There’s really not much down time in commercial beekeeping – although we’re done with pulling and extracting honey, we don’t sit around twiddling our thumbs until it’s time for pollination, shaking, splitting, and requeening.  There is wax to melt, equipment to build and repair, retail orders to bottle, candles to pour and package, industry meetings to attend, inventory to take, honey to deliver to landowners … the list seems endless at times.

But the waning sunlight does mean that we tend to quit closer to 5pm than to 9pm, and that means time to clean up the books, polish up the website, tend to the blog, and open the mail.  Our friend Marc Ankenbauer sent us a CD of awesome photographs he took during our 2nd Annual 4th of July Parade & Potluck, and we finally had a moment to sit down and review them — with absolute delight.

Marc is a neat guy, and one of those friends that keeps popping up in our lives.  I memorably ran into Marc on a remarkable September evening at the foot of Glenn’s Lake, years ago, riding out a soaking rain/snow storm under a tarp in a backcountry campground, playing cards and drinking whiskey with mutual friends.  But I didn’t know until Marc mailed us the fabulous CD of pictures that he is on a one man, ten years in the making, mission to be the first person to jump into every last one of Glacier National Park’s named lakes — there are 168 of these frigid, remote beauties, and Marc only has 12 to go!

Why in the world is Marc doing this?  Well, in addition to being an adventurer — a recent check of his blog reveals that he’s accepted winter employment in Antartica! — Marc is survivor of youth cancer, and has a heart of gold to boot.  He’s  raising money via his Glacier Explorer project to benefit Camp Mak-A-Dream, giving kids and young adults with cancer a medically supervised once-in-a-lifetime experience in the Montana wilderness.  That’s pretty darn cool.  He’s a little over half way to his goal, and you can donate, and check out his fun blog detailing his jumps, here.

Marc — above — took so many fabulous photographs of our 4th of July festivities that we’re going to devote several days to recapping the 4th – enjoy!  And remember, only eight months till July, and the next Parade – y’all should join us!

Glacier County Honey Co. decided to decorate the forklift basket, in hopes of finding bikini-ed gals along Duck Lake who wanted to dance in it.

You’ll have to check back tomorrow to find out if that mission was successful.

So happy to see Canadian-born, dual-citizenship-holding, Honeydew carrying THE flag around our parking lot!  What a great shot of him.

There was a lot of decorating in the hour leading up to the parade.  Here, Neil and Chuck got the approaching-senility-1987-Chevy-Cavalier looking snappy!

JC borrowed Chuck’s 4 wheeler, and it never looked finer.

Duck Lake, where we live just east of Babb, boasts a large number of Canadian residents, and their enthusiasm for our 4th of July Parade (held just after Canada Day on July 1), was refreshing and … adorable.

Once all the floats were decorated, and stocked …

and hitched to whatever was pulling them, if they were being pulled …

and all the last minute costume adjustments made …

it was time to crown Miss Duck Lake!  Maggie Rose took the honors for the 2nd year running.

Our awesome Canadian neighbors, the Shillidays, boast a former Mrs. Calgary in their ranks, and as Royalty we believe that she had the power to so crown Maggie Rose.  That’s Grandpa Shilliday’s rig, above.  So cool.

Quite a crowd gathered at Glacier County Honey World Headquarters in anticipation of the parade.

And when the parking lot was full, Brother Dear busted out his megaphone and got us moving in the right direction.

Once we had a horse and lady up front — that’s Miss Emily Williams, and her trusty steed, Bullet — we were ready to parade!

And away we went, heading south down West Shore Road … pictures of the parade itself to follow!

Marc, thank you.  These pictures are priceless.  If you’re lovin’ ’em, maybe consider making a donation for Marc’s cause?  Here’s the link!

2012.  Glacier County Honey Co.    All photo credits to Marc Ankenbauer.  All Rights Reserved.