Home on the Elk Range

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It’s hard to imagine there is an entire herd of Elk at the National Bison Range. They share the hillsides, mountains and prairie land with the Bison, the coyote, the Pronghorn, the deer and all the other critters this wildlife preserve protects. In the spring, Matt and I have a spot where we watch the bunnies chasing each other around the lawn near the pond. And there are always turtles sunning themselves.

What a treat though to see this bull elk. That doesn’t happen too often and certainly not every visit do we see elk. This guy was all by himself grazing near  the road at sunset yesterday evening. The sun glinted off his antlers as he posed for me. Pretty soon, he grew tired of being stared at and meandered up the hill.

Kite Aerial View of Snow-Swept Winter

DCIM109GOPROI must issue a sunshine alert for western Montana. We had “some” sun over the weekend and today as well. I am still getting adjusted to the extra rays. While we were flying the kite (photo above) the sun even felt warm. The wind was mischievous however and the kite wouldn’t stay aloft. As soon as we put away the kites then the wind came up again. Ha ha on us.. Still, we managed a few shots with the GoPro of the landscape west of Dixon. You can see there were storm clouds all around us.DCIM109GOPRO

Eagles’ Dance

On Saturday Matt and I were walking the road at the Bison Range, which was more or less snowbound, unless you have snowshoes or cleats. Towards twilight we started seeing flocks of birds which I think were coots. There were hundreds, maybe thousands of them and they just kept on coming from the east, headed west towards the river.

All of sudden two bald eagles came up out of nowhere and it seemed to us they were engaged in an amorous dance – a dance we flightless ones on the ground do not see very often.I can count on two fingers the number of times I have witnessed this. Even though the light was dim I managed to capture a couple decent shots. They flew right toward us, swooping overhead and then near to the ground. But in a matter of seconds they flew off, following the flocks of coots and geese ahead of them.

It was one of those magical moments that happen maybe only once in a lifetime when we humans are graced by creatures which are familiar, yet they disclose or offer a part of themselves which is mysterious and wonderful.eagle2eagle1