New Prairie Woman
Susie Rosso Wolf
It's the last day of April and wouldn't you know the weather is typically Montana with a dreary cold morning of thirty-nine degrees and a chilling breeze coming down from the snow covered mountains. I was hoping to rise to sunshine peeking through my bedroom curtains, but alas, no such luck today while Montana has the last laugh and I patiently wait to plant my seeds and starts of lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, peppers, tomatoes and much much more. One of my favorite quotes from Ernest Hemingway is, "Now is no time to think of what you do not have. Think of what you can do with what there is." So, having said that, I shall attempt to think of what there is to do out there on our little lot of dreams, as I eagerly await the day of warm sunshine to arrive so that I can play in the cow poop and plant our food for the fall/winter harvest. Perhaps I have time to fire up the tractor to move some dirt that is uneven where I want to build a walk-way next to the back side of the house. But I didn't have much time to hang at home yesterday, so I opted to put what could be done on hold for another day.
On my way to the Bozeman-Yellowstone Airport, to fetch Kurt from his flight back home, I was driving over the first bridge out on Old Town Road when suddenly out of my left eye I noticed something moving very quickly down near the planks of wood I was driving over, right next to the end of the bridge where I first drove onto the planks. There is pasture land with tall green weeds and grasses that grow up and around the planks of wood right there at the bridge's entrance. When I looked down to see what the flash of movement could be, there was a strange little face peeking up from the grasses and then suddenly the strange little face popped up in front of Zippy and ran right in front of me so I hit the brakes and threw it in park. Less than a moment later another strange little face appeared and popped up from the grasses again crossing right in front of Zippy. Two huge wild turkeys, then three, four, five, six...Come on people, I yelled at the long necked creatures with their brilliant black and red feathers and their gobble gobble gluck gluck necks! Come on! I have things to do and can't be late to the airport! God almighty, couldn't you have waited for another truck to pick on today? As I yelled at the fascinating creatures that were hogging the tracks of the bridge I laughed at myself for talking to turkeys. How absurd, I thought to myself. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I'd be held up by a flock of butter butt turkeys as though I'm waiting for a train. Life in Montana always seems to throw me the unexpected. Ain't that the truth? I asked myself. I never know what to expect from Montana. Eventually all thirty or so turkeys trotted across the wooden planks of the first out bridge and many of them lifted up and flew from the middle of the bridge to the edge and then down into the marshland just under and to the right side of the bridge. I felt honored to witness their flight. Their gorgeous long feathers shimmered and sparkled with color you can't imagine but must see for yourself to believe the beauty. As the last wild turkey trotted and then lifted to flight before my eyes, I was deeply filled with the exhilaration of Montana and the many gifts that it provides to me on a daily basis.
I continued to drive over the first bridge out, finally heading to my destination, only to be startled by an enormous Bald Eagle flying ever so close to Zippy's windshield providing me a private view of its underbelly detailed with the long fat body head and beak, and spread of his wings that was absolutely breathtaking as I glued my eyes to the remarkable talons curled and latched onto a big fat wiggling bass. It happened in an instant but felt as though it was in slow motion while I scolded myself for not having my camera with me yesterday. I watched the Bald Eagle fly right past me heading out towards the Headwaters and finally he landed just across from the second bridge out in the pastureland where he could touch down and eat his lunch in peace. From there I crossed the second bridge out and up the little hill to the stop sign on Frontage and Old Town Road. I turned left onto Frontage rather turning right towards the Freeway, I wanted to drive through the country to capture more of this "Last Best Place." I cried several times as I drove into Bozeman while passing farms and ranches and rivers galore, the magnificence causing me to realize how much I have changed since I moved here in 2006. How much I have achieved and have been able to accomplish. There is something special about this place. There is an energy here that fills you with hope and possibilities. Taking in a deep breath of contentment, I drove through the tiny town of Manhattan at a snails speed, with adoration for the country life and freedom that this land gives to me.
Kurt's flight landed safely and he had no trouble spotting Zippy at the loading and unloading area outside the doors of the arrivals area of Bozeman-Yellowstone Airport. We had a quiet ride back to Three Forks and ten minutes after he had a plate full of bacon, four scrambled eggs with cheese and chopped onions, two slices of toast and a large glass of milk, he went right to sleep on the sofa. I left him there to rest but he got up and went to bed for several hours, unable to fight the fatigue from three hours sleep in the last two days! I walked the pasture with the dogs and went up to my prayer post. We spent a long time outside to let Kurt rest. It's nice to have him home.
More to come...stay tuned in!
Susie Rosso Wolf