Brother Dear is our guest blogger today.

As Courtney beautifully explained, yesterday was Howard’s birthday.   I usually try to make September 19th a day of celebration.  Granted it is  generally a pretty melancholy celebration, but I like to do something outdoors, up high, where I and so many others feel closest to him.  Darling Summer Help 2011, Howard’s good friend Chase, and I set out on the 18th to climb Napi Point for Howard, where perhaps the most iconic photo of my brother was taken just as the sun set over the Canadian Rockies.  We got pounded by a cold rain and very limited visibility, and decided turn back in hopes of better weather and steadier footing on Monday, despite Chase’s imminent departure that same day.  Unfortunately, Howard’s 27th birthday brought fog, a thunder-and-lightning storm, a snow storm….and finally blue skies just -I imagine- as Chase was making the final leg of his trip towards Missoula. When the sun finally emerged, the mountains looked incredible, bigger than ever, and of course covered in snow.  This is the next day, when a thousand or so feet of white dust had already melted off.

Sorry, I neglected to get a photo mid-snow, gotta see it for yourself!  Anyways, yesterday’s snow and this morning’s extremely hard frost (a good quarter inch of ice in the wheelbarrow outside the pumphouse) reminded me that perhaps the Glacier County growing season has reached its end.  So after spending the day clearing fence lines and fixing the woodshed (it is AMAZING what a forklift can prop up to be braced!)  I grabbed a homebrew and decided to work on the almost-final Hillhouse harvest of 2011.

I know.  You southern folks are probably laughing.   But you know what?  It just SNOWED here, so I’m gonna take what I can get.  The photo shows rhubarb, potatoes, tomatoes, shallots, onions, and chard.  We’ve still got  some greens and a row of potatoes (surprisingly unscathed by the frost) in the ground and warm temps and sunshine in line for the next  week!

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This was a pretty crazy season for gardening, what with Maggie Rose’s arrival and some other wild happenings, but it never seems to be “normal” here or anywhere, does it?  Next year we’ll get it all figured out and  maybe my corn will grow over 30 inches high, my hops will flourish, and Courtney and  Honeydew will put on a broccoli-growing clinic!

It may be the end of the one season, but it’s just the start of another one.  Best of luck to the boys in hunting camp.

2011.  Glacier County Honey Co.  All Rights Reserved.

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