Sunday, October 10, 2021

Mosaic Monday #151: On a Mission


By the time you read this post, I will have been in Santa Fe, New Mexico for at least 24 hours.  As I was deciding on a blog post topic for this week, I came across the brochure for St. Ignatius Mission.  No, it's not in New Mexico - it's in Montana!  Spousal Unit and I visited the Mission in November 2017, six months after our move to the Treasure State.  What better way to get into the mood for the Southwest than to re-visit the Mission, virtually?  Vamanos!

The Mission, and the town that grew up around it, was founded in 1854 by Jesuit missionaries and named for their founder, St. Ignatius Loyola.  In the following years it was the home of the first Jesuit theologate and industrial arts school in the Northwest, the first Catholic Sisters and Catholic School in Montana, and the first hospital, sawmill, flour mill, printing press, carpenter shop and blacksmith shop in the Mission Valley.

Today, there remains only the Mission church, built in 1891 and now a National Historic Site, and two small cabins, the original homes of the Jesuit Fathers and the Providence Sisters.

The history of the Mission started long before its founding in 1854.  Beginning in the spring of 1831 and ending in 1839, no less than four Indian delegations travelled to St. Louis, Missouri or Council Bluffs, Iowa to secure missionaries for their people.  They encountered many challenges such as other hostile Indian tribes or language barriers, but they persevered.


In 1864, a wooden church, measuring one hundred by forty feet, with a belfry one hundred feet high, was constructed from materials furnished by the town sawmill.  This church served the Mission until the building of the present church began in 1891.  Over a two-year period, the missionaries and the Indian people together built the church of bricks made from local clay and trees cut in the foothills and sawed at the Mission mill.


The "golden age" of the Mission occurred between the years of 1875 and 1900.  During this time a printing press was established, which produced such works as Narratives from the Holy Scripture in Kalispel and a Kalispel Dictionary, considered by one authority as "one of the most important works issued by any missionary press."   The schools continued to grow.


The interior of the church contains 58 murals, painted in the early twentieth century.  The artist was Brother Joseph Carignano (1853 - 1919), an Italian Jesuit who spent many years as the cook and handyman at the Mission.  With no professional training in art, but a great amount of energy and dedication, he completed his work in between his regular jobs.


Even while the Mission prospered, the Indian people were suffering hard times.  The Indian people had thought that the treaty of 1855 assured their continued existence in the Bitter Root Valley.  However, by that treaty and subsequent presidential and congressional acts, all Indians living in the Bitter Root Valley were required to move to the Flathead Indian Reservation in the Jocko Valley area.


The present century has seen many changes in the Mission at St. Ignatius.  The cutting of federal funds, and later, the end of financial help from the Catholic Indian Bureau, led to the eventual closing of the schools.  Three disastrous fires in less than 30 years also contributed to the changes.  After the last fire, Villa Ursula was built, and the Ursuline Sisters continued to provide education at the Mission until the school's closing in 1972.

*all of the above information was drawn from the St. Ignatius Mission booklet


On our way home from the Mission, we stopped at the Windmill Village Bakery.  Set back from the road along a two-lane highway, it would be easily missed.  I seem to remember reading about it on a list of "must-visit" Montana locations, so we were actually on the look-out for it.  The Bakery was worthy of its reputation.  From the moment you enter, your nose is tantalized by the addicting aroma of donuts.  We met one of the owners, Nancy.  Her mom originally owned a bakery in nearby Thompson Falls, and Nancy still uses her donut recipe.  So, now we make a point to stop there anytime we are passing (which might only be twice a year).  We were quite disappointed when, as we were returning from our road trip to Idaho Falls, the Bakery was not open.  Hopefully, when we help #1 Son make his move to Idaho Falls in the New Year, we can satisfy our craving.  We'll be on a mission!


** I will be slow in commenting this week but I will visit you.  

Also, I will be taking a break for 1 week - there will be no Mosaic Monday on October 17.  Come back on October 24!

Welcome to Mosaic Monday, a weekly meme where we get together to share our photo mosaics and collages.
Please include at least one photo mosaic/collage in your post.
The link will be open from 1 p.m. Sunday until 11 p.m. Tuesday (U.S. Mountain time).
Remember to add the link to your Mosaic Monday post and not the one to your blog.
Please link back to this post so that your readers will be able to visit and enjoy more wonderful mosaics; taking the MM blog button from my sidebar is an easy way to link back.
As host I will visit every participant and leave a comment so that you know I stopped by.
Please try and visit as many other blogs as you can, especially those that join in later, so that everyone's creativity can be appreciated fully.
Thank you for joining in today and sharing your mosaics with us. 


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Mosaic Monday #150: Farewell, September!


And here we are; only three months of 2021 remain!  I was "playing" in my garden today, and I noticed the grasshoppers were moving slowly this morning.  The frosty overnight temperatures make them sluggish, and soon enough will bring on their demise.  Later in the day, I observed a massive ant hill while watering some aspens - the ants were almost frantic in their activity.  It brings to mind the fable of the Grasshopper and the Ant.  I have written about this before (September 1, 2017).  Do you feel an affinity for one or the other?

I suspect this Garter Snake, sunning itself on the gravel of the driveway on September 2, has since begun brumation (the reptile equivalent of hibernation).  These snakes will migrate long distances to brumate in large communal sites called hibernacula.


That same day, I approached the garage for my gardening gloves, and was greeted by this Red Squirrel on the step.  It held something in its paws, and appeared to be turning it over and eating it.  See the video below.


As it ran off, it left the "foodstuff" on the step - it was a rock!  One source on the Web claims this is how they sharpen their teeth!

Early in the month, I was also fascinated to witness this caterpillar crossing the driveway.  It was leathery in appearance.  Can anyone identify it?

After a fairly successful summer of protecting the garden from nibblers, suddenly two Cottontails began wreaking havoc in September.  Also, two young Whitetail Deer, without a mom to accompany them, seem to believe my Strawberry plants, Columbines and Sand Cherries are their personal buffet!  The motion-activated sprinklers don't seem to pick up their slow-moving, small forms.  Good thing it is the end of the season and I am not quite as manic about protecting everything!  


But I can still be seen dashing out of the house, whooping and hollering to chase them away!













Over the space of four weeks, most of the bushes put on their colored coats.  Below, the Golden Currant is in the transition.


Rocky Mountain Bee Plant has been part of my garden since I discovered it growing naturally on our leach field the very first summer (see 9/13/2020 post).  In the picture below, a third of these plants were sown by me; the rest were the result of natural propagation from a specimen that grew here last summer!


Frosty mornings and cool evenings put me in the mood for soup.


Thanks to Jan at Low Carb Diabetic for this root vegetable soup recipe.  It was hearty and flavorful!

While snakes and many other creatures become less active with the advent of Autumn, bears eat and drink nearly nonstop.  They need to put on weight to prepare for winter and hibernation.  This process is called hyperphagia.  In our neighborhood, a small Black Bear has been seen quite frequently.


One evening, we were getting ready to have dinner on the deck, and I looked over the railing, only to see the little Black Bear gazing up at me.  He was no more than 25 feet from me!  He turned and ambled into the woods while I scrambled inside to get Spousal Unit and #1 Son.  By the time they came out, the bear was weaving in and out of the trees beyond the firepit.  Check out this video!!!

Did you know a group of turkeys is called a rafter?  On the way home from town the other day, I came upon at least 20 turkeys.  If I stayed a little longer, would all of them ended up perched on the fence?



I had the opportunity this month to make two hand-drawn birthday cards, one for a former work colleague in Arizona, and the other for one of my sisters.  I get a little thrill and considerable satisfaction from finding and executing these fun greeting cards!


I will eat anything with capers, so this recipe for Lemon Caper Pork Medallions caught my eye.  The boys in the house declared it a keeper.  And it was a straightforward and quick recipe, even for me!


It has been a good month, but I am still in a little bit of shock that October has arrived.  I am little sad to look out the window and realize that many of the aspens are already devoid of leaves.  Wouldn't it be nice sometimes if we could simply re-wind the clock? 



Welcome to Mosaic Monday, a weekly meme where we get together to share our photo mosaics and collages.
Please include at least one photo mosaic/collage in your post.
The link will be open from 1 p.m. Sunday until 11 p.m. Tuesday (U.S. Mountain time).
Remember to add the link to your Mosaic Monday post and not the one to your blog.
Please link back to this post so that your readers will be able to visit and enjoy more wonderful mosaics; taking the MM blog button from my sidebar is an easy way to link back.
As host I will visit every participant and leave a comment so that you know I stopped by.
Please try and visit as many other blogs as you can, especially those that join in later, so that everyone's creativity can be appreciated fully.
Thank you for joining in today and sharing your mosaics with us. 


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Mosaic Monday #149: Golden Days of Autumn

It's 8 am, and the sun edges over the hillside to my far right - every day, its appearance is later, and the arc of its daily journey is lower and lower in the sky.  The golden coats of the aspens seem lit from within, a satisfactory outcome of shorter daylight hours and cooler temperatures.  Mist rises in lazy curls from the lake's edge, as the warmer air over the water encounters the cooler surface of the land.  Autumn has arrived, and I like it.


Numerous plants in my garden offer their seeds to all those who would help with propagation - birds, the wind, me, and perhaps even the grasshoppers.


Plenty of blooms remain in the garden, whether from plants that produce all summer, fall bloomers or young specimens that got a late start.





Many of my fellow bloggers showcase the beauty of their gardens with cut flowers displayed in stunning arrangements.  I will admit to envy.  Until this year, I did not feel comfortable harvesting any flowers, reckoning that every cut flower represented lost propagation opportunity.  At a dinner party we hosted last week, I created a few posies with Aster, Prairie Coneflower, Russian Sage, Yellow Clover, White Clover, Aspen leaves, and Kinnikinnick branches with berries.  I am learning what has staying power as a cut flower - Russian Sage is long-lasting; Aster?  Not so much!

Wild mushroom hunters know that Autumn brings the prime season for collecting these delectables.  Make sure you know your varieties, and pick responsibly.  (Shaggy Mane Mushrooms first appear as white cylinders emerging from the ground, then the bell-shaped caps open out.  Shaggy Manes should not be eaten raw.) 


Autumn is as predictable as taxes, but Nature can still bring pleasant surprises.  On June 22, a friend gave me some Autumn Crocus (Colchicum Autumnale) bulbs.  Autumn Crocus?  I had never heard of an Autumn Crocus!  I planted them and gave them a little drink every three weeks or so.  Imagine my delight when they started to emerge on September 14!  Here's how they look today.




But we can be honored witnesses of these miracles only if we are IN Nature.  This week, Dear Neighbor Friend and I braved the morning frost and fog to kayak.  The lake had a serene quality, shrouded in mist so thick we could not discern any familiar landmarks.  Only the sound of our dripping paddles accompanied us.  Slowly, the lake's margins were revealed, and we glided silently along copses held firm by Alder, wild grasses, and Red Osier Dogwood.  Hundreds of cobwebs glinted in the sun, seemingly bedazzled by a band of fairies overnight.  


I marveled at the realization that the cobwebs have always been there, but it took the mist to unveil them to us.   




Welcome to Mosaic Monday, a weekly meme where we get together to share our photo mosaics and collages.
Please include at least one photo mosaic/collage in your post.
The link will be open from 1 p.m. Sunday until 11 p.m. Tuesday (U.S. Mountain time).
Remember to add the link to your Mosaic Monday post and not the one to your blog.
Please link back to this post so that your readers will be able to visit and enjoy more wonderful mosaics; taking the MM blog button from my sidebar is an easy way to link back.
As host I will visit every participant and leave a comment so that you know I stopped by.
Please try and visit as many other blogs as you can, especially those that join in later, so that everyone's creativity can be appreciated fully.
Thank you for joining in today and sharing your mosaics with us. 


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Mosaic Monday #148: Fickle September

Did we make the right decision?  Outside, it's 62 degrees and partly sunny.  A bit breezy, but in all other respects, a fine late summer day.  And yet, we cancelled our camping trip scheduled for the next two nights/three days.  Did we make the right decision?  I suppose I should tell you that the forecast calls for persistent rain on Sunday/Monday, with overnight lows in the mid 30s.  Heck, that rain might be snow at the elevation of our hike!  We were so conflicted about this choice, which meant giving up a hard-won reservation in Glacier National Park.  In the end, practicality won over the stubborn determination not to abandon a plan.  Do you suffer from these dilemmas?  Since we can't go camping, I decided to use this post to re-live a backcountry trip from September 2020, a vivid reminder of how changeable September can be in the mountains of Montana.  

Our journey began in the North Fork area, the first time we had driven past storied Polebridge - now that's north!  We departed the trailhead at 10 am, and reached Whale Lake a short three hours later.  Without much in the way of views, we made quick work of the gradual, shaded trail.  This was my first hike with new boots, and the initial sensation of stiffness quickly eased.  Given the date of September 3, it was not surprising to observe blooming aster and goldenrod, as well as plants at the berry stage.

* Left: Baneberry (unusual to see white berries - they are normally red); Upper right: Thimbleberry; Lower right: Arnica

*Upper left top: Grass of Parnassus; Upper left middle: Red Paintbrush; Right: Arnica; Bottom: Black Currant

** Comparing the two Arnicas, I know they are not the same, but it is devilishly difficult to figure out which variety they ARE!  Open to anyone who might be able to distinguish them!

At the lake, we found a pretty campsite with ready-made stools and tables.  The most difficult part of setting up camp was slinging the rope over a tree to hang our bags (one of the advantages of Glacier National Park is that all the campsites have pre-made bear hangs).  Man with Hat caught plenty of fish, which made up for the fact that they were all 10 inches or less.


I collected wood, and then found a comfy spot next to the water to read.  I didn't get far since a multitude of birds caught my eye - flycatchers, a Gray Jay and a hawk.  Fish were swimming right in front of me - I tried to capture them with my camera, but the "eye" of the phone camera is not as clever as the human eye to be able to discern the shapes in the water.


We had the place entirely to ourselves as we prepared our gourmet meal.  A fire pushed back the edge of chill that began to creep ever closer with the falling of the sun.  (This is another factor we took into consideration in cancelling our current reservation - neither campground allowed fires due to scarcity of wood in those locales.  If we were wet and cold, we wouldn't even have the promise of a fire to help us out!)  In keeping with our camping tradition, we played a few hands of gin - Man with Hat walloped me 5 to 1.

The next morning, we sipped our morning joe while watching the sun poke through the pines.  A languid grasshopper had to be coaxed off the tent as we broke camp.  


On the trail by 9.45, we climbed a steep half mile to the intersection with the Pacific Northwest Trail (also known as Whitefish Divide Trail No. 26).  (Don't I look happy to have that behind me?) 




From that point, the trail meanders for a mile along the crest with expansive views toward Glacier National Park to the east.  The trail begins to descend through 2 pleasant miles of switchbacks, meadows and forest, leading to the fork with the Huntsberger Trail.  What goes down must go up (I know, gravity would say otherwise, but this is HIKING), and we had a moderate climb to another crest, rewarded by an arresting vista of Huntsberger Mountain.

Then it was all downhill to a spur that led to the lake, eponymous with the mountain.  A small meadow, dotted with campsites, perched at one end of the lake, and the mountain towered over the water on the far shore.  Rocks scattered along the edge offered perfect platforms for sunbathing while Man with Hat plied his fly fishing apparatus once more.  
 


He caught plenty of small fish, and it was warm enough when he returned that he went swimming.  I was captivated by the wispy clouds, dancing across the blue sky in a seemingly choreographed waltz.



Once again, no-one else arrived to camp for the night.  Our "Chicken with Risotto" dinner was more akin to soup, but quite tasty.  The sun moved across the mountain as we hung the food and other "smellies" in Spousal Unit's pack for the night.  The only available branch did not appear strong enough to hold two bags, so we opted for the "fishy" bag in the tree, and my pack wrapped in a plastic bag by the firepit.  Either we got lucky or it was a good plan; no bears interrupted our sleep that night!  (And Spousal Unit continued his gin winning streak.)

The next morning, we emerged from the tent at 7 am.  Cupping our hands around the coffee cups and looking east for the sun, it became clear it would take some time for it to clear the mountain.  What does that mean?  More time for fishing!  It didn't last long -- the wind rose quickly and strongly.


We left the lake at 10.45; we encountered some grouse and interesting plants along the way, but not many spectacular views (perhaps we are spoiled?)  I studied my "Plants of the Rocky Mountains" book, but could not identify the shrub below with the cherry-looking fruit.  Anyone know what it is?  It is unusual to see Yellow Paintbrush - I was delighted to observe this specimen.  I have always thought of Harebell as a spring flower, but my book says it will bloom through September!


At the bridge crossing for Whale Creek, we took a short break.



It's only 45 minutes from the creek to the parking area, and in that space we encountered the first other people we had seen in two-and-a-half days.  And would you be surprised to learn I knew one of them?!?  It's a small valley!

We met #1 Son at the Gunsight Saloon for a post-hike meal - always anticipated and greatly savored.  Now that we have cancelled our last camping trip of the season, this will be a tradition that will have to wait until early summer 2022!!!



Welcome to Mosaic Monday, a weekly meme where we get together to share our photo mosaics and collages.
Please include at least one photo mosaic/collage in your post.
The link will be open from 1 p.m. Sunday until 11 p.m. Tuesday (U.S. Mountain time).
Remember to add the link to your Mosaic Monday post and not the one to your blog.
Please link back to this post so that your readers will be able to visit and enjoy more wonderful mosaics; taking the MM blog button from my sidebar is an easy way to link back.
As host I will visit every participant and leave a comment so that you know I stopped by.
Please try and visit as many other blogs as you can, especially those that join in later, so that everyone's creativity can be appreciated fully.
Thank you for joining in today and sharing your mosaics with us. 


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
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