Letter from the Editor: Waiting for Summer

When you live in the Northern Rockies, waiting for summer is like starting a new romance. Fickle, teasing, unpredictable. The anticipation. The drama. The thrill of the unexpected. It’s all in the turn of the season from spring to summer.

At first things start off slow. The snow melts. The rivers swell. A flash of bluebird wing is a tease of what’s to come. You know it will be good when emotions blossom and the season unfurls, but day-by-day in the Rockies summer is a fickle lover.

Here, even the weather report is like a love letter. A promise of clear skies and sun one day is like a flirtatious smile. Flurries tomorrow send mixed messages. Rain all week, then unseasonably warm temperatures leave us frustrated. Time stretches out as dark mornings gradually tick toward later sunsets, bringing hope for fruition. The wind blows warm and sweet and sure. Storms roll in unexpectedly and leave just as swiftly. Like the tumult of dating, it can leave your head in a spin.

Until one day the blue sky opens up, flowers pop, the days are in full swing. And you know: This is summer. Like love, it’s unmistakable.

This issue is packed with all the things that make us love this place. Think of annual rites of passage that mark the season: Morel hunting and camping in the great silence of the Montana prairie or floating the iconic rivers (“Where the Yellowstone Goes”). We visit secret fishing spots with writers Julie Lue and Greg Thomas, find living history in Montana barns (photo essay) and the reaches of inspiration in the wildlife paintings of Mary Roberson. Summer in this part of the world is about getting outside to enjoy this fleeting season, so glorious that it makes us forget there is any other time of year.

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