Liquid Moon


There’s water up there. That is what I think about these days when I look up in the sky on our night walks as the moon waxes towards full.   The recent discovery of water on the moon has some scientists very animated and the scuttle is that this is one of the most exciting finds for a long while.  The implications are far-reaching.  Not only is there some water on the moon but a”significant amount”. Read about it all here.

“…members of the NASA team concluded that they had found unmistakable signs of water — 220 pounds of it, the equivalent of about 26 gallons had it been in liquid form.”

I do think this is very cool from a purely scientific view, but I am concerned that we’ll start messing things up on the moon just like we have here on earth, with some variations on a theme since the moon does not have an atmosphere.  We humans obviously don’t have a very good track record.  There is enough space junk out there spinning around in orbit to prove this point. What an epic mess.  Most of this orbiting trash – no one really knows exactly from which countries all the satellites originate.  Now we have to send up satellites to spy on other satellites.  It seems rather like the Who’s Who of satellite intelligence. At least these do have a limited life span.

And so, whose territory is the moon anyway?  We are not exactly a unified earth yet.  Who gets to start digging first?  So far only a dozen men have walked on the moon, but not since 1972; thus the moon is relatively as it has been for a very, very long while. This is a fact which I ponder when looking up at the night sky.  When does the gold rush begin?  Actually, I should call it the Helium 3 rush. He3 is apparently ideal for fusion reactors and is the subject of this article about mining the moon.  But this sounds like a long shot at present riddled with huge complications.

Well, until the answers from wiser people than myself start flooding in, I will find comfort with the fact that it’s going to cost an awful lot to rocket a bull dozer up there.  Ha.  A bull dozer that can operate without air…  Oh dear, I suppose they are working on that too.


I took this in a Missoula neighborhood one afternoon. The stop sign was near a popular coffee hang out called Cafe’ Dolce. I think someone was feeling creative or high on caffeine since they took time to print “Tracy Chapman” out in nice writing underneath the “ Stop“.  Ha, it brought a smile to my face!  It is a slightly obtuse musician’s joke…

stop Tracy

Preparing for Thanksgiving

Thanks to all for the very generous comments on my Sky Watch Photo below.  It was one of those very singular mornings when the clouds didn’t totally take over before the sun was able to gather up some color.  Sometimes I’ll see more color on the west slopes of the Bison Range rather than on the Missions in the opposite direction.   The light was the program director that morning and I just happened to click the shutter.

Totally unrelated, we are having a house full for Thanksgiving including our boys with their sweethearts, my folks, and my brother and his wife.  I am getting a bit nervous about fitting everyone into our wee house but hopefully the family will find a place to sit and eat turkey.  Our Mother, who is well into her 80’s, insists on assuming responsibility for the turkey and dressing.  That is her territory.  OK, fine.  But when am I supposed to get this turkey thing down?  I can count on one hand the times I’ve had to actually handle a turkey and dress it for Thanksgiving.  And that is minus three fingers.  (No, I have all my fingers; very funny.)  No, two.  Two times –  that I remember.  And I am not one to stick my hand down into a cold, slimy cavern and forget it the next day.  Eeeew.  In truth I am very grateful to Mom that I don’t have to do that.  There are some things which truly expose the mega-wimp in me.

My Mom is a pro and it is an admirable preparation to watch her fixing the bird. Albeit, it is kind of disturbing to see this tiny little lady with both her elbows deep in turkey; I mean is that safe?  What if she slips and falls in?  It’s dark,  cold, and slippery.   To illustrate her size, here is a photo of us when we took my parents down the Missouri River in July.  I am small but she is tiny.   (Ah, the river… *sigh*  was it really that warm and the sun so bright that we had to wear sunglasses?)

Mom & I

At any rate, I hope all your plans for the upcoming Holidays are firming up and that you won’t have to travel huge, long distances to be with family and that your gatherings are warm and full of hearts and  smiles.  And if you wish it, that maybe someone else will handle the turkey for you.


the smell of fresh bread
it rises slowly today
I am coaxed outdoors
even the birds seem sullen
but for the wild geese leaving

place called home

This morning, just as I was starting a batch of bread, a great flock of wild geese flew over to the north heading west and unmistakably began their seasonal journey. Their calls, one and many, blended in a huge chorus together in a way that tightened my throat and pulled at my heart. I think each Autumn a piece of me goes with them.

Where the wild wind blows…

….  on the eastern side of the Divide!  It was a gorgeous November day in Helena when I took this photo over the weekend, but no loungers were to be seen on the park benches at the walking mall downtown.  Granted, it was 19 degrees with a wind chill of somewhere around 10 — pansies.  Including me! We all bundled up against the chill and hurried on our way toward somewhere warmer.


We much preferred our late breakfast within the cozy warmth of the Crepe shop just inside the walking mall.  Yum!  The aroma of coffee and Crepe’ was delicious.  The company of my family was not bad either.


Outside the little snow which had fallen was shifting and blowing into strange shapes on the ground.  The roads were bare and dry but the lingering reality of more snow on the way is evident. It is almost time to put on the snow tires.  But wait, why does my thermometer this morning say 62 degrees?  Old Man winter is playing with us.  I am now totally mixed up.  Confused or not; it is time to go outdoors!