Marvelous May
May 2023

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May was a beautiful month, allowing us all to finally get outdoors again after a long, cold, and dark winter.  No one was more thrilled than Buddy, who was sick of being cold every time he went outside.  We celebrated the nice weather by being very active this month.  
Woo hoo!  Buddy's favorite time of year is "ditch time."  The irrigation ditch in front of our house
runs from May - September-ish each year and this was his first chance to play in it for 2023.  
Eric, working under supervision from Buddy.  Eric was burying an irrigation line that used to make 
it impossible for us to drive past the barn.  It was a great convenience once he got it complete. 
Work in progress  Speaking of work, things are going along nicely at Lodge Bluff Homes

And more work!  Landscaping work day at the Timbers Lodge. They planted a bunch of trees &
shrubs and fenced every item with deer fence.

  Buddy, keeping a close watch over Mary Beth while she eats.  
Not begging, of course!  Just on hand in case she needs any help.  

Tree planting work in progress

  Eric was in the Kubota, burying a water line. The controls were opposite of his backhoe so 
he had a challenging time that day! 

Buddy, still living in hope that Mary Beth will need help with her sandwich. 

  Finally!  He gets the pup cup that he deserves.  

Next is a family dinner to celebrate Aubrey's birthday.  Grandpa Dan isn't really a dog person,
but you don't say no to Carson cuddles.  

  Larry & Mary Beth on the screened porch.
 Carter & Cooper are always playing with any available dogs, and Stryker is very willing!   Beautiful Amy with Colter, who came up from Kalispell for the party.  (Hey, it is free food!)  
That Saturday was Branding Day, which is a Casazza family holiday.  I was late on the one year 
when everything went like clockwork, so they'd finished all the work and the lunch when I arrived.  
Four generations of Casazzas and friends (and dogs) gathered to make the day a success.  

Buddy is not sure about letting Strite pet him, Buddy takes a while to warm up to new people.  

  Eric, chatting with Kenna & trying to keep Buddy from getting too many 
illicit treats from the kids. 
Tracie, somehow managing to drive the tractor with Lane, Hunter, and Hanna in the cab with her.  Next we had a short camping trip to nearby Rocky Gorge, a lovely spot about 30 minutes from home. 
There is lots of ammunition there for Buddy's favorite game - throw pebbles in the shallow water.   Buddy after I scolded him to "get off the table."  He is not impressed by my authority.  
Our campground table was out on this lovely point.  Friends & family came out to visit with us that night around a campfire.  
After church one Sunday we saw Larry & Mary Beth up watering the trees, so had to come and
observe the work in progress.  
There was a hatch of at least 4 baby owls near Mark's barn.  This is a cell phone shot of them
eating on top of the roof.

A family fishing visit from the Miller family one beautiful (slightly smoky) evening. 

Same shot, zoomed in.  I have some nicer shots of them with a zoom lens below.   

The family cheering section. 

 He's got a bite!    

Now Amy's water-loving dog Stryker shows up to make sure no more fish are left in the area.  

 Minnie catches one!  
 Jeb & Amy's new toy, they call it a Razor.   On an outing with Larry & Mary Beth to find rocks to use in the Timbers landscaping. 
Eric was hungry after climbing so we let him have a snack first.  Buddy was offering assistance. 
 Beautiful views up and down Lake Koocanusa.   

I was trying to get Buddy to pose, but I think there were some ground squirrels squeaking off to
the side and I couldn't get him to focus.

  Usually we just pick up rock that has fallen, but here Eric uses a digging
bar to get an assist.  

It was so nice to see everything green and blooming again after the long winter.  

 After we gathered our rocks, we headed up to Little North Fork Falls.  
Here, Eric investigates some strange holes in this poor tree. There's no shortage of them! 


The river we were walking next to on the trail.  Helicopter Dad Eric didn't want Buddy crossing the bridge on his own. 


Little North Fork Falls.  May is a great time to see it, the water is really running strong. 

  Eric, admiring the falls from close up.

Buddy, looking pensive.

  Now he's downright worried as Eric walks him way out on a log for a photo op.

The shot we were trying to take.

A close-up of that worried face.  He'd like to be back on solid ground now please. 


 He's just lucky that I wasn't the one carrying 
him out there, we'd have been soaked for sure!  
 Group shot at Little North Fork, with the falls just out of sight. 

 After dinner on Larry & Mary Beth's screened porch, Oliver gets some belly rubs.

Group selfie with Little North Fork Falls.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch...sunset over the steers.   Giving Gus & Ollie a potty break one day, I snapped this picture of these two.  They crack me up.  


Big day - carpet choosing day at Lodge Bluff Homes. 
Isabella is ready to move in to her new place.  

Family dinner at Abayance Bay to celebrate Mary Beth's birthday.

  Another shot where the server takes the photo so that I can be in the picture. 
Everyone is tired of smiling now! 

Our friend Mark Hall's son is in a band and they play a lot of Robert Earl Keen songs.  I'm a REK
fan from way back, so seeing them made for a fun night out.  

The benefits of having connections to the local butcher shop!    

My sister Desirae's son Brodie painted us some pretty rocks and sent them to us.  
Eric proudly poses with them here as they are displayed on our window sill.  

   We went out for a walk at the riverside trail one day and look who had the 
 same idea - Larry, Mary Beth, Katie, Caleb, Oliver, Rosie, and Gus - woo hoo! 

My boys, so happy to be out in the sunshine.

  Some friends & family went for a "close by camping" trip for Memorial Day
weekend and we hung out with them one evening.  Here's half of a corn hole game. 
The other half of the game doesn't seem to be as into it.   Now the corn hole players decide to heckle the folks playing Sequence.

These three stubbornly hang by the fire after a surprise sprinkle starts up. 

Cole is SO patient with Buddy's, "I don't know you" grumpy attitude.  
The rest of us huddle under the camper canopy to stay dry. We were not social distanced!  For Memorial Day, Nate "Bull" Durham borrowed the Casazza Concrete Pumper Truck to display
his giant flag.  Here he hosts a cookout to everyone who comes out to help him take it down. 

Here we have our hands on it, and that's where my photos stop because I had to do my part! 

Travis Sanders lowers the boom and we all walk along to get into position to catch it.  
Eric has been developing some routes at Stone Hill.  This is his first ascent of "Hold Me & Never Let Me Go", rated 5.12d.


 "I do it!" 


Zoom lens shot of a couple of eagles fishing at the end of the lake.


A quilt I particularly loved, called, "Spirited Horse"



The following are a series of pictures I took of the owl family living at Mark's barn. 

  This sets the scene. 

 In this one, two of the babies are checking me out.   Here the four babies are all looking away but the mother is giving me the eye.  
 Later one of the babies moves over to this old roofless lean-to.   The baby nearest to the mom sees me now. 
The mom is really getting tired of me and is ready for me to move along.  One last shot of a funny baby and I'm gone! 

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