We are camped in a national forest campground, beside Canyon Ferry Lake. It is starkly beautiful. We cut Benton lose, turning into leash-law scofflaws. He grins as he runs with our bikes. After being a Thistle couch potato, he's in exercise heaven. Swimming, chasing sticks, pleading for more as Ed and I return to camp.
This is our isolated campground. Winter rates prevail. It's free. We have a picnic table, fire ring and a clean toilet. No hookups. No neighbors...
We are not far from the town of Townsend. Helena is about an hour away.
Big sky country...
With the weekend, total peace ended, as well as Benton's freedom, as there are now four other camps occupied. Still, quiet prevails and serenity holds. Meadowlark song fills the air. In the still we watch pelicans, red-winged and yellow-headed blackbirds. Geese, ducks and seagulls fly overhead. And antelope, lots of antelope. We enjoy fleeting views of a gray partridge, sage grouse, long-billed dowitcher and several osprey. Plus hawks, one particularly huge high up in a tree, watching, watching.
It begins to rain. The campground empties out.
"In order to see birds it is necessary to become a part of the silence"
~ Robert Lynd