This Magpie was just spending some time hanging out on a picnic tale and allowed us to get unusually close. There must have been hidden treasures close at hand which gave us a nice opportunity to take a quick portrait for Magpie Monday.
This little guy surprised us by flying down and landing right in front of us while we were walking in a dimly lit forest. We are not sure if it is a Western or Eastern Screech Owl as both are commonly seen in our area and we only got a couple of photos before he flew off further into the woods. A nice little surprise on a summer afternoon.
Missouri Headwaters State Park, MT is where the three major tributaries of the Missouri river; the Gallatin, the Jefferson and the Madison come together and form the Missouri river proper. The Missouri Headwaters area is a geographical focal point and was important to early Native Americans trappers, traders and settlers. Coveting the regions bountiful resources, the Flathead, Bannock and Shoshoni Indians competed for control of this area, as did the trappers and settlers who followed.
Lewis and Clark passed by the Missouri headwaters on both ways of their voyage of discovery in 1805 and then again in 1806. In his journal documenting the expedition Meriwether Lewis wrote the country opens suddenly to extensive and beautiful plains and meadows that appear to be surrounded in every direction with distant and lofty mountains.
From the wet river bottom to the dry bluffs above each slightly different ecosystem was bursting with life the day we visited.
A fine way to spend a summers morning.
A Great Blue Heron with periscope up and at the ready.