Sunday, July 4, 2021

Mosaic Monday #138: Jiggin' It in June

My goodness, my goodness, here it is July 4th!  The summer is flying past like a kite caught in a tropical storm!  You'll forgive me if we re-wind to June, right?  The usual topics -- animals, flowers, cooking.  But maybe you keep coming back because you enjoy my menu!  Bon appetit!

As most of you know, our 'neighborhood' is a mecca for wildlife - but June delivered some new species!!!  Always a thrill!  One evening, I heard a loud bang on one of the kitchen windows.  In the twilight, I could imagine a confused bird aiming for what it saw as a tree.  I went out and looked on the deck and was shocked to find a very young Pygmy owl.  I picked it up and its head fell forward.  Not a good sign.  I went inside for reinforcements.  

Spousal Unit and #1 Son gathered 'round and we discussed options.  As we talked, it started to wriggle a bit and click its beak.  We decided to put it in a shoebox with a towel for support, and place the box outside a sliding glass door. #1 Son could monitor it.  Within 30 minutes, it had recovered enough to perch on the side of the box, and not too long after, it flew away.  We were all massively relieved. In the past, Spousal Unit and I have talked about how to deter bird strikes, and this convinced him that we should at least place some decals on key windows.  I will keep you posted on the effectiveness of the method!

This past Monday, #1 Son spotted a critter on the patio, which he could not identify.  He took a picture and then went outside to check it out.  It proceeded to squeeze itself behind a tall plastic cabinet that we use for storing patio cushions. He had called us and sent pictures, and we couldn't figure out what it might be.  So, he let it be, and by the time we arrived home, it had disappeared.  I shared the photos with my Dear Neighbor Friend, and she suggested a groundhog.  Interesting - I didn't know Montana had groundhogs.  I went to the web and learned that Montana has two species of marmots, a relative of the groundhog.  Aha!  The yellow-bellied marmot is found at lower elevations than its cousin, the hoary marmot, so I surmised this to be the former.

And then there are the regulars - they deserve a spotlight too, right?  I saw this rabbit when I was walking to my neighbor's house.  It let me take video while it calmly ate grass.

It finally decided I was too close and took off.  But I managed this still picture (not the best quality - my phone doesn't do distance and zoom) and was amused to see the size of its feet, not to mention the color - still white!

Following a hike, Spousal Unit and I took a scenic route home.  A friend had told me the location of a field of blue camas, and Spousal Unit was kind enough to indulge my flower obsession.  It paid off not only with the flowers, but a sighting of a small black bear.

Closer to home, the trail camera yielded some special deer photos - a fawn and a young buck. 


As June approached, I told #1 Son about the turtle that shows up every year in early June. I am not sure he bought it.  So, on June 8, when I announced the turtle was on the leach field, he was curious enough to come out for a look.  As in past years, the turtle hung around for about three days and then disappeared.  Until next year! 

It always catches me off guard - how June accelerates from "brown" to "blooms" everywhere.  I mentioned the Blue Camas above - here it is.  This was a first for me.  

I also find it fascinating that one can find many different plants within a mile or two of each other.  Even an elevation gain of 400 feet can mean new species.  Around here, the plants on top of the ridge bloom first.  I always wonder about this:  the snow is deeper the higher you go, but I suppose it also melts faster if the ridge is exposed.  Whatever the reason, it's a sight to behold.  

June temperatures allowed me to run outside, and occasionally I can't resist stopping to take a picture or two.  I made a new discovery in the process.  Bog bean.  This plant was in the marsh, and to get a quality photo, I had to take it like a selfie - that's why you can see my leg in the background!  Doesn't it seem that this aquatic beauty deserves a better name than "bog bean"?

To add to the floral delight, I found this orchid in our own back "yard" - a spotted coral root orchid.

And then there is Spousal Unit, who surprised me with a rainbow bouquet!

This month, #1 Son collaborated with me to make Firecracker Chicken Meatballs.  So good!

We weren't quite as thrilled with the Corned Beef Hash Rustic Pie.

But the month sure had a sweet ending with this surprise bag of orange slices from my Spousal Unit!

Happy Fourth of July to all my fellow U.S. citizens!

A note to my fellow bloggers: I may be late commenting this week with family in town.

A note to all Mosaic Monday participants - I am taking a break NEXT WEEK; there will not be a post on July 11.  See you on the 18th!

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.
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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. Quite a variety of critters! That rustic pie sounds really good!

  2. Beautiful photos, photo with deers is fantastic!

  3. ...I'm not sure where all the turtles have gone, but I rarely see any. Enjoy your 4th of July and thanks Angie for hosting the party.

  4. The nature around your house is fascinating, Angie. I was surprised seeing a turtle. And the sweet little owl of course.
    But the blooms never seen before. They are unknown for me.

    Wish you a very good week and wonderful holidays too.

    Hugs, Heidrun

  5. You have a regular Yellowstone Park north thing going on!

  6. that little owl is a cute one. I am glad it recovered.
    Loved to see the fawn. And beautiful flowers. :)

  7. I'm so glad the turtle showed up for his yearly visit, and that the little owl recovered and flew away. Lots of wonderful wildlife! The blue camas lilies grow here, too, and their bulbs were a major source of food for the First Nations peoples.

  8. Angie, that rustic pie looks awesome! And so do the meatballs!! Very neat to see a Pygmy own! And a marmot have some lovely wildlife to view in your area, it's enviable! :)

  9. Those are all some amazing critters and that owl was sure cute, thanks for helping it out.

  10. The owl looks so cute! Glad to hear he/she recovered and flew off to enjoy life. So nice to see all the wild life and wildflowers too.
    Thank you for hosting, Angie.
    Enjoy the 4th!

  11. Yes, so hard to believe it is July already. I enjoyed your wildlife and wildflowers pics, and that chicken meatballs sound delicious. Enjoy summer. Take care and thank you again for the link up.

  12. Hi Angie!
    Oh, those were EXCITING animal and plant sightings! I am so glad that the young pygmy owl has recovered. With the young bear sighting I would be afraid that Mummy is somewhere very close ;-) As for the "groundhogs": I think there are no such thin marmots and they are also lighter in color than "your" animal. My (European) identification app thinks it's a nutria (Myocastor coypus). In the USA, however, there are more of its relatives, the muskrats (Ondatra zibethicus). Compare a photo with yours, I think the resemblance is greater than that of yellow-bellied marmot. Your Firecracker Chicken Meatballs look very appetizing - yummie!
    Have a good time! Until the 18th!
    XOX Traude

  13. I'm so glad the little owl flew off. I hope you had a great holiday, full of food and critters. We did too.

  14. Gorgeous June pics. The food looks yummy. Happy Monday and have a great week


  15. Lovely flora and fauna, not to mention the FOOD, Angie!

  16. Angie, I'm always so sad when a bird hits the window and lays there stunned. Always happy to see them recover and fly away. That owl is amazing. So glad it recovered. That marmot is an interesting visitor, too. Your post is full of June goodness for sure. Firecracker chicken meatballs...yum! Happy 4th of July to you a day late!

  17. Really interesting to see the marmot! I wouldn't have known what it was either!

  18. that baby owl is adorbs... good for you to support it's recovery in the owl rest home. We've had a lot of trouble from birds this year in the yard, using our porch as a poopetorium rest stop. Not one chair or table was safe and our porch is covered. They've been hitting the sliders a lot more too. We ordered some shiny hanging stuff to try to disuade them from coming up on the porch... we'll see. I'm pointing to the numerous trees, telling them doesn't that look more comfy than a glass door???

  19. You have so many animal and bird and beautiful plants around you. So good to read the baby owl was ok, we get some birds hitting our front windows too. Happy family time to you.

  20. Angie, Love the fawn! So much flora and fauna. Enjoy time with family and have a great week. Sylvia D.

  21. Dear Angie - I’m marveled at the rich wildlife in your environment, the delicious dishes you cooked, as always. Also at your constant act of kindness and love, and your dedication to the society. The little Pygmy owl is so cute. Enjoy your summer, and take care.


  22. Thanks for sharing your wildlife. Enjoy your break!

  23. Fascinating commentary. We seem to have the same wild animals here. We have a small (14) apple orchard and the deer do fall clean up for us--which we enjoy. We also get an occasionally bear munching on apples. We live on a 15,000 acre tree farm so we have Black Bear and several kinds of cats up there. Fun stuff. We put out a game cam to see the bear because we had several pile of scat around and the only thing we captured was Bob's oldest son. We had a huge laugh about that.
    I won't be posting today so I'll see you in two weeks. Enjoy your family. I had two birthdays --one the day before July 4th and one the day after---busy busy

  24. Enjoy your company and the week off from blogland -- and a million thanks for all you do for us! Love the wildflowers and the amazing wildlife you have right in your own backyard! Glad the owl was OK, birds can't seem to "get" windows.

  25. I love all the little critters in this post. :-)

  26. The Bear, awesome. And the Deer, love them.

  27. Hello, Angie

    I just love all your wildlife images. I am so happy that the Owl was Ok, the window strikes can be bad for the birds. The bear, marmot , the rabbit and deer are all wonderful critter sightings. Lovely variety of wildflowers and a pretty bouquet. Take care, have a happy day and week ahead.

  28. You did the right thing with the Pygmy Owl there Angie. I wonder if you knew they were around as they must be very small and their nocturnal habits keeping them out of sight. fantastic that you saw the bear - is that the Black Bear and the one that can be a little dangerous?

  29. I love trailcam images. I like knowing who goes there!

  30. It would be a really good thing, Angie to install something on your windows to prevent these collisions by birds seeing a wide open flight path. A Pygmy Owl is a diurnal hunter and would be prone to such catastrophic abrupt crashes. Sometimes the birds recover sufficiently to fly away, but have internal injuries that can cause death soon afterwards. An adaptation as simple as installing a screen over the window is effective, or you can buy a kit from stores like Wild Birds Unlimited, that has tiny dots to break up the outline. Do something!!

  31. Fantastic photos, Angie. Love those critters!

  32. We had a house one time that all sorts of big windows. Great for the light, bad for the birds!! We learned to just make sure they were safe and they always came to after a while and flew off.

  33. You've certainly shared a lot of critters on your post.
    So pleased that the owl was ok.

    I did like the lovely rainbow bouquet, very pretty.

    Take care, my good wishes.

    All the best Jan

  34. Hope you had a lovely 4th of July. That is one gorgeous turtle.


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