In the five months that I have lived in Montana I have come to quickly realize that I am living in the midst of my very own wildlife safari. Saturday is the perfect example of this. I had an early morning photo shoot at Swan Lake — I’ll write about that tomorrow — shortly after leaving my house I caught sight of one of my wolves. Yes, I have my own wolf pack. I LOVE it. And this morning the big grey one was out and about in the early morning. No photo. Sorry. Once they catch sight of me, or in this case, hear the Jeep coming, they tend to bolt. But I got to see him, so, Wolves, check.
Later that day while out on the river I caught sight of a peculiar looking kind of duck. These little guys are a study in black and white. I can’t remember the name of the birds, but I was told that if you are paddling down a river and faced with a fork where each path looks equally good, follow the ducks. They always know the best route. Ducks, check. There were also snakes, but I avoid those. Even the non-poisonous variety.
On my way back home I caught my first sight of Sandhill Cranes. I have always loved cranes and herons for their size and their grace. And also because the Ahearn family crest features a solid green background and three white cranes. Sandhill Cranes are large. Maybe the largest of this type of bird that I have ever seen. Speeding past them at 70 miles per hour (welcome to Montana) I didn’t realize what they were but I knew I had seen something so I stopped and turned around. Again, as soon as they see me coming they start backing away, but I had my 300 with me, and that helped narrow the gap. So, Cranes, check. And of course, as soon as I got home I saw my deer. They are always about in the evenings and mornings now. I see them daily, but I never grow tired of standing still and watching them. Deer, check.
Soon the roads will open in Glacier an I am going to have to head up and start looking for some of the big creatures that inhabit my strange new world. Bears. Moose. Bighorn Sheep. Mountain Lions. I want to see all of this. Of course, the real trick is going to be to see it, photograph it, and then live to blog about it.