They say you are at your most creative when you first wake up. I have one of those built in natural clocks that wakes you up before the alarm, unfortunately it has been waking me up at least an hour too early lately. So here I am at 4:30 in the morning starting a blog. I don’t know if I’ll finish before it’s time to go to work, but here’s a start.

Robertson Road 2

December and January were pretty mild as far as weather goes. We all thought we were going to have an easy winter. Then February shows up and says, ” Hold My Beer!” , and proceeds to show us what he can do. My day job as a rural mail carrier has been… well, let’s just say it’s not just a job, it’s an adventure! Up to 100 miles of back roads that you don’t know if they’ve been plowed or you’re dealing with whiteout, and can’t see how big the drifts are. You just keep your foot on the gas, and steer for the middle between the fences and hope you can barrel through whatever Old Man Winter has put in your way!

March 2019 Irvine Flats Road

I went down one road that had apparently been plowed. It was only a few feet wider than my jeep and the snow was piled up to the height of the roof on either side. I come up over a hill only to find that the plow stopped! So I had to back up over a mile and take a detour. The Postal Service tracks us through our scanners and says they can tell when we back up more than fifty feet. We can get reprimanded for doing so. Whoever came up with that rule wasn’t a rural carrier in Montana!

Farm Truck

Anyway, this weekend there was a break in the weather. So Terry and I went for a drive. It was below zero temperatures, but it was a beautiful sunny day!

Hidden Bobcat
Bobcat up slope from the trees
Round Butte 2
Missions From West Loop

We found several owls, eagles, and hawks that were reluctant to move from their perches with the bitter cold. Two of the owls were soaking up the sun on hay bales.

Great Horned in the Hay
Long Eared Owl in the hay 2
Barred Owl March 2019 8
Valley View Bald Eagle 3
Young Bald Eagle 2
Startled Roughie

We eventually found ourselves at the Bison Range.

Bison Feeding March 2019

A couple different bull elk and a herd of cows were especially photogenic!

Branch Antler Bull Elk 3
Bull Elk Branch Antler 5
Bull Elk Branch Antler 1
Visitor Center Cow Elk 4

Song birds and waterfowl were another welcome sight, including our first robin of the year! Happy Springtime! Actually one can be too early of an early bird.

Too Early Bird March 2019
WaxWing 2
Mission Creek Merganser March 2019
Mission Creek Merganser March 2019 3

I’ve been hearing rumors about the weather warming up very quickly by the middle of March. If all this snow melts at once our creeks and rivers may spill over their banks! Either way it will be interesting to see…and photograph!

Golden Eye Spring Creek