Montana Covid Quarantine: Day 21

Happy Easter everyone. Dionysus waits with Persephone under the icy veil of Dis.
Saturday. All day. Snow & Blow.
Elizabeth opened the bedroom curtains this morning to scout for the Easter Bunny, and saw this drift nearly as tall as the window.
The drift-arc comes all the way around to the back door.
Sly bunny didn’t even leave any tracks.
Two days and 50 degrees ago.
The ice house forms rippled drifts.
This rippled ice from days ago was at the creek as it passed the ice house.
Here comes the sun. Time for the Easter Egg hunt! I expect Easter-dresses for the gals and knickers for the lads.
A few Redwing Blackbirds arrived to this, and are now realizing they may have jumped the gun a bit.
This is the song of the Redwing Blackbird.
Dawn birdsong of our winged spring arrivals juxtaposes on the stunned cold.
We drove down to Raynesford to get the mail before the snow, and came back up the back way over the big hill. A Peregrine Falcon flew alongside us, then perched along the fenceline for us to catch up, then would fly along with us again.
Glad I’m not out helping the herd calving, but also, wish it was like it was and there was a herd and my father, and I was out all night with the ladies calving.
Kitchen window view of the sun breaking into the valley, back in the kindly old ranch house.

Montana Covid Quarantine: Day 17

Hollow Ice. The top of the creek froze, while the meltwater flow stopped overnight- leaving a thin membrane of ice.
It can withstand just a few minutes of sunlight before collapse.
This honeycomb was built on the front porch near the bees who live inside the wall, like decorative signage it faced out from under the eve. It is formed with white cellulose spray-insulation that I used around the porch & hive as it is “non-toxic” compared to the yellow stuff.
It is two sided perfection.
This is a humming bird nest from last season, in our hedgerow near the stump of the pine tree lost to beetle kill a few years back.

Montana Covid Quarantine: Day 15

Nora scents Deja-Vous.
Our own little Milk River: Lewis & Clark went for some rough Raw Milk.
High runoff starts after 5pm, it runs clear til then.
Daytime high was 34 degrees higher than three days ago (54), and breezy; snow is evaporating and melting, but the mud is restricting walkies to the lawn.

Montana Covid Quarantine: Day 14

Bluebirding trek into the hills.
This was the only Bluebird house on this section that didn’t need help. Two others were boinked by our Elk herd ripping out the hayfield fence and snapping off posts, one needed cleaning out from a late nesting last summer, and two Tree Swallow boxes still needed cleaning from last summer where an agitated Angus bull pushed us away. Two pairs of Bluebirds were in and out of houses, and flying all about us.
This is our household deity of the Bluebird houses, he sings a lilting tone into “The Hum” when we need to get out and check the houses.
E and Nora watch a mated pair of Rough-Legged Hawks sweep across the valley and along the far ridges. They are arctic birds that can winter here. This is our first time seeing them!
Nora represents. #1 in the hood yo…
Happy ladies.
Dappled ground and sky.
The infinity field.
View from snowline looking down the valley to the Northern plain.
The moon is just captured at the top. At full dark the moon sat in the center of a vast glowing ring of silver, and the hoots of the Great Horned Owl echoed within it.

Montana Covid Quarantine: Day 11

Single digits last night, but the springtime sun shone all day. By 3pm it was 20, and time for E to take a telecommute break. Coyote tracks lead the way.
Frosty forest.
Shoulda brought the sled!
Wind sculpted pine at ridge-line.
Icicle-capades. Snow has been whomping and crashing up there all day.
One summer I unburied the old stone footpath from an overgrowth of lawn, it passes directly under these icicles, a scenario that inspired my dad’s infamous comment: “Your little improvements are gonna get someone killed.”

Montana Covid Quarantine: Day 10

6 inches overnight, temps in the low teens. The real cold comes tonight. Yesterday evening a 6.5 earthquake hit near Boise, Idaho; on an unknown fault line that may or may not be the same unknown fault line as our SLC 5.7- they are officially unrelated (until proven otherwise by another order of magnitude?).
We headed into the N wind on walkies, and didn’t get far.
Nora in her element.
E too far from the fire.
Footbridge.
Waterfalls, snowed under
Footbridge to corral. Flooding curtailed.
Bird feeders have been discovered!
Pink Sided Junco (Black Eyed). Our bird books are grouping/separating them at odds.
Black Cap Chickadees.
Male and female Juncos, with a Chickadee for company.

MT Covid Quarantine: Day 8

E spent her telecommute lunch hour splitting the last of the fence posts runs, so I created a retaining wall for the stack. I also pulled the sectioned logs from last Thanksgiving from the bottom, and stacked them in the ice house with the new cord.
Windy and melting, with the ground still frozen.
Milky runoff.
Water can’t soak into the frozen ground, and the creek expands its shoreline.