27 September 2016

September Train - Missoula, Montana

"Then the long September cry rang from the thousand unseen locusts, urgent at the open windows of the train."

- from "Delta Wedding", page 4,  by Eudora Welty

26 September 2016

Magical Mundane - East Missoula, Montana

"Listen to your life. 
See it for the fathomless mystery it is. 
In the boredom and pain of it, 
no less than in the excitement 
and gladness: touch, taste, 
smell your way 
to the holy and hidden heart of it, 
because in the last analysis 
all moments are key moments, 
and life itself is grace.”

(P.S. As promised: Saturday's what-is-it photo is of a big Blender; in environmental remediation, it might be used with a Delmag Drill in the ground to mix grout and contaminated dirt to stabilize. Like a giant milkshake mixer.  Kind of. Not quite as fanciful as other imaginings, but still very big and fascinating.)

24 September 2016

Iron Giant Arc - Missoula, Montana

The grassy allĂ©e of trees where I walk at lunch overlooks our company's back lot, where all manner of out-of-use parts and pieces are stashed for indeterminate time frames. Part of why I love my job is that we traffic in really big things that move - trains, ships, mining-sized earth movers - thus, the stuff out back is all BIG.  Most of them are odd and apparently specialized pieces of machinery that draw my eye with their strong lines and shapes, and also set my little grey cells to thinking what on earth they could possibly be. 

During many strolls, I wondered if today's exhibit might be an anchor for certain river terrain, or maybe it was broken off of a larger piece that completed the toothed arc to a circle that was part of a gear system. On the Iron Giant theme, perhaps it's a broken piece from the world's largest set of jacks? Finally, the wondering ceased to be amusing, so I asked the experts.

But first, I'm curious about your "maybe it's a... " fanciful ponderings, so please send a comment - we won't judge you. 
(By the way, choosing Anonymous under Comment As allows you to bypass a sign-in.)

And I'll tell you Monday what it really is.

23 September 2016

Fallen Leaf Fun - Missoula, Montana

"It is glorious fun racing down the Hump, but you can't do it on windy days because then you are not there, but the fallen leaves do it instead of you. 
There is almost nothing that has such a keen sense of fun as a fallen leaf."

22 September 2016

Feeling Septemberish - Missoula, Montana

"I guess I'm just feeling Septemberish," sighed Chester. "It's getting towards autumn now. And it's so pretty up in Connecticut. All the trees change color. The days get very clear―with a little smoke on the horizon from burning leaves. Pumpkins begin to come out."

21 September 2016

Almost Autumn - Missoula, Montana

"WHAT is there sadd'ning in the Autumn leaves?
Have they that "green and yellow melancholy"

That the sweet poet spake of? Had he seen

Our variegated woods, when first the frost

Turns into beauty all October's charms—

...With a bright bow of many colours hung

Upon the forest tops—he had not sigh'd...."

20 September 2016

Sagebrush Glow - Missoula, Montana

Years ago, when I worked in an industry tied to real estate and homebuilding in Montana's Bitterroot Valley, I questioned what then seemed the ludicrous insistence of a homeowner that every sagebrush disturbed during construction of her home be replanted. It's not like they're scarce or endangered - sagebrush literally cover vast sections of hill- and mountainsides in this region. And they're scrubby and stunted and not much to look at, for the most part. But when the gloaming light illuminated these trailside specimens seemingly from within, highlighting their beautiful structural lines and bloom-tipped branches, I had a better understanding of why someone might love the ubiquitous sagebrush enough to ensure that they regained their place in the sun.

19 September 2016

Clark Fork River Sabbath - Missoula, Montana

"The charm of fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable, a perpetual series of occasions for hope."  

- John Buchan (1875-1940)