Sunday, June 7, 2020

Mosaic Monday #83: Emerging (Part 2)

Heartleaf Arnica grows naturally on our
property - a shot of sunshine!
This post continues the re-cap of May that I started last week - so much went on I couldn't possibly cover it all, and you probably wouldn't have read it, either.  So here we are again.

Surprises can come from many places, and this month was no exception.  A stinkbug on the arm of the porch rocker.  Flowers from Spousal Unit.  

On May 17, it was a wildlife extravaganza just outside our windows.  That morning, I was sipping my coffee and looking out the dining room window, my custom in case the ground squirrels are there and need chasing.  This day, I noticed that the area around a drainage pipe had been thrown into major disarray.  What?  I immediately went outside to check it out.  In the past, a ground squirrel had used this hole as a hiding place, and I had piled many rocks on it, large rocks, to prevent its entry.  All of those rocks had been tossed 3 to 5 feet down the hill, and what was a small hole was now two large holes.  As I told Spousal Unit, only a bear or a badger could have done it, and based on the print sizes in the ground, I was betting on the badger.
Red arrows - where rocks WERE
Blue arrows - where the rocks ended up
That same day, I sat near the great room window, putting together my to-do list, and I spied something unusual sitting in the Ponderosa Pine below the birdfeeders.  I shouted for Spousal Unit, and we both watched it for at least 15 minutes.  I commented that it would fly away as soon as I got the spotting scope out, but Spousal Unit encouraged me to do it.  Here are my two favorite photos of the Sharp-shinned Hawk that we took that day using the scope.  Since then, it has returned at least once in the times that we have been watching, and I am sure that I have also seen it flying low through the trees in search of prey.
These pictures don't compare to the professional shots
that many of you take, but I like the "personality" in 
these photos

As more hummers arrived, I
added another feeder to the line-up
As long as I am writing about birds, allow me to mention others that put in an appearance in the month of May.  (Note that the pictures below are from the Internet.)    In our three years in Montana, I have never seen a Blue Jay here; from May 6 - 23, up to three males were regular visitors at our birdfeeders.  According to my Audubon app, Montana is not a common part of its range.

But perhaps the most exciting thing is that I saw the badger the afternoon of May 17.  Yes, this was the same day I described above, when I noticed the fresh digging.  About 4 pm that afternoon, I was looking out the same window, and I am sure that I gasped out loud – for there, just below the window, was the badger, going in and out of the holes and seemingly marking its territory.  Here are two videos that I took right then.

Since that day, I have seen the badger one other time.  The afternoon of May 22, it came out of the hole and sauntered off into the woods.  The trail cam has been trained on the holes for almost two weeks, and has not captured a single photo.  At first, I was tempted to speculate that it is a female and she dug this den specifically to give birth (it is referred to as a natal den), which might explain the rare sightings.  But I would have expected to see her emerge at least once since May 22.  I am now convinced that the badger dug the hole to catch a ground squirrel, but I am not quite ready to close up the hole, just in case!   

On May 20, I was in Whitefish for my normally scheduled hair appointment.  Arranged before the lockdown began, it was timed perfectly for the re-opening of salons.  My stylist and I both wore masks throughout the appointment.  It was hot; I am sympathetic to her spending a whole day in a mask!  We took advantage of being in Whitefish to frequent another local restaurant that we trusted – the Craggy Range.  What a delight it was to imbibe one of their Smoky Old-Fashioned drinks.

Spring always puts me in the mood for rhubarb.  In my childhood, we had several large rhubarb plants, and we ate it raw with sugar.  My mother had several methods to cope with the bounty, from sauce to pie to crumble.  So, I had been pestering Head Chef for a bit to buy some rhubarb.  It is not stocked in his normal grocery store, so he made a special trip to Rosauer’s to get some.  Yum, that crumble with ice cream was an absolute delight.  Do you have a favorite spring food?

While I am singing the praises of Head Chef, check out two of his other creations from this month.  Good thing I am getting more exercise in the garden and elsewhere to burn off all these calories!

Walking our back forty is one of the ways I work off those meals, and each day in the month of May seemed to bring new life to the meadows and glades.  My forays often take place after dinner, and the soft evening light transforms everything.  I am never sure that my pictures do it justice.

The re-opening of Montana, together with the improved weather, has allowed for precious time with my Dear Neighbor Friend.  Chatting around our fire pit.  A bike ride with her standing group of hiking ladies.  Kayaking.  As I wrote in my May 24 post, we made quite a team transplanting 29 lupines into my garden.  She brought another 7 to my house on May 26, and we jabbered on while I planted them.  (By the way, as of this writing, 6 out of 36 are fair, two are perky and the rest have returned to the earth from which they came).
Upper right: a perky lupine
Bottom: view of Swan Mountains during bike ride
I have published kayaking pictures before, but I think these are some of the best that I have ever taken, thanks to the gorgeous sky and the mirror of the lake.  (And thanks to DNF for having me!)
When we kayak in the evening, we almost always see the beaver swimming and eating.  On the day I filmed the video below, we saw four different beaver.  This video shows two; the second one comes very close to my kayak - watch until the end!

I look back at these scenes, and I am already missing May.  But move on we must … and who knows what wonders June will bring, all by her little self?

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!
Click here to enter


  1. ...the squirrels have taken over ownerships of our place, the bird mosaic is a colorful treat. Thanks for hosting.

  2. Your photos are fabulous. None of us here have ever seen a badger in the furs before, I hear they're not super friendly.

  3. Beautiful photos.

  4. I expand me in the post, into the informations of the busy badger, the stinkbug, the squirrel, the funny Hawk - Montana has a wonderful nature around the lake...and of course, the visit at your hairstylist.

    Indeed the hairdresser as well as the staff in the supermarket do a hard job now during Corona.

    Stay healthy and well, dear blogfriend.

    Happy MosaicMonday

  5. I need a bangs trim, but I'm going to do it myself. I usually only go to hair salon once every six months to get my ends trimmed. Fortunately I went in January so I'm good to go for now. Our restaurants are opening for 50% occupancy. We chose a taco food truck for our first sit down "restaurant" meal. - Margy

  6. I'm in need of a cut but my regular stylist isn't open, she may not open. I don't know.
    Love the walk around the back 40 and the wildlife. The kayak photos...absolutely gorgeous.
    Dawn aka Spatulas On Parade

  7. Oh my, Beaver Lake is beautiful and the reflections are incredible!! Thank you! Have a wonderful week!

  8. hm, stinkbug does not seem like fun. Think we have something similar. :)
    Swan Mountains on the other hand seem very appealing :) Love all the birds. Take care.

  9. Your little patch of paradise does sound rather wonderful, with the critters visiting you....such pretty birds and the flowers AND then the gorgeous scenery that hugs you every day. Those beavers are sweet. Oh my goodness, to see those skies and glorious reflections in the water as you kayak must be special. I wouldn't worry about all the calories that Head Chef's cooking will add; why you will just walk them off as you enjoy your walks/hikes. Have a beautiful week, lovely Angie.

  10. What beautiful photos of the lake when you were kayaking, the reflections are stunning. So good to see the badger and the beaver, for some reason I associate badgers with the UK not the US. Willt he badger come back to the hole? Said to see that not many pupils survived, but hopefully the good ones will give you seed for the future. I have seen beautiful pupils in NZ where they grow like weeds, and we also saw some in Canada that were beautiful, growing along the bank of a river.

  11. Such exciting and beautiful things you saw. I need to get my hair done, but l am not ready for that.

  12. So much to enjoy here. Love seeing that badger. Enjoyed watching it from afar. Have you ever read any of Brian Jacques Redwall series? Loved all the animals in those stories. I had my hair done this week, too. Shh...without a mask. How wonderful to enjoy a nibble and a sip at a good restaurant. Beautiful collage of birds. Love Audobon's warbler. Have a great week.

  13. Angie, I loved the beaver video. Those are wonderful photos from the kayak! Thanks so much for hosting and sharing. Have a great week. Sylvia D.

  14. First, I apologize for doing the all caps thing under my Linky picture. Linking to MM is always the first thing I do after I finally finish my post and I too often seem to forget how to do it right. .....more importantly, I loved the badger videos, so cool to have that wildlife in your backyard ... I saw one once (only) when I took an evening walk around a states park where we were staying in our RV.,, so interesting to watch. .... I’m glad you are getting back to normal. Montana seems to be one of the states that did it right, I am hoping for a much needed hair appt soon.

  15. Hi Angie

    How interesting to be able to watch that badger--they are usually so elusive. I love the bird collage too--you are fortunate to see so many different birds I wish I could have a bird feeder but once the bears wake up we can't as they will come down from the hills at night and destroy them to eat the seed--it has happened quite a few times here already. We have been seeing newborn fawns this week--always a delight! Our high mountains over 10,000 feet may get snow tomorrow--hard to believe that snow can still fall here in June!

  16. I enjoyed seeing the video of the beaver when you were kyaking. He was swimming very quick though he didn't seem too bothered by you. So lovely to see things like this when we are out. A dolphin swam right beside us on the jetty this morning when we were out walking. Have a great week, enjoy spring, and thanks again for the loink up.

  17. How I miss real, true nature! It's 110 F here every day so I've not walked since last Tuesday. :/ Smart badger. Much easier to dig where someone's already loosened up the earth. :) Gorgeous pictures as always. Nice that you are able to enjoy time outside and start socializing again.

  18. We have the rains now, in Trinidad and Tobago up until October, our Wet Season. Happy mosaic Monday to all

    Stay safe

    much love...

  19. What a wonderful month of May you had, the kayak trip images are stunning, I'm happy that you are able to socialise once again and so envious that you were able to go to the hairdresser. I am dreaming of the day when I can get my hair cut short once again!
    Happy MM.

  20. Good work on a haircut. I'm not going anywhere, so I don't really care. I've done an old photo for my thumbnail. what the heck.
    That badger! I liked it when it shook off all the dust!
    The hummer feeder is gorgeous!

  21. It's been wonderful to get out in nature and marvel at what the new season brings! You took amazing photos of the clouds reflected in the water! And your birds are fun...a Western Tanager too! WOW! Lots of nature where you live. Thanks for sharing! Happy MM!

  22. Beautiful flowers and birds, Angie. I guess the animal pests of the garden are something you have to put up with if you live in the countryside. That's only a small negative in the tally of many positives.
    We enjoyed a lovely dinner out last Sunday to celebrate my birthday, which coincided with the opening of the restaurant in our favourite neighbourhood hotel. It was all done with the observation of social distancing rules (i.e. 20 people at a time in the dining room, tables 2 metres apart, waiters disinfecting all and sundry and no buffet, just à la carte). Still it was wonderful to go out and enjoy a good restaurant meal.

  23. Spring food, yum! My two faves are asparagus and artichokes. So many ways to enjoy these distinctive vegetables.

  24. I love your bird mosaic! Pretty all. I also love your comments. Thank you for all your thoughtful messages. They are a joy to read.

  25. You definitely have an interesting life with badgers and humming birds and all in between!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  26. You live in Heaven on Earth, Angie, awesome! I'm glad you left the hole unplugged for in case. :-)

  27. Beautiful photos! I've never photographed a badger or a beaver.

  28. That badger clearly likes what he/she sees in setting up home with you Angie. Same goes for all those lovely colourful warblers, some of whom I guess are just short term visitors. Same goes for the sharpie of course, looking for a meal to feed a growing family. Enjoy your week, what's left of it.

  29. What a post just filled with nature's gems ~ great photos and fascinating videos ~ you live in a great place ~ enjoy!

    Be Safe, Be Well,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  30. Love that hummer feeder - so gorgeous! Did you paint it yourself?

  31. Hello, Wow, the badger is a cool critter. Great video. I love all your birds, they are all lovely. The Hummer feeder is beautiful. I love your nature finds and the view of the lake and sky. Gorgeous view of the mountains. I didn't have MM post this week, I'll join back this coming Monday. Have a great day and a happy weekend ahead.

  32. i have never heard of a badger, it is interesting looking, i think you need larger stones/boulders. the videos were great. i love sloppy joes, they are a favorite any time of year. my summertime favorite is a steak cooked on the grill, with potatoes also cooked on the grill, in a foil packet with onions and butter!!

    your hummingbird feeder is gorgeous!!!

  33. How nice to catch up on your news. There is always something happening in a garden.

  34. Amazing photos as usual! I can't imagine having a badger that close to the house. Did he or she tear up any plumbing? Your stinkbug looks a lot like a kissing bug but I know a lot of bugs have similar markings.

  35. Great photos my friend! The weather is all over the place down here and today is hot! The gardens are looking great and I am loving being outside. Still staying close to home but I don't mind. Have a lovely June! Kit

  36. Wonderful photos, great post and lovely badger videos. I enjoyed the videos, smart critters those badgers are, they even removed your rocks for their project. :) Have a great week!

  37. What a thing to see badgers and beavers.

  38. Wonderful photographs.

    All the best Jan


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