Our cover shot story: Windmill in the Montana sunset
Our cover images are the capstone of each issue, the photo introduction that grabs readers and pulls them in.
It’s a intricate process to pick just the right picture each issue. But once the right one comes across our screens, it’s an easy decision.
We’re honored to have Kurt Wilson’s image of a water pumping windmill for the July/Aug. 2015 issue. It’s an idyllic symbol of Montana’s homesteading era, is silhouetted against a summer sunset in Broadus.
But how did Wilson set himself up to get the shot? In a sentence, it’s about taking the time to experience Montana.
- See all the stories from the July/Aug. 2015 issue here
Wilson’s work has taken him down every paved road in Montana and across thousands of miles of dirt, gravel and gumbo.
He shot our cover image in the summer of 2014 while on a photographic project that took him to every corner of the state.
In celebration of the 150th anniversary of Montana becoming a territory, Missoulian photography editor Kurt Wilson followed the trail of Montana’s roadside historical markers throughout the state. Here is the complete collection of photographs he made during one-week trips through six regions of the state beginning in April and ending in October.
- See the entire Roadside Wanderings project here
Here’s where you can view and read more about our 2015 cover selections.
Montana mountains see snow in July
We’ve had a bit of a cold snap in Montana to start the week. That means temps in the low 60s (versus the low 90s) in most places.
But not at Big Sky Resort. The ski hill’s web cam showed a pretty healthy dose of snow falling on Lone Peak, as captured by the interactive Tram cam.
We shouldn’t be too surprised, right? You never know what the weather might bring in Big Sky Country.
But not to worry: Forecasts in most areas of the state say we’ll be back to regular temperatures by the end of the week.
Send us your weather pictures from across Montana. Send images to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s a link to some our recent top reader photos.
Top reader photos: Night skies of Montana
We’ve got a pretty great edition of our Top Reader Photos for you this week, as we celebrating the sights of Montana skies.
Take a look at these gorgeous nighttime shots from our readers. Talk about the Big Sky State, right?
Do you have Montana photos to share? Send them to email@example.com.
Wildfire closes Going-to-the-Sun
It’s wildfire season in Montana. And thanks to drought in many areas, it’s shaping up to be a bad one.
Most notably this week: A growing wildfire in Glacier National Park has closed most of Going-to-the-Sun Road.
That made a scary night for many visitors hoping to stay in the area. Mountain Pine Motel owner Terry Sherburne was booked up and wondering where all the misplaced travelers would stay.
“It’s pretty tough – there’s no place I know of in East Glacier that has rooms for tonight, and all those people at Rising Sun will need to go someplace.”
A friend of Sherburne’s who manages the Two Dog Flats Grill at Rising Sun “can’t get back to get her things,” he said, and will be spending the night on the only spare bed he has – a rollaway cot he’ll move into his living room.
“I’m sure if I had 30 more rooms I could rent them tonight,” Sherburne said.
Worse: Weather conditions for the rest of the week are worrisome.
You can find updates on the Reynolds Creek Fire at the Missoulian.com.
Until then, here’s more stories from our July/Aug issue.
Red Ants Pants Music Festival: By the numbers
They’re gearing up for a population spike White Sulphur Springs this weekend as Red Ants Pants Music Festival sets up camp there.
As we told you in our fabulous July/Aug 2015 feature about the festival, Red Ants Pants is quickly becoming one of the most popular summertime events under the Big Sky (last year Brandi Carlile headlined, this year it’s the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band during the festival that runs July 23-26).
Rising from the prairie near the base of the Castle Mountains, just past the small town of White Sulphur Springs, stacked bales of hay and livestock equipment fill much of the space along one of Montana’s trademark stretches of highway – until a miniature tent city appears each July.
But what does it take to put on a festival that welcomes close to 11,000 people to a town with 900 residents?
As you can see above from a few numbers the folks at Red Ants Pants dug up for us, there’s more than a little work that goes into it.
- Ticket and schedule information for Red Ants Pants 2015
Huge shout out to those footballers who filled those gopher holes!
Huckleberry picking tips: How to find Montana’s purple gold
We’ve been seeing a lot of evidence from our friends on all different kinds of social media sites that that sweet, special, berry-ific time of year is finally here: It’s huckleberry time.
Pictures and posting of the berries from successful pickers are all over the Internet. I found some along the side of the road while mountain biking near Little Whitefish Lake.
- What should you use the huckleberries for? Try these recipes
But where are the best places to find huckleberries? We’ve got a great guide courtesy of writer and photographer Aaron Theisen.
If there were a physical manifestation of summer in Montana, the huckleberry just might be it. And now is prime gathering time for the mystical fruit that seems to transfix Montana every August.
Botanists have identified at least seven species of huckleberry, a member of the blueberry family, in and around Western Montana, although most pickers prize the western huckleberry (Vaccinum membranaceum) above all others for its sweet, slightly tart flavor and large size.
Huckleberry pickers tend not to divulge their secret huckleberry picking locations, but knowing a few key criteria for huckleberry habitat will give even the most novice huckleberry scout a good chance at finding berries.
The shrubs are most often found in mid- to high-elevation coniferous forests with semi-open to open canopies; berries seem to be particularly prolific on shrubs in old burn areas in subalpine forests.
Areas near road cuts tend to get picked over quickly; a willingness to put in some trail miles can go a long way toward filling a bucket or water bottle.
And remember: humans are not the only huckleberry devotees. Huckleberries form a staple of the bear diet, and although most bears will avoid human contact when possible, a canister of bear spray makes a worthwhile addition to the picker’s backpack.
To read the entire story about huckleberry hunting, subscribe today!
Mountain Pine Motel and its lovely neighbors
The Mountain Pine Motel is a place where you can have huckleberry pie for breakfast and see the world’s largest purple spoon.
It’s a quintessential Montana spot, owned by the same family since it opened in 1947. Founding owner Doris Sherburne, 95, is still in charge. Writer Keila Szpaller and photographer Kurt Wilson introduced us to the motel in the our July/Aug issue.
Along with the story of Mountain Pine, Szpaller told us about the awesome neighbors the surround the motel, including the place that encourages patrons to have pie for breakfast and the see the world’s largest purple spoon.
The pie: AT LUNA’S RESTAURANT, ABOUT A BLOCK AWAY FROM THE HOTEL, THE MENU OFFERS HUCKLEBERRY PIE, AND IT’S LISTED AS A BREAKFAST STAPLE. IN CASE YOU WONDERED, A SLICE COSTS $5.50, AND IT’S “A PERFECTLY RESPECTABLE BREAKFAST!”
The spoon: ALSO JUST ACROSS THE STREET? THE WORLD’S LARGEST PURPLE SPOON. YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS IT. ACTUALLY, THE ENORMOUS UTENSIL WILL LEAD YOU TO THE SPIRAL SPOON, A SMALL SHOP WITH GREAT BEAUTY IN ITS HANDCRAFTED SPOONS.
Oh, and in case you’re still hungry, this: SURE, EAST GLACIER IS CLOSER TO CANADA THAN IT IS TO MEXICO, BUT FOR SOME DELICIOUS ENCHILADAS, BURRITOS, GUACAMOLE, AND OTHER MEXICAN FARE, HEAD TO SERRANO’S MEXICAN RESTAURANT, ACROSS THE RAILROAD TRACKS. BEVERAGE OF CHOICE? THE HOUSE MARGARITA, WITH SALT ON THE RIM.
Here’s hoping you can go explore East Glacier soon!
#TBT: Readers share their Pictured in History photos
It’s always fun to take a look back into Montana’s history through photos from the past.
Throwback Thursday gives us a good excuse to highlight a section inside each issue of Montana Magazine called Pictured in History, where photos from our readers’ archives are featured.
Below is the set we’ve run so far in 2015.
- Do you have historical photos you can share? Email the images, with a brief description and full information about anyone pictured, to firstname.lastname@example.org
Jan/Feb: “A Montana Man’s Catch”
March/April: “Celebration Preparation”
May/June 2015: “Smokejumping Roofers”
July/August 2015: “The Good Ol Days”