Tag Archives: harsh winter

American Beauty, or Land of Broken Dreams?

Montana is a beautiful state, at least in the spring, summer, and fall. I would not want to spend a winter in Montana (because … okay, I admit it, I’m a wimp). Their winters  are harsh.

Seeing so many abandoned buildings in this state, I have come to think of Montana as a land of broken dreams (for many). In pioneer days, people must have come to Montana with hope and enthusiasm. They built their homes and tilled the soil, and waited for the crops to grow.

Then came the winter, the loneliness, and the difficulty in traveling the mile or two  in harsh conditions for a sanity-restoring visit with the nearest neighbour.

What if you had an emergency, an accident, or your child was ill, and needed a doctor?

Is it any wonder that sometimes dreams turned into nightmares?

Some of these abandoned homes may have been left standing empty when a newer, more modern house was built nearby, but many simply became a place escaped from, left for the coyotes and pigeons to explore.

Here is one house that has seen happier days.

And here is another.

If only the walls could talk, what stories we would hear!

 

Tree Survival

In the harsh winter conditions of eastern Montana, it must be hard for any living thing to survive out in nature. The trees in this region are so beautiful, especially in the fall when the leaves change colour, and so I paid particular attention to them on my walks through the fields with my camera.

One type of tree that is prevalent here is a huge poplar type whose name I’m not sure of. It might be a cottonwood type. Perhaps there are readers out there who can tell me what the proper name of these trees is.

I stood under this tree and listened to the wind rustling its leaves. It was such a beautiful sound that I did a very short video of it just to record the wind in its leaves. Unfortunately I can’t load the video here, but I can show you the tree and you can imagine the sound.

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Nearby, another of its type  showed signs of a history of major trauma. Was it wind, or snow, or bitter cold, or a combination of these conditions that broke the tree so badly? But look at its survival instinct! A new shoot is growing from the old broken trunk.

DSCN2517Yet another damaged tree is clinging to life in a few small branches. The broken branches on the ground tell of the terrible winds and possibly blizzards that worked the tree over.

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The same is true of the tree below. It clings to life desperately but appears to be losing the battle.

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There must be strength in numbers. Here they are like a little city of trees in a park along the Missouri River.

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There is something noble and grand about a tree. These survivors beautifying the river’s edge are a treat to see.