Bear Paws gain from rainsHowdy Beaver
June 20, 2002
Bear Paws gain from rains
Good news this week, isn't there? Maybe the drought is over. And maybe area reservoirs and prairie potholes will fill up yet this summer. And whether all the dry weather is over or not, at least it can be said that this year is starting out a lot wetter than last year. The alfalfa and hay are actually growing and looking quite nice in the beautiful Bear Paws. The conditions in Glacier National Park make it look as if the Milk River will flow all year long with plenty of water for irrigation. Fresno Reservoir is full and Nelson may be full very soon.
The only trouble with all that is that it seems like when we do get rain and snow, it is a major event that even causes flooding along the way. It seems like we used to be more a country of moderation, once in a while anyway. Now we are getting more extreme all the time. Last week Glacier Park was all but shut down on the east side with snow up to the door knobs at the Glacier Park Lodge. They had just put out all of their flower baskets and filled all the window boxes with bedding plants. Daffodils were blooming in profusion in the gardens that stretch from the front door of the hotel to the train depot far away. We suspect that all the daffodils are gone now along with tulips that were just getting ready to bloom. There is not much left of the poppies, either, and what bedding plants could not be covered will have to be replanted. And with all that snow and rain, we could be getting closer to a 1964 scenario than we have been for quite a few years. For those of you who don't remember that fateful June, it rained and rained on top of snow in the mountains and most all the rivers from the Missouri to the Flathead went on the rampage. The flooding killed some people and tore out a lot of bridges in Glacier Park and in the Loma area. We hope that is not going to happen this year and even more important, we hope that we will be getting back to getting lots of rain without a major calamity attached to it.
For many, this June is a special treat in the beautiful Bear Paws because the mountains are once again as green as Ireland must be. That did not happen at all last year. This is a great time to go camping or for a hike on good old Beaver Creek. The mountains are just now getting showy with their lavish spring flower displays. Glorious gold balsam root is still with us dotting hillside after hillside. Mountain geraniums and larkspur are just now beginning to show up on hillsides and in valleys. Mountain blue birds are back in droves and have taken up making families in the blue bird boxes on Beaver Creek and Sucker Creek. Best of all the wonderful balm of Gilead trees (mountain cottonwood) are just starting to perfume campground after campground all up and down Beaver Creek Park.
Don't take our word for it. Get out and experience this delightful oasis plumb in the middle of the endless Montana prairies for yourself. Only one caution. This time of year it's contagious. One weekend campout and you might find yourself quitting your job, packing up the family, and turning into mountain men and women and children.
Oh, well, one could do worse.