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Crazy Mountain Ranch Trip, Summer 2014

My husband & I had the fortune to go on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Crazy Mountain Ranch in Montana. I don’t have the words to fully convey how special this trip was. There were times I was alternating between tears & giggles, so overwhelmingly wonderful the experience was.

Here are the first set of pictures from our trip, focused around the 18,000 acre working cattle ranch’s private lake. Activities on the lake included guided flyfishing, canoeing, and evening concerts. We saw antelope, a pair of nesting bald eagles, baby ducks, nesting red-winged black birds whose haunting lilting melodies will ring in my heart until the day I die.

Marlboro Crazy Mountain Ranch 2014

Marlboro Crazy Mountain Ranch 2014

Marlboro Crazy Mountain Ranch 2014

Marlboro Crazy Mountain Ranch 2014

Marlboro Crazy Mountain Ranch 2014

Marlboro Crazy Mountain Ranch 2014

More pictures are available at my whentheBstings Instagram account.

Identifying Feathers

It’s spring again, so I wanted to remind everyone of the Feather Atlas, our favorite resource for identifying birds by feathers found on the ground. The Feather Atlas is a searchable database of scans of feathers belonging to North American birds, run by the US Department of Fish & Wildlife.

ID birds by feather

It’s a great place to learn about bird anatomy, feather function & about our birds here in North America.

Just a reminder that it’s actually illegal in the US to collect feathers, nests, eggs, or parts of birds, under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. I’ve never known a person who wasn’t willfully harming protected species to be prosecuted for collecting feathers, but as people are always shocked to learn this, I do pass on this info since people like to share about their collections online, never realizing they’re broadcasting what’s technically a crime.

My Son Made My Bed…

My son told me he had made my bed for me.

I went into my bedroom to see this!

seabed

He brought his blue top sheet from his bed & every stuffed sea animal he owns & “made my bed”…

Into a SEABED! I only have myself to blame for these little punny buggers that live in my house.

The big lobster/crawdad was his first lovey. His dad gave it to him the day he was born & he used to teethe on its antennae. The wee lobster is a Ty Teenie Beanie from McDonalds that we tracked down so his lobster could have a tiny friend.

The sea turtle is from our trip to Orlando. The blue turtle he won at the county fair.

The manatee is actually mine & named Hugh. OH THE HUGH MANATEE!

The two fish are actually famous sturgeon, Herman the Sturgeon. He picked them up at Bonneville Dam & Fish Hatchery, which is a must-do stop if you’re traveling along the Columbia River east of Portland, OR for any reason.

I got a pretty good chuckle out of my son’s shenanigans.

Great Shakes, Palm Springs

While in Palm Springs recently, my best friend took her sisters & me to Great Shakes, the most amazing shake shop on Earth.

Great Shakes Menu

Great Shakes Palm Springs

That’s a caramel milkshake. Great Shakes makes their own caramel sauce and whipped cream, both of which they’re generous with. If that’s not decadent enough for you, that’s a MINI DOUGHNUT on the straw, fresh baked. You can’t make this stuff up!

My best friend got a pine nut milk shake. This is where the shop really shone. My BFF & I have both fallen victims to “Pine mouth” or “Pine nut syndrome” & will not suffer cheap Chinese pine nuts, so my friend asked where they sourced their pine nuts from. Quick as a bunny, the girl went to find out! THEN the owner came out, chatted with us, while fresh roasting the pine nuts for her shake.

This shop is doing things right!

Great shakes also has a very endearing supply of old-timey candies & sells gift baskets of retro candy themed by decade.

Definitely check out Great Shakes next time you’re in Palm Springs, CA, but take my word for it, you can get by with the smaller-sized shake. I was challenged into getting a large by a 17-year-old girl (remember being able to eat anything you wanted all day long?) & I have forever sworn a vendetta on her, it was that over-whelming. If someone says “YOLO!” when you’re decided between sizes, they mean it as a threat. 😉 Get the small.