17 June 2010

Hoppy Days in Butte Montana

Heavy spring snows broke down the old arbor, and the warm (60+ degrees!) wet days are making the hops bines grow:

Mrs Rover & I drove a few miles to The Moulton for small, flexible lodgepole pines. First, cut & trim:

Then rack 'em in the truck:

A few hours later, with help from a pint or two of hoppy brew and some twine (and good Boy Scout lashings), a new arbor (two actually, for the hops bines in the front yard outgrew their old one):

Oh what's this? Common Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) all budded up? The perfect stage for a meal:

Bacon, dandelion greens, elk steaks, and a pint (and Thou). Heaven in a cast iron pan:

Meanwhile, wildflowers on the Butte hill are blooming. As an ecosystem in recovery from a century of mining and smelting damage, changes from year-to-year can be dramatic. The first Silky Phacelia (Phacelia sericea) began colonizing the mine waste soils about five years ago, and now they are common:


In recent years, Fuzzytongue Penstemon (Penstemon eriantherus) began to show up, but it was scarce. This year, it is everywhere:

Why is it called "Fuzzytongue?" Glad you asked!:

There's also showy Drummond's Milkvetch (Astralagus drummondii)--see the ant?:

And good old Sulfur Buckwheat (Eriogonum umbellatum):

Mmmm... I'm feeling sleepy. Must be the poppies--lascivious, voluptuous poppies (blooming soon in a virutal yard near you):

Have a bluebird day!

5 comments:

Elizabeth said...

I didn't know you could eat dandelions. Love the fuzzytongues. Can't wait to see your poppies in bloom - beautiful!

Pete said...

Mad arbor skills, Pat. I thought you were supposed to buy those things at Costco?

Should Fish More said...

I remember sitting in the back row of a large auditorium/classroom at UofO, drinking dandelion wine out of a thermos brought by a fellow longhair in 1970....
Also, drove over to 'no tellum creek' on Friday, it was high, but dropping. Maybe by mid-week....

Ann said...

So you can save some money by smuggling you uncook dinner and cook them at work. LOL (re your comment to my Hangi post.)

I liike dandelion greens, cooked them myself.

Janie said...

Love the Rubaiyat (and thou) reference.
The dandelion greens look tasty.
Great wildflower photos.
Our poppies have already finished their bloom, but they were beautiful while they lasted.