Walking Around My Yard

A common question posed by prospective Elk Lake Resort guests is: "What is there to "DO" around there?"

It's a great question, and one I expect to hear from folks coming to such a nature-based location. Because Montana's Centennial Valley offers such diverse terrain, such incredibly beautiful scenic vistas, and such wildlife variety, questions such as these are easy to answer.

However, the other day I started thinking about how 'far' one had to travel from their cabin door to find something to 'see'. So, I decided to take a walk around MY yard! Camera in hand I hurried out in the middle of the day (note: the worst time of day really) to see what I could find in the few minutes I had to spare.

I knew I could find some scenery pleasant to behold. However, mid-day photos often fail to capture the beauty. Thus I was pleasantly surprised to find such eye-candy under the afternoon sun! This prompted me to look a little closer.

Nighttime temperatures in the upper 20's have become the norm this past week. Thus I was amazed to see so many butterflies! At least four varieties were still coloring the resort grounds in profusion!

The waterfowl are always the last to leave, so the ducks feeding in the shallows were no suprise. I had hoped to see the swans, but they didn't come by until later (so I heard).

Many of the smaller birds have departed for warmer climates. Nonetheless, the Juncos (who wouldn't stand still for a photo) and the Finches (who weren't much more cooperative) still fill our days with their twittering songs.

The Raptors are still in residence. However, in my limited time frame I was only able to capture one Osprey screaming at me from overhead.

Of course my favorite spots are near water. The lake is often the best place to see critters of all sorts and sizes. However nothing is more relaxing than sitting beside a burbling brook watching the sunlight dance on its smiling face!

A few golden aspen leaves floating past sent me looking for color. Some folks can only see brown in the fall. But, if you look close, the brilliance is amazing. Golden aspen leaves. Bright red Geraniums and Gooseberries. Even a lone Indian Paintbrush (how on earth did 'that' survive this long?).

The more I looked, the more I saw. Textures. Colors. Patterns. Designs from the Creator's fingers adorn my backyard in every direction! Each knook and cranny seems to hold its own treasure trove if one really looks. How lucky I am to live in such a place!

So, have you ever taken a walk around 'your' backyard? If not, give it a try. Next time you feel the urge to escape the four walls, grab a camera, any camara (because it helps you to look and sometimes even to see) and stroll around your yard. I'd love to hear what you find!

Lady of the Lake

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