2011 is quickly winding to a close, and it has been quite a year. In many parts of our country, and even around the world, we have experienced unusual weather. From record drought and heat, record floods, wildfires and tornadoes most of the nation has been affected by some type of unusual event directly related to weather.
After spending the winter in Arizona Dee and I spent the summer in Montana. After nearly 40 years Montana is my home. I have lived there, in the same house and in the same town longer than I have lived anywhere else in my 68+ years. Now, whenever I go away I soon get a longing to be back home, home in Montana. This was the place that my late wife and I raised our daughter, spent our working years, made friends and put down roots. Perhaps John Denver said it best when he sang; "Sometimes this old farm seems like a long lost friend, hey it's good to be back home again." Although it's not a farm it's always good to be back home again.
These days my summers are spent tending the gardens, taking naps, and doing a bit of fishing on the nearby spring creeks and occasionally on the Yellowstone River or on the waters of Yellowstone Park. What a blessing to live within a matter of minutes of some of the premier trout waters in the lower 48 states.
It was a good summer in Montana. The winter of 2010/2011 was marked by a record snowpack in the surrounding mountains and in the headwaters of the Yellowstone River in Yellowstone National Park. While this caused most of our major rivers to be high and mostly unfishable until in late July everything was green until early September. In Montana that's a rare treat since normally everything begins to turn brown by late July or early August, but the winter's snows and the rainy weather in May and June kept everything green. Green is not only pretty to look at it means that things are less likely to burn so we had very few big fires this summer. What a blessing that was for everyone.
While most of the waters were too high I spent my fishing time on the local spring creeks. I generally try to slip out for a couple hours in the evening and I had some great evenings on the creeks this summer even though I did not catch any really memorable fish. Many of the evenings I fished with my nephew and it's always fun to spend time fishing with him.
There were a few days of fishing in Yellowstone National Park. This was the year of the grizzly, and marked the first time in over 40 years of fishing in Yellowstone that I had been driven off a stream by a grizzly bear. I presume that his favorite fly is the Grizzly Wulff!
I did spend a few hours in a float tube and I even caught a few fish.
And I made many warm memories with my nephew, Tom.
In the middle of October we loaded up the cats and the canary and made our annual fall migration to Arizona. Before we left home we were blessed with some of God's wonderful sunset paintings.
As we headed south we encountered the first snows of winter on the top of the San Francisco Peaks just outside of Flagstaff, Arizona. The lower slopes of the mountains from Montana to Arizona were painted with reds and yellows in one of the most beautiful displays of fall colors that I have seen in many years.
Now, for the winter, we are back among the Saguaros, prickly pears, mesquites, and palo verdes. Truly we are blessed. We pray that all our readers take time to count their blessings, and give thanks to the One that proves new ones every day.