June 19, 2018
Normally, my blog posts are Monday, but this week my Monday was packed full. A dear friend and I were visiting another friend at Glendive, Montana, in middle Eastern Montana near the North Dakota border. After our visit, we spent time hiking in Makoshika Park, a beautiful state park full of badlands.
Makoshika has dinosaur remains and other fossils as well as very interesting formations in the badlands. This verdant spring of heavy rains has also encouraged all of the wildflowers to put on their best finery. We enjoyed everything from fields of sego lilies to prickly pear cactus in bloom with their lovely pinks and yellows to huge white yucca spikes.
I think there is a lesson in the loveliness of a place like Makoshika Park. Our Creator formed our world with much variety, and all of it is beautiful in its own way. I love the mountains of western Montana, but at times the impact of so many people changes the landscape and interferes with relaxation and appreciation of beauty. In our area of sparse population, we have time to be alone and to drink in untouched and unique places.
Some environmental groups put down ranchers because a small minority of ranchers overgraze and abuse the land. The truth is that good ranchers know that they are dependent year after year on the quality and condition of the grasses and other vegetation, and they have to respect it and take care of it in order to continue their livelihood.
My husband works for a large ranch, and he has had experiences like riding a horse onto a hill overlooking a game trail and seeing a mother badger with three baby badgers waddling along behind her down the trail. What an experience! The badgers live well in the protected areas of the ranch and help to keep down small rodents. Their homes depend upon people’s respect for the land.
This is our Father’s world – and we are an important part of it. As with so many things, it just depends on our faith and our respect for all creation.