Tuesday, August 31, 2010


yep, it sure seems like fall is here. dark until nearly 7am, cooler days, some moisture is back. it was a short summer, but it is montana. i am sure we will have some hot weather still this year, but it is best to accept the autumn season and all it has to offer.

if you have not already begun, and have a garden in place, start watching for frost. i always look for night time lows below 38 before i worry. at that point, cover the fragile plants, like tomatoes, the squash family, basil. if you miss it, but wake up early, you can water the garden just before the sun comes up to wash the frost off. this fends off the killing of the plant.

is it too early to start thinking about winter? some parts of the country are already looking toward a mild winter. fortunately, for what i know, these are areas that desire just that. like urban and city dwellings. personally, i am hoping for a normal winter, or even some la nina to bring on the goods. since we might be looking at snow up high (and is some places already have), it is never too early to think winter.

Friday, August 27, 2010


as great as the weather has been, summer is indeed winding down. i don't really even like to think about it, but the other night, as i read out on the deck until i had to use artificial light. i came in and started to get ready for bed, looked at the clock and it was barely 9:30! and it was dark. oh, the longest of the summer days are once again behind us as we begin to look forward to the fall colors and brisk mornings.

the garden, though filled with weeds, continues to produce greatly. at this time, there really is no need to weed, except for athsetics (sp?). clean up of the entire mess is just around the corner with all the other pre-winter chores, so why hasten to them. i am trying to squeeze as much summer out of summer as possible.

and this weekend looks more like a late september weekend of weather than late august. cool, cloudy and some wet. i am hoping it is just saving up for a fabulous labor day stretch of perfect weather. warm, clear and bright night lights sparkling.

our weather here remains a source of humor, if you look at it correctly. on sunday we went to the fair and watched the ponies. with only a rain jacket, and foolishly wearing shorts, i found myself not just cool, but cold. only raggie had the foresite to bring a cap. i could have used pants, sweater and hat. then it heats up thru thursday, maybe the hottest day of summer, and then back into the 60's for the weekend. what else can one do but laugh and shake our heads and remark "montana weather!"

still, there are endless arenas of fun at this time. all the trails are clear, all the water warm, the fish are rising, the flowers are still blooming (a true blessing of a cool, moderately moist summer)and hopefully we are all in mid summer shape for whatever strokes our hearts fancies the most.

and this just in, bow hunting season starts in just over a week, for those that live the better part of the year waiting for just that. oh, and football season begins too. it must be fall on the horizon.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

good week


a week that truly represents summer. two good rides, two days on the blackfoot with the legendary (wishes) clay, fishing for the mightly 24"!

rode from the bottom of haskill basin to the top of the Big. took a while, but felt great. good to get some serious vertical. not sure though if i am truly ready to tackle the toughest of rides, strawberry lake to columbia mtn. that is an endeavor i conquered 17 years ago, thought i would never want to do again, and now i am challenged, but unsure if i want to suffer that much.

so i went to climb standard peak instead. although not quite an epic, it is an ordeal. too many dirt road miles, but we were able to put them together in a way as to not see one car. why, because we travelled on roads closed to cars, and indeed had to cross one serious slump that even on foot was difficult.
of course, the trail needs lots of work, especially on the way down off the back side, but we found our way thru, with maps and old memories (i was the only one to have done it in the past, andthat was 10 years ago, at least). but it came together, and the beers were cold and sweet, if not of the highest quality. (according to some standard's being set by an aging ski bum population no longer interested in quantity, but instead, in quality. not sure if i agree, but someone in this house i believe does)

then the next day, down to the blackfoot and a night in the comfortable though unfinished digs in ovando. did not get to see the sunset off the porch, one of my favorite activities, as the fish were jumping, after a day when they did not. though we all love the sunshine, it is not always the best for sticking a fly on the water. but we did not get skunked, we did not get too stuck in the shallow waters, we did not drown, we did have a ton of fun, and of course, we drank a few beers, of both quality and quantity.

with plenty of time left in august, the best month of september and as much of october as we are lucky to get before the gray cold sets in, the rest of this season should be a fun one. any epics out there? let me know. thanks.

Monday, August 9, 2010


anyone get caught out in that huge storm on friday? i was lucky and was in transit from seeley lake where i spend two days at the Big Larch campground swimming and boating, and missed the storm entirely. but it sounds like it was a doozy. and a few people got their gardens messed up, but mine seemed to fair just fine. and this has been a great summer for the garden. after a slow start in april, may and june, things have been great with plenty of water and sun.

going back to seeley lake, that campground is pretty much on the beach and very clean and comfortable. a great spot for kids, as there were tons in this group i joined. it was even pretty dog friendly, as far as usfs campgrounds go. they were allowed off leash in your own site and within voice command, and at the beach they had to stay away from the main swimming area, but otherwise were fine. of course there were the typical grouchy people who have never let their dogs or their own minds off a leash, and if they had another dog come within 10 feet were nervous nelly's, but i tried to not get too sarcastic, and keep my pets away. staying there really made me wonder about owning my own place on the water somewhere. anyone know of a decent lake with quasi affordable property. i mean, something less than $100k/acre or $300k for a small cabin? okay, i didn't think so, but if you ever see anything, let me know.

not much else to report, just life in august, when the temps are staying in the low 80's is about as good as it can be.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

great wx

wx. shorthand for weather.

and it has been great. unless you are someone who actually loves the super hot. right now it is midday, slight breeze, high 70's. the waters are all warm enough to swim in, the trails are all dry but not dusty, the produce is now more local or regional and not californian. in short, summer is in full swing, and the living is easy. (except of course for work, which is what we all do too much of in the summer, because we can).

keeping this one brief, as i have an unexpected day off and need to go enjoy this nearly perfect weather. hope you are all having tonsoffun.