Lumberjacks, lumberjills and springtime in the Mission Valley

Mom, Bridger and I enjoyed a busy day with lots of variety on Saturday.  Saturday afternoon we were spectators at Forestry Day at the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula.  It was the first time I’ve ever watched woodsmen competitions or “forester olympics,” as my son preferred to term the events.

I was impressed by the strength, agility and balance of the participants in the Springboard Chop…

Springboard Chop
But I was REALLY impressed by the guys and gals that participated in the obstacle course.  In this event,  the contestant’s “starting block” is touching the small log balanced diagonally on the big log. On “Go!,” the contestant grabs the chainsaw, runs around to the other end of the small log, runs up the small log, fires up the chainsaw and cuts off the end of the small log. Men must make opposing cuts but women can cut straight through.

The agility as they run up a log about the diameter of a balance beam, on an incline, pull the starter of the chainsaw (try doing that without your feet well planted) and then cut the log is something to see!

Ready...Set Go!

Balance Lumberjill
After we’d had our fill of forester olympics we headed north, eventually to visit family in the Mission Valley.  We detoured to visit the National Bison Range where we saw dozens of pronghorn antelope, including this pregnant doe

Heavy with fawn...

Western meadowlarks were in full voice.  Look closely at this character and you’ll see his tongue raised as he gives voice to his sweet spring song

Singing A Spring Song

We enjoyed seeing a variety of birds at the National Bison Range and along the Ninepipe Wildlife Management Area.  Species list for the day:

  • red-shafted Northern flicker
  • red tailed hawk
  • Canada goose
  • American kestral
  • red winged black bird
  • western meadowlark (my foy)
  • mallard
  • brown headed cowbird (my foy)
  • starling
  • gold eagle
  • Northern harrier
  • yellow headed black bird (my foy)
  • American robin
  • belted kingfisher
  • Northern rough-winged swallow (my foy)
  •  mourning dove
  • prairie falcon
  • raven
  • crow
  • Northern shoveler
  • double-crested cormorant
  • great blue heron
  • Barrow’s goldeneye
  • common merganser
  • American coot
  • hooded merganser
  • American wigeon
  • and 3 short-eared owls hunting

A fine and enjoyable day…

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