My Montana

My Montana
My Montana

Monday, March 26, 2012

Love All About

I spent Saturday and  Sunday working which means I was using a company truck mostly for my fun.   Of course, I have to drive to refresh the brochure boxes anyway, and I get to count trail walking as "checking the trail" and I needed some pictures for the Power Point show I'm working on.

Actually driving the company truck didn't last long.  I got it stuck early Saturday morning while trying to find a place on land from which I could see the new island the Corp of Engineers built for Caspian terns. I had to walk about 1/3 of a mile carrying my backpack, with water, binoculars and camera plus a big box of brochures. I switched to a company  car and kept going. (The refuge rescued the truck on Monday and I'll probably have to get my canoe out and go out to the island to get its picture. )

On Saturday, I only managed to drive the upper portion of the refuge. Of course, I had to come back and edit - mostly throw out - about 500 pictures. Sunday I ended up spending several hours at Benson Pond and fell in love with the place.  And there were lovey birds all around.  Coots copulating, song sparrows singing their territorial songs, harriers sky dancing, blackbirds singing and displaying their epaulets, and lots of sandhill crane gentlemen walking with their ladies. (I drove behind one pair for at least 20 minutes until they found a field they wanted to visit and left the road.) The owls were  through with courting and were on the nest. A hawk pair was defending their nest so may already be laying. Canada geese were paired up and some males were being aggressive to other males if they came to close to their ladies.

And I was also in love - especially with Benson Pond  - but with everything I saw.  The day had a mix of sun and clouds which made for some beautiful landscape pictures.

Benson Pond looking west

Golden willows planted by the CCC almost 100 years ago.

Canada Geese


View along a canal behind the pond

A very wet mink

The invasive common teasel

Beaver Damage

And my punishment for getting the truck stuck?  I had to go on a tour for some Boy Scouts and ride with our resident archeologist/geologist/historian who explained lots more about the refuge to me.  THEN I had to continue my punishment by going to scout the area on Double O Ranch where the Llama Ladies will be leading a birding tour where each participant gets a llama to carry his or her gear.  So I only was allowed to work on the slide show for a few minutes before the tour and then I stayed behind and worked another couple of hours.