Summer Sets In at Our Western Montana Lodge

Well, summer is here - fair and square - at our Western Montana Lodge. Not only does the calander say so, but the weather and the number of guests agree. Although we don't have the 'bed space' to ever get really busy, we've been running at full or near full for the last couple of weeks.

Of course, when you own a seasonal business, you pray to be busy in the summer. Thus our prayers our being answered. But, living in such a wild and beautiful place, it is always hard to be too busy to get out and enjoy your own backyard - OR - too busy to enjoy the beauty just outside your door. And, yet, each day still brings its own joys and pleasures.

Like today. My day started with my usual walk up the road. I walk up to the highest point on the road to Hidden Lake - where I can tell the Madison Range good morning - then turn around and greet the Centennials. Often, on this walk I am greeted with a variety of wildlife. Yesterday it was two does. In fact, at one point, standing in the sage above my head and silhouetted by the sun from behind, I could only see two heads - nearly touching - with their large ears twitching. As usual - if only I had my camera!

Today it was a young buck who caught my attention. Browsing above the road, he stopped and stood like a statue as a I walked by. His antlers were still encased in velvet, and, with the surrounding sage and wildflowers, he looked more like a painting than something from the 'real' world.

Although I always feel privileged to see wildlife, the last two days have been 'slim pickins' compared to last week when my hubby saw 5 bull Elk and several Antelope while taking the same early morning hike. And, there have been no more wolves to howl and few other animals sightings here at the lodge - but that is part of summer. As is to be expected, living where the wildlife sees few humans, the more people come to the area, the less wildlife we see - unless we get off the beaten path.

On the other hand, this does NOT mean we aren't enjoying and learning. Today, after the walk, it was time to fill the flower pots with all the young plants we picked up in town yesterday. Although most people have planters already overflowing with flowers, here, high in the mountains we are still a bit at risk for frost - even this late in the season. However, with the warm weather of late, we decided to risk adding color to our front yard.

As we planted, we discussed plants, their names, and their various uses. It was not only interesting, but fun. And, as an added bonus, the butterflies came to visit - Giant Yellow Swallowtails, Mourning Cloaks, and a variety of smaller, yet beautiful 'bugs' as my little one calls them.

And, our flowers aren't the only ones in bloom. The lilac by the patio is breaking into bloom (about a week and a half early thanks to the warm weather), and, even more impressive, the wildflowers which were just beginning to make a 'show' on our walk to Cliff Lake are coming out in force. Their variety of color and shape adds much to the 'ordinary' of our lives.

And, so, life goes on - and we continue to enjoy life at Elk Lake Resort - our Western Montana Lodge!

Lady of the Lake

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