Saturday, October 17, 2020

Mosaic Monday #101: September Spotlight Redux

Whew.  You came back.  Without further ado, we'll pick up where we left off - the trail cam photos, deer specifically.

I love the next collage.  I know we should resist anthropomorphizing animals, but I do see a very tender look passing between the two fawns.  And the doe seems to be barely tolerating this late-season feeding session with her fawn.  Then we have two different bucks.  If you examine the left-hand photo closely, you can see the fine layer of velvet on the antlers.  Wow.  The one on the right has no velvet and appears to have more points, and these photos were only one day apart.  Fascinating.

And there's more.  I originally put the trail cam here in the hopes of capturing the beaver in action.  Early in the month, I got a shot or two, but since then the beaver engineering team has been distracted dealing with the dam (see post here).  But I got quite a few surprises, which more than made up for it.  

Montana is home to three species of weasels: short-tailed, long-tailed and the least weasel.  The least weasel does not have a black tip on its tail.  All of the weasels turn white in the winter; the short and long-tailed retain the black tips on their tails!  This is the first time I have captured a weasel on my trail cam;  I once retrieved a photo of a weasel in the winter on my neighbor's trail cam - do you remember this post?  I was also thrilled to see the muskrats; another first!  Until this photo (and quite a few others of 1 - 2 muskrats), I didn't even realize we had muskrats in our lake!

This month, we've seen a herd of elk on the hill opposite us.  A dozen strong, shepherded by a bull elk, it is a majestic sight.  Occasionally, when I have been outside in the early evening, the unique bugle call of the bull comes to my ears.  I was pleased to get the bull (at least partial shots) on my trail cam, as you can see above.   Thank goodness for the reflection - you get to see much more of him!!!

Now, sometimes people don't like surprises, and there was one set of trail cam photos that fall into that category - the orange tabby feral cat.  Another first on my trail cam, and not a happy sight.   Now, before the cat lovers get upset with me - you know I adore furbabies, but I am not enamored with the impact that cats have on our domestic birds.  One to four billion (that's B for billion) birds per year fall to the ninja talons of cats that roam outdoors.  And that's not to mention small mammals, reptiles and amphibians.  I am grateful that this is the only time I have ever seen it on my trail cam.

As I look out the window at the gray, scudding clouds, and watch the wind carry off the last of the aspen leaves, the memory of kayaking on a nearby lake seems a lifetime ago.  This particular lake is known for large pike, and #1 Son wanted to try his hand at hooking one.  I have also regularly seen kingfishers at this lake, and # 1 Son was eager to glimpse one as well.  So, off we went.

The lake was a sheet of glass, and the clouds joined the sun to form fancy reflections. 

Unfortunately, the pike did not cooperate - not a single one went for the flies that night - and the one kingfisher we spotted flew into the trees, beyond the view of our binoculars.  We had to "settle" for one beaver and  pretty panoramas!

Although the clouds have become more prevalent toward the end of the month, they have rarely dropped any precipitation.   One evening, I was out for one of my "stress-reduction" strolls.  I could have taken a million photos of the gathering clouds, reflected in the lake at the bottom of the property.

Imagine my surprise when the heavens opened.  I laughed out loud with the sheer joy of feeling the water on my skin, and I envisioned all of the plants and other living things, turning toward it with relief.   I headed home in the slanting rain, and just before I shucked off my boots and put my hand on the door handle, I turned for a final look.  A rainbow arced through the clouds.  The middle was hidden, but the ends were undimmed, seeming to touch the ends of the earth in my view.   A fitting end to the month, a promise of rain to come, a reward for patience through the drought.  What a blessing.

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. Tuesday (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. Hi Angie :) I really love all of the deer photos, and I agree, there is a sweet look between the fawns! And wow, great shots of the elk. I would love to see that much wildlife around here. We do see some, but there are way too many people around here, and unfortunately lots of hunters. The lake looks so beautiful, such brilliant reflections! And a rainbow to end the post, how wonderful!! :)

  2. Very pretty. The cat information has been debunked. Windmills kill more birds.

  3. We have sometimes a bunny, a fox, a partridge but never an elk... wonderful captures of your nature around.

    Happy MosaicMonday.

    Stay healthy and well.

  4. Angie I'm jealous of your trail cam, I keep telling my husband I want one, might need two in order to cover the back 40. Love the lake photos, aww and the deer!! you know I love the squirrel and kitty, who doesn't look feral at all. Thank you for sharing your neck of the woods with us.
    Dawn aka Spatulas On Parade

  5. ...lovely images, but it hard to top a rainbow! Thanks Angie for hosting the party.

  6. Thank you, Angie, for drawing attention to the issue of feral cats. It is a huge problem for native wildlife.

  7. you really nailed the position for your trail cam. So many great shots of the deer. Almost impossible to get otherwise. The fawn are so sweet, and yes, the doe seem to think if is enough of this.
    Nice lake/sky shots with beautiful reflections, a kajak and a rainbow. A great post.
    Take care and have a great week.

  8. Of course we came back! Love the photos from your trail cam, you have so many wonderful animals in your area. I do like cats but am also aware of the havoc they cause in the wild. That ginger one looks pretty healthy. Your lake photos are beautiful, the cloud formations amazing, the rainbow a bonus!!

  9. Beautiful views. I do love the gracefulness of deer although they are nuisances in urban areas. They are so lovely in the wild.

  10. Your trail cam views are wonderful. I'm sad about that tabby cat. She is a peril to birds but she is also in danger of becoming coyote food herself. Sadly sometimes cats wander away far from home. I wonder if you could trap her and call local vets to see if she's a missing domestic cat reported missing?
    We are in desperate need of a good soaking rainfall here. We have the largest wildfire in Colorado history burning hotly and getting close to RMNP, Fort Collins and Estes Park.

  11. Love the trail cam photos - what an amazing way to view wildlife without being intrusive. I would "settle" for those panoramic views, Angie!! Thanks for hosting!


  12. Amazing pics.
    Have a nice week ahead. Thanks for hosting.

  13. Hello Angie,

    I just loved all your train cam critters. The weasel would be new to me, great sightings. The feral cats are a problem, most of our neighborhood cats have been caught. I loved hearing the sounds of the elk when we were in Colorado and Wyoming. The views of the rainbow, lake and sky reflecting are beautiful. Thanks for hosting. Wishing you a great day and a happy new week!

  14. I enlarged some of these photos and, honestly, these are some of the best I’ve seen of sky and water. That rainfall sounds heavenly and the rainbow to top it off … wow … bliss!

  15. I always enjoy your postings with lots of flora and fauna native to your part of the world, Angie. We are so lucky to have this platform, especially now that real travel is banned, so that we can travel virtually and enjoy in this vicarious way other parts of the world!

  16. I should call my hikes stress reduction walks...perfect! It does feel wonderful to be outside and see such beautiful. I love all the wildlife and you are surrounded by an abundance of animals and wildflowers. Love the reflections in the water! Just makes me say....ahhhhhh! Enjoy your day! Stay safe! Hugs!

  17. I have never seen a real live weasle
    And found your photos very interesting
    And also " All of the weasels turn white in the winter; "

    Thanks for hosting us again and again Happy Monday


  18. That trail cam is a little miracle. Wonderful “sightings”, it must feel so good to know what you have out there! Except for the cat. And I agree with you a hundred percent. (Feral cats are so sad but almost even worse are the people who let their pets roam. Birds don’t have a chance and that definitely isn’t “just nature”). ..... the deer are so sweet. For a long time I had the word “anthropomorphism” posted on a card by my computer because I used it so much and could never spell it (hope I got it right this time) and also wanted to think about whether I really wanted to do that thing )). Mostly I did, whether I should or not.

  19. It's a lovely set of photos. It's such a beautiful time of year.
    Now, some people don't want to have any disagreement. "One to four billion birds" is just bothering me. We can agree to disagree. Most cats take local birds, which are abundant. Many birders choose to put up feeders, even though there are cats in the area. I have read the studies, and they simply cannot extrapolate it to billions. We don't know what kind of cats are about, we don't know the number of birds, we don't know which cats are indoor or outdoor, the study doesn't take into account the difference between cats in different climates, or rural and urban.

  20. That trail cam is the gift that keeps on giving. Muskrat Susie, Muskrat Sam, do the jitterbug out in muskrat land ... now that song is gonna be in my head all night long. :) Animals definitely have emotions and senses beyond what we can imagine and certainly form strong bonds. As for the feral kitty, we know who is to blame for the fact that they are homeless and having to rely on their survival skills to survive. It is a huge issue here. Doesn't matter the breed ... Persian, Blue Russian, Himalayan ... humans get tired of them after about a year and out they go. :( The lake pictures are gorgeous. I'm guessing your strolls are mighty chilly about now. Take care, stay safe.

  21. Oh my goodness, the heavens reflected on that lake is sublime. Such a fabulous photo. Love too the sweet deer. I suppose where you are they are a pest but I wouldn't mind one or two taking a breather at my place. Our visitors are kangaroos, wombats, possums and little wallaroos....sweet but they do tend to cause havoc in one's garden.

  22. Angie, What a great post. Love all the wildlife you capture in person and on the trail cam. Love the elk photos. Thanks for sharing and hosting. Sylvia D.

  23. It's so beautiful to capture photos of animals in the wild. Thanks for sharing your amazing shots!

  24. Beautiful photos! I love the fawns especially.

  25. Your trail cam was worth every penny of your outlay Angie. How else would you see those (mostly nocturnal?) mammals. You're very brave taking on the cat lovers but absolutely right to explain how many millions of birds and animals are killed by cats roaming the countryside. feral and domestic. Cat lovers at least could keep their cat indoors at night.

    That last sky looks ominous.

  26. That's a fantastic set of photos from the trail cam. I enjoyed the reading about & seeing the visitors. The landscape photos are awesome ....

  27. Hi Angie
    You've shared such lovely images here but I think my favourites are the rainbow ones! WOW!

    Sending my good wishes.

    All the best Jan

  28. Great photos! Pretty soon winter will be upon us. In fact we're getting snow today. So pretty out there. I assume you're getting some too. You take care. Kit

  29. A lovely Blog you've made. I love the pictures of the Deer, magnificent.


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