In spite of rumors of winter's untimely return, spring is STILL in the air. Here at Elk Lake we are enjoying the returning birds and wildlife, the wildflowers and green grass, the sparking lake waters and colorful fish.
Living in snow country, the circle of life is as obvious as the ticking of a clock. Spring's rebirth, after winter's barren and brown season, paints our world with bold strokes of color. Every season brings something special, but this is the time of year to rejoice in life!
Thus I am thrilled to report we have Trumpeter Swans nesting on Elk Lake for the first time in 9 years. I suspect it has more to do with weather conditions conducive to an early start than anything else. Whatever the reason, along with Mom and Dad, we eagerly await the Cygnets soon to arrive.
I often wonder how massive bull elk and moose move through heavy timber without tangling their antlers in the trees' boughs. Along the same line, how on earth does a bird with a bill this long keep its balance? In spite of their homely appearance, we are delighted to see the Long Billed Curlews once again hanging out near Elk Lake.
Of course the water fowl are more than obviously happy with the ice's early disappearance. Last year the Centennial wasn't nearly as inviting. Let's hope this means babies in abundance this year!
In spite of the unpredictable weather, our little feathered friends continue to fill our ears with their lovely songs. We've seen many smaller birds - even a hummingbird - but the Juncos are the most hardy (and thus seen the most often). This one appears to be enjoying the warm morning sun.
This young eagle was probably one of the best photo opps I've had this year. While clearly a bit nervous about our close proximity, he chose to sit and pose rather than fly away. I took advantage of his compliance and snapped a few dozen pictures!
But, it is still spring in Montana's Centennial Valley. So, our lives aren't all sunshine and bright blue skies! Some mornings are downright COLD (I admit, I had to leave the valley to find a "STOP" or, shall we say "OP" sign). This sign certainly shows what life would be like were it not for the sun's warming rays.
In fact, for Memorial Day, we received a very good reminder! A reminder winter is not quite finished flexing its muscles at Elk Lake. Thus our 'ride' looked like it had woken up in the wrong season!
The view out our windows looked more like the Christmas holiday than the long weekend which celebrates the beginning of summer!
But, the sun returned and the fish started biting - and everyone was happy. Life goes on - and just like the hands of time will race their way around the clock's face once again today, Spring will roll into summer with all its lovely bird song, warm days, and cool mountain nights. Ahhh - life at Elk Lake! Just another day in paradise!
Lady of the Lake