Sunday, September 5, 2010
On our way to Yellowstone, we stopped at the home of friends outside Bozeman, Montana. It was a gray, rainy, cold day, but the birds and animals that flock around John and Durrae's didn't seem to mind. Their yard was a western wonderland for these Ohioans.
Let's just start with the view out the living room window.
and proceed to the lazuli bunting just outside the kitchen window screen.
Ah, but there was more to come. This little Richardson's ground squirrel (everyone in Montana calls them "gophers," even though they aren't...
charmed me with her muzzlepuff cleaning routine.
Kind of a shrinky prairie dog, they are pretty much everywhere in eastern Montana, running across the road, tails straight up in an exclamation point. When I first visited Montana as a 12-year-old, I wept for each one my sister's car hit. I cried a lot those first few days. And then realized that I didn't have tears enough for all the gophers with a death wish.
It was nice to see one close up, to see the sweet animal in what so many perceive as brainless video-game targets. I wish I understood what makes them decide to cross a deserted highway just as your car comes careening through at 75 mph.
There was much more to be enjoyed in John and Durrae's yard...