POTD: Solstice Flowers #1

Solstice Flowers #1
Bozeman, Montana
2022

Being in the middle of an area that’s in the middle of a serious long-term drought, it is odd that a small area in this part of Montana received unusual amounts of precipitation this spring. Bozeman itself has received almost 30% more precipitation so far this year than the long term average. You may well have heard about the downside of this moisture, i.e., the devastating flooding in Yellowstone Park and the surrounding areas last week. But an upside for us is that it has been a gangbuster year for wildflowers at our mountain house (and other areas too of course). The other day I photographed a few in honor of the summer solstice as well as my cousin’s birthday. This particular flower is a Rocky Mountain iris (iris missouriensis).

POTD: Modern Times

Modern Times
Glasgow, Montana
2022

Grab a carryout pizza, your favorite drink and a friend and find a place to sit for lunch and then proceed to ignore each other while to mess with your phone. The modern way to eat lunch, even for good ol’ boys in Glasgow.

POTD: Pot Shots

Pot Shots
Tubac, Arizona
2022

Strangely, that the left pot is broken makes this a more interesting composition than if both were fully intact.

POTD: Bare Tree #88

Bare Tree #88
Little Utah, Montana
2022

A hard life in a hard place, but what’s left of this aged juniper tree provides a bit of welcome shade on a hot afternoon.

POTD: The Past Becomes Present

The Past Becomes Present
Bridger, Montana
2022

This derelict old homestead reminded me of the Farm Security Administration photographs of farms succumbing to the Dust Bowl during the Great Depression. Given this area, along with much of the west these days, has been in a long-term drought (recent rains not withstanding), these places are just a few dust dunes away from looking like the places in the photographs. It’s an uncomfortable reminder of a past that hasn’t passed forever.

POTD: Take a Chair

Take a Chair
Pryor, Montana
2022

Take a chair and put it anywhere you’d like, in this case not anywhere in particular–an example of freedom at work.

POTD: Favorite Places

Favorite Places
Glasgow, Montana
2022

I’d love to have an address on Nowhere Street. I wonder if UPS would still deliver there.

POTD: Not Wiser

Not Wiser
Missouri Breaks, Montana
2022

This is not what you’d think you would experience traveling in an area that has been in extreme or exceptional drought for some time. We were headed towards a campground that was about 50 miles down a progressively bad and muddy road. About 30 miles down the road, slipping sideways a few times even in four-wheel drive, and knowing the last 3.5 miles of the road were undeveloped, the better part of valor finally took hold and we gave up and turned around. I stopped and took this photo when we got back onto a decent road surface.

We probably should have turned around sooner or not attempted it at all in the rain. My 70th birthday was the next day which shows,  I guess, that I am in fact older but not wiser. Or maybe I am. In my younger years I probably would have kept going until I slid off into a ditch or something. It took $25 in quarters to get the van mostly cleaned up at a car wash. On the bright side of things I see that drought conditions in part of Montana have been reduced from extreme to moderate in just the last two months.

(Note: the historic floods in Yellowstone Park and the surrounding areas actually happened several days after I wrote the above. Our experience in the Missouri Breaks certainly pales by comparison to what many people experienced in Yellowstone.)