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    A COMPENDIUM FOR THE DRY GARDEN

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A busy spring rolls in

It seems to be busy around here.  There’s a nesting pair of bluebirds in a box right outside my front door.  I was sure they were going to leave last week because of all the noise around here.  I needed to work on my driveway because, surprise, this winter I couldn’t get in.  I was able to plough it initially, but everytime there was a melt, the ruts just got deeper and deeper.  Pretty soon I was parking down the road at my neighbors for the last few months. There’s been some pretty big equipment happening all week, taking giant scopes of limestone and rock from my personal ‘quarry’–my hill–and laying it all along the road.

But this morning a head popped out and there was madame Bluebird.  She must be sitting on her eggs now, because she hasn’t moved.  I’ll be leaving for a few weeks on Monday for California and then the Greater Yellowstone Coalition Annual Meeting in Jackson, so she’ll have some nice peace and quiet.

When I snagged the photo, I didn't see the butterfly till I printed it.

When I snagged the photo, I didn't see the butterfly till I printed it.

Several hawks came through while I was watering today.  A pair of red tails soared by.  I know there’s a nesting pair down the road by the bridge so they might be the ones.  An unidentified buteo–two toned black underneath which I think was a Merlin–visited.  And a kestrel snagged a ground squirrel (or something the equivalent in its mouth) while I watched from the front yard.

Ahh, motherhood

Ahh, motherhood

So cute!

So cute!

A moose popped in this afternoon.  I was working in the shed sanding a table when Koda started barking.  It was the kind of bark you just know its not a person.  I keep Koda on a shock collar usually.  That’s in case a wolf or bear comes along.  But around the house he’s usually off-shock.  Luckily, he responded nicely, came when called, laid down and stopped barking.  The moose seemed pretty unperturbed.  A barking dog is like an annoyance when she’s used to dealing with wolves.  She was alone and I know there’s a pregnant cow down the road in the swampy area.  But this lady was lean. She ambled up from the trees, paused to consider the barbed wire fence, jumped it awkwardly, then slowly made her way up the hillside through the meadow.

Moose eating in marsh nearby

Moose eating in marsh nearby

Yesterday I saw some incredible rams just up the road.  I was hiking up a steep ridge when two white ‘rocks’ appeared on the ridge below.  W__ spotted them.  They were the rumps of two rams with 3/4 curl horns.  I rarely expect to see sheep up here in the summer.  A lot of them head higher up, towards Yellowstone and the Absarokas.  Maybe these guys were just hanging around because of all the snow there still.

The flies are out, the ticks are here, the mosquitos are biting, and the wildflowers are changing everyday.  Spring is here and it is only for a moment. Soon summer will be in full bloom, the rivers will recede enough to be crossable, and the elk will all disappear for higher grounds.

I’ll be back in two weeks and everything will be different.  I’ll certainly be missing all the action.  But I’ll be posting when I can from California and I intend to fully report on the GYC meeting in Jackson.

Some spring shots:

Calypso bulbosa

Calypso bulbosa

Swainson Hawk hunting in irrigated cattle field down the road

Swainson Hawk hunting in irrigated cattle field down the road

Draba oligosperma...Whitlowgrass

Draba oligosperma...Whitlowgrass

Alpine Forget-me-not, Eritrichum nanum

Alpine Forget-me-not, Eritrichum nanum

A Glorious spring day.  Koda and I hike up Elk Creek Meadows.

A Glorious spring day. Koda and I hike up Elk Creek Meadows.

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One Response

  1. Glorious day, indeed! Glad someone can figure out all those Drabas species.

    Like

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