A touch of beauty

A touch of beauty June 2, 2010

I’m still working through Bhikkhu Bodhi’s excellent series on the Majjhima Nikāya, so we’ll have more from there soon. But for now a little visual meditative pause. 

It has become a popular pastime around Montana to complain about the rain, and then to note that it’s good for staving off the coming wildfires. This happens every spring in Montana. We get a week, or perhaps just a few days of sunny weather in the upper 60s or warmer and then reality sets back in. It’s Montana. And it’s spring, not summer just yet. We get days that only get up to 45 degrees or so, and rain, rain, rain. Now it’s not the kind of rain some of you might be used to (most of Montana is officially arid –less than 11 inches of rainfall per year– or semi-arid –11 to 17 inches per year). 

This year we’ve had more than our share of worry over wildfires (pine-beetle kill is painfully evident in almost all forests), and what seems like more than our share of miserably cloudy, rainy days. But, just as the cliché about all clouds having a silver lining goes, the rain and cool weather have their blessings. Along with wildfire prevention, the cool moisture draws out a diversity of plant and animal life that otherwise lies dormant. Parts of my back yard begin to resemble a rain forest, the mountain tops become colorful carpets of fragile wildflowers, and the air is filled with the scent of lilacs and other fragrant domesticated trees, shrubs, and bulbs.

Here are just a few photos of this year’s spring in Montana. The first two are flowering crab-apple tree blossoms. The second two are poppy blossoms. As always, just click on an image for a larger version.

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