29 September 2019

September Snow - Missoula, Montana

After some pseudo-snow-spit last night, the forecast downfall materialized for real (shocker!) this morning in Missoula town proper. But I'm thankful it's not the 2-feet-&-counting in Browning & other Montana towns further north.

(And still my summer petunias bloom fiercely on...)

23 September 2019

Summer's Last Hurrah - Missoula, Montana

Yesterday's last of the sweet summer sunshine over the Missoula International Airport was a lovely welcome home - and a perfect reason to ride bikes down to get some Sweet Peaks ice cream! 
(New fall flavours - &, yes, we tasted them ALL! Yummmmmm!!!) 


07 August 2019

Beargrass Close - Rogers Pass, Montana

"...The reason we love it so much is that it takes us back to winter, our bikes somehow feel like we’re riding lightest and deepest snow, only at 75 degrees and in short sleeves. Riding through fields exploding in the white, softball size blooms of the bear grass, many at perfect handlebar height, can be just as much fun as skiing the best run of the winter...." 
 -Phil Grove, from Ben's Beargrass, 21 May 2018 essay at Eskapee 

05 August 2019

July Beargrass On The Continental Divide - Rogers Pass, Montana

Other-worldly beargrass, blooming late in the season, beckons to come further up the mountain path at the top of the Continental Divide at Rogers Pass (elevation 5610 ft)
(Alas, we did not heed the call, partly because we are more akin now to City Mouse and are dreadfully afraid of bears...)


23 July 2019

Illumination - Missoula, Montana

Clouds are forming up tonight in similar fashion as preceded yesterday evening's late-night light's hoping for another good storm (minus the brief onslaught of hail, and please no forest or other fire-inducing lightning strikes, of course).

19 July 2019

Imagination Station - near Rogers Pass, Montana

I learned today (thanks to Montana author/editor/blogger Amber Holcomb) that, in the language of flowers, the lupine symbolizes imagination.
So, imagine yourself with me & Sis #3, beaming back at the Montana sun, surrounded by purples of mountain majesty and lupines both.

15 July 2019

Sweet Grass Hills (Slightly Closer) - Central-North Montana

The isolated Sweet Grass Hills appeared slightly closer once Sis #3 & I crossed over into the Montana side of the Sweetgrass-Coutts border point

During our rural road trip, we encountered multiple abandoned homestead settlements which led us to ponder the stories behind the homes and barns in various stages of caving in and what specifics led people to invest their back-breaking effort in that very location out in the middle of nowwhere. Did they consider how near to a creek they could safely build, or evaluate the rise of a hill as shelter from prevailing winds?  Perhaps they wanted to be within a couple hour's ride from their nearest neighbor? Or were they just plumb tired and that little dip in the broad expanse of land seemed as good a stopping point as any other? 

If we were motivated to look, I'm sure we'd find a book detailing the history of obscure Western settlement communities, or a Backroads of Montana episode highlighting Toole and Pondera counties. 

But my best-retained history lessons come from historical novels. Any of Ivan Doig's books will drop you deep into a compelling story of Montana people and places back when. But the hazy Sweet Grass Hills specifically led me to dig up Deidre McNamer's "Red Rover" from the public library for Sis #3 to read while she's here. 

Once she's done, I'll give it another whirl, because it's the kind of book worth visiting again - AND it features the Sweet Grass Hills up-close-&-personal, as a refresher to my imagination before our next northward adventure.

10 July 2019

Sweetgrass Hills - Central-North Montana

Even though this is pure southern Alberta sky, the hazy Sweetgrass Hills on the distant horizon are all Montana - which qualifies this pic to be posted here, according to my expert panel (of me, myself, & I, with outside consulting by Sis #3).

02 July 2019

Shadowy Clarity - Missoula, Montana

For a spot of pondering (& the full article is quite worth reading to consider the full context of this statement.):

"We humans do not do well when someone whose intentions are unclear tells us where we stand, how good we “really” are, and what we must do to fix ourselves. 
We excel only when people who know us and care about us tell us what they experience and what they feel, and in particular when they see something within us that really works."
-From  The Feedback Fallacy by Marcus Buckingham & Ashley Goodall, March-April 2019 Issue of Harvard Business Review

27 June 2019

Stormy Present - Missoula, Montana

“The dogmas of the quiet past 
are inadequate to the stormy present. 
The occasion is piled high with difficulty,
 and we must rise with the occasion. 
As our case is new,
 so we must think anew and act anew.”
-Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), from 1862 Annual Message to Congress

12 June 2019

Always Young - Spring Chicks, Missoula, Montana

" "You haven't changed, " I said.
He smiled. "I guess somewhere in a corner of our hearts, we are always twenty." "

-From Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly, p. 397
  (NOTE: This based-on-a-true story is a definite recommend for WWII historical fiction fans. I love learning history from well-researched insider perspective, and this book definitely brings that from the view of several and varied real women, including a New York socialite and a female doctor at Ravensbruck.  While the writing caliber lags just a smidge in places, the story and characters pull you through, and there's certainly grace with this being the author's first novel - which a feat to be intensely admired! Now I need to track down her prequel, Lost Roses... )

05 June 2019

Late Bloomer Reflections - Missoula, Montana

“To doubt everything
  or to believe everything
  are two equally convenient solutions; 
  both dispense with the necessity of reflection.”
   Henri PoincarĂ© (1854-1912)


28 May 2019

Blooming Spring Tuesday - Missoula, Montana

On any Tuesday after a holiday Monday, I must repeatedly remind my self, "Self, today is Tuesday, not Monday..." 
And oh, what a glorious Tuesday it's turned out to be! 
Off I go into the lingering sunshine!

24 May 2019

Authentically Becoming - Missoula, Montana

Inspiring thoughts on authenticity gleaned from a 3-hour Avengers action movie with the fam (with no potty break, thank you very much!) - I didn't expect this bonus takeaway, but here 'tis (I wonder if  The Velveteen Rabbit was among Thor's bedtime stories?) :

“Everyone fails at who they’re supposed to be, Thor. 
The measure of a person, of a hero, is how well they succeed at being who they are.

- Frigga, Thor’s mum, in Avengers: Endgame (2019)