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.

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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:

Water World Wednesday

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Turquoise….

These bighorn sheep are beside a naturally turquoise lake formed by glacial rock flour…IMG_0197Blue, frozen glacial ice…IMG_1057-Edit IMG_0931 IMG_0992-Edit

Got Milk?. . .
The beautiful turquoise color shown in the photo is the true color of the water. Sometimes called “glacial milk”, the unusual color is due to the presence of “rock flour”, which consists of tiny clay particles formed as rocks stuck to the bottom and sides of a glacier grind against bedrock. This abrasion reduces some of the bedrock to a fine powder that looks like the flour used to make bread. As the ice melts this rock flour is exposed and transported away by meltwater, often into a nearby tarn.

They won’t settle down! . . . .
Meltwater also transports pebbles, sand, and silt into the lake, but these larger rock particles quickly settle to the bottom of the lake. In contrast, the much smaller particles of rock flour remain suspended in the water until the fall when the meltwater stops flowing or the lake freezes over. Only then does the water become calm enough to let rock flour settle to the bottom. A core sample from the middle of the lake would probably reveal alternating layers of silt and clay called “varves”. . . . One layer of each (varve) for every year the lake has been in existence.

Why so blue? . . .
Sunlight includes many different wavelengths of light ranging from the longer “reds” to the shorter “violets” (ROYGBIV). A white T-shirt is white because it reflects all of the wavelengths, a black shirt is colorless because it absorbs all of the wavelengths, and a red shirt is red because it absorbs the OYGBIV and reflects the R (red wavelengths). Apparently the tiny particles of rock flour suspended in the lake are just the right size to reflect more of the blues and some of the greens than any of the other wavelengths.

Information from formontana.net

Visit here for more info…

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Vacation…

 

We are back after a 15 day vacation.  My husband had a business meeting in Seattle so we (the whole family plus Grammy ~ 10 people in all) spent a couple of days hanging around there and then we crossed on the ferry and started our Highway 101 adventure!  We toured through parts of Olympic National Park and then followed the coast down to San Francisco and then cut across California, Nevada and Idaho to make it back to Bozeman, MT just in time for my husband to have another business meeting then headed home.  This is one of the thousands of pictures I took on our little trip and was taken in Olympic National Park….

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Weekly Top Shot #156