Back 40: Highway 89 North


Artist of the West: The Ties That Bind

Diana Tremaine’s paintings move from figurative to Abstract Expressionism

Photo by David Marx

Editor’s Letter: The Passing Season

From the desk of Seabring Davis

Written by Seabring Davis  

Seabring Davis

Other Contributions

Timeless Fusion Mountain Tradition A Modern Vision Summer Camp Perfect Harmony Winter Getaway: Red Lodge, Montana Beyond the Cabin A Fine Balance Good Country Authentically Western A Home for the Ages Where the Living is Easy Music in the Mountains The Flight of the Hummingbird Living the Dream Integrating Nature Mountain Exposure Eclectic Parkitecture Uniting Color Historic Symmetry The Year Of The Horse A Yellowstone Club Retreat Hearth and Soul Building a Timeless Legacy An Uncommon Cabin in the Woods Letter from the Editor: I Know Where the Fish Are Letter from the Editor: Big Sky Country Letter from the Editor: Forging Ahead Dining Out: Barn Dance Letter from the Editor: Like an Open Road Letter from the Editor: The Language of Fishing Letter from the Editor: Cast Again Editor’s Letter: The Passing Season Dining Out: Saffron Table Dining Out: Lone Mountain Ranch Serves Up a Sense of Place Western Design: Uniquely Rustic Western Design: JLF & Associates Letter from the Editor: Season of Possibility Dining Out: A Montana Tradition, Chico Hot Springs Letter from the Editor: Design Trends Dining Out: The Ranch at Rock Creek Redefines Montana Cuisine Dining Out: Seasonal Bliss Western Design: Refined Rustic Letter from the Editor: Winter Wave Letter from the Editor: Blending Seasons Western Design: A New Mountain Lodge Western Design: Historic Haven Western Design: In the Studio with the Viers Western Focus: Classic Connection: Miller Architects Western Design: Reviving the Barn From the Editor: Seasons of Simplicity Dining Out: Innovation Meets Tradition at Bisl Letter from the Editor: What is art? Dining Out: Holland Lake Lodge, Rustic Wonderful Letter from the Editor: The Secret Weapon Letter from the Editor: Fly Fishing for the Greater Good Western Design: Mountain Zen Western Design: Creekside Contemporary Living Big Sky on HGTV The Spirit of the West in Jackson, Wyoming Letter from the Editor: First Snow Dining Out: The Old Hotel Letter from the Editor: Signs of Summer Letter from the Editor: The Angler’s Sojourn Dining Out: Simply Good Food From the Editor: Hit the Road Making a Statement: Miller Architects Letter from the Editor: Winter’s Toll Letter from the Editor: Evolving Home Dining Out: Comfort Food Western Design: Cowboy Modern Western Design: The Idaho Club Letter from the Editor: Talking Art Dining Out: Conserving Montana One Table at a Time Dining Out: Cosmopolitan Cuisine at TEN Dining Out: Ranch to Restaurant Letter from the Editor: Waiting for Summer Letter from the Editor: Arts Economy Letter from the Editor: First Frost Letter from the Editor: Why Art? Letter from the Editor: Up Close and Personal Letter from the Editor: A Tradition of Talent Letter from the Editor: Winter Reflection Dining Out: The Taste of Whitefish Letter from the Editor: How Big is Your Bucket Letter from the Editor: Falling Short Western Design: Rustic Allure Dining Out: Fish Food Western Design: In the Studio with Painter Hugh Wilson Western Design: Home Base From the Editor Dining Out: Tradition, with a Twist Letter from the Editor: Staying Power
October 2015

Living in the Northern Rockies for more than half my life, I’ve noted that there is more to the seasons than simply spring, summer, autumn and winter. Times of year aren’t solely marked by equinoxes or solstices. There’s mud season. Wedding season (when five different people you know all decide to get married in August). Hunting season and ski season (both of which could hypothetically last for nine months, depending on what you hunt and how dedicated you are to finding skiable snow). And, sadly, there’s fire season.

As I write this, the Associated Press reported that 2015 has been Montana’s second largest fire season in the last decade. Drought, climate change, lightening and other factors contributed to burns on more than 522 square miles across Montana, including fires in Glacier and Yellowstone national parks.

During August smoke from bigger fires in Idaho, Washington, Wyoming and even as far as California clogged the skies. Normal views of mountains from our towns were blotted out. The sunsets were grand, I’ll concede to that, but for the most part air quality prevented many of us from getting outside to enjoy this place where we live. Over a couple weeks, folks commented: “It is depressing. … It feels like Armageddon. … It seems like the whole state is on fire!”

And then, overnight, a hard rain calms everything: the flames, the hyperbole, the smoke-filled skies. One inch of rain, a dusting of snow in the mountains and fire season shifts officially to autumn. Now, the ash and cottonwood trees are tipped with yellow, the underbrush in the forests is spilling with red and orange, the rivers are fields of cobblestones. We are left with relief that it isn’t the end of the world, only the end of a season, of a natural cycle that effects each of us.

That idea of nature touching our lives runs strong in this issue. Delve into environmental writer Todd Wilkinson’s overview of wolf reintroduction, “Trying to Balance Wolves,” or go with the flow of Jeff Erickson’s fly fishing “Ode to Limestone,” and see how the natural world reaches us in ways you’d never imagine. For ultra athlete Nikki Kimball, trails have been a place to combat depression and to reach her greatest achievements. These articles explore the facets of wild places and serve as reminders that we are all part of something bigger than the passing season.