Montana in Spring

The view toward the mountains showed new snow and grasses ready to jump out of the ground after a solid week of rain.


A two week trip to Montana to help out at the ranch and see my father through a tough health patch. My sister came out as well and on the morning of my last day there the weather broke and she & I headed out for a walk on the higher pastures. There were plenty of flowers blooming all at once, as the spring had been cold. Down at the house the Lilacs had yet to bloom. The faithful ranching  dog, Ben, had been killed over the winter- possibly by a bear that had scalped him a few falls prior. A neighbor brought up a new pup, who was taken by a Golden Eagle in the late winter.
Below is the view down the valley to Belt Butte, and in the foreground is the mixed bag of cattle from a bullfight that brought down the fence a few days before. We left the job of separating them to wait until the fence was mended, but they came out of the bottom country and the woods easily enough to walk them back to their herd bull so he could get his work done.


I unloaded all the remaining winter firewood from the horsetrailer, split and stacked it, then removed the trailer to the equipment corral.
My sister and I replaced the old collapsing split-rail fence in front of the house. Dad felt well enough to fire up the tractor and pull the moldering posts and push in the new ones with the tractor’s bucket.
Pasque flowers were blooming by the bushel, but already starting to fade in anticipation of the quick turn to spring.

Back in Kansas is has been summertime for nearly a month, and the low temps at night are higher than the daytime temps at the ranch.
My dad is feeling better, and the doctors are thinking he’ll recover well enough. I hope he’ll be able to run the swather in early July, and bring the hay in at its highest yield.

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