One of the reasons we love living in Montana is that we feel a part of nature here. The state of Montana is so vast, and the population so small, that there is room for wildlife; those of us fortunate enough to live here reap the benefits in ways small and large throughout the year.
Recently, I (Elaine) was heading away from our Montana Bed and Breakfast at 7:30 AM; it was a lovely morning. Ahead of me, I saw what I thought was a brown cat just sitting in the middle of the road. Peculiar, I thought. When I got closer, I saw that it was a juvenile hawk that was just learning to fly, and was using the road as an airstrip of sorts. It awkwardly walked about, scratching the ground, until it even more awkwardly took off and flew unsteadily to the top of a nearby ponderosa pine tree. Up the hill a bit I saw its sibling, equally awkward.
Raptors are some of the most graceful birds as they soar elegantly high above our heads, skim just above open fields, and perch attentively atop posts. I have always admired their poise. To be graced with a glimpse of the awkwardness that comes before such elegance was a true honor, and one of the most amazing experiences I have had.
In the library of our bed and breakfast Montana, you’ll find many treasures from my father’s great uncle Ole (born in Sweden). He was one of the first curators, guides and photographers in Yellowstone Park. What a time that must have been, and what a job. To live in one of the most wildly beautiful areas of the country and have the task of recording the raw beauty and treasures of the park was to live a dream. Our lives here are less dramatic, to be sure, but nonetheless we are fulfilling a dream.