The Return of Spring - More May in the Centennial

So the saga continues. Life in the Centennial is never boring. Even if the day only yields a bird or a track or some scat - it is always an adventure. However, this time of year, wildlife sightings are frequent and each day brings something new to celebrate. Thus I am continuing with week 2, journalling my daily walks in May.

Day One: Every hike really is special. Even the days I do not really 'feel' like taking a walk, I come back refreshed and rejuvenated, at the very least, but more often than not with a story to tell or a memory to savor. Nonetheless, some days really are diamonds. That is how this week started out.

I always have a plan when I leave the lodge. Today I'm going. . . However many times my plans change. Wildlife in my path make me change direction. I get distracted on the way or, I just change my mind. Today, however, my plans were changed by all three (in a way).

I love the pond up the draw from the lodge. Early mornings, especially this time of year - before the increased traffic disturbs the critters who hang around there. I always approach it slowly and quietly, keeping the dogs behind me, just so I can see who or what is there today.

Two sandhills and several pairs of ducks were there this morning. However, they didn't change my course - it was the Sapsuckers and Tree Swallows who were feeling spring fever. Chittering and chatting the Swallows were 'arm wrestling' over this hole and that one. The Sapsuckers were having a rat-a-tat-tat contest. I do not know the rules, but obviously louder and longer must have carried some merit.

So I headed up the ridge and into an aspen stand to watch the action and soak up a few rays.

The swallows were at it - fast and furious. I do not know if they even knew I was in the vicinity. If they did, it certainly did not reduce their intensity.

Dodging and diving and twisting and chasing - this argument appears to be quite heated!

And the winner is. . . At least for the moment. Can you believe this hole was what all that fuss was about?

Of course the Sapsuckers were not to be denied, so while the two prize fighters took a breather, I looked around for a few of members of the rat-a-tat choir.

This one had paused long enough to take a good look at me!

While I think this one just wished I'd move along.

Day Two: Time was limited today so I stuck to the road and did as much jogging as walking. The 'find' of the day - an increased number of elk tracks. They are starting to return in force!

Day Three:Not an overly productive day for animal sightings or remarkable antics, but I did see some new ducks on the pond.

A Spotted Sandpiper, a pair of Green Winged Teals (I think, these are a first for me), a scattering of other ducks and a Sandhill Crane. This is really a good cross-section of May pond residents.

Day Four: An easy walk close to the lodge revealed little but a beautiful morning (okay, who can complain about that?) New flowers are showing up regularly and the willows are getting into the act too!

I can't think of anything much prettier than pussy willows against a brilliant blue sky!

Perhaps some early buttercups - the reason (I think) - I see so many grouse around the lodge this time of year.

Or a slash of blue - Early bluebells making their presence known.

Or maybe just some phlox coloring up an otherwise barren hillside.

Well, that will have to do it for this time. Yes - my week had more than four days, but time and space are running out. Besides there is just too much to share. So if you are enjoying this style of blog post, let me know. I'll keep it going for a little while. After all, life is always an adventure at the Lake!

Lady of the Lake

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