By Alkali Springs Correspondent
Let us tell you, gentle readers, that if it does not rain or snow during the long Memorial Day weekend, we are in deep. Deep. Well, you know the rest. And even worse, it has not rained in the beautiful Bear Paws as much as it has rained out in the prairies surrounding the mountains.
It is like not a drop of rain can come for whatever the reason. And conditions are good for rain some of the time. East winds howl and howl and the sky fills up with foreboding clouds.
Why, looking out our windows, what looks to be a veritable mist fills up the western sky and mountain valleys. Then we wait for five minutes and find that what looked like rain is just one more of many dust storms to settle in the mountains instead of rain. And how there can be so much dust with all the grass out there we can't figure out, but dust there is.
Why, clouds of it even puff down our fireplace chimney and wander listlessly through the living room.
Small creeks are getting smaller and smaller and even mighty Beaver Creek is not even a shadow of its former self. We are beyond needing those spring-type showers. What we need is water and lots of it right now!
Maybe we are in one of those seven-year cycles and as such won't see any water for around four years yet. And maybe once in each person's lifetime out here, there must be a time of going through that "Dirty Thirties Cycle." Maybe that is part of the price we pay to live in north-central Montana.
We watch the tube and see rain on the East Coast, rain in the South, and even floods in some parts of the Midwest, all leading us to deduce that it still can rain and rain plenty. Just not here! Church folks all over are praying daily for rain. Maybe that will help. But for now, it is tough to keep up a good attitude when we see our beautiful mountains drying up right before our eyes.
So on to something better. We, once again this year, have seen some of the most beautiful goldfinches at our feeder and probably they will be there most of the summer. The reason for their presence is that we are feeding thistle seed and all finches just really go for thistle seed. Put some in your thistle feeder and no doubt you will see some too. Most amazing is that we are getting a dozen at a time a far cry from last year when we were seeing only two or three for the summer.
Every natural disaster does have an upside! We started out this early spring with some hornets in the cabin and lots in the outhouse. (Most inconvenient to say the least.) And we thought, "Oh, no, surely we are not having as many as we had last year," which was so hornet-filled that we got stung a couple of times. Well, since it has gotten hot and dry, they have all croaked or left for Lethbridge. Anyway, it is great not to have them around the house! Last year it was so bad that when we walked barefoot through the house in the middle of the night with the lights off, we were in danger of stepping on one and getting stung right there. Not pleasant!
So hurrah for the goldfinches! Hurrah that the hornets have left. Now bring on the rain!