ONE: Bread pudding. I am not conscious of my rationale, yet bread pudding seems to go hand-in-mitten with autumn. Maybe since it's warm, filling and deeply satisfying? Especially when it's served with huckleberry sauce and vanilla ice cream!
TWO: Feathers and fur. Deer are certainly not unique in our neighborhood. After all, as you read in a recent post, they ate our Halloween pumpkins! But glimpsing one at a gallop in the snow is priceless.
These two bald eagles kept close watch over some carrion less than a mile from our log home, making sure the ravens below didn't consume too much. In 1978, the year bald eagles were listed as a federally endangered species, only 12 known nesting pairs remained in Montana. In 2014, the last year data was collected, biologists counted 700 nesting pairs. Incredible - I'm so glad we're going to be neighbors!
Our furbaby Josie has been vomiting (sorry if this is gross), a growing cause for concern that prompted a trip to the vet. Turns out, she has lost almost a pound in the last 9 months and Doc suggested blood work and an ultrasound. I won't keep you in suspense - she has a gall bladder issue that can be treated with medication - whew. (Equally important, it is medication we can mix with her wet food - it is almost impossible to give her meds directly unless you want Wolverine-like scratches!) Above you can see how tired (and relieved) she was after the day at the vet!
THREE: Walks "over the river and through the woods". Water, snow, sky, trees - the Artist's palette stretches out toward the horizon - an immeasurable gift for the casual observer, and for the blogger intent on capturing images that come close to replicating the real thing.
|Coming night ...|
After a snow, the woods are at once a clean sheet and an open book; the white brings a purity that I am reluctant to mar with my boot prints. And yet it is prime time to see animal tracks, and how snow manages to pile onto even the most delicate plants. So peaceful.
FOUR: The refreshing passion of youth. As a capstone project in their senior year, the students of the culinary art program at Flathead Valley Community College manage a pop-up restaurant in the kitchen at the school. The chefs-in-training do it all, from naming the establishment to defining the menu to executing on the 3 weekends the restaurant will exist.
The name Six One reflects the gender composition of the class - six females and one male. The team selected a menu of international small plates to delight our taste buds.
Given Spousal Unit's penchant for cooking, it was a match made in heaven.
He could watch the preparation while we savored our selections.
And savor we did, the food and the top-notch service. The culinary program can count on our reservation every year!
FIVE: Pride in Montana. Did you know that every year, a different National Forest is selected to provide a tree for the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol for the Christmas season? And did you know that this year, that National Forest is nowhere other than Montana?
This year's tree, a 79-foot Engelmann Spruce, was chosen from the Kootenai National Forest in the northwest corner of the state. It was harvested near Yaak on 11/8 and will travel 3,000 miles via truck.
And did you know that we saw the tree in Whitefish as part of its whistle-stop tour? YES, we did!
|Rig with escort - Big Mountain of Whitefish in the background|
|Text on Rig: BIG SKY. BIG TREE. BIG JOURNEY.|
|Spousal Unit signing our names to the banner|
|Top of the tree, visible through clear plastic at the end of the rig|
Check to see if the tree is coming to a town near you!!!
Larry "The Trusty Trucker" Spiekermeier, will deliver the tree to the Capitol on 11/27. (A native of Plains, Montana, he told us he was chosen for the honor based on his safety record - 1.6 million accident-free miles.) The Capitol grounds team will secure the tree and decorate it with thousands of hand-crafted ornaments from communities across Montana. The tree will be lit by the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, on 12/6 during a ceremony on the West Lawn beginning at 5 p.m. Assuming it is televised, this is one proud Montana family that will be watching!