Horses stood stoically letting the wind whip their manes and tails and ripple their long winter hair while mule deer wandered among the stands of aspens and diamond willow. The road was mucky and I had to put the truck in four-wheel drive a couple of times after stopping to take pictures. I rolled back down into the lowlands.
Canada geese were everywhere, almost all of them in pairs. These ones likely stayed here all winter and they’ll be nesting soon, just a little bit ahead of their more migratory cousins. If the weather stays warm and the melt continues they’ll soon be joined by flocks of pintail ducks and tundra swans, the vanguard of the annual northward flow of our feathered friends.
I saw eagles, too, most of them soaring up high, and a gyrfalcon. They are the biggest of all our falcons and winter-time visitors from the far north. This must have been one of the last ones in our area. Of their northern neighbours, the snowy owls and rough-legged hawks, I saw none.