05 September 2015

European Bittersweet - Missoula, Montana

I was drawn to the shooting-starness of this lovely streambank wildflower, but it turns out it's actually a relative of the potato plant. Common in much of the United States, this small purple beauty is known by many names - Climbing Nightshade, Bittersweet Nightshade, Woody Nightshade, European Bittersweet, Fellenwort, or Blue Nightshade. (For the scientifically inclined, it is classified as Solanum dulcamara.) Pick a name - any name! - it brightens a streamside ramble no matter what you call it.

04 September 2015

Big Rig Bolts - Missoula, Montana

"A good question is never answered.* It is not a bolt to be tightened into place but a seed to be planted and to bear more seed toward the hope of greening the landscape of idea." - John Ciardi (1916-1986)

(*Note: This theory does not apply to the question, "Do you want to go for ice cream?" That has a definitive answer, which is 'yes'.)

03 September 2015

Seasonal Signs - Stevensville, Montana

More signs of impending autumn...right next to the new pencil crayons and fresh notebooks in aisle 17.

01 September 2015

Bridge Over Finley Creek - Arlee, Montana

"Oh, here we are at the bridge. I'm going to shut my eyes tight. I’m always afraid going over bridges. I can't help imagining that perhaps, just as we get to the middle, they'll crumple up like a jackknife and nip us. So I shut my eyes. But I always have to open them for all when I think we're getting near the middle. Because, you see, if the bridge did crumple up I'd want to see it crumple. What a jolly rumble it makes! I always like the rumble part of it. Isn't it splendid there are so many things to like in this world? There, we're over. Now I'll look back. Good night, dear Lake of Shining Waters. I always say good night to the things I love, just as I would to people. I think they like it. That water looks as if it was smiling at me." - L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Another gorgeous site on Z5 Ranch - their very own bridge over Shining Waters. But a bit shallow for a Lady of Shallot reenactment.

31 August 2015

Clearing the Air - Stevensville, Montana

Ahh, the sweet respite brought by much-prayed-for rain! It sounds odd, but after a couple weeks of ubiquitous smoke in shifting densities, I'd become sort of resigned to perpetual head pressure and brain fug. Kind of a frog-in-kettle thing. It's delightful to breathe deep of clean air and to look across the valley and see mountains again. However, we're fervently hoping for more rain.

30 August 2015

Finley Creek - Arlee, Montana

Finley Creek meanders through the Z5 Ranch near Arlee, Montana, making a beautiful and melodic backdrop for a wedding we attended this weekend. I have to say, this was the first wedding I've attended where small flakes of wildfire ash dropped intermittently during the ceremony. Slightly different than confetti, but I guess it goes with the season.