An ode to 
Mother Nature.

My first Montana hike was up Blodgett Canyon in Hamilton last May with my boyfriend. The sun was warm against our backs and the air was still cool. We were transplants, new to the sweeping views and big, see-into-forever skies. If a bear came trudging down the path we wouldn’t have known it. Our noses were pointed to the bluest heavens above or to the cascading views below our climb.

It was as if we had stumbled upon spring’s red carpet. Arrowleaf balsamroot, Oregon grape, Indian paintbrush, shooting stars—they were all there, glowing and proud. Our dog was pulled over up ahead, two front legs in a narrow stream, water dripping from his bottom lip, unleashed.

Two weeks later we were sitting deep in our saddles as our horses followed the dirt trail at Larry Loop in Stevensville. We’d gone white water rafting, tubing, and browsing at the Clark Fork Farmer’s Market in the months that followed, tasting summer like we never had before, sipping on lemonade swirled with local honey.

When we bought our first home that autumn, we hung cuttings of our English lavender above the kitchen sink alongside dried basil. Our neighbor gave us tomatoes and kale to complete our farm-to-table dinner that same evening.

This month’s issue is brimming with thanks to our Mother Nature. Whether it is the barley to our whisky, roses to our plates, or the upward stroke in the drawing of a glacier lily, we are—and always have been—in awe of Her. Perhaps Mary Oliver, a favorite poet of mine, says it best in a poem titled, “Bazougey”:

 Come with me into the woods where spring is

advancing, as it does, no matter what,

not being singular or particular, but one

of the forever gifts, and certainly visible.

As I write this, an ode to Mother Nature, I am also thinking of my own mother and am amazed at the forever gift she gave me. It wasn’t planned to coincide but how seemingly apropos that we celebrate our mothers and Mother Nature this May. Happy Mother’s Day, and I hope to see you on the trails, among the wildflowers.

Chelsea Lyn Drake, Assistant Editor