19 August 2011

Skywatch Friday: A Full Moon Sets Over Montana

It's been a sunny, blue-sky week here in southwest Montana. Many days there's not a single cloud all day.

Last weekend found us camped along the Madison River, watching the full moon set as the morning sun rose:

An osprey fished in front of our campsite; this one is carrying a fish:

We did not fish, but took in the festivities at Virginia City (a "frontier-era" tourist town) with friends Jeff & Celia Schahczenski, and made a fun kayak float on the river:

And of course we took in the soothing waters of Norris Hot Springs (and enjoyed their lovely hollyhocks):

The dogs waited patiently in a shady spot while we ate brunch and soaked:

Closer to home, Dave Carter and I got out in the Big Hole River country. Hmmm, why are the vultures circling?:

Oh, it's a dead (and very stinky) cow in the meadow:

While we checked out the cow, the turkey buzzards swooped in low over our heads:

On the high prairie of the upper Big Hole River valley, herds of watchful antelope played:

And, up at timberline, this young bull moose played peek-a-boo with us (I like the way moose think they are hidden while standing behind a little tree):

Look at these Big Hole haystacks--a bountiful harvest for the ranchers that need to feed cattle through the long Montana winter:

Note that these are true haystacks, not bales; made with a "beaverslide" (a ramp for stacking hay in a wind- and water- resistant pile; the cleat-track is for dragging the beaverslide from place to place):

And check out the cool, custom-made "buck rake" for pushing the hay to the base of the slide:

We are nearing summer's end, and as fall approaches we intend to milk every last drop of this sweet weather.


nicolewian said...

Love that shot with the moon!

Anonymous said...

Nice set of photos, Pat.
I enjoyed the hollyhocks!
Although I have heard of haystacks all my life, I had never seen a large one.

Janie said...

Interesting hay equipment, and a cool shot of the shy moose who thought he was hiding.
Love the moonset!

secret agent woman said...

I just saw an osprey at the lake the other day I like raptors.

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

I love to see the moon rising!


Sky so high,
Sky so blue,
Tell me why
I love you.

© 2011 by Magical Mystical Teacher

Sunsets here and here

Frostbite and Sunburn said...

wonderful series of shots - absolutely squeeze out every last drop of sunshine and warmth! Great moon shot by the way!

eileeninmd said...

I love the moon shot and what a cool sighting of the moose. The antelope are great, I love seeing all the wildlife. Lovely series of photos!

Sylvia K said...

Terrific captures and I love the wildlife shots, too, as always! And the first shot of the moon is awesome! Terrific group of shots! Hope you have a great weekend!


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful set of shots. The countryside looks lovely!

Crafty Green Poet said...

what a lovely series of photos, the moose is so funny, thinking that tiny tree is hiding it!

Jackie said...

Love all your photo's especially the peek-a-boo Moose, sounds like you are having a great trip.

Tatjana Parkacheva said...

Nice photos.


troutbirder said...

When I first went to Montana I always wondered how those stackers worked. The West Fork of the Madison was a favorite place as well. The whirling disease trauma put a crimp on some of that though.

Merri said...

neat, i've never seen one of those beaverslide hay stackers before. we just have small bales or big something-near-a-ton rectangle bales, or sometimes round ones.
- The Equestrian Vagabond

Arija said...

What wonderful ways you have found to thoroughly enjoy your waning summer. I love the roaming antelope shot and applaud your bravery of sleeping under the stars in the post above disregarding the bear sign. On a night like that, it is hard to close your eyes in case you miss that spectacular meteor shower.

Hope you get some more fun camping in even with the start of term.