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.
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!
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.
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!