Sunday, November 20, 2011


We have Ringed Turtle Doves living around Stevensville now. For the last few years, actually, since they were released at some wedding nearby. They are California birds, city park birds, definitely not native to our environment. Or our predators. And yet year after year I feed them, look for them daily, feel giddy when a few pair up and hatch babies on our place. But, they have become a favorite food source of one particular Cooper's Hawk and a couple of Sharp Shins who swing by our house periodically. And these guys are crafty. They try to fly my gorgeous, cooing pretty's into our windows. It is survival of the fittest. The poor doves are fair game to birds, cats, foxes, any predator who will take what they can catch and the easier meal the better. I love my doves and go out to yell at a hawk or cat at any opportunity. Makes me feel better even though I know the poor doves are now an outsourced food source!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

winter confusion

We truly live in a magical valley. Amazing events happen regularly when wild nature is out your window, along the road you drive to the grocery store or walking along a river. Driving today, on roads truly treacherous, we looked up into a glowering sky and saw a flock of thousands of snow geese milling about in confusion. The clouds were low, light snow was falling. The geese had obviously been heading south trying to make it over Lost Trail Pass and been forced to turn back by the storm. Glancing around, we saw more flocks, farther away, swirling flecks against the sky that looked like rippling waves on gray water. We drove to the Lee Metcalf  Refuge and stopped directly under the biggest flock, looked up at their white bellies, wings tipped in black and listened to the cacophony of sound, like a symphony of oboes! Wondrous, soaring sounds as these snow geese communicated obviously mixed messages until the flock finally gathered enough to all head north.  We lost them low over a field a mile or so away. There is still open water at the refuge and thirteen swans have settled there to wait out the storm along with hundreds of ducks. The swans were gorgeous of course, until they went bottoms up to feed. Then they looked like mini-icebergs! Anyway, we were lucky enough to witness a migration miracle. By tomorrow when the storm lifts, I imagine thousands and thousands of snow geese filling the skies above Stevensville, Corvallis and Hamilton down the valley over Darby and Sula as they wing their way to the open grasslands of Idaho where they'll pig out and prepare for the next "leg" of their journey south.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

high speed

I know to most people, modern, cosmopolitan people of 2011, high speed internet is no big deal. But for me, living in the "them thar hill's" of gorgeous western Montana where dial up is the horse and buggy of the age, still, getting high speed is the high point of many a month. And as par with new technology, it wasn't easy. Incompatibility issues... how often do we hear that when adding a new hardware to older computers?! It's become a litany of my life. But this morning I am on line, able to access my facebook in seconds rather than ten minutes! Am I jazzed or what?

So folks may gripe and whine about the pace of today's world- and I admit I'm one of those whiners- but today, I'm forgiving the glitches, run-around rhetoric, political hogwash as well as general hotwash... and just let me add, getting honked when I'm too slow on the jump at a green light!  All's forgiven this high speed day! (Now I just have to figure out how to reconfigure my email...!)