An Evening on the Porch

Abundant rain has fallen in May and June. We received close to an inch in one storm Wednesday evening, the very day we cut the first dryland sainfoin field. On the bright side, it was also just a couple of days after we seeded a new field, which greedily sucked up the moisture. The hay will dry in time.

IMG_3058 Across the coulee from the cabin the yuccas are in bloom. Over two-dozen stalks of cream-colored blossoms tower above punishing, sharp leaves. I saw the first sego lily of the year today (above). Each spring the wildflowers return like long lost friends. I recognize their colors, curves, and petal counts. Yet often their names elude my memory’s grasp. Penstemmon and pea, larkspur and lily, bluebells and buttercups. I reacquaint myself with them, if only for a few short weeks each year. New beauties surrounded us up in the Snowy Mountains while moving cows on Monday; Shooting stars, yellowbells, and my favorite (if I dare to pick one), the whispy pink prairie smoke (below).


Above me a nighthawk forages for insects, calling out repeatedly in a nasally buzz. Then silence as it makes a nosedive toward the earth, its fall punctuated by the “hooov” of its wings as it levels out at the bottom of the dive. A fascinating act to watch! There have been several yellow-headed blackbirds in the barnyard this year, mixed in with the usual red-winged blackbirds and cowbirds. Now the urgent cry of the killdeer as it wings its way north toward the beaver pond.

Ack! A mosquito on my arm! Perhaps only the second or third I’ve seen this year. June has been unseasonably, unbearably hot; in the nineties every day for the past week. It’s nine at night, the sun is just now setting, and it’s still in the mid-80s! My-oh-my, what hot misery might August bring?

And now for the fun part: Introducing our new puppy, Maverick. He sure sleeps in some interesting poses. My favorite is when he curled on on Bart’s pants. Just making sure the boss doesn’t get dressed and out the door without him!



Published by Heather Bilden

I live in Montana with my husband Bart. I enjoy working in the garden, taking care of the animals, and exploring the prairie with my dogs, my binoculars, and a reverence for the natural world.

One thought on “An Evening on the Porch

  1. Beautiful description of the flowers and birds on a summer’s evening. I felt like I was there with you and Maverick at my feet.


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