Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Books 1 & 2 . . . .

of the continuing series featuring the farms and folks of Summers Run are available for ordering through your local bookstore on Main Street or around the corner. Service there is fast. Or for those of you who go online, you may place your orders through Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

FYI, to order online, you may be asked to open an account. Be mindful you don't get led off into opening a charge card account as my wife did. It's 25% interest!

Scroll to the bottom of the page for more information and links. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Alpacas . . .

can be seen on the byways and backroads of Montana, especially in the western side of the state. Found at a petting zoo, Ravalli County Fair, Hamilton, 2012.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Libraries, the heartbeat of Small Town America

Both books in our Summers Run series have been donated to libraries in the Bitterroot Valley, Montana: The Missoula Public Library, the North Valley Library, and the Bitterroot Public Library in Hamilton.

Books have been donated to public libraries in Meadville, Titusville, Springboro, Cambridge Springs, Cochranton, Washington, Williamsport, and Lock Haven, all in Pennsylvania.  

It's been our pleasure to do this, in this day of limited resources and budgetary restraints. 

Patronize your local libraries: there's more going on there than just books. These are not the dull, stereotypically dry and dusty halls of yesterday. They are alive and lively institutions of learning, entertainment, and imaginative, worthwhile stimulation. . . . Jim Cotton

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

In camp. . . .

grandkid footwear drying after a stroll in the lake. Taken near Lost Horse Lake, one of the many in the Bitterroot National Forest, Montana.

Captured. . . .

through the front window one morning last summer. The fawns enjoyed a romp through the yard, running circles and chasing each other for minutes. Capturing such would have been a challenge as this trio would have likely bolted for safety had a shooter and camera become visible.

The county fair. . . .

is the pinnacle of a young stockman/stockwoman's year. The animals they've been working with all year will be shown at their best and paraded for buyers or blue ribbons. This boy's Holstein cow will likely go back to the farm. Market animals, however, leave the side of their human friend and the farewell is bittersweet.

Fairs. . . .

are often ideal for tractor enthusiasts and restorers to show off their prize in the parade kicking off the event. Here is a Ford 2N from the Forties. How many of these are sitting silently in a shed awaiting someone's loving touch?

A gathering of goats. . . .

at this year's Ravalli County Fair, Hamilton, Montana. How often does one see this from the road?

Amish auctions. . . .

One should attend these events if held in your area. You'll see finely crafted quilts, durable cedar furniture, and beautifully finished interior pieces by Amish craftsmen. Plus an excellent lunch is usually served with homemade ice cream.

Maytag wringers are often sought by Amish households as these machines do not require high pressure plumbing to operate. Most Amish homes do not use running water, electricity, or pressure tanks, but may rely on gravity systems to bring water into the home. Hence the older technology works for them.

Favorite. . . .

of local photographers, the "Pablo Barn."  The soil surrounding it has just been seeded to seed potatoes.  The Mission Range stands watch in the background.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

At the County Fair

Watching a belt-driven threshing machine "thrashin'" oats, these three likely worked in the heat and chaff of that bygone era. No demonstration then for fairgoers. It was a serious slice of late summer, getting the crops in before the frosts of fall and the winds of winter. Wonder what memories they might express if they dared. Recollections of dads, uncles, brothers and cousins, Mother and the girls bringing coffee time and lunch in any shade that could be shared. The sweat, the dust, the banter, the noise, a cool drink from a Mason jar, laced with a lemon or orange wedge or two. Does it seem that long ago?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

If Memory Serves

This headlight was found on a Studebaker sedan from the late 1930's, before the war and the last of the traditional body style followed by this esteemed car maker. When the late Forties rolled around, Studebaker embarked on a radical styling change similar to the 1950 Ford with a bullet-nosed grill and streamlined planes front and rear. "You can't tell if it's coming or going," said some of the new profile. Photographed at a Ravalli County car show.

It's likely the small lights above the stylish chrome bezel are parking lights and not turn signals. Turn signals were not found on cars of this era, such technology not appearing until the 1950s.

Monday, April 9, 2012

A Bit Out of Season

perhaps, but this Mission style rocking chair and golden bucket of mums is pleasing any time of the year. A quick snapshot taken while on a cattle tour in Western Montana.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Pinzgauer Cattle

A rarity, these Austrian beef cattle made their first appearance in Canada in 1972. American importations began in 1976. The breed is noted for its tender beef, juiciness, flavor, and solid feeding and feedlot performance. Some authorities list the Pinzgauer as an endangered breed. The white line back and white down the hind quarters are its very distinctive markings. Shown in the Centennial Valley of Montana.

Montana's Centennial Valley

Here's a midday view of the ever-interesting and somewhat remote Centennial Valley near the southeast border of the state. Officially, this is State Highway 509 and begins just north of Macks Inn in Idaho and ends near Monida, Idaho, and Interstate 15. Traversing the area, you'll pass near Henrys Lake, through Red Rock Pass, and drive by Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge and Lima Reservoir.

Although it is maintained year around, local inquiry is advised in early spring and through the late fall and winter. One might encounter four-wheel drive conditions then.