Green, Green, Surrounded By Green!

That certainly is not a typical mid-July title. I guess that is why, while I am going to have to make this a 'quick' post due to time constraints, I chose this subject over the numerous other things I want to share with you.

Just to keep you coming back (okay, I'll admit it is to remind me too), I could have posted on the increased bear sightings (reminscent of last year), the interesting conclusion to my otter odyssey, or the new places I've managed to explore on longer hikes. However, I feel compelled to talk about the wonderful green carpet surrounding us this year.

Last year, by the end of June, we were finished with the mowing. The grass had virtually stopped growing and everything was turning brown - which is typical for that time of year (even following a wonderfully good snow year). This year, however, we are in the middle of July and still mowing. In fact, I'm praying we have to keep mowing for at least another month.

Why this sudden love of mowing? Well, I do enjoy the excuse to get outside (when I have time to help mow), but my primary reason is the abundant grass everywhere I hike. In fact, I was especially glad to see the cattle return (although I'm not sure they are making much of a dent in the green stuff) in hopes they would help reduce our "growing" fuel problem.

It seems we are permanently stuck in early June weather. Although the thermometer has topped 80 degrees a couple of times, most hot days have been in the mid to upper 70's. We have had sub-freezing temperatures - even in July. And, we have only experienced a couple handful of days (since the first of June) when we didn't get at least a sprinkling of rain.

The regular thunderstorms have added variety to our weather - along with some spectacular light displays and impressive sound effects! Thankfully, nearly every storm has been accompanied by rain - sometimes substantial rain.

So, the hills are carpeted with green and punctuated with various and profuse wildflowers. In fact, I have never seen more Bitterroots. And, I've photographed several 'new to me' species of wildflowers (which, hopefully, I will identify for us both as the season begins to slow down).

So, with spectacular rainbows, grass up to my waist, and wildflowers coloring every meadow and even the forest floors, it is a particularly fruitful and colorful summer here at Elk Lake.

Lady of the Lake

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