There was a far-off gunshot. Bang. It came from well down the valley where people go to shoot on weekends. Hercules dug his paws into the snow. He wasn’t moving.
We have a long driveway. It winds its way up a hill to where we decided to build the house. Winter snow allows you to see who has passed along as they leave their footprints in the snow. Yesterday there were turkey feathers all over the road and fox tracks in the snow. What drama unfolded the night before?
Usually on Friday’s I volunteer at Habitat for Humanity. It’s a good cause, there’s a fun group of mostly retired guys that I work with and, building stuff is fun. Today, though, it was cancelled, too cold. Now what? Instead, I went for a walk way back into the woods.
It gets cold in Montana so when we built the house, we had a big woodstove installed. Of course, all that “free” heat requires wood be cut, split and stacked. As I set each piece down and swung my axe, I realized things haven’t changed much since the 1970s.
With Glacier National Park and thousands of other peaks and hiking trails surrounding the area, the Flathead Valley sees a hoard of visitors each summer. Some come prepared for mountains and others, well let’s just say this isn’t Central Park.
The person calling in the report to the 911 Center said that she heard, what she thought, was a whistle being blown over and over high up the trail to Jewel Basin in the Swan Mountains. The 911 Center dispatched Search and Rescue.
Seeking to expand our hiking horizons and see more of Montana, we spent the weekend at a campground near Seeley Lake and hiked to Morrell Falls. I was loaded for bear but… ran into something else.
I saw a couple of robins the other day. This, by itself, probably isn’t worthy of a blog but, along with the robins come other creatures. Some great, some small and some with very long claws.
For my first 62 years I didn’t think much about avalanches. They weren’t much of a risk on the Tappan-Zee Bridge (I refuse to call it the Mario Cuomo bridge). There was also little chance of me being caught in one in the Bronx or on the training ship. Things have changed, these days I find myself checking the avalanche forecast each winter morning.
They had been avoiding us for the past two years. When glimpsed at all, it was from far away and they were usually trotting quickly over the hill. Alert as always, they saw me before I saw them. This winter though, they have crossed our property almost daily.