This Moment – A single photo, no words – capturing a simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment you want to pause, savor and remember . . .
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!
Where is summer going? Seriously, summer has rushed by in a blur of gardening, boating and house guests; I have not taken time to sit at the computer any longer than necessary to check the weather, my email and to sporadically catch up on my blog reading. Cooking has been pretty minimal, but the food is delicious and fresh. The best part of July was a visit from my son, Aaron, and his friend, Charles. Charlie is now an official member of my tribe. Those crazy boys drove over 1,600 miles non-stop! They left Texas on Saturday morning and got to Montana on Sunday morning. I figured they’d be exhausted, but guess what? Fishing trumps a nap any day. After a quick breakfast of mango sausage, toast and yogurt with fresh berries, they were ready to go.
In the first 24 hours, we were on the water 3 times and it was terrific to see the delight in their faces! The rest of the week was spent running up and down the lake to my sister’s house and, of course, lots of fishing and feasting. Aaron is a great cook and we always have fun in the kitchen. Sadly, there was not enough trout for a fish fry, but I have a feeling they’ll be back next summer to try again!
I’m using a slide show in this post. I know vacation slide shows can be pretty grim, so I’ll try to keep it short. There is a shot of the best feast we had all week and it was at my little sister’s house. She bought a whole (very choice) tenderloin, cubed it, added a simple rub then skewered and grilled it. Oh my! The veggies, fresh hot bread and cream puffs for dessert were just as amazing.
May came and it finally got warm up here. Springtime keeps us hopping with all the mowing, gardening and sun worship.
Most of my garlic that I put in last fall, got frozen in a freak October cold snap. Several of our beautiful new vines we put in last summer are looking like they won’t make it either, and that’s a bummer. On the bright side, I planted leeks in the space vacated by the garlic. I got a small package of starts and I laughed at the number of baby leeks that came out of that tiny box. If they do well up here, we’re going to be lousy with leeks. This was the last addition to my early garden box.
In addition to the 7 surviving garlic plants, I’m now growing leeks, onions, several kinds of leaf lettuce, arugula, chard, radishes, peas, strawberries raspberries and a plethora of herbs. I found a variety of cilantro called Delfino – it looks more like a fern than cilantro, but it’s supposedly slow to bolt. We’ll see. I’ll be planting another garden of heat loving plants like tomatoes, beans and okra in a week or so.
The countryside is so green this time of year. This is the view out my back door. You can’t really see in a photo, (especially this blurry shot) but there is a range of beautiful snow-capped mountains behind the tall pines. The crabapple is blooming profusely this week. That tiny white speck up the hill is Wilson.
This is the view from the front deck aka “The Sunset Deck.” You can see another range of mountains across the valley. The deer are daily visitors and soon the little fawns will start appearing. They’re so cute that I almost forgive them for wanting to taste my flowers and garden plants.
On May 11, the first hummingbird showed up. He hovered where the feeder usually hangs and nagged at me through the window. Dana got all four feeders hung and now it sounds like a dozen miniature weed whackers buzzing away. It looks like a WWII dogfight. We have Rufous hummers up here and they’re the playground bullies, always chasing the others off the feeders. My favorites are the Calliope like this little guy – Dana got this great shot last spring.
I’ve been putting a little less energy in the evening meals with all the spring activity, but I did throw together a great little Greek salad last week. No recipe – just chopped tomato, feta, diced onion and/or chives and olives that I dressed with EVO oil, lemon juice and a dash of Cavendar’s Greek seasoning. Some toasty bread and a glass of wine made a great light supper.
After hours of mowing and gardening, this is my favorite part of the day . . . having a glass of wine on the deck, listening to the birds coming in to roost and savoring the beauty. In this shot, as always, my little wingnut of a dog is enjoying the sunset with me.