American Robin…

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Cool Facts

  • An American Robin can produce three successful broods in one year. On average, though, only 40 percent of nests successfully produce young. Only 25 percent of those fledged young survive to November. From that point on, about half of the robins alive in any year will make it to the next. Despite the fact that a lucky robin can live to be 14 years old, the entire population turns over on average every six years.

  • Although robins are considered harbingers of spring, many American Robins spend the whole winter in their breeding range. But because they spend more time roosting in trees and less time in your yard, you’re much less likely to see them. The number of robins present in the northern parts of the range varies each year with the local conditions.

  • Robins eat a lot of fruit in fall and winter. When they eat honeysuckle berries exclusively, they sometimes become intoxicated.

  • Robin roosts can be huge, sometimes including a quarter-million birds during winter. In summer, females sleep at their nests and males gather at roosts. As young robins become independent, they join the males. Female adults go to the roosts only after they have finished nesting.

  • Robins eat different types of food depending on the time of day: more earthworms in the morning and more fruit later in the day. Because the robin forages largely on lawns, it is vulnerable to pesticide poisoning and can be an important indicator of chemical pollution.

  • The oldest recorded American Robin was 13 years and 11 months old.

For more information please go here…

Going on outside our office window…

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Wild Bird Wednesday

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Rurality Blog Hop #74

Sunday Out…

Our crew headed to Many Glaciers this past weekend.  We ended up hitting a pointy rock, popping a tire and having a flat, then after changing the tire and making it the rest of the way to Many Glacier it started to pour buckets and didn’t see any wildlife and couldn’t even get out of the car without getting soaked, so no hikes.  We decided we would head back home and then the kids ended up getting hungry, so we stopped a ways away in Two Medicine.  It was just cloudy there and we were able to enjoy a nice little picnic and do a little hiking and spotted many wildflowers and even a black bear.

At Two Medicine Lake, Glacier National Park…

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On our little walk we discovered these gems.  A lot of these I’m not sure what they are… …IMG_9821 IMG_9825 IMG_9828

A big, fat Bumbler…IMG_9659

A Fairy Slipper, Calypso bulbosa…IMG_9835

Western Virgin’s Bower… Clematis occidentalis IMG_9840 IMG_9842

At the end of the hike was Running Eagle Falls, running at full bore.  Normally it’s just pouring out the cave in the middle of the falls…

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Crossing the bridge…

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Holding daddy’s hand…IMG_9816

The kids showing off their heart-shaped rocks…IMG_9863 IMG_9866

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We also spotted a Black Bear…

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Dancing Aspens…

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Lots of Shooting Stars..IMG_9895 IMG_9897 IMG_9902 IMG_9907 IMG_9914

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More Blue wildflowers…IMG_9928 IMG_9932 IMG_9935 IMG_9938 IMG_9940 IMG_9944

Cheers to long spring days spent in beautiful places…IMG_9862

Linking up with 🙂

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Shine the Divine

Pond-Side…

A beautiful, little pond nestled in Bigfork…IMG_4329 IMG_4349 IMG_4353 IMG_4356 IMG_4357 IMG_4358 IMG_4361 IMG_4365 IMG_4366 IMG_4369 IMG_4370 IMG_4371 IMG_4372 IMG_4374

Dragon Fly resting in the tall grass, his wings almost looked fake…IMG_4448

A fuzzy caterpillar hiding on a thistle…IMG_4461 IMG_4499 IMG_4518 IMG_4532 IMG_4555

A view clear across the pond to the mountains…IMG_4571

A Great Blue Heron landed for a few minutes…IMG_4379-Edit IMG_4385 IMG_4388

A beautiful morning on the pond.

Linking up with:

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Rurality Blog Hop #74

Snow Geese at Freezeout Lake, Choteau, MT

On March 30, we were able to head over to Choteau, MT and watch the annual migration of the Snow geese.  The weekends before it sounded like was their peak time but we were still able to watch some take off in the morning to go visit neighboring fields in search of grain.  During it’s peak it sounds like they are well over 30,000 geese meeting at these ponds, on their way to breeding grounds.

There was an AMAZING sunrise that morning.   The sky started to change color 45 minutes prior to the official sunrise time, the kids ohhed and ahhed the whole way to Freezeout Lake.  At it’s peak it was splendid!!

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Add some Snow geese to the sky…C96A2925 C96A2927 C96A2936 C96A2943 C96A2951 C96A2961

My husband shot this of myself, a few of the littles and my oldest daughter, all of whom were taking pictures!IMG_6583C96A2995 C96A3002 C96A3005 C96A3010 C96A3034

Cool Facts

  • Snow Goose hunting in the eastern United States was stopped in 1916 because of low population levels. Hunting was allowed again in 1975 after populations had recovered. Since then, their populations have continued to grow, to the point that some areas of tundra nesting habitat are starting to suffer.

  • The dark color of the blue morph Snow Goose is controlled by a single gene, with dark being partially dominant over white. If a pure dark goose mates with a white goose, the offspring will all be dark (possibly with white bellies). If two white geese mate, they have only white offspring. If two dark geese mate, they will have mostly dark offspring, but might have a few white ones too.

  • Snow Geese chicks are well developed when they hatch, with open eyes and down-covered bodies that already show whether the adult will have white or dark plumage. Within a few days they are able to maintain a constant body temperature on their own. They grow very quickly, with the males outpacing the females.

  • The creamy white eggs of Snow Geese stain easily. People can sometimes tell what order the eggs were laid in, just by the color of the shells (the dirtiest shells belong to the oldest eggs).

  • In wintering and migrating flocks that are feeding, lookouts keep an eye out for eagles and other predators. Upon sighting a threat they call out to the rest of the flock, which may take flight.

  • Snow Geese make epic journeys by air, but they are impressive on foot, too. Within the first three weeks of hatching, goslings may walk up to 50 miles with their parents from the nest to a more suitable brood-rearing area. Molting Snow Geese can outrun many predators.

  • Females forage up to 18 hours a day once they arrive at breeding grounds, but eat little once they begin incubating the eggs.

  • Food passes through the Snow Goose’s digestive tract in only an hour or two, generating 6 to 15 droppings per hour. The defecation rate is highest when a goose is grubbing for rhizomes, because such food is very high in fiber and the goose inevitably swallows mud.

  • The oldest Snow Goose on record, shot in Texas in 1999, was 27 and a half.

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Some of the other waterfowl we saw that morning…C96A2917 C96A2912 C96A2903 C96A2895 C96A2904

Linking up with:

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In Anticipation of Spring…

This week has been a bit overcast and with some rain, cold at night but warming up to sweatshirt weather by mid-morning.IMG_9879

The birds are starting to appear…IMG_9732 IMG_2314-Edit IMG_2321-Edit IMG_2324-Edit IMG_2345-Edit IMG_2347-Edit DSC00219-Edit

Some definite spring signs are the Robins…IMG_9934-Edit

Bluebirds, both female and male…IMG_9927-Edit IMG_9930-Edit

Lambs arriving…

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We’ll soon have Icelandic lambs arriving too!IMG_9532

We are still waiting on green grass, flowers and bees though!

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Spring Time on the Farm…

Crazy Thelma had a little ram…IMG_2029

The boys are trying out their bows that their big brother made them out of limbs…IMG_2035

More Lamb Love…

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Heart standing on a very pregnant  Mona…IMG_2063

Hayden working with his lamb…IMG_2065 IMG_2069

Tori getting some snuggles…IMG_2072

Garrett checking out the hens…IMG_2076

Frosty, our bottle lamb from two years ago has really grown into a nice ewe and is expecting lambs of her own this spring…IMG_2081

Dugur, always watching…IMG_2087

Our Copper Maran rooster, who has surprisingly been a real gentleman…IMG_2090-Edit

Our tough Espen RamIMG_2092

One of our Gotland/Icelandic crosses, she has some great growth on her and an interesting fleece…IMG_2095

Miss Freckles…

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Miss Fawn…

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Beautiful Fregna… can’t wait to see lambs from these girls…

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And Mona finally  lambed, a sweet little black ewe.  That ends our pre-run on the Suffolks and we’ll start lambing in ernest in April….busy times ahead!!  🙂FullSizeRender (3)

Linking up with friends at:

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