29 May 2008

A Rattlesnake, Trout, Odds & Ends...

A good reader pointed out that I had referred to but failed to post a photo of the hammerstone found in the center of a tipi ring along with a lot of jasper flakes. Here is that milky quartz pebble, shaped so nicely to fit the hand:

Spring on the hills and prairies is simply amazing. I am reminded of that great line from "Night Riders Lament" (sang by Nanci Griffith, Nerissa & Katryna Nields, and others) as an explanation for those who can't understand why anyone would choose the cowboy life: "[But they've] never seen the spring hit the Great Divide..."

The chokecherry, Prunus virginianus, are budded up and promising a gorgeous floral display and abundant fruit:

And there's the hardy carpet phlox, Phlox hoodii, that thrives even among the knapweed and mine dumps of Butte:

Likewise bitterroot or "rock roses," Lewisia rediviva; the rosettes are plush and abundant this rainy, cool spring:

Our little prairie rattlesnake, Crotalus viridis viridis, is also out enjoying green-up, as friends Jeff & Celia Schahczenski will attest. We were out for a Memorial Day hike in the Big Hole hills when Jeff came upon this one. Unfortunately, before I could get there with the camera, the reclusive and gentle creature had slithered under a rock:

Nearby, the fuzzytongue penstemons, Penstemon eriantus, were blooming:

Along with the locoweed (aka silky crazyweed), Oxytropis sericea:

By early afternoon yesterday, I had enough of the office and reading research papers yesterday. Jan had mentioned that maybe a couple of trout would be nice with those asparagus she bought, so RTD and I hiked up to a nearby little lake for a quick trout fishing quest. A few hours later and we're back at the house, tasty orange-fleshed trout in hand:

With asparagus on the grill:

Ten minutes later, done to perfection:

Uncork that bottle of white wine, prop open that front door, and enjoy supper as a big thunderstorm with hail rolls through:

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