We are a close knit group of people who thrive in high places. We love challenges including long hikes to out of the way places through adverse weather inorder to catch a glimpse of a new breathtaking vista. What do Mountains dream of ?
A quick jaunt to Billings to see two of my children and their spouses . A mere 450 miles give or take and 6 to 7 hours depending on side trips and stops. I like to go the back way . You can drive to Missoula and take I90 but I like the empty 2 lane highways that cross MacDonald Pass to Helena. Then the beautiful drive though the headwaters of the Missouri River to Townsend and Three Forks . Plenty of deer and antelope , bald eagles , osprey and the highlight of the trip a large flock of trumpeter Swans . I wish I had been able to take a picture but I was driving about 80 mph . I am all for getting lost in Montana.
Beautiful summer days in the Wetlands south of Swan Lake. Driving home a quick stop to enjoy the
birdsong in this vast meadow. It is peace on earth and you can feel the intent of original creation. I can imagine if all people had access to a quiet beautiful place there would be a lot less pills popping on a daily basis .
"The Earth Laughs in Flowers" . A wonderful quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson . Truly spring is a time for the natural world to inhale sunshine and exhale color. After a long winter there is nothing like a yard full of rainbow colors .
MacGuyver enjoying the warm weather. He has begun to shed for the season and leaves patches of white fur everywhere . That is ok because he is the brave dog and protector of the cozy cabin in the woods .
Spring in the Northern Rockies is a particular rebirth after so many months of of cold and snow . The seasons are very distinct . There is no mistaking the slide from Winter to Spring here. That is one of the allures for me, the seasonal definition of the passing time . A hike close by on some state land had treasures in the form of yellow and while blossoms. The arnica and western service berry are blooming . There is plenty of choke cherry and wild lily of the Valley, and Hooker's fairy bells. I was actually excited to find a fairly large Serviceberry blooming in the front forest . One of my projects is to bring in more diverse species on my modest tract of land. Often logging culls the valuable timber and leaves the less valuable trees. I have a lot of Western Larch seedlings and will replant them around the area as they mature . The Honey bees are plentiful this year. The meadows had been decimated by chemical spraying due to the weed laws here . Four years of mowing and avoiding chemicals has seen a return of the bees and their wonderful presence. We have an obligation to live on the land with joy , gratitude and consideration. Is it really worth poisoning ourselves, our children and the animal and insect kingdom to have a perfect green lawn ?
The aspens are leafing .Spring is here with warming weather . The last frost is expected in a couple of weeks and summer planting season will be full on. These are the glory days with the sun up at 5 AM and dusk at 10 PM . That is a lot of daytime . What would you do with it ?
I was lucky enough to chance upon a pair of swans this Valentine's day . the smaller birds are canada geese . The birds were resting about a quarter mile off the shore in a thawed area on the lake. I never tire of the beautiful sounds the water fowl make calling to each other.
I am totally guilty of just fooling around. Jan 3 to 5 gave us 3 feet of snow and that took a bit of time to rearrange . Other wise known as shoveling . The birds have needed their feed and time to track the bobcat visiting the yard. Last weekend brought some sunny days and a great time to go snow shoeing up the Going to the Sun Road. Blue Skies , snowy peaks and clear water. It doesn't get much better.