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13 April, 2013

Signs of Spring on the Grove Creek

The weather may indicate spring is near and then it changes and winter sets in for a few more days. However, there are certain things that happen on the Grove Creek and happen only in the spring, regardless of the weather. As you can see from the next two images, it is calving season and that only happens in the spring. As you drive down the road, you wonder how the mothers can put up with whats going on.
The mama at the top is caressing her new calf while the one at the bottom is staring at her calf as it hops through the pasture, perhaps performing for the other one. As I took the next photograph, you can see that mom might have been scolding her baby for the foolish actions in the pasture.
And the other cow is paying close attention to what's happening below. With the thousands of calves already born, you can imagine the sights as we drive down the road to Fishtail and Absarokee. I doesn't stop there either, as long as you are driving in the ranch country, you will see these sights. What's next, this guys is resting, because it will not be long before he gets to spend a couple months with the mother cows.
The boys are scored at the end of the breeding season. If they have done a good job, they get to stay and rest for 9 to 10 months until next year they get to visit the cows again. If you don't get the all of your cows pregnant, you end up as hamburger. Another animal that's a sure sign of spring are these guys.
Number 54 looks like it is in a hurry to find it's mother. In the background there are several lambs with their mothers. Most of the mothers have twins, so they are busy making milk and caring for their lambs.
The numbers on their backs match the number on the mother. The tails will be removed soon and the little boys will have another part of their anatomy removed. The pastures filled with sheep are just as entertaining as the cattle. Of course, they have their own pastures.
Another sign of spring is the migration of the birds back to Stillwater County. Look carefully in the right center of this photograph and you'll see a sand hill crane. If you were here, you would not need to see them to know they are back. Their loud honking sound tells you they're here and they will be honking, flying, and giving birth to new ones before they head south in the late fall. Speaking of birds . . .

this is a male mountain blue bird. He arrived with his mate about the same time as the sand hill cranes. This one is about 3 fence posts from the "bluebird house" which sits on a nearby fence post. He and his lady friend have been tidying the house for nesting and hatching some babies. If we are lucky, we'll have photographs of the babies before the summer is over.

I know you want to see the mountains, so you can determine the real weather in Montana. You saw snow on the ground where the lambs were, well . . . . here's the mountains.
For the past 2 months, we have had varying degrees of weather. As warm as 70 degrees, as cold a 8 above, some rain, some snow, mostly sun in the day time. And this is what it's like in Montana and you have seen what tells us it's spring, even though the weather at times would not indicate it.

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