Jumping for Joy

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While floating down a stretch of the Snake River in WY we startled this Sandhill Crane who was hidden in the grass on the river bank. They squawked a Sandhill Crane squawk and did a big jump of alarm but given the river was moving us right along they soon had the bank to themselves again.

Snipe

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Thank goodness for fence poles.

A nice looking Wilson’s Snipe singing away on a fence post along a small county road in Southern Wyoming. Photographed while on the way to Hutton Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

Wabbit

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Early summer is Rabbit time. Last weekend we saw plenty of healthy rabbits roaming the sagebrush and grasslands of the Arapahoe Wildlife Refuge as well as plenty of Hawks looking for an easy meal. Luckily for this guy he stayed on guard and was reluctant to stray too far from the cover of the sage.

Triteleia Grandiflora

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One of the more unusual wildflowers we see each summer is Triteleia Grandiflora.

The tall slender stalk with only one or two basal leaves spring up out of grassy areas and are capped with a cluster of delicate yet hardy and unusual looking purple-blue flowers.

A native to the pacific northwest east of the cascade mountains from Oregon into Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Idaho. We have see it growing in open Prairies and up into mountain foothills. Usually it seems that each plant is widely spaced from it’s neighbors or many times we see a single plant spring up far from others of its own species.

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It’s always fun to photograph these each spring and this years we have noticed greater numbers of Triteleia Grandiflora blooming than in the previous years.

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Chestnut-Backed Chickadee

Hearing the Chickadees calling in the trees above our heads we expected to look up and see either a black-capped or mountain chickadee as we had seen them earlier this day. However to our surprise we we greeted by this little Chestnut-Backed Chickadee looking down at us and hunting insects just above our heads.

The all about birds website starts their description of this bird by calling them handsome and I would have to whole heartedly agree with that.

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Chestnut-backed_Chickadee/id