Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Back in Montana, back to serious posting, I mean it this time

Langston House, Greater Metropolitan Melville, Montana, June 2, 2010.

How do they have robins anywhere else when it seems that all the robins in the world are gathered here? And all hollering. Starting at five in the morning. Welcome to Montana.

There are many other birds as well. Sandhill cranes, for example, are much louder than robins. Eagles are better-looking. Warblers warble. But the robins—suburban and human-tolerant though they are—run the joint.

Never mind the hours of phone hell trying to get the internet connection up and going.

Look at the blazing white snow on the Crazies, the broken tree limbs bobbing down Sweet Grass Creek and slamming into the new log jams, the first flowers in the woods, so much blacker and deader than I had thought they were going to be by now: violets violet and white; crazyweed; strawberry; phacelia in the creekbed gravel; bluebells amid the leggy new cottonwoods in the burn.

And: morels. Their feet in the burn. Pale blond. I research them online, I soak them in cold salt water so the tiny bugs will depart, and finally, just to be (as it were) dead certain, I take them to my dear neighbor Elli Hawks for approval, who assures me that they are unmistakably fine. Ah. I believe there will be more tomorrow. I believe there will be a great many, because the habitat in which I found them—blackened, moist, sandy soil—is widespread. Voilà:

And the water in the house, from the new well, is exquisitely clear.

Thunderstorms yesterday, curtains of blinding downpour as I drove north from Big Timber. More gathering over the mountains this afternoon, and the sky purple-black to the east, at the prairie horizon.

It has been three and a half years since that savage November fire, and recovery (vegetative, I mean) is everywhere; yet so are weeds—houndstongue, thistle, mustard—and the unhappy smell of wet charcoal. Young tender browse is abundant, but there seem, at least at first glance, or sniff, to be a lot of dead deer. I must ask about this, someone who knows.

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