The Frog and Toad Catchin' Days of Summer

It has been a busy summer. Yet while the staff and I have been hopping from chore to chore, the younger crew has managed to find the 'real' hoppers. Oh - - - to be young, and free, and . . . dirty (well, maybe the last part doesn't appeal much anymore)!

My excursions have been extremely limited this summer. The days are only so long yet that pile of work just never seemed to diminish. However, as the calendar flipped another page and August rolled into play, I found a few chances to escape and enjoy my wonderous backyard. And, while the birds are flocking and flying, the big game is slowing working its way to the valley floor - and into my camera sights.

Sunrise - Sunset. To some they just bookend another day. However, to those who look and see - they offer bright promise and peaceful rest.

A beaver pair have appeared at Widgeon - busily building a cozy winter home.

While the deer moved into viewfinder range, trouble billowed on the horizon as the Gravelly Range fire (the largest fire to come anywhere near Elk Lake in the last 10 years) greedily devoured dry timber as it flew before eager winds.

Smoke bloomed like deadly flowers on the horizon day after day - or so it seemed. In truth, while the giant thunderheads which produce these fires continued to blow themselves large each afternoon, in their shadow the fire fighters quietly arrested the flaming inferno they spawned. In the end we were left with subdued clouds giving way to blue skies and framing a friendly sun.

Yet, before the smoke completely dissipated, we enjoyed some magnificent smoke-enhanced sunsets and even a blushing blue moon!

Lady of the Lake

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