I have about two more days of deadlining before I can get back to serious posting. In the meantime, here are some pix from the Montana ranch where L. and I stayed over the weekend.
Here’s our cabin:
The cabin featured solar power, a composting toilet, a claw-foot bathtub, on-demand hot water, and despite the satellite dishes, a blessed absence of all electronic media.
It was a short walk from our hosts’ house, but our nearest neighbors weren’t human. This is Ben, a rescued Belgian draft horse, and one of his buddies.
In the same pasture were Highland cattle. They’re a hardy breed that can endure a brutal climate. Because they keep warm with their heavy, almost bison-like coats, they produce lean meat, closer to game than to grocery-store beef.
Here’s the father of the late (but absolutely not lamented) steer who now occupies several freezers, including L’s and mine.
Despite their fierce looks and long horns, Highlands are known for being gentle. One morning the family’s two teenage girls (who are responsible for the livestock) took us into the pasture. We were surrounded by horses, cows, calves, steers, and Papa Bull, many of the animals crowding in for attention, others just watching while hanging back cautiously, but nobody (including Papa there) minding the intruders. I was more concerned about where Ben might accidentally put his dinner-plate hooves than what Papa Bull might do.
The ranch was beautiful and serene. In the mornings we went outside with cups of tea or chocolate and watched deer watch us then calmly return to their browsing.
Our hosts were great people — and what amazingly nice, mature children. It was good to be back in rural Montana, even though it was even better to arrive back home Monday night.
Thanks, L, for the use of your photographs.