As summer comes to a close and students return to school, we are reminded of the time-honored tradition of the “How I Spent My Summer Vacation” paper.
This year, the Missoulian is putting a modern twist on the assignment by bringing it to the popular social networking site Twitter.
We want you, western Montanans, to send a tweet describing your summer in 140 characters or less. To have your message included in our collection, use the hashtag #wmtvaca. Abbreviations will help keep your tweet short, and feel free to include TwitPics or links to other pictures.
For example, here is the tweet from news editor and Wildflower Walks columnist Justin Grigg (@jjgrigg), coming in at 138 characters:
“Got wet hiking OR, WA. Wildflower Walked. Ran MSO 26.2. Backpacked Glacier http://twitpic.com/28pzto. Hosted houseguests. Worked. #wmtvaca”
We’ll set up a collection of all the summer vacation tweets on Missoulian.com, and a selection of tweets sent by Sept. 1 will run in the newspaper over
Labor Day weekend. And, we’re going to award a prize for our favorite – a photo album provided by Yellowstone Photo to preserve your vacation memories.
Recent travels have kept me from doing much walking around Missoula, but I did get out and see some wildflowers in the Pacific Northwest.
Check out photos from Herman Creek on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge – including plenty of red columbine like the one pictured above – and Olympic National Park in Washington.
I’m back now and hope to soon spend some more time on western Montana’s trails!
Today is the 30th anniversary of the eruption of Mount St. Helens, and the May issue of National Geographic magazine featured a spread about the recovery of the blast zone.
Part of the package was a nice illustration showing the rebirth of the ecosystem around St. Helens, including how wildflowers factor into it. For example, glacier lilies that yearly pushed up through snow on the mountain also found their way through the layer of ash, and lupine later improved the volcanic substrate by adding nitrogen.
See the 30-year portrait here. (Roll your cursor over the numbers for more information.)
Today, you can see some of the recovered ecosystem yourself. The Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument has several trails, including a loop around the base and a hike up to the rim.