15 March 2014

Long Winter Shadows, Yellowstone River, Livingston, Montana

Land of Long Shadows
by Ruth Hill 

Lingering, lengthening, lavender shadows
softly sadden the snow.
Rowdy clouds and swirling flurries:
shadows slide ’cross slithering drifts…

Deep trails flood and fill
with violet blue.
Sunny valley bottoms
are squeezed up into the starry sky,
until all the shadows touch,
and the world is still.

Luxuriate in the full text of Ruth Hill's lilting poem here, where you can also explore the insider perspective of a dedicated bicyclist.

14 March 2014

13 March 2014

Suspended, Missouri Headwaters State Park, Three Forks, Montana

When chinook winds gently reduced our snow forts to languid farmyard water features, this signaled perfect timing for a spontaneous dessert trip to the W & E drive-in. These days, we never consider transporting more bodies than there are seatbelts in a vehicle - oh, the horror! But in the idyllic era of my childhood, the art of condensed transport was highly refined by our family of nine. You’d be amazed how many people can stack on a pick-up truck bench seat and still allow enough wiggle for the driver to shift gears. And any leftovers rode in the back with the dog - oh, the joy! - for the mile ride to town.
Our sardine-like forays to town yielded two treats: a creamy, soft-serve ice cream sundae, and its long, clear plastic serving dish. I say “serving dish", but it was really a boat, perfectly designed for drifting on the placid waters of Barnyard Lake. (C‘mon - I was five; it truly seemed vast enough that I was afraid of falling in.) Hunched along my own little shore, feet clad in red-toed rubber boots and imagination fueled by tales of The Borrowers and Stuart Little, I would play play play until called in from the gloaming to wash up for bed. Children don’t require reminders to seize the day.

12 March 2014

Lock-Ness, Missoula, Montana

There seems to be obscure tradition behind the re-appearing lock décor on the University of Montana
footbridge over the Clark Fork River. Perhaps it’s a symbolic right of passage when the lock is no longer needed for school. Maybe there’s even a little ritualistic chanting involved, along the lines of, No more pencils, no more books.”. Hmmm…what would be the 2014 two-syllable academic equivalent of “pencils”?However, after a quick on-line search, I’m guessing these are actually love locks; read more about one version

11 March 2014

Rooted, Livingston, Montana

“To be rooted is perhaps the most important and least recognized need of the human soul.”
-Simone Weil

10 March 2014

Tossed Sea of Grass, Missouri Headwaters State Park, Three Forks, Montana

“Daisy and Lily,
Lazy and silly,
Walk by the shore of the wan grass sea,
Talking once more 'neath a swan-bosomed tree.“

Dame Edith Louisa Sitwell , from 'Valse' in the collection

09 March 2014

Re-Purposed, Harrison Avenue Theatre, Butte, Montana

Butte, Montana’s Harrison Avenue Theatre
opened in 1917. Still a player in the business community, these days it serves up human drama of the barbershop and bread-making varieties.