05 April 2014

Open View, Blue Mountain, Missoula, Montana

A pervasive question this time of year, at least in Western Montana: Is it really spring?

Yesterday, across the brooding, open meadows, I heard meadowlark song. 

I believe.

To hear it for yourself, click here.
The audio sample is to the bottom right of the photo. 

04 April 2014

Venting, Missoula, Montana

A big thanks out into the universe to the get-'er-done pickup truck guy who sponsored my very own laugh-out-loud moment during Thursday morning’s traffic light backlog. Despite the stopped automobiles blocking his right turn escape route from the Reserve & Mullan intersection, our daring driver thought outside the box that would keep him needlessly waiting five car lengths back. Since that last vehicle in line was really only blocking half a truck width to prevent access to the empty turn lane, he simply & logically decided to annex the empty sidewalk and ease on down the road.
Have big wheels, will travel. 

It was a quirky reminder that the can-do attitude is still alive & kicking in Montana. 

For a positive business angle on keeping things moving, check out the newly released State business plan from Governor Bullock’s team for the Main Street Montana Project.

03 April 2014

Riffled Reflection, Missoula, Montana

Sure, it's cheesy, but go ahead and say what you thought as soon as you read the post title. (You know you want to, even though it’s terribly silly and reveals you watched a tad bit much TV in the 1980s.) Fine, then - we’ll say it together, superfluous rolling Rs and all: Rrrriffles have rrrridges
I know - it's a sad little pun for such a lovely, golden dusk scene, during original enjoyment of which I disturbed a couple mallard ducks and a white tail deer. Not bad for a  a commercially located section of Grant Creek. It’s a wonderful thing about Montana: you don’t have to leave the city (a relative term, of course) to experience raw, natural wonder. As my New Jersey-born brother-in-law might say: Ain’t that the limit?!

02 April 2014

Just One Drop, Missoula, Montana

Stalwart little tulip, making the most of early spring rain.

I can image the wee faeries stopping by to admire their reflections, perhaps dip in hands to cool faces hot from a busy spring day’s work.

Plumb’s project song for Blood: Water Mission, “One Drop”, is a perfect spritely accompaniment to any kind of springy efforts. Take a listen here.

01 April 2014

Winter Revisited, Lewistown, Montana

Just when you thought I was done featuring snow and cold, switching for the next seven months to strictly sunshine and flowers and bunnies... April Fools!
Actually, the following poem by Walt McDonald, discovered a few posts ago, inspired me to roll out a favourite winter scene that illustrates the words quite well. (And when I took this photo, the weather was precisely as described!)  I just couldn't store this verbal loveliness away until next winter. Whether or not you've ever lived on a farm, enjoy.

Hammering Ice to Slush 
by Walt McDonald

Wind flings snow over stalks like cobblestones.
Cattle wait out the storm in windbreaks
far from barns. They know when it’s over

we’ll drive out on tractors, hauling hay
and hard alfalfa pellets. They fear no evil,
since every dawn we come and hammer ice to slush.

Nights, we rock in the dark and watch for stars.
Children we raised are safe in cities lit
by a billion kilowatts. We know spring runoff

will water summer’s hay, we’ll own the ranch
someday, if luck and hard work save us, if God’s
still in his heaven, if we’re still on the earth.

Read more by this poet here.

31 March 2014

Buttercup Attitude, Missoula, Montana

Just as I seriously pondered fleeing home from the rata-tat-tat of sleet pellets bouncing off my coat's hood, a spree of undaunted buttercups crossed the grassy path; my dedication to a Sunday afternoon walk was restored.
If these tiny cups of sunlight remained staunchly undaunted by the surrounding ice shot, I could finish what I set out to do, and dry out when I got home. As my lovely mother loved to say (with a smile, of course!) in the face of precipitation proffered as an excuse: What, are you made of sugar?

30 March 2014

Sunlit Hills Distant, Missoula, Montana

“A Walk" by Rainer Maria Rilke

Already my eyes touch the sunlit hill.
far ahead of the road I have just begun.
So we are grasped by what we cannot grasp;
we see its light, even from a distance-

and it changes us, even if we do not reach it,
into something else, which, hardly sensing it, we already are;
a gesture seems to wave us on, answering our own wave...
but what we feel is the wind in our faces.