28 August 2011

Fisher Bird Trifecta on the Tobacco River.

August 26, 20011

A couple of weeks ago a friend and I took a hike to Wolverine Lake in the Ten Lakes Scenic Area. On the way up I pulled a muscle in the back of my calf about a quarter of a mile from the lake. It was painful to keep walking up the mountain but I wasn't about to wuss out. Coming back down the mountain didn't seem to hurt much at all.

I know that, upon returning home, I should have immediately applied the RICE (Rest-Ice-Compression-Elevation) treatment but you see my guest was thirty five years younger and I wasn't about to show any weakness. Pride goeth before great pain. 

Needles to say I didn't take proper care of myself and have suffered dearly for it. Koty has been going nuts waiting for a walk and since I live on a mountain all trails lead uphill either coming or going. So, today I decided we would take the Tobacco River trail which is flat as a pancake.

The river has come down quite a bit. One casualty I noticed was the old wreck that has been gracing the bank of the river for as long as I can remember. I liked looking at it. It had character. The old dear is probably resting at the bottom of the Koocanusa.

Old wreck on the banks of the Tobacco River

About a half mile into our walk I heard quite a bit of bird chatter. Someone was quite annoyed. The voice sounded like an angry osprey. I slowed my pace and tried to identify where the chatter was coming from. In a gap in the bushes I could see across the river. The first thing I saw was an osprey sitting in a cottonwood. Very nice.

I kept searching the far shore and low and behold right next door I saw an always elegant Great Blue Heron sitting atop a fir tree.

Great Blue Heron

And, a little to the left of the heron was an ever regal Bald Eagle!

Bald Eagle

These birds are pretty common around here but to see all three sitting not twenty feet apart is pretty special even for these parts. I never did see who was making all the racket. Pretty sure it was an osprey and probably upset with all these other guys invading "its" territory. They looked to me as though they were staking out there spots for the fishing derby that is soon to begin. It won't be long now before the river turns red with spawing  kocanee salmon  and these birds will be fishing fools.

I did see one osprey get up and take flight.

Osprey Up, Up and Away

On the return we ran into a whitetail doe and her fawn. The fawns are getting pretty big now, lots of feed this year,  and their spots are starting to fade. This cute little fawn is very leggy.

Whitetail Doe and Fawn
As things turned out deciding to take a lowland, level walk was a great idea. Good for me in every way. I can never quite get over how fortunate I am to be able to see these fabulous images everyday of my life. If this isn't the Garden of Eden it's pretty darned close to it.

Oh and if the above wasn't enough I got this for my sunset.

Dancing Deer Sunset

I will soon be entering my 10th winter here in northwest Montana and I still feel like a kid in a candy store. I sometimes feel as though I must be the luckiest woman alive.

©Kinsey Barnard

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