28 December 2012

Blue Shadows, Missoula, Montana

There's a song for everything, if you've been paying attention.
The blue of these shadows provoke - to my mind, at least - "I'm being followed by a moon shadow...". 
I know, I know, we're looking at sun shadows, and the verse lyrics are on the sinister side, but it's a catchy chorus - which I'm sure you'll sing repeatedly, all afternoon, in random snippets, when you're trying to finish something important.
You can thank me in person when you come to visit.

27 December 2012

Nighttime Drama, Missoula, Montana

Visit any Montana town that's a historic county seat (please do) and you will find at least one building - the courthouse - boasting architectural finery. Missoula, Montana, has many impressive structures, including the Missoula Mercantile, which is undergoing restoration.  I love that during the early days of what were essentially frontier towns, the founding fathers found it important to construct solid yet elaborate buildings. Maybe this was their visible projection of hope for a prosperous and important future. After all, you didn't typically settle in the wild west unless you were cocksure full of some sort of optimism.

26 December 2012

Winter White Berries, Missoula, Montana

So, any forest traipsers know the identity of these white berries? We ruled out mistletoe because rumour has it the kissing berries grow up high in trees, plus they're parasitical, and don't look quite like the plastic varieties sold in stores.
It would also be good to know if they're edible or poisonous, in case one ever was starving in the forest in winter.
Of course, if you were starving in the forest in Greenough Park, you're within a half hour hike out for a burger and heavenly fries at Five Guys. But if it were some other, non-urban forest, you might stay hungry until Search and Rescue finds you, but they'll probably only offer something on the tasteless side of nutritious. Which is why it's preferable to take your nature in local doses.

Update: 12/28/12: Per the comment below, here's link for info on the Snowberry!

Update: 7/5/2017: Click here for  a crazy-long list of what you CAN safely eat in the forest, thanks to a heads up from author/editor Colin at

25 December 2012

Happy Christmas Decor, Missoula, Montana

Merry Christmas!

(This Christmas ball reflects an eye-catching outdoor decor: the homeowners hung shiny glass balls on their front yard shrubs.)

23 December 2012

Hole-y Fence, Missoula, Montana

Since the walking trail near our neighborhood runs next the railroad tracks that are next to Southgate Mall (i.e. amazing Montana scenery is not up close and personal), it's a perfect place to notice odd details. In an era of clearing growth for ease of construction, I appreciate this fence-builder's attention to detail and desire to preserve a good tree.