Montana is full of big wonders: the grizzlies, the elk, the moose, the huge mountains and the equally huge sky. We visit Yellowstone and look for wolves and bears, and hope that we’ll be one of the few visitors to witness Steamboat Geyser erupting for the first time in 20 years: we want the big stuff!
But it’s the small wonders that actually make up our lives. And they can be pretty wonderful, indeed.
A foggy morning in the Yellowstone’s Hayden Valley, for instance.
Or the setting sun reflected in clouds over the Yellowstone River on a calm September evening.
But you don’t need to be in Yellowstone to witness small wonders. Take, for example, a couple of prairie lakes in Montana with deceptively dull names: Brown’s Lake and Arod Lake. They sit quietly on the edge of the mountains, not flashy, not drawing attention to themselves in any way. But they are full of wonders.
Brown’s Lake sits at the edge of the Scapegoat Wilderness, and it’s a favorite nesting ground for both Red-necked and Pied-billed Grebes in the early summer.
And then the sun will set. It happens every day, so I guess it qualifies as “merely” a small wonder. But…wow.
Arod Lake is further north, along the Rocky Mountain Front. It’s truly in the middle of the prairie, and the huge expanse of prairie and sky makes you feel pretty tiny.
Pelicans and cormorants and gulls nest here, and the noise in the evening as the adults return to the colonies can be…well, a bit on the loud side.
The sun going down behind storm clouds over the Rocky Mountain Front: another small wonder.
Small wonders everywhere. What are yours?