This week’s photo, taken July 7, 2015 at Benton Lake National Wildlife Refuge, 15 miles north of Great Falls, Montana, features an elegant AMERICAN AVOCET in breeding plumage.
I just returned from another road trip to Montana. Two weeks earlier, I had accompanied a Seattle Audubon teen group on a 5-day bird trip. This time, I traveled with my family, first and foremost to visit Laura’s relatives in Great Falls. Four days later, we drove to Browning, where we attended the 64th Annual North American Indian Days and spent a night in a tipi.
We capped off our 9-day trip with 3 nights in a lodge near Glacier National Park. One morning, just outside the eastern edge of the park, our close encounter with nature involved not a bird, but a bear. As we crested the top of a hill in our vehicle, the large mammal was calmly strolling along the opposite side of the narrow road. Although the bear was brown in color, it was a Black Bear. Ten minutes later, we saw another Black Bear, and this second bear happened to be black in color. (I guess, sometimes, mammal names can be as confusing as bird names).
I appreciate the wide open spaces of Montana, but I have no plans for a third visit this summer. Instead, it’s time to enjoy more of the beautiful state of Washington.
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