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Miss me? 

I’ve been caught up in the holidays, work, our high school varsity football team winning state (YEAH!), and many other great excuses.  But, I’m still here.   

Our Thanksgiving was wonderful – we took some side dishes and a few other things to a dinner gathering at the home of some old acquaintances / new friends.   Everything was delicious, the hosts and all the guests were fun and entertaining.  While we feasted on turkey and stuffing with umpteen sides and a table full of desserts, we enjoyed amazing views out their huge beautiful windows – views of snowy Montana at it’s finest.   Thanks so much, Joe and Robin, for a really lovely day! 

Yesterday, I finally got out and took some shots of the glorious fresh snow.  The picture above is a mountain ash, one of my favorite trees up here and a stunning picture in every season.  In the spring, pungent white clusters of flowers cover the newly budding tree.  In late summer, they turn to brilliant orange berries that practically glow against the bright green lacy leaves.    When autumn comes, the leaves turn bright yellow and fall to the ground leaving these huge  clusters of bright red berries for a winter show.   The berries are food for the birds and animals and get eaten before the tree starts the cycle again in the spring.  Neat,  huh?  One of my favorite stages is this one – fresh snow mounded on the big fat clusters of bright red berries – it’s so Christmas-y.

This is a small part of the flock (rafter? gobble?) of turkeys that took care of our berries in one big messy feast.  It was a spectacle to see a tree full of these ladies perched in the tree, plucking away while the ground contingent scarfed up the fallen berries.  When my sister first moved up here, she used to throw out a single stale roll and  watch “turkey football” – cabin fever will do some mighty strange things to your mind.   Remembering this, I tried it during my first winter.  One of them got the “ball” and took off running like crazy with the herd following.  The “play’ took them into the road and they disappeared over the hill running hilariously fast.  Touchdown?   Sis was on to something – it is an amusing sport.    

There will be a food post soon – lots of soups and yummy baked things during this time of year.  But for now I’m just putting a little Montana out there.  It’s a glorious season up here – time for sledding and cross-country skiing!