A Montana Morning on the Riverbank


I’m sitting on the bank of the Madison River: morning sunshine warming my back, yellow warblers flitting through the willows along the shore, a lone osprey making his way up and down the river looking for breakfast in the muddy river, and a kingfisher calling his rattling call as he too tries to fish: this is one of those perfect moments when time seems to stop. The memory of that moment will stay with me forever; a place I can head to whenever I find myself in a less idyllic, more stressful place.


In the distance a group of pelicans takes off, slowly circling the river, hoping to catch a thermal, but the morning hasn’t heated up enough and they gradually drift off to the west.


The green grass and the soaring cottonwoods along the bank are heaven after the grays and browns of a long winter.



The warblers are just happy to be a part of the day:  they zip from bush to bush, and zoom along the bank just inches from my feet.  Occasionally one stops long enough for me to get a picture,


or to quizzically check me out, looking for all the world like an Easter Peep:


The osprey hovers above the river, using precious energy to stay in one place so that he can try and scope out a fish in the rain-swollen waters.    He has no luck, but he does catch the attention of a second osprey, who doesn’t want him on this part of the river.






Through it all, a lone sandpiper continues his hunt in the shallows, oblivious to the mini-drama that just took place above his head.


And me?  I just sit, and watch, and soak it all in.

About westerner54

Hello. I'm Cindy, and I love to hike, bike and explore the outdoors - particularly the western U.S.
This entry was posted in Birding, Life, Montana, Nature, Outdoors, Wildlife and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to A Montana Morning on the Riverbank

  1. montucky says:

    Nice photos! I’ve always wanted to fish the Madison. Perhaps later this summer.

  2. What a wonderful way you’ve captured this perfect moment. Thank you for sharing it with us, now I feel refreshed too 🙂

  3. gcotton78 says:

    I love the narrative! Looks like a beautiful place.

  4. Thanks for taking me on this mini retreat this morning. What a beautiful locale to contemplate and relax.

  5. Janet says:

    ….and a beautiful morning it was. I felt like I was there with you. Loved the Easter Peep. 🙂

  6. ESL-Donna says:

    Great photos, and a great place to cast a dry fly.

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