My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Friday, April 20, 2012

Springtime walkabout in my new 'hood

Happy Friday!

Great progress continues to be made on our new house (they're already framing the second story), despite this week's unsettled weather. But I haven't had a chance to get by there to take photos yet so instead of house construction pictures, today I offer you some recent photos I took up the street from our new rental digs. The street is named Absaraka (in Montana it's spelled "Absaroka"), which people here pronounce "Ab-SAR-ka" or "Ab-SOR-ka." It's the Crow Tribe's name for their people in their own language, and means "Bird People," or "People of the Big Beaked Bird." (For much more about the name and its various pronunciations - it gets complicated! - click here).

Absaraka Street dead-ends less than a mile from our house and exploring it has been tempting since we moved here. But it's usually such a busy street that I've avoided it. It was pretty quiet on Wednesday, though, so I walked the dogs to the end of it and saw so many great photo ops I've returned a couple of times with my bike and camera. Enjoy!

Beautiful daffodils with the afternoon sun shining through their petals...

(For a superb daffodil fix, visit my friend Sue's beautiful photos 
of a joyful abundance of them in southern Maine!)

A cheerful, whimsically painted mailbox...

This property belongs to a wealthy heiress who for years has devoted much of her time, money and property to wildlife rescue, refuge and rehabilitation. Yay!...

And this adorable sign was on the driveway gate of one of her neighbors just up and across the road...

I love it, and wish we'd had one at our place in Big Horn! 
I think they had this one custom made 
since I've searched the internet for it with no success.

Here are some of the views I get to enjoy on this walk...

That little pond had attracted a lot of Red-winged Blackbirds, who were singing their hearts out! I love their trilling variety of calls and songs...

Did you notice the plane in the above photo? That land belongs to our local airport, whose terminal and runway are some distance from here. I found it a bit strange that this lone, decommissioned plane is out there all by itself - literally put out to pasture! Made for some interesting photos, though...

This is Bentley, who lives at a lovely place at the end of the street and guards it well. (Except when he's getting his butt scratched through the fence. Then he abandons his guard dog duties to close his eyes and revel in the ecstasy!) ;-) ....

And these are the views that reward anyone who reaches the end of Absaraka Street (or who, like Bentley, get to live there!)... 

Thanks for sharing my springtime walkabout, and....



  1. I think I'd kiss the fence of the wildlife lady's yard..then Bentley.
    Jane x

  2. Looks like a charming neighborhood! Your heiress neighbor sounds cool. I really want to learn some wildlife rehab skills.

    I love the views from the end of the road, and of course Bentley is a total cutie pie!

    You have a relaxing weekend too Laurie!

  3. Very cool neighborhood! And...the pups will love getting to know Bentley. That mountain backdrop is the best. Heck, the crew will probably have the roof on by the end of the day! I think you've made a great choice. Hang in there. xoxo

  4. Oooh and Aaaah. Your neighbourhood is very special indeed. Thank you.

  5. What beautiful countryside photos. I enjoyed every part of your walk -- barbara

  6. Jane ~ Well, don't get splinters - and you might want to kiss Bentley first, since he and his people are in the process of moving away! :-(

    Rose ~ The part where I took the photos does seem very charming - and lovely and quiet. The part I have to walk through to get there, however... ugh. So I walk fast through there, and tarry in the pretty part. :-)

    You'd like Lee, the woman who does the wildlife rehab. Her place is beautifully landscaped with a little waterfall, and several years ago she used to hire 2 electricians from Oct to Dec to put up elaborate Christmas lights all over her large property. It was really something! I guess it got too congested with traffic when everyone would drive out to see it, and she stopped doing it a few years ago, but it was really gorgeous back in the day. I hadn't been back in there since Christmas 1999!

    Spud ~ The pups had one chance to get to know Bentley, but didn't think much of it. He was barking at them, and they are usually very aloof toward dogs who bark at them! I love that mountain view from there, too.

    Have yet to go see our new house yet, will probably do that tomorrow. Can't wait! I think we made a good choice too.

    Ellie C ~ It's got some nice qualities (it's a lot quieter than our last location, that's for sure!), and I do love that area at the end of Absaraka!

    Barbara ~ I'm glad you did, and enjoyed your coming along! :-)

  7. Excellent, thanks for the neighborhood doesn't measure up in comparison. :-)

  8. veganelder ~ Thanks and you're welcome! :-) I'm sure your neighborhood is every bit as wonderful. YOU live in it, after all! :-) xoxo

  9. Aw, Bentley, such a cutie!

    When you post views like that, I always feel them pulling on my heart. So gorgeous!

  10. What lovely views! David would like them even more with the plane in them... strange bloke.

    I love those signs! Maybe I could get one saying 'Beware of the Charlie...'.

    That mailbox is so pretty... mailboxes are so much more interesting than our letter boxes. And Bentley has a really cute haircut :O)

  11. Molly ~ I know, he was funny too - would NOT look right at me while I was taking his photo (but would after I'd taken the camera away from my face!) Apparently he prefers his portrait in profile. :-)

    I don't know how views like that could fail to pull on anyone's heart, and I'm glad you appreciate them as much as I do!

    Barbara (UK) ~ I thought of him when I took those!!

    You could also get a custom sign made that says, "Quiet Please: Drama in the Garden rehearsals underway!" (I wonder if all that would fit?) :-)

    Sadly, mailboxes are becoming a thing of the past, as more and more neighborhoods go with these deadly dull "neighborhood mailboxes". One of the things I was looking forward to about moving to town, after 22 years of having post office boxes, was to have my own mailbox in front of my house that I could imbue with charm and personality. But Dragonfly Cottage got assigned a Neighborhood Mailbox shortly after we moved in and our new house will have a box in one too. (This current rental has its own mailbox, but it's old and shoddy and too temporary for us to mess with). I know it makes it easier for the mail carrier, but I hate their boring communist sameness and miss seeing more of the funny, the whimsical, the pretty and yes - even the tacky - individual mailboxes. (Here's one for David!)

    And if that didn't give you your fill of unusual American mailboxes, take a gander at these! (I love the bicyclist, seahorse and hand!) :-)

  12. Barbara (UK) ~ SIGH. I knew that posting all those links wouldn't be without a glitch! And am I the only one on Blogger who has been having problems previewing my comments? My avatar overlays it and the comment is spread across my entire screen and then some! I usually skip previewing because of it, and only catch the booboos afterward. Anyway, for some reason the link to my "tacky" example and the collection of weird mailboxes in my last line did not work, so let's try that again, shall we?

  13. You are doing yourself a favor by not posting your house photos yet. It's allowed me the opportunity to get to this post!

    I love your street and it's too bad that it's so busy you can't enjoy it more often. I'm sure Bentley wishes you could enjoy it more often too. I especially like the view at the end. I bet it's twice as pretty later in the spring when it's greened up.

    In the first photo with the plane, I actually thought it was in the air flying so it wasn't until you remarked that it had been put out to pasture that I realized that it was on the ground. I did think it was coming in for a landing pretty low!! :-)

  14. LOL! Those mail boxes are brilliant, love the giraffe, it's just hilarious :O) We obviously make our postmen and women work a lot harder for their money having to go right up to the front door of each house and risk being attacked by frenzied cats and vicious dogs!

  15. Jo ~ Well, you've certainly been living up to your commenting handle lately, gallivanting off to New Zealand, New Orleans and now Sauder Village! Good thing the house construction has mostly kept me too busy to blog about the house construction (lol), but I do intend for my next post to be another update. So hopefully you'll finally sit still for a week or two!

    I wish the street weren't so busy too, especially since it doesn't have a lick of sidewalk. I'm afraid Bentley and his people have moved, and I haven't been over there since the new people moved in, so I don't know yet if there's a new dog there, and if so if s/he's as friendly as Bentley. Maybe we'll walk over there this weekend and find out.

    You didn't think it looked greened up around here in these photos? It must REALLY be green in Michigan, then! This IS green for us, especially at this time of year! (I've had to mow several times already, so it's certainly green enough for me!) ;-)

    I didn't notice until you pointed it out that the plane DOES look like it's about to land! I guess because it was obvious seeing it in person that it was parked, my eyes never saw it as being in motion. But now they do! Funny!

    Barbara (UK) ~ I'm glad you enjoyed them! I wish I could get my mail delivered to my door. The door on our mailbox was hanging wide open when I went to check it on Wednesday, and on a rainy day earlier this week, the mail was damp (the red flag is missing, so I guess the rain came in the screw holes where the flag used to be). Oh well, at least they're still delivering the mail - for all their insolvency, I should be grateful to get even damp, exposed mail delivered curbside!


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  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman

There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"

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