Bullwinkle is Back

Neighborhood Moose Returns to Visit.

Five years ago, when we first bought Cherry Creek Guest House, we got an unusual phone call from our son who was living here at the time. He was whispering like the host of a wild adventure show and we soon found out why. There was a large bull moose munching on the trees in the yard.

A burgeoning photographer, he took several prize-worthy photos of the visitor we nicknamed Bullwinkle, including the one featured above. From that point on we are always watchful in the spring for Bullwinkle’s return visits. Last year he interrupted us while we were landscaping the children’s play area with rubber mulch. We made the mistake of trying to shoo him away waving and yelling. He showed us just how quickly he can move and sent us into a sprint. Turns out he’s the boss around here.

Now we simply watch him from inside (as we recommend our guests do as well) as he saunters around, dining on our freshly blossomed trees. Male moose lose their horns during the late winter early spring so each time we see him, usually during the month of May, his horns are in velvet and just beginning the growth process.

Although certainly our biggest, Bullwinkle isn’t our only neighborhood companion. We have a friendly herd of white tail deer, bunnies galore, “Sassy” the squirrel, random raccoons, and even an occasional black bear or two. One of the young bruins was nicknamed Little Caesar because he helped himself to a pizza off the back of a camper’s car. Keeping our food and trash secure is a necessary step, especially in the spring and fall.

We love our furry friends but it’s the abundant raptors and variety of birds that astound us every day, especially during the spring mating season. Because of the nearby East Gallatin River, our back yard is a sanctuary for our feathered families. Geese, ducks, and pheasants all nest in the bushes below the property while the bald eagles and red-tailed hawks take to the high trees to raise their young. Cranes and blue herons soar over the house and stand proudly in the nearby fields. And there is no shortage of small songbirds who fill the air with a variety of pleasant calls, especially in the morning hours. Birdwatchers need go no further than the back yard to spot any number of species. 

A few years ago, we had the privilege of rescuing a Great Horned Owl. He was sitting on our picnic table, watching us through the window. It didn’t take long for us to realize he was hurt. We called the Montana Raptor Conservation Center and they were quick to come and capture him. He had a broken shoulder, likely from a passing car, which they were able to fix while rehabilitating him. The day they came back to release him to his natural home behind our property was a once in a lifetime experience. We can hear him, or his family, hooting at night from the tall pines.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that flora and fauna make every day a new day at Cherry Creek Guest House. All that we, and our many vacation rental guests, have to do is watch and listen to experience the miracle of Mother Nature and enjoy her glory year-round.

The opportunities for your next Montana adventure are unlimited and Cherry Creek Guest House is ready to serve as your home away.

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