Missoula bed and breakfast

Montana: Native Plants and Native People

Springtime is truly beautiful here at Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast in Missoula, Montana.  The wildflowers bloom from late March through early July.  Their significance is linked to Montana’s Native people in a variety of ways.  The following six plants are basically found during the second wave of blooming here on the mountain (April-May).

ponderosa and balsamroot  5-23-03 090 smallBalsamroot leaf  P1010229 small

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following activity is a fun way for Montana students (or anyone) to learn more about Montana’s native plants and people.

Directions: Use the Photos, I.D. Clues and Fun Facts to help you identify each plant by name.

WORD BANK: To which photo and clues do I belong?  (Answers at the very bottom of the page, by number)

1.  Arrowleaf Balsamroot (Balsamorhiza Sagittata)

2.  Arnica (Arnica Montana/Chamissonis)

3.  Chokecherry (Prunus Virginiana)

4.  “Indian” Paintbrush  (Castilleja linariaefolia)

5.  Western Pasqueflower (Anemone patens or nuttalliana)

6.  Wild Lupine  (Lupinus Angustifolius)

 

Let’s Begin…

A.  Can you name me? (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

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I.D. Clues:

-I have 5-6 large bluish-purple petals, ferny leaves and am soft to the touch.

-I only have 1 flower per stem and am about a foot tall.

-I bloom after the buttercups and shooting stars, but before the Arnica, Lupine and Chokecherry.

-I come in eight different species here in the western U.S..

Fun Facts:

-I am South Dakota’s state flower and am often called by the name of prairie crocus.

-I contain alkaloids that can irritate your skin and digestive track.

-Native people have used me for various things.  The Blackfeet made a poultice out of me to cure wounds.

The Blackfeet honor me with the name Napi or Old Man (cultural hero, creator, sometimes trickster). (“Pasque Flower”)

-My name “Pasque” comes from an old French word for Easter.  In some places I bloom near Easter and was once used to color Easter eggs. (“Pasque Flower”)

-After I’m done flowering, I grow a silky “head of hair” which has given me the nickname “Old Man of the Mountain.”

 

B.  Can you name me? (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

Paintbrush flower  IMG_7217 small, crop

 

 

 

 

 

 

I.D. Clues:

-I am between 15-60 cm tall.

-I come in about 200 different species which means there are many shades and varieties of me.  Often it’s hard to tell each a part.

-I am called by many different common names.  Most describe my brilliant color in some way or hint at me being similar to a tool an artist might use.

-One of my names is shared with a colorful butterfly known as the Painted Lady.

-My other names include painted cup and prairie fire since I’m often a bright red, redish-orange or redish-pink color.

Fun Facts:

-You can find me from 1,000-3,00 feet in elevation- as far north as Alaska or as far south as the Andes mountains in South America.

-I am Wyoming’s state flower.

-I am pollinated by hovering insects and humming birds that don’t need a place to sit or land while feeding.

-My actual flowers are hidden by brightly colored bracts which are usually tender and sweet to eat.

-In Glacier Park, I am sometimes found sporting a pinkish-violet color.  Once in a while I’m even found dressed in white.

-My roots and green parts can be toxic so some Native people mixed my edible parts with other greens or ate parts of me in moderation.

-Some Native people used me as a source of dye.

-The Chippewa used me to treat rheumatism (joint and muscle pain).

– Several tribes, including the Blackfeet, made a rinse from me so they would have glossy hair.

-When I grow in soil that is high in selenium, I can be toxic.

-I’ve earned a name as a parasitic plant because I can steal the nutrients from the roots of other plants.  (Craighead, Craighead, and Davis 170)

-I like to live near lupine and sage brush because I can take on their alkaloid properties.  That way, I taste bitter to animals like deer.

 

C.  Can you name me? (1,2,3,4,5,6)

Balsamroot  5-23-03 120 small

 

 

 

 

 

I.D. Clues:

-I am a type of large, wild sunflower.

-I bloom in late spring to early summer and am found in the western states (Oregon, Montana, Colorado, etc.)

-I have a long stem that measures 20-60 cm tall.

-You often find me in sunny, open areas and often under ponderosa pine trees.

-My leaves are large and to some people look like a spear point.

Fun Facts:

-Every part of me can be eaten.  The Salish, Kootenai and Nez Perce people peeled my immature flower stems.  They then ate the tender inner portion like one would eat celery, raw. (Hart 37)

-My large, starchy roots are big and full of sticky sap.  Native people in the area crushed my roots, taking out the fibrous material and then used the rest.  The root was sometimes burned as incense.  If eaten raw, my roots can make a person feel nauseated.  The same thing is true if one drinks too much tea made from my roots.

-My large leaves were often used to wrap around Camas bulbs for cooking.  Leaf tea was used as a wash for poison ivy.

-Certain Native tribes would grind my seeds into a type of flour.  (Kershaw, MacKinnon, and Pojar 238)

-My roots or other parts were dried, steamed or baked in a roasting pit or cooked over an open fire.

-One name given to me by the Blackfeet was Ohm-ah-gahs (big turnip).  (Johnston 56)

-I’ve been used to make many oral as well as topical medicines for headaches, insect bites, wounds and other things.

 

D.  Can you name me? (1,2,3,4,5,6)

lupine  IMG_7214  small, crop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I.D. Clues:

-I grow wild, but am related to a tall garden flower that comes in many colors.

-I bloom from April to July depending on the location.

-Each of my leaves looks a bit like a Palm tree and is broken up into 5-9 finger-like segments.

-My flowers are pea shaped and about 1 cm long.

-My Latin name “lupus” means wolf.  People used to think I stole important minerals from soil. (They compared it to wolves that sometimes take livestock from a ranch for food.)  In truth, I put nitrogen into the soil and actually leave it richer than before.

-There are about 600 species or variations of me out there.  In the wild, I am usually found to have blue and purple hues.

Fun Facts:

-I’m an important food source for the larva of a rare type of blue butterfly.

-I’m known to be one of the top ten most important wild flowers for native bees.  Humming birds and marmots like me too.

-I am found in many states across the U.S. and can also be found in Canada.

-In certain quantities I am toxic to domestic animals and have been known to kill sheep.

-I am not toxic to white-tailed deer and certain other wildlife species. (“Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks :: Silky Lupine”)

-Some Native American tribes fed me to their horses and said it fattened them up, gave them energy and spirit.

-Several Native tribes used my leaves to brew tea.  After the tea cooled, it was given to a person who had an upset stomach.

-If a person eats too much of me, her or she can get sick.  In large quantities, a person will have convulsions, go into a coma and can die from me.

 

E.  Can you name me? (1,2,3,4,5,6)

arnica IMG_0322 small, crop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I.D. Clues:

-I am made up of a single stem and get to be 10-60 cm tall.

-My stems and my heart-shaped leaves feel slightly fuzzy.

-I am a type of sunflower, but smaller in size compared to most.

-I like to grow alongside others.  Together, we blanket small areas of fairly shady, moist, forest or meadow areas in yellow.

Fun Facts:

-In the Blackfeet language, I’m called Ota-kap-is-chis-kit-sima which means yellow flower.

-All of my plant parts are poisonous and I should not be eaten.  My flowers are the most potent part and cause a person’s body temperature to rise.

-Some people have used extracts of my flower for hair growth.

-My roots and flowers have been used by some to make washes, salves and poultices for the healing of sprains and swollen feet.

-No part of me should be applied to broken skin areas since I’m very toxic.  (Kershaw, MacKinnon, and Pojar 242)

-Mule deer like to eat me while they graze.

-You can find me blooming in late May or even into August depending on the locations.

 

F.  Can you name me? (1,2,3,4,5,6)

Chokechery  P1010244 small

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I.D. Clues:

-I am considered to be a bush, shrub or tree of medium height but can get up to 25 ft. tall.

-My stocks are green, brown or redish-brown depending on the time of year.

-My leaves are light green in the spring and turn to a darker green in fall.

-I have strong, but sweet smelling off-white flowers that bloom in the spring (May-June).

-Each flowering clump is thick, elongated and made up of many small flowers.

-In late summer and in the fall, I grow berries that turn from red to almost black when they ripen.

-My single berries hold one seed, grow in strands and are about the size of a large huckleberry.

-My common name reflects the fact that my berries are bitter (they can make a person pucker, even when ripe.)

-My leaves and especially my single seed “cherry” pits are toxic to some animals if eaten raw.

-The Salish, Kootenai, Gros Ventre and Crow Indians made a tea from my bark for stomach ailments. (Hart 88)

Fun Facts:

-In late summer and fall, bears love to pull my branches to the ground and eat my berries.

-In Western Montana, I flower in May and early June- right after the white Serviceberry bushes, but a bit before the white, lovely smelling Syringa.

-I am in the rose family.  Like the berries from wild roses (rose hips), my berries are an important source of vitamin C.  My berries should be dried or boiled to rid them of their toxicity before being used to make food.

-I was dried and then pounded into a flour-like material, stored in cakes and later used in soups or added to pemmican by certain tribes.  Pemmican (a mixture of fruit, meat and fat) was an important food source during the winter months.

-Many Plains tribes used my berries to make a red dye.  My bark was used as a green dye and also soaked in water and used to treat coughs and sore throats.

-My forked sticks were used to carry hot rocks for the purpose of cooking.  The rocks were dropped into animal skin bags filled with water which would then boil.

-My sticks were also used to roast wild game.  My wood does not burn or break easily and adds spice to cooking meat.  Some tribes used my sticks in tipi and bow making.

Bitterroot Room 1  bitterroot3-804x426

 

 

 

 

You can check your wild flower naming accuracy below under Answers

If you enjoyed this activity, take a few photos of wild plants and come up with your own clues.  If you need some reference ideas, please look at the bottom of the page.

Rose Room 1 rose 1-804x426 smallEach of our rooms, here at Blue Mountain B&B, is named after an important plant in the area.  Click on the following link to learn more about our Missoula Bed and Breakfast.

 

PHOTO CREDIT:  Room photos taken by Marcus Berg @uniqueanglesphotography, all others by Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast.

Questions or Comments:  Please email us: stay@bluemountainbb.com

Answers in order: (5, 4, 1, 6, 2, 3)

References:

  Anderson, David. Wildflowers of the Rocky Mountains Pocket Flower Guide to Popular Varieties. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.

Blank, D. Linnell. Montana Wildflowers. Helena, MT: Farcountry, 2005. 

Craighead, John Johnson, Frank C. Craighead, and Ray J. Davis. Rocky Mountain Wildflowers from Northern Arizona and New Mexico to British Columbia. Norwalk, CT: Easton, 1985. 

Foster, Steven, and Christopher Hobbs. A Field Guide to Western Medicinal Plants and Herbs. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2002.

Gabel, Audrey, and Elaine Ebbert. Mushrooms and Other Fungi of The Black Hills And Surrounding Area. Spearfish: Black Hills State UP, n.d. Print.

Hart, Jeff. Montana–native Plants and Early Peoples. Helena: Montana Historical Society, 1992.

Johnston, A. Plants and the Blackfoot. Lethbridge, Alta.: Lethbridge Historical Society, 1987. Print.

Kershaw, Linda, A. MacKinnon, and Jim Pojar. Plants of the Rocky Mountains. Edmonton: Lone Pine Pub., 1998. 

Moerman, Daniel E. Native American Ethnobotany. Portland, Or.: Timber, 1998. Print.

 “Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks :: Silky Lupine.” Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks :: Silky Lupine. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 May 2015.

“Pasque Flower.” – Medicinal Herb Info. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 May 2015.

“Plant of the Week.” Arrowleaf Balsamroot. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 May 2015.

Snell, Alma Hogan, and Lisa Castle. A Taste of Heritage: Crow Indian Recipes and Herbal Medicines. Lincoln, NE: U of Nebraska, 2006. 

Strickler, Dee. Forest Wildflowers: Showy Wildflowers of the Woods, Mountains, and Forests of the Northern Rocky Mountain States. Columbia Falls, MT: Flower, 1988.

Strickler, Dee. Prairie Wildflowers. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Robot Check. Web. 25 May 2015.

Tilford, Gregory L. Edible and Medicinal Plants of the West. Missoula, MT: Mountain Pub., 1997.

 Trees Of The Lolo National Forest. N.p.: US Forest Service, n.d.

Vanderberg, Frances. Salish Elder Storytelling. Travelers’ Rest, Lolo. 2012. Lecture.

White, Thain. Scarred Trees In Western Montana. Tech. no. 17. N.p.: Montana State U, 1954.

**The following sight was used to help create the above bibliography with ease!  http://www.easybib.com/cite/view

 

 

 

 

 

 

April Events in Missoula!

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APRIL in MISSOULA is the time when the hills really do start to come a live with “The Sound of Music!”  The colorful sights and sounds of birds and blooms, hikers, bikers and community fun are everywhere to be found.  There is literally something for everyone at this time of year, so come out of winter hibernation to enjoy the many festive events!

-MMAC (Museum of Art & Culture) is celebrating 120 years of exhibiting Montana’s art collection pieces.  Currently, a beautiful tapestry depicting every day life in Belgium, is among the art being exhibited.  This viewing opportunity runs through May 23 at U of M’s Paxon and Meloy Galleries PAR/TV center.

 

3-12-05 powwow 017-Missoula’s 47th annual Kyi-Yo PowWow takes place on Friday and Saturday, April 17 & 18.  The theme this year is “We Are Montana.”  You shouldn’t miss all of the colorful and extremely talented dancers and drum groups that come from far and wide to attend and help unify Native American traditions.  The first Grand Entry Event begins on Friday at 7:00 P.M.

African drumming

-A World Rhythms Concert with guest artist Edi Gbordzi, who grew up in Ghana, begins Friday, April 17th at 7:30.  The events, including workshops, will be held in the Dennison Theater at the University of Montana.  U of M’s West African Ensemble, along with other multi-cultural groups will perform!

-The Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge is full of life, particularly in the early spring.  Take the short drive to Stevensville on Saturday, April 18th for a beginning birders walk at 10:00.

5-03 034 small-Join the Montana Native Plant Society (Clark Fork Chapter) for an evening flower stroll in Pattee Canyon.  Fairy Slippers, Glacier Lilies and Violets are among some of the flowers you may see on this April 18th evening.  What a great way to celebrate Earth Day: click on the link for car pool information.

-Join Missoulians on Bicycles for several different weekend rides.  On Saturday, April 18th the group will meet in Lolo and on Sunday, April 19th in Missoula.  Be sure to click on the link for more information or call Chris Jauquet at 593-0032.

-The 38th International Wildlife Film Festival starts Saturday, April 18th with the Wildwalk Parade.  The week-long festival offers many viewings to choose from and culminates on April 25th.  For a listing of films and festival events, visit the link above.

fish photoJazzoula 2015 helps extend our Missoula Jazz Festivals into April!  It is preceded by the Buddy DeFranco Jazz festival which already occurred in March.  Missoula’s own local jazz artists will be featured from April 21-23rd- yep, we love to JAZZ things up in this town!

-Down the Hatch Fest, organized by The Orvis Company, takes place at Caras Park and the Wilma Theater for the third year!   This April 25th event promises to bring tons of food and fun to Missoula.  What better place than our own home town to put on a fishing and mini film festival?  Missoula and the surrounding areas have some of the best blue ribbon trout streams in the world and this event helps celebrate that fact.

Carlos Nakai Native Flute missoulianNative American Flutist, Carlos Nakai, (“Earth, Wind, Fire”) joins Darko Butorac and the Missoula Symphony as a guest performer.  This final concert of the season celebrates Earth Day and promises to be both unique and hauntingly beautiful.  Performances are April 25th at 7:30 P.M. and April 26th at 3:00 P.M.

I. View- Missoula Valley 1 smallApril has many Missoula highlights to offer visitors and locals a like.  Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast is here to give you a relaxing stay during April or any other month of the year!  Photo Credit: Trout- learni.st & Basspro.com, Edi Gbordzi & Carlos Nakai- Missoulian Newspaper, Others- Blue Mountain B&B

 

 

Crafting Crepes: Swedish Pancakes For Breakfast!

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Are you celebrating National Crepe Day or just craving some crepes?  Either way, look no further- we have the perfect breakfast recipe for you to try!  There are many different types of crepes, from sweet to savory, filled and unfilled.  Because of their popularity, there are also different ethnic varieties!  We are partial to the type known as Swedish pancakes which are extremely light.  It’s always fun to share a bit of our Swedish heritage with our guests.  When you visit our inn you will see quite a few Swedish influences, from our Fjord horses at the base of the mountain to the delicate and very delicious Swedish pancakes we often serve.

 

9-12-9-14 Nordic festival 056, red stage coach, crop

 

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The Scandinavian countries adopted traditions from many other European countries- among them, the crepe from France! The first time I tried this delicacy was actually in Libby, Montana during their Scandinavian Fest.  Brady and I had never tasted a pancake so delicate and lovely that it felt like it was melting in your mouth.  We ask for the recipe, which was large enough to feed a small army!  It called for three gallons of milk and more chickens than I want to imagine for the eggs!

Long before opening our bed and breakfast, we reduced the Libby recipe and experimented a bit.  The final “product” is delicious and a favorite of guests, family and friends.  We hope you will try this recipe for yourself or come visit us in beautiful Missoula, Montana, where we do the cooking for you!  Believe me when I say, there’s nothing quite like a Swedish Pancake that’s hot off the griddle and still warm to the touch.

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RECIPE:

Ingredients (should be at room temperature):

1 1/4 C. flour

3 C milk

5 eggs

5 T sugar

5 T butter

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Directions:

Reserve 2 cups worth of the milk.
Mix 1 cup of the milk with all of the ingredients and stir.
Next, slowly stir in the rest of the milk.
Melt butter on a regular griddle at 375 degrees or higher.  Use 2-3 tablespoons of batter to make a 4 inch, round pancake.
When the pancake looks slightly brown, carefully flip it over (about 30 seconds per side).
Roll up the pancake and place it in a warming oven while you cook the rest of the cakes.
Once you get the hang of making one pancake, you can try making 2-4 at a time.

 

DSCF2650 red currants, home made jam

 

 

 

 

To Serve:

Take the entire platter of crepes out of the warm oven and sprinkle them with powdered sugar.
Try one of the delicate pancakes without extra toppings so you experience the light, buttery beauty of this special crepe!
Additional butter and home made jam can be placed on the table.  We hand pick red currents from the garden to make syrup.
A traditional Swedish Lingonberry preserve is fun to try as well!

 

area around missoula (31) smallA Vacation in Missoula:
Missoula is a wonderful place to come on a vacation.  Our town has so much culture, history and nature to offer tourists.  We have blue ribbon trout streams, concerts, unique shopping opportunities and so much more.  If you wish to enjoy nature while still being able to enjoy city events, then a get-away at Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast is perfect for you!  In the winter there’s skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, and indoor events.  In summer you’ll enjoy hiking, horse back riding and so much more.  One activity that is both popular with kids and adults is the Missoula Carousel.  Our Fjord horses were used as models for the two carved, carousel Fjords.  You can enjoy the carousel any time of the year and the artistic craftsmanship and variety of ponies is remarkable.

 

 

New Year’s Poetry: The Seasons

Nature-at-the-inn

 

 

 

 

A New Year’s Poem
From Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast

“The Flight of December”

Where did the last of December go?
Whisked away by blowing snow
Taken on the wings of birds
Lovely songs now distant words

What is changed come New Year’s Day?
Some things gone whilst others stay
Reflecting back on days gone by
Renewed delight in winter’s sky

By Elaine Anderson-Wood
January 1, 2015

!!!Christmas 2004 056  Stellers in winter crop

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our library here at Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast, as well as our small gift store, provide a wide variety of reading materials for your enjoyment!  Below, I’ve shared one of my favorite poems that fits particularly well with this time of year.

I love Swinburne’s poetic style as he describes each season of the New Year!  Enjoy the addition of photos taken here at the bed and breakfast.  We wish everyone a very happy 2015! 

 “A Year’s Carols”

By: Algernon Charles Swinburne

JANUARY

Nature at the inn (5) small

 

 

 

 

 

HAIL, January, that bearest here
On snowbright breasts the babe-faced year
That weeps and trembles to be born.
Hail, maid and mother, strong and bright,
Hooded and cloaked and shod with white,
Whose eyes are stars that match the morn.
Thy forehead braves the storm’s bent bow,
Thy feet enkindle stars of snow.

 

 

FEBRUARY

Birds 153 winter crossbill at B&B

 

 

 

 

 

Wan February with weeping cheer,
Whose cold hand guides the youngling year
Down misty roads of mire and rime,
Before thy pale and fitful face
The shrill wind shifts the clouds apace
Through skies the morning scarce may climb.
Thine eyes are thick with heavy tears,
But lit with hopes that light the year’s.

 

 

MARCH

Jays and birds 057 buttercup crop

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hail, happy March, whose foot on earth
Rings as the blast of martial mirth
When trumpets fire men’s hearts for fray.
No race of wild things winged or finned
May match the might that wings thy wind
Through air and sea, through scud and spray.
Strong joy and thou were powers twin-born
Of tempest and the towering morn.

 

APRIL

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Crowned April, king whose kiss bade earth
Bring forth to time her lordliest birth
When Shakespeare from thy lips drew breath
And laughed to hold in one soft hand
A spell that bade the world’s wheel stand,
And power on life, and power on death,
With quiring suns and sunbright showers
Praise him, the flower of all thy flowers.

 

MAY

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Hail, May, whose bark puts forth full-sailed
For summer; May, whom Chaucer hailed
With all his happy might of heart,
And gave thy rosebright daisy-tips
Strange frarance from his amorous lips
That still thine own breath seems to part
And sweeten till each word they say
Is even a flower of flowering May.

 

 

JUNE

Butterfly on Syringa 6-24-04 015 small

 

 

 

 

 

Strong June, superb, serene, elate
With conscience of thy sovereign state
Untouched of thunder, though the storm
Scathe here and there thy shuddering skies
And bid its lightning cross thine eyes
With fire, thy golden hours inform
Earth and the souls of men with life
That brings forth peace from shining strife.

 

 JULY

lilys and construction 7-23-02 031 lily crop 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hail, proud July, whose fervent mouth
Bids even be morn and north be south
By grace and gospel of thy word,
Whence all the splendour of the sea
Lies breathless with delight in thee
And marvel at the music heard
From the ardent silent lips of noon
And midnight’s rapturous plenilune.

 

AUGUST

Nature at the inn (70) small crop humming

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great August, lord of golden lands,
Whose lordly joy through seas and strands
And all the red-ripe heart of earth
Strikes passion deep as life, and stills
The folded vales and folding hills
With gladness too divine for mirth,
The gracious glories of thine eyes
Make night a noon where darkness dies.

 

SEPTEMBER

the region (59)

 

 

 

 

 

Hail, kind September, friend whose grace
Renews the bland year’s bounteous face
With largess given of corn and wine
Through many a land that laughs with love
Of thee and all the heaven above,
More fruitful found than all save thine
Whose skies fulfil with strenuous cheer
The fervent fields that knew thee near.

 

OCTOBER

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October of the tawny crown,
Whose heavy-laden hands drop down
Blessing, the bounties of thy breath
And mildness of thy mellowing might
Fill earth and heaven with love and light
Too sweet for fear to dream of death
Or memory, while thy joy lives yet,
To know what joy would fain forget.

 

NOVEMBER

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Hail, soft November, though thy pale
Sad smile rebuke the words that hail
Thy sorrow with no sorrowing words
Or gratulate thy grief with song
Less bitter than the winds that wrong
Thy withering woodlands, where the birds
Keep hardly heart to sing or see
How fair thy faint wan face may be.

 

DECEMBER

IMG_6020 small, crop bow at Christmas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December, thou whose hallowing hands
On shuddering seas and hardening lands
Set as a sacramental sign
The seal of Christmas felt on earth
As witness toward a new year’s birth
Whose promise makes thy death divine,
The crowning joy that comes of thee
Makes glad all grief on land or sea.

Brief Biography:

Algernon Charles Swinburne

Algernon Charles Swinburne poet
Algernon Charles Swinburne was an English poet, playwright and novelist.  The eldest of six children, he was born in London, England (1837) to a wealthy family.  Swinburne’s father was an admiral, and his mother was a daughter of the 3rd Earl of Ashburnham.  He was educated at Eton and at Balliol College in Oxford, but never completed a degree.  The lack of a degree and his struggle with alcoholism didn’t stop him from success, however.  Swinburne was one of the most accomplished lyric poets of the Victorian era- nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature every year from 1903 to 1907 and again in 1909 (the year of his death).  Apparently, H. P. Lovecraft considered Swinburne “the only real poet in either England or America after the death of Mr. Edgar Allan Poe.” 1   Besides his love of writing, Swinburne was said to enjoy riding his pony across the moors; just a little tidbit that for me helps romanticize his character even more!
Additional Sources:
The photo on this page is taken from the copyrighted Wikipedia Algernon Charles Swinburne; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.  It may be redistribute providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA.
Footnote:

1.  H.P. Lovecraft, Selected Letters: Volume 1. Sauk City: WI: Arkham House, 1965, p. 73

THANKSGIVING: Recipe Sharing, Safety and Caring!

turkey, crop small 2Thanksgiving:  Serving up each recipe with a side of SAFETY in mind!

If you are WILD about RICE (or even not so wild about it), you will love this recipe!  It’s best made a day ahead so the flavors truly have time to blend together.  I find that even folks who aren’t fond of mushrooms love this dish, unless you have allergies of course!  That’s a topic that can be serious, so I’ll come back to in a second.  The recipe I’m sharing today has been handed down through my mother’s side of the family and is an all-time favorite around the Thanksgiving table.  Since my mom grew up on a cattle ranch in Cody, Wyoming I like to play up the WILD SIDE of the rice with an image of a bucking bronc.  Wyomin license plate

Brady and I try to stick to the rule of making a recipe the way it’s written the first time around.  I do admit that we taste test along the way and in the end the recipe is often spiced up a bit.  Unless you have a true allergy, I highly recommend trying this recipe the way it is.  For example, don’t be tempted to skip the water chestnuts; their delicate crunch is part of the magic that makes this dish really light up!

harvest table - loaded!Send more color please

SAFETY & SERENITY: During the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it can be easy to overlook ingredients that create a safe, serene atmosphere.  Overlooking a recipe ingredient can change the taste of a recipe tremendously, but usually it isn’t a life-altering event.  There are lots of kitchen safety tips that are important to keep in mind, but one that is often overlooked is the issue of ALLERGIES!  Because of our bed and breakfast, we are always conscience of the dietary needs and preferences of guests on a daily basis.  When you’re not in the business of needing to know, it’s easy to forget this aspect in the midst of holiday laughter and fun.  Unfortunately, at family occasions and pot-luck events, the issue of allergies sometimes falls short of being on any safety list.  I know plenty of family dinner tales that tell this all too well!  In fact, this particular recipe, though one of MY VERY FAVORITES would need to be served with a warning sign and here’s why.

Tales NOT to be “RE-TOLD, here for YOU in Three-Fold: 

-Mysterious Mushrooms:  Many years ago, one of my dear friends spent half of Thanksgiving Day in the emergency room, the culprit- mushrooms (the common cooking kind).  A botanist once told me that everyone is allergic to mushrooms to some degree but that it varies a great deal from person to person and mushroom to mushroom.  Having to watch an emergency crew come into a family home on a holiday is not for the faint of heart!  Remember this story and keep it smart. 

-Ornery Onions:  Another friend I have gets violently ill if even a hint of onion is in a dish.  The flu season is bad enough without “catching” it just from something you eat!

-Well, NUTS:  … And then there’s my cousin whom, like many people, is deathly allergic to certain nuts.  One time he ended up in the emergency room after kissing his wife TWO HOURS after she had eaten hazelnut ice cream; now that gives some lip service to the meaning of a NUT ALLERGY!  My wild rice dish calls for almonds, which are technically not a nut.  Because of this, my cousin can have this dish, but I’m sure there are many almond allergies out there!  While on the topic of nuts, I know of a little girl who has her very own peanut sniffing service dog.  Without him, she would never be able to visit enclosed public spaces- it’s that serious.  Don’t underestimate the power of nuts and seeds, they pack lots of protein and sometimes a nasty punch.

Today, gluten-free and other diets are common and it’s only courteous to, in some form, cater to those needs.  But, you ask,…  What IS the best way to deal with everyone’s needs in a simple and caring way?  At our gatherings, we’ve gone to the following motto.. “RECIPE SHARING IS CARING!  Anyone bringing a dish also brings a side of recipe cards, that way nothing is accidentally overlooked.  Since Thanksgiving is about sharing,  it’s a good time to take that to heart!   There’s no need to hoard a secret recipe.  Here at Blue Mountain B&B, we’ve always been happy to share recipes with guests and it hasn’t stopped them from coming back yet.  If anything, it creates a feeling of true family when you share something you’ve put a lot of love into.

Great Horned Owl

 One last word to the wise!  It’s always smart to maintain some checks and balances.  Don’t rely totally on one kind of food safety strategy.  You’d hate to weigh in on all the fun just to have it suddenly go sour because of an oversight.  Whether you are hosting the party or you are a house guest, let your needs and those of others be known if it’s direly important.  If it’s more of a food preference or slight restriction, the recipe cards are a great way of discretely “discussing” dietary issues!

Singing

Photo taken by Pam Morris, Colorado

Now, on another note… here is a recipe that should make you sing!  I know it does that to me, so be forewarned.  I dub tomorrow, WACKY WILD RICE MAKING WEDNESDAY.  If you care to join me, please dig in!

Wild rice

RECIPE: Wonderfully Wild Rice Bake!
½ C. Wild rice
½ C. Rice (white or brown)
1 C. Onion, diced
1 C. Celery, diced
2 T. Butter or olive oil
1/4 C. Soy sauce
3 oz. Can mushrooms
5 oz. Can water chestnuts, chopped
1/3 C. Slivered almonds

Smoked Turkey & Wild Rice Soup: Wild RiceHoliday Dinner

DIRECTIONS:

-Cook rice as directed(on packages).

-Saute onions and celery in butter and then add the almonds.

-Mix all ingredients together and let sit over night if time.

-Bake the next day at 350 for 20 minutes.

Orange flowers in small vase

CHARITY & Giving Thanks:  Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for so many things… our family, our friends, our health and happiness.  Remember to donate something to your community as well as your family!  Some schools as well as food pantries and shelters can really use donated items as well, so call and ask!  As a kid, one of my favorite memories is my mom taking two beautifully browned birds out of the oven; one for us and one for the local Poverello Center.  We’d always take it down as a family the day before the holiday and somehow it made my heart feel just a little bit better.

ThanksgivingLinen & Pewter

Here at Blue Mountain B&B,we do as much as we can to help various non-profits in Missoula.  Some of them help those in need, some help Missoula’s cultural community, some keep our wilderness areas wild and last but not least, our history a live!  We welcome you to stay with us year round.  Blue Mountain is a place of beauty during all of the seasons and we are truly thankful for the guests that visit us and soon become like family!

Photography Credit: Photos taken by Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast and uploaded from WordPress Insights.  If you personally recognize a photo that has not been given proper credit or you have any comments or questions, please don’t hesitate to call or email!  1-406-251-4457  stay@bluemountainbb.com

Direction and landmarks for drive to inn (15)

IX. Japanese Garden Fall 14

Livingroomturkeys 6-06 015 small

October Prowler

“October Prowler”

black cat and pumpkin

 

 

 

 

Lap cat, curl up cat
Swagger, dagger
In the shadows cat
Lapping milk from a bone white bowl
Swishing tail
Moonlight stroll
Stalking around at the midnight hour
Up all night
October prowler!

@Elaine Anderson-Wood 2o14

Tasty Buttermilk Biscuits from Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast

May 14th is National Buttermilk Biscuit Day!

You will find that our Blue Mountain B&B BUTTERMILK BISCUITS will literally melt in your mouth.  They are hard to resist right out of the oven and make a delicious treat smothered in honey or homemade jam.  For our guests, these flaky homemade biscuits are a breakfast favorite when served with our biscuits and gravy recipe, passed down through the family.

The biscuits also make an excellent lunch accompaniment when paired with one of our savory soup recipes.  For dinner, they always go nicely with one of our many Western BBQ specialties.  Every year, we have a French family that stays with us just for our BBQ dinner and the views that go with it.

Note: Just adding shredded cheddar cheese to the dough and basting them with melted garlic butter gives the biscuits a whole new, amazing twist!

Buttermilk biscuits are almost in the same league as baseball and apple pie- a true American standard.
No matter what meal you serve the biscuits with, they always will be a BIG HIT!

Basic Ingredients:

4 C                   FlourBUTTERMILK BISCUITS
2 T                   Baking powder
2 tsp.                Sugar
1 tsp.                Salt
12 T                 Butter
1 ½ – 2 C          Buttermilk

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

*Breakfast Biscuits (We often serve with biscuits and gravy.)

-Mix dry ingredients together, then cut in butter with a pastry knife.  The butter should be in pea-sized pieces (or just a bit larger).
Fold in buttermilk and then knead on floured surface about 6 or 8 times.  Pat out to 1″ thick (an 8×8 inch square).  Cut in 16 pieces and bake for 14 min.

*Dinner Biscuits (Served with savory soups and BBQ dinners)

-Add the larger amount of milk and mix in 2 C. shredded cheddar cheese.  Drop large spoon fulls of dough onto a baking sheet (we use a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper).
Bake for about 14 min.   Take out of oven and baste with 3 T.  melted butter mixed with 1 tsp. granulated garlic.  Serve right away!

We hope you enjoy trying these out in your own kitchen or possibly spending a night here at Blue Mountain B&B!  In the summer and early fall, guests enjoy eating outside by the waterfall.  In the winter and spring, our large picture windows look out on our Japanese water garden to the west and the Bitterroot River and Missoula to the east.  The view is ever changing and beautiful and our elevated location makes one feel like they are in a comfortable castle or a mountain chalet.  We welcome you any time of the year for a wonderful retreat!

Seasonal Changes at Missoula’s Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast

rainbow

An INNside View!

 Seasons and Seasonings at Blue Mountain B&B:        

With summer almost in full swing, it’s fun to think back on the various seasons and what each one brings to Montana and to Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast.  I never tire of the beautiful seasonal changes that western Montana offers to residents and visitors alike. Sometimes the changes are quite subtle, which has been the case this year with our transition from spring to summer.  Luckily, summer has crept upon us with a refreshing coolness.  The mountains and valleys are still green, the peaks are capped in white and the wildflowers are particularly lovely.  The rain has definitely been welcome and we hope it will continue from time to time in the next months so that the fire season doesn’t hit with such a bang.

red currents

*At the Inn:

Here at Blue Mountain B&B, the changing seasons bring delightful new views as well as new specialties to the table.  During the gardening months, fresh varieties of fruits and vegetables abound.  We take great care in preserving the bounty that the summer brings so that guests are able to enjoy fresh flavors throughout the winter months as well.  Some of our jam and jelly specialties include home made huckleberry-raspberry, apricot and red current.  Both of our sets of parents live on Blue Mountain as well and between the bunch of us we are able to grow a lot of the fresh fruit, herbs and vegetables ourselves.

 

*Locally grown products:     antipasta plate

If we can’t grow something at the B&B, then we often turn to Missoula’s Good Food Store and the local Clark Fork and Missoula Farmer’s Markets.  We especially love the fruit from Forbidden Fruit Orchard, the huckleberries which some of the Hmong families pick and the Dixon Melons.

As guests, you can enjoy both a Saturday morning market and and evening market during the warmer months of the year with vendors selling all kinds of things from produce and cheese to jewelry.  When the weather turns cold, Missoula takes it’s wares inside where people can enjoy a winter market on the weekends.  If you are interested in finding huckleberry or other Montana products, we have a lot to offer in our little Wood Ducks and More Country Store.  If you are looking for Montana made products in town, we recommend the following stores:  Brown Bear Resources and Mother Moose.

 

syringa and butterfly*A Room with a view:

Views from every room at the inn celebrate the changing of the seasons as each day brings a little something different than the next.  Even when the valley is fogged in, one has the sensation of being in a high mountain castle.  The views from our dining and living room areas are like a living picture frame, ever changing and beautiful.  During late spring, summer and early fall, the sound of the water fall accompanies views of the valley and the smell of a fresh, gourmet breakfast.

For me, winter brings the most wonderful feast for the eyes of any season.  There is nothing more beautiful than a soft dusting of snow covering the garden walls while the pond is bathed in the moon’s lovely light.  Then again, “summer’s snow” is just as spectacular when the lovely Syringa bushes blanket the hillsides in late June.  Their white, fragrant petals attract Swallowtail butterflies and for a couple of weeks, the hills truly smell heavenly.  June is truly a wonderful month to make a reservation specifically for The Syringa Suite, our room named after this fragrant flower.  The Syringa Suite has a private deck that adjoins the hillside, offering spectacular views of this flowering shrub as well as the water fall and koi pond below.

If you want to grow your own Syringa from some transplants, Blackfoot Native Plants Nursery and this link will help you get started!

*Deer hardy plantings and local nurseries:   sun screen install

Maintaining the house and grounds offer both Brady and me a change of scenery every single day.  The winter months involve quite a lot of driveway plowing which is one of Brady’s (and the dogs’) favorite activities.  He also loves any work that involves a mile-high view and a ladder.  At least it makes cleaning out the rain gutters and putting up new outdoor blinds interesting.  When our Godson or other family friends help out, it’s always fun to see how work starts to unfold into play!  Don’t get me wrong, there’s still a lot of sweat and “blood” that goes into creating new flower beds, pulling weeds and doing other odd jobs.  This year, in particular, we have re-done a lot of our flower beds and are trying to find deer hardy alternatives to some of the more tasty plants.  The work always seems worthwhile and truly enjoyable, especially when we treat ourselves afterward.  After a big day of work, we sometimes splurge by taking a couple of swings on the hammock, dipping our feet in the pond or enjoying some huckleberry iced tea- things usually reserved for our guests.plowing snow

Missoula has quite a few local nurseries that are really helpful when trying to find plants that are compatible with climate needs and personal tastes.  When looking for annuals, Caras, Earth and Wood, Marchies  and Ibey are always helpful.  Most of our perennials, along with our hanging pots, come from Benson’s Farms and Pink Grizzly which are part of the fun River Road Neighborhood.

While the summer involves planting and the winter plowing, spring and fall both involve a lot of ponderosa pine needle raking- one of my favorite activities.  It’s something that always calls for a hot dog roast if the weather cooperates and fire season is nowhere near.  If you’ve ever burned pine needles, it is actually quite mesmerizing.  The needles glow a beautiful red and then gradually disintegrate into nothingness.  The best part is that wonderful forest smell that allows me to “go camping” in my very own back yard!             

fire pit on deck

*Plan your Montana get-away:

No matter when you come to Blue Mountain Bed & Breakfast you are in for a treat.  Every season offers its own spectacular kind of beauty which both energizes and calms the mind, body and soul.  Whether you come for the winter skiing, a hike through the endless spring flowers, a summer float down a river, or an autumn ghost town tour, you will find beauty and fun wherever you go.  You are always welcome to call us for additional details (1-406-251-4457) or visit the Area Page on our website for a listing of Missoula events and activities.  There is nothing we enjoy more than helping people plan the perfect Missoula, Montana get-away no matter what time of year it may be!  You are welcome to follow us on Facebook where we post recipes as well as upcoming history, cultural and community events.  Come join us one way or another for a one of a kind Blue Mountain experience!     Fall wedding 2

 

Spring Getaway to Missoula

Do you need to treat yourself to a weekend getaway? Even if you don’t think so, I bet your partner does! If you don’t have any plans for the first weekend in March, why not come and visit Missoula? Stay in our charming bed and breakfast and enjoy the arts and culture on display during the First Friday in Missoula event, organized by the Arts Council here in town. March 1 is the First Friday for next month and here are some of the things we think look especially interesting:

Installation Artwork at Missoula Art Museum: Visit MAM for First Fridays from 5-8 pm. MAM is no stranger to installations, and neither is exhibiting artist Gary Horinek. Horinek is a farmer who’s work creates a bridge between agriculture and art via his creative installations. A deep-seated appreciation of the land and sustenance that the land provides is at the core of Horinek’s creative expressions.

Horinek piece entitled The Journey, from the artist's website

Horinek piece entitled The Journey, from the artist’s website

Join Horinek on a walk-through his exhibit at 7 p.m. to hear his stories. Always free. 335 N. Pattee St.

Monte Dolack Gallery: For First Friday, the Gallery will exhibit works from the Moonlight Rainbows series of paintings and lithographs. Music will be provided by Keith Hardin, refreshments will be served and everyone is welcome. 139 W Front St.

Book Reading & Signing: Author Keith McCafferty will be reading excerpts from his book, The Grey Ghost Murders. Signing to follow, 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Fact and Fiction bookstore at 220 N Higgins St. downtown.

Plan a Spring Getaway to Missoula

Even if you can’t join us for the First Friday in March, spring is a wonderful time to visit our area of Montana. Missoula is alive with activity, including such events as The International Food and Wildlife Film Festivals. Amid green valleys and mountain peaks capped with white, the birds begin nesting and wild flowers blanket the hills with color. Here at our Missoula bed and breakfast, we have excellent views of all of it! Located just outside of town, you can re-trace the footsteps of Lewis and Clark, Native People or other historical figures within the Rocky Mountain West, right from your window. Remember to dress in layers. Spring weather in Montana can be varied!

Spend Valentine’s Day in Missoula

mints smallStill looking for a perfect way to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your loved one? Why not come and visit our our scenic and secluded bed and breakfast, about 10 minutes outside of the heart of downtown Missoula. We still have  rooms available for Valentine’s Day weekend – Check out  Bitterroot Room  Rose room and the Sagebrush Suite.

The Bitterroot Room has beautiful views of the surrounding Ponderosa pines and the Bitterroot river. Enjoy a two person whirlpool tub and heated tile flooring inside the log-cabin style room.

The Sagebrush Suite also provides views of the beautiful Missoula Valley, including the city in the distance and of one the first ranches in this area. Private and comfortable, this room has a jetted whirlpool tub and two large leather recliners.

Valentine’s Day Events in Missoula

Valentine's Day Missoula

Enjoy a classic cocktail while listening to romantic jazz music on Valentine’s Day.

If you’re looking for something special to do with your sweetheart during your stay, here are a couple fun happenings in town.

Thursday, Feb. 14th

Artistic Date Night at Zootown Arts Community Center (5 – 7 p.m.) Come and paint a canvas with your sweetie! Think of this as a pre-dinner date. For $45 per couple, you receive two glasses of wine, chocolate-dipped strawberries and other finger foods.
Learn to draw and paint a portrait of each other, or have fun painting abstractly on your personal canvas a design all your own! If you have a design in mind they recommend you bring a photo.     235 North 1st St.

Live Jazz at Montgomery Distillery (6 p.m.) Surprise your partner with a timeless love song sung in their honor on this lover’s holiday. Enjoy a fine, hand-crafted cocktail and the skills of vocalist Laura Gabriele and pianist Keaton Wilson as they deliver an evening of beautiful love songs from 6-7:30 p.m. For information on how to dedicate a song, please visit the artist’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/laura.sings.jazz     129 W. Front St.

 

 

 

 

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