Monday, August 08, 2005


Long shadows over dry hills

I'm here at my home in western Montana. The hills are tawny and dry here right now. Some days after this photo was taken, the sky turned dark with smoke from forest fires.

Behind the mountain in the foreground lies Hellgate Canyon, where the Blackfeet waited to ambush the Salish Indians as the Salish began their annual trip to the plains to hunt buffalo. Though the contours of the land remain ageless, Hellgate Canyon is today choked with condos and plastic places. The population pressure in my beloved and majestic but fragile home state grows more intense every year.

isn't it great living in a place where we can actually experience those super-long shadows uninterrupted by buildings, power lines, up-close-trees? As I wrote on your flickr page for this photo - I love this image. It is so SO Montanaish.
Thank you Maureen...yes, it's a great privilege to be in unspoiled country like this. However, if I stayed rooted to the spot and turned the camera in the opposite direction from this scene, I would be photographing a new development creeping up the mountain like a fungus on the other side of my cousin's ranch. I struggle with my attitudes about this, because my great-great-grandfather homesteaded here and all my forebears put their footprint here. The new arrivals have just as much right to be here as did they. I would just like to see some more enlightened policies about land use planning and regulation of the extractive industries.
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