I really LOVE game cameras – they are just so darn much fun. It’s sort of like getting a Christmas morning every time you go check them :). We knew someone was eating the hay (ok, we knew what was eating it too – elk tracks are pretty hard to mistake ) but we didn’t know it was this big fella.
When it comes to tracks, mountain lions are just a cat. But bigger. December 7, 2013
As many of you know, I love snow tracking (ok, when one lives at 6000′ in the mountains of Montana, one better figure out ways to enjoy snow!). And while there are always tracks to follow in the snow, there’s something exciting about seeing big cat tracks just a few hours after they’ve been made here on the ranch. (Makes one look up at the trees and over one’s shoulder as well :). And these tracks were just perfect for seeing exactly what identifies these as cat tracks. Round and round. Round toes, round print, no claws. My little housecats have tracks that look just like these. Only lots, lots smaller. I’ll compare these to some canid tracks in the next blog.
I was supposed to be working on our ranch taxes. Yes, I know - I'm late. I'm always late with taxes. Extensions were made for people like me. All the same, I was diligently working on them first thing this morning. But when I went out to feed the livestock and let out the chickens, I got waylaid. The sun was shining, a warm southwest breeze was blowing, and I could hear flickers and chickadees and bluebirds and....
Red Tailed Hawks are back and "nest repairing". April 5, 2013
Ok - despite the fact that we got another 4 inches of snow today (and we didn't even get rid of all of that last one yet), the red tailed hawk pair is back. While feeding the buffs, one of them soared over my head carrying sticks to their nest at the east end of the ranch. The red tails have a couple of nests on the ranch that they alternate their use of (as do many raptors) and this year it looks like they're going to use their "sidewinder" nest site (we don't have sidewinders in Montana- the drainage is named for a narrow winding 4 wheel drive road with a steep drop off as it climbs the moutainside.
And then comes the cautious coyote… February 21, 2013
While some critters come right in to the camera, others make really sure that it’s okay first. This series shows the cautious canid starting in, then going back out, coming in again and then going back out, over and over. It took two nights before he finally actually ate at the bones. Even then, he would eat, then back off, then carefully come back in. This is how a little 20 lb canid lives in a hostile world.
Knock 3 Times – and you get buffalo! February 16, 2013
Feeding our bison in the winter is just a matter of driving out to where we last saw them and throwing out hay. Usually they’re there. Sometimes they aren’t. And that’s when that old song by Toni Orlando and Dawn (yes, VERY old song) starts running through my head, “Knock 3 times on the ceiling if you want me, …. Because I honk the horn three times, over and over until…. HERE THEY COME! http://youtu.be/3K61YvfxbXA
As we continue to get bigger critters – add a golden eagle! February 4, 2013
Another young ‘un, this immature golden is happy to find such a handy snack! First, he checks it over….
Then he takes a bite. What a deal for a growing youngster.