May 7, 2009

This Weekend: Celebrate Spring

Contributing from Montana, Anne muses about spring in the wild places near her home.
The problem with being the Outdoor Diva for this blog is that I have to be inside to post updates. In the spring that can pose a challenge.
Between my husband and I, we’ve been keeping track of how many of the local wildflowers we’ve seen so far. I think he was up to nine before he went to California for the weekend, but I think I saw a new one while I was hiking yesterday. The dogs and I were very excited about our hike. There’s a large open space area not far from my house that’s closed during the winter because it’s winter elk habitat. It opened up again on May 1st. There were lots of new smells for the dogs. Joste, my older Norwegian Elkhound found a deer leg bone, which made him very happy. Roary, the younger one, got to chase prairie dogs—his favorite hobby.
I did have to pay attention on the walk. The trail skirts some very nice homes that are in a secluded valley. In the back acreage of one of the houses there was a large live-bear trap. They use these culvert sized traps to catch problem bears in our area. The bears are then relocated away from town. We get quite a few black bears around Missoula, but we didn’t see one on our walk.
Next weekend I might see lots of wildlife including bears, moose, otters, or elk. I’m signed up to do the 135-mile 2-day ride called the Scenic Tour of the Kootenai River in Libby, Montana. The northwest corner of Montana has lots of wildlife and few people. The first day is 98-miles, but I understand that they have a support van for the faint-hearted. I expect to have difficulty walking next Monday.
Meanwhile, get out and enjoy spring. It’s a great time.

For some great hikes in the Missoula, MT area, click here.

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