields until I decided that we have too much rain here and sometimes we lose whole fields to the rain. Good hard work though. My late husband used to do a lot of cutting for farmers up the Valley

  23. Oh and a BTW: fishing was very good and we came home with lots of ocean fresh Salmon

  24. What a glorious place you live everywhere.
    Lovely photos!

  25. Haying is a group effort of hard workers! You brought back some memories of haying back in the 1950's Angie. Thank you for your 39th Mosaic Monday. Always appreciated.

  26. Thanks for sharing such beauties from your home. Happy mosaic Monday


  27. Great shots! Love the log home at night!

  28. What a wonderful post!! Love the lake photos and plant and flowers. That mushroom in the tree gave me a clever are the squirrels!! Hay making is a huge job, but has to be done for the winter. Your house at night photo is stunning.

  29. I love this mood of summertime, with all the noises of grashoppers and birds, early in the morning, late on evening ...
    I love the fragrance of all the blooms, it's amazing - each year, I enjoy it.

    Thank you for sharing .

    Happy MosaicMonday

  30. Your summer is moving right along. This is the first time I have seen haying portrayed as fun, my little tiny exposure to it at my uncle's ranch in Idaho is that this is hard work!!
    Those tractors are beautiful!

  31. I can smell the dry hey from your photos. As a child we had a couple of cows and some sheep and the most fun thing was to jump on dry hay in the barn! Yes, the summer always flies away too quickly. The bear grass shot at the end is fabulous!

  32. Your house and property are beautiful! I'm back at work already and it's tough...

  33. No, it is not a White Admaril. As David say, it is a Nokomis Fritillary. Beautiful images Angie.

  34. I too thought your butterfly was a White Admiral, but having looked online, I agree it is probably a Nokomis Fritillary. I have always wanted to drive a tractor and although I know a number of farmers, I'm yet to be invited to sit in the cab behind the wheel. I need to get back on the internet now and look up "squirrels hoarding mushrooms" - that seems so strange but also likely. Have fun in that sun.

  35. Yes, I found it. Thanks Angie. "Learn something everyday".

  36. Great eyeballs seeing the mushroom!
    Yep, the seasons go quickly, but we have rain, and that has been wonderful. I prefer the shoulder seasons, though!

  37. Angie ~ beautiful butterfly shot and other lovely nature shots too!

    Happy Day To You,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  38. Thank you for visiting my blog. I really enjoyed this post and reading about the hay making. We have a small livery yard and we take a maximum of 9 horses, now on a DIY basis.
    Before I had major health issues we used to make all our own hay, and hubby and I used to do it between us.
    With all the huge farms and everything done on such a big and technical scale now, it was nice to see your photos of saving hay being done the way we always did it.
    I enjoyed your nature photos too.

  39. You're living the simple life. What I love the most. I hate the big cities and all the noise. You're living my dream.

    Thank you for visiting Comedy Plus.

    Have a fabulous day. ♥

  40. What a wonderful review. The photos are absolutely beautiful.
    Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful day.

  41. We are appreciating that saying more and more, "make hay while the sun shines", with all the visuals we have driving around Colville. Lots of haying going on around here. Now that's something about that mushroom drying process by the squirrel! Thanks for sharing. Happy weekend to you!

  42. I blinked and my July was gone. Looks like you got a lot done in yours. I enjoyed seeing your photos.

  43. August hey......that is a good thing for me as that means September will soon appear and with it Spring! I cannot wait to send grumpy Ol' Man Winter to you...but you won't mind because I know you LOVE Winter and all that snow. =) You as always have filled each day with oodles of activities and fabulous photos.


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