20 April 2009

(Not) Taking Too Much For Granted

Roving around the ecology of southwest Montana and Butte America, there are many things things and places that are easily taken for granted.

Every sunrise brings another chance to see the world in a new light:

Walking RTD out back in the morning light, there was an ant mound with the denizens just waking up for the day:

You know how it is when you pull a camera out--every ant person comes running to have its photograph taken:

That's Ernestine-The-Ant in the left center; she's the one presenting her best profile and batting her eye:

Nearby, there's unusual dark lichen growing on an old chunk of silver ore:

After driving 5 miles of backroad to the Butte-Silver Bow County landfill to recycle newspaper, cardboard, motor oil, and a car battery, I was a little miffed to find the dump closed. But on the way home, along Orofino Gulch Road, there's the familiar sculpture garden with some great pieces made from old horse shoes and junk iron, including the last of the buffalo:

Moose (with a miner in the background):


Mule deer buck:

Draft horse:

And, my favorite, an over-the-hill cowboy carrying his saddle:

After the trip to the dump, Mrs ER, RTD, and I drove over to nearby Warm Springs Ponds to check in on the nesting osprey:

Bald eagle:

And various waterfowl such as this brace of cinnamon teal ducks:

Watch where you step. There are lush rosettes of some unknown plant:

And delicate Moss Campion flowers (Silene acaulis):

In the distance, Mt Powell stood guard over the Deer Lodge valley:

Back home and after supper, RTD and I walked out back to catch three views of the setting sun. South to the Highland Mountain Range:

Southwest to (left to right) the West Pioneer Mountains, nearby Big Butte, and Mount Fleecer:

And, with darkness quickly sweeping over the earth, west to the Pintler Range:


Max said...

Looks like your large birds have begun their nesting season as well. Our crow nest is hard to see now, but I will try to get a scope on it when they are incubating.

kayleen said...

It's so easy to take the miracle of each day for granted. Thanks for taking us along on your day. Those sculptures are so neat.

Thanks for stopping by

fishing guy said...

ER: Wonderful photos of your country. I thought the buffalo was real when I first looked. I liked the sculptures.
Thanks for the gusses, you came pretty close on them.

EcoRover said...

Hi Max, now the challenge is to spot those first fuzzy little heads sticking up from the nest.

Thanks, Kayleen & Fishing Guy. The world is an amazing place when we remember to look around. I'd like to stop & meet the sculptor if he's outside when I go by someday.