Web site of Scott McMillion - Journalist, author of Mark of the Grizzly, senior editor of Montana Quarterly

Posts Tagged ‘prairie’

“Keeping the Grass in Grasslands”

By Scott McMillion
Montana Outdoors magazine
July–August, 2010

How Montanans are conserving the state’s remaining native prairie.

“Land Snorkeling with Clyde Aspevig”

By Scott McMillion
Montana Quarterly
Fall, 2009

       Go outside. Walk Slowly. Pay attention. Listen. Smell the air. Taste it. Look at the soil and see how it responds to your step. Notice which grasses shine brightest in the morning dew. Compare birds, the differences in wing and shape and flight pattern. Maybe kick over a rock, see what’s under there.
       This is land snorkeling. Doing it could take you almost anywhere, even if you never leave your own neighborhood.
       Think of it like snorkeling a reef. You drift over mysterious turf. You keep your head down, mostly. Everything is cool, so you look it all over, and you wonder. You come back smiling.

“A Friendly Harvest”

By Scott McMillion

Montana Quarterly

Winter, 2008

Out on the prairie between Malta and Saco, halfway between the Missouri River and the Canadian border, out where the hot water bubbles from the ground, a man and his preacher bent over a horseshoe pit and had a discussion.

The preacher maintained his shoe had fallen close enough to the pin to score a point. His opponent disagreed, but only briefly.

“Okay,” he conceded. “We’ll go with the Lord on that one.

Then they both grinned.

And the horseshoes sailed.

“Fair Game”

By Scott McMillion

Big Sky Journal

Fall, 2007

For me, October is the squinting season, a time to throw my eyes as far as I can, to find little white speckles on a vast sagebrush plain, track them down and make meat of them.

In the process, I’ll become mudded and blooded, dehydrated, scraped up, and wind chapped. It’s something I look forward to every year, right up there with Christmas and the first raft trip of the summer.

“An Uncommon Prairie Occurrence”

By Scott McMillion

Montana Quarterly

Summer 2005.

The prairie out here eats optimists. Surivors in this climate have learned to hunker down, expect the worst and live like a prickly pear: close to the ground, where you can save your juices. Thorns have a purpose.

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