My dear friends, this will be my last post as the host of Mosaic Monday, so it is fitting that I close this chapter with a final set of summer photos.
August featured no less than 3 backcountry camping trips. Too many pictures for one post, but I can sure show you some highlights.
Our first trip, with an intended destination of Gray Wolf Lake, is a story in itself. We fell short of our destination, and it rained while we gobbled our dinner, and for most of the night.
Rain is such a unique event during the summer in Montana that we were a bit surprised by this rainstorm. The thunder and lightning that accompanied the storm ignited one significant wildfire some 15 miles from where we camped for the night. But I will never complain about rain in the summer, given the extreme drought conditions in the Mountain West!
Between two camping trips, we spent one night in a hotel situated midway from the trailheads. We were a bit early to check in, so we stopped at a nearby eatery for a treat of coffee and ice cream.
The next day, we worked off that ice cream with more than 3,300 feet of elevation gain in 5 miles. But this is the reward: Mollman Lake.
The day of these photos also happened to be our 31st anniversary. I had drawn this card and brought it with me.
"Husband" is just a title every man can have. But it takes a heart and life to live by it. You have never failed to show me how much I mean to you. Happy Anniversary!"
Can you believe we had this whole place to ourselves? Priceless!!!!
Of course, you don't always have to go far from home to capture beauty. The next two photos were taken on August 16, right in our own neighborhood as I came home from town one evening.
Back at home, it was wildlife of a different sort and proportion that attracted my eye. Check out this video of the largest bumblebee I have ever seen.
Grasshoppers pick on the Russian Sage, climbing its stalks and nibbling through the very peak, toppling the lovely, symmetrical flower pyramids. In the process of hunting the grasshoppers, I spotted this precious little frog. It is you, my dear, that I hear singing after the sun goes down.
Flying over the landscapes we see every day, but flat-footed, is a gift. Is that hill really that steep? Does Ashley Creek wind in such a serpentine manner? The area around Whitefish has many more lakes than I realized. Do they have fish?
The latter part of September has brought wildlife of every description. One night, sitting in the great room, I imagined an owl calling. Going out on the deck, I was thrilled to hear Barred Owls echoing each other. One is a blessing; two or more feels like a miracle.
The cygnets that I featured in this post are growing up. On September 17, they were swimming together, but without their parents. And they came so close to me - no fear?
While I was at the lake's edge, Spousal Unit called me. "Can you see the elk? It's a mama and a baby, in the water." I scouted the lake, with the binoculars and without. Nothin'. I worked my way north, and then I heard the splashing. Mama saw me or sensed me first. The best I got was the baby running away through the woods.
Meanwhile, our neighborhood black bear has been roaming, building up fat for the winter. We have seen him at least once a week, and in one case, I saw him while running out in the woods ... I took the long way around that day! These shots were taken as I came home from town one day - less than a half mile from our house.
Thistles are one of the many species that we combat for preservation of the native habitat, but before I cut the seeds off and put them in the trash, I momentarily admire their beauty. In many ways, they represent the fleeting nature of summer. Weightless. Perfectly designed for purpose. Ephemeral. Majestic simplicity.
My dear Mosaic Monday friends: I am pleased to tell you that Heidrun @ Soul and Mind and so on will be taking over Mosaic Monday, starting next weekend. She carries on the fine tradition established by our previous hosts – Mary @ Little Red House through August 4, 2014, Judith @ Lavender Cottage from August 10, 2014 through July 24, 2016, and Maggie @ Normandy Life from July 31, 2016 through October 29, 2018. I hope that you will continue participating in Mosaic Monday – your posts through the years have inspired me more than you know!
Some of you have asked if I am leaving the blogosphere altogether; I will still be posting occasionally, and linking to Mosaic Monday as well as other link parties. So, I will see you around, my friends!