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Winter/Spring 2011

K9 Cop

Partners in crime fighting

edible art of chocolate

american west

local chocolatier perfects truffles

photographs by william albert allard

home reclaimed

nature’s year 2011

a dream green house in the rattlesnake

a month-by-month look


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letter from the editor

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ith this edition of Missoula magazine, we bid farewell to Kate Murphy, who was one of the founders of this magazine and served as its art director from the start. Kate has moved up to a marketing and training job with Lee Enterprises, our parent company. She’ll still live in Missoula – the best part! – but she won’t be working out of the Missoulian building – the worst part! All of which is a prelude to this thank-you note to Kate: You have been an inspiration, and a joy to work alongside. I’ve learned so much from you, laughed so much with you, worked so doggone hard to meet your expectations. Thank you, best of luck, and come back soon. You will be – and already are – missed! With this edition, Mike Lake takes Kate’s place as Missoula magazine’s art director, having worked as her assistant from the first days when we were figuring out what this was even going to be about. I’m looking forward to working with Mike as we move through the year, telling the stories of our friends, neighbors and new acquaintances here in the Garden City. But first: this issue, our salute to late winter and spring. It’s a sweet treat, starting with Betsy Cohen’s visit to Sara Bauer’s chocolate shop just up the hill in Arlee. I love the designs that top the candies at Chocolate Eclipse, and the samples Betsy brought back to the office were to die for. (My favorite: those yummy white chocolates with the butterflies on top.) Missoula chef and cookbook author – and recent big winner on “Wheel of Fortune” – Greg Patent has his own tasty contribution this time around, with a belly-warming creation called Big Sky Pie. That’s good eating on this, the longest and coldest and snowiest of winters we’ve seen for bunches of years. Our cover story comes courtesy of Missoulian crime reporter Gwen Florio who, along with photographer Tom Bauer, spent a good bit of time recently with the only Missoula cop you’d ever dare pat on the head: Ryker. Missoula’s police dog is tenacious and well-trained, ferocious if you’re a bad guy, lovable if you’re nice. Gwen and Tom’s report is fun and interesting and important reading – be ye good or bad! I’ve chimed in with a little ditty this time, too – my annual nature’s year calendar, published most years in the Missoulian’s Outdoors section, but for 2011 in Missoula magazine. I love every season in this part of the world, and particularly love that we have such distinct and demanding seasons. When next we meet in these pages, it will be summer – the season when the rest of the world comes to town. See you then!

bookmark it! Go online to Missoulian.com through the winter and spring for:

swoosh! March Madness draws near, and Griz basketball writer Bob Meseroll and Lady Griz basketball writer Bill Speltz will have the inside info on their blogs, grizbasketball.com and ladygrizbasketball. com. They also report live from every game, via Twitter and live chats on Missoulian.com and MontanaGrizzlies.com. Don’t miss a bucket!

wipe out! Spring skiing is our fav, and it’s going to be extra sweet this year – with the awesome snowpack and all. That means you’d best be keeping daily tabs on Chelsi Moy and her MontanaSnowSports.com blog. She’s been going downhill fast all winter long!

glug! Matt Pritchard is the blogger also known as GrizzlyGrowler.com, and your best source for news from the world of craft beers – in Montana and beyond. Which is a delicate way of saying, he’s sampling the wares at brewhouses near and far. Don’t miss a pint, at GrizzlyGrowler.com.

fa-la-la! Entertainment news is the fare at NickellBag.com, and Joe Nickell is the presiding voice. As the Missoulian’s arts and entertainment reporter, Joe knows everything that’s happening after hours in Missoula: music, drama, dancing, art, movies ...

facebook! Are you a fan of Missoulian Photography on Facebook? Our newest Facebook page is a visual treat! And don’t forget to follow news as it breaks during the day on the Missoulian Facebook page. We’ve got you covered!

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missoula.com flagship magazine missoula is is thethe flagship magazine of of the the missoulian missoulian newspaper newspaper

publisher john vanstrydonck publisher stacey mueller editor sherry editor sherrydevlin devlin art director director kate art mikemurphy lake assistant art director mike lakerichter assistant art director megan photo editor editor kurt photo kurtwilson wilson advertising director director kristen bounds sales & marketing jim mcgowan online director jim mcgowan

writers betsy cohen writers tim akimoff sherry devlin betsy gwencohen florio gwen florio kate murphy daryl gadbow joe nickell lori grannis greg patent michael barbarajamison theroux bob meseroll

moore photographers michael tom bauer kate murphy michael gallacher joe nickell linda thompson kurt patent wilson greg jodi rave

graphic design andrew henderson diann kelly mike lake photographers tom bauer megan gallacher richter michael

advertising sales kurt jacque walawander wilson

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406-523-5271 graphic design diann kelly sales assistant megan jessicarichter harne chris sawicki distribution Available in more youa vangthan 160 racks in western Montana, Missoula magazine is a natural extension for people who read and rely on the Reaching 80,000 to 90,000 readers daily, the Missoulian newspaper. advertising sales jacque walawander Missoulian has long been recognized as the most thorough, in-depth source of 523-5271 news in western Montana. Missoula magazine takes this award-winning coverage another step, showing off the very best of Missoula in words and photographs. By capitalizing on distribution .Available in morethroughout than 160 racks western Montana, the Missoulian’s presence the in region and utilizing its Missoula.com a natural extension for magazine people whoand readMissoula.com and rely on the website establishedmagazine chain of is distribution, Missoula Missoulian newspaper. 80,000 to 90,000 daily,publication the Missoulian long reach more readersReaching in more places than any readers other such in has western been recognized as the most thorough, in-depth source of news in western Montana. Montana. Missoula.com magazine takes this award-winning coverage another step, showing off the very best in words By capitalizing on the Missoulian’s No part of of theMissoula publication mayand bephotographs. reprinted without permission. presence the region utilizing its established distribution, Missoula. ©2011 throughout Lee Enterprises, all and rights reserved. Printed inchain the of USA. com magazine and Missoula.com Web site reach more readers in more places than any other such publication in western Montana.

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on the cover:

on Ryker, thea 5-year-old cover: Belgian Malinois, is the Missoula Police Department’s Ryan only Springer K-9 officer. pedals along the Clark Fork River with a delivery of Le Petit Outre breads bound for downtown Missoula restaurants.

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cover photo coverbyphoto lindabythompson Tom Bauer


Welcome the newest addition to our family...and yours.

Your Community Women’s and Newborn Center. Now under construction.

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inside this issue

vol.5 no.1

contents winter/spring 2011 “K-9 is the one tool that can’t be taken away and used against me.” page 26

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in season

all year long

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partners in crime fighting edible art of chocolate home reclaimed the american west that never left me nature’s year 2011

missoula magazine

the way we were missoula cooks know your vino and your smoothie missoula reads parting shot


the way we were

1936 howdy, cowgirls

Four of the five Feronato sisters and some other girls line up for a photograph in 1936 by the old Holden School just south of Florence. The Feronatos are, the first one from left, Theresa (Cochran), the fifth and sixth from left, Frances (Ruffatto) and Marion “Pic� (Potter) and the third from the right, Alba (Carls). The group was attending a Western-themed event at the school..

Photograph courtesy of Jacquie Farr

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missoula cooks

Big Sky Pie with vegetables and meat, fresh from the oven and ready to serve. The flaky pastry encloses a hearty filling of vegetables, chicken, ham and cheese sauce.

Big Sky Pie by greg patent photos by michael gallacher

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inter is a time of beauty and contrasts. “Lovely to look at, delightful to know,” is what one famous song proclaims. But another song states, “Baby, it’s cold outside.” To keep warm, even at home, I bundle up and turn on my oven. I bake a lot during winter, and much of what comes from my oven winds up not as a dessert but on the dinner table. Main dish pies are a favorite mainstay. Usually vegetable-based, I vary them according to what I find in the produce section. Hearty is the operative word, and just about every winter vegetable will deliver on that account. Kale, in all its forms, is one of my favorite leafy greens. It’s rich in flavor, deep green in color, and healthful, too. Butternut squash, just one of many winter squashes, has a smooth creamy texture and a brilliant orange color. It makes marvelous purees seasoned simply with butter, salt and pepper, or it can be

gussied up with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves or other spices. Mushrooms, especially when browned in butter, have a decidedly meaty taste and texture, which adds to the hearty equation. As I roamed the aisles of my market recently, I spied a package of frozen, shelled edamame in a freezer case and thought they’d make a fine addition to my pie for their taste, texture and vibrant light green color. I also wanted meat to complement the vegetables, but I didn’t want to spend a lot of time prepping it for the pie. So hot spit-roasted chicken and deli ham came to my rescue. All I had to do was dice what I needed for the pie. To hold everything together, I decided on a cheddar cheese sauce – another hearty element – and added chopped parsley for yet another shade of green. Pies need crusts, and I often make mine with equal parts of butter and vegetable shortening. One of the best shortenings

I’ve found is Earth Balance, a refrigerated brand. It’s firm, like butter, and is nonhydrogenated. You can make your pie dough up to three days ahead of time and refrigerate it. Or make it weeks ahead and freeze it. In fact, you could even make the entire filling ahead and refrigerate it. On serving day, you simply assemble the pie and bake it. The baking pie will fill your kitchen with mouth-watering aromas, and if it is cold outside you won’t even care, because, as yet another song advises, “Nothin’ says lovin’ like something from the oven.” Greg Patent is a food writer and columnist for the Missoulian and Missoula magazine. Visit Greg’s website at www. gregpatent.com. You can write him at gregpatent@gmail.com.

Recipes on page 12

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A dinner serving of Big Sky Pie. A little tossed green salad makes a fresh addition.

Pastry

Parsley Cheese Sauce

2 c ups unbleached all-purpose flour (measure flour by dipping dry measure into flour container, filling to overflowing and sweeping off excess) ½ teaspoon salt ½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter ½ cup chilled vegetable shortening 1 large egg, lightly beaten 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar Ice water

3 tablespoons butter 1 large jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely diced (1/4 cup) ¼ cup finely diced red bell pepper ¼ cup finely chopped shallot ¼ cup all-purpose flour 2 cups whole milk, very hot 4 ounces shredded sharp or extrasharp cheddar cheese ½ cup finely chopped parsley Salt and pepper to taste Cayenne or hot pepper sauce, optional

Vegetables 8o  unces (2 cups) butternut squash, cut into 1-inch pieces 4o  unces (1 cup) butternut squash, diced (1/2-inch) 1b  unch black kale or curly kale, stems removed 2 t ablespoons butter ¼ pound mushrooms, cleaned and diced Salt and pepper to taste 1 c up shelled edamame, thawed if frozen

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Meat 2 cups diced cooked chicken 1 cup diced boiled ham Egg wash for top of pie: 1 egg yolk mixed with 1 teaspoon water

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or the pastry, whisk together the flour and salt in a large bowl. Cut the cold butter and shortening into tablespoon-size pieces and add to the flour. Use a pastry blender or two knives to cut the fat into the flour until particles resemble tiny peas. Combine the egg, vinegar and enough ice

water to measure ½ cup. Dribble in the liquid while tossing the flour and fat with a fork, adding only enough to make a dough that comes together in a compact mass. You may not need to use all the liquid. Divide the dough into two equal pieces, dust lightly with flour, and flatten into 1-inch-thick disks. Wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate. Dough may be made 2 or 3 days ahead.

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or the vegetables, cook the large cubes of butternut squash in boiling water to cover until very tender. Drain well and mash to a puree. Scrape puree into a strainer set over a bowl and let stand until even more liquid drains off. You’ll have about 1 cup of puree. Cook the diced butternut squash in boiling water just until it is tender, about 5 minutes. Drain well and cool. Cook the kale leaves in boiling water until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold tap water until cool. Squeeze out as much water as you can and chop the kale medium-fine. Heat the butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter foam subsides, add the mushrooms and stir and cook until mushrooms are cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. They’ll make a


squeaky sound in the pan. Add the kale and cook, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the edamame.

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o make the cheese sauce, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. When bubbly and hot, add the jalapeño, bell pepper, and shallot. Cook and stir 1 minute. Add the flour and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, for 2 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and pour in the hot milk all at once. Stir well and return the pan to medium heat. Cook, stirring, until sauce thickens. If the sauce wants to lump up, use a whisk to smooth it out. Reduce heat to low and cook 3 to 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Off heat, stir in the cheese and parsley. When the cheese has melted, taste sauce and season with salt and pepper. If you want a spicier sauce, add some cayenne or a few dashes of hot pepper sauce. Add the pureed butternut squash to the sauce. Fold in the diced squash, mushrooms, kale, edamame, chicken and ham. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. The filling may be made a day ahead, cooled, covered, and refrigerated. When ready to assemble and bake the pie, adjust an oven rack to the lowest position and place a heavy baking sheet on the rack. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Roll one piece of pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 12-inch circle. Loosely fit into a deep-dish 9-inch pie plate with excess pastry draped over edge of the pan. Roll the second piece of dough to a 12-inch circle. Scrape filling into pastry-lined pan, brush edge of dough with cold water, and cover filling with second piece of dough. Press edges of pastry to seal. Cut away excess dough with scissors, leaving ½ inch of overhang. Fold edge of pastry to make a standing rim and flute. Brush top of pie with the egg wash and cut several slits to allow steam to escape during baking. Place pie on baking sheet in the oven and bake 25 minutes at 450 degrees. Reduce thermostat to 400 degrees and bake another 25 to 30 minutes, until the pie is cooked through and the top is a rich golden brown color. Cool the pie 20 minutes before cutting into wedges and serving. Makes 8 servings.

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know your vino

Phil and Frenchie Leiritz have been running Missoula Winery and Event Center since February 2010.

proper balance T

by kate murphy photos by tom bauer

wenty years ago, France natives Phil and Frenchie Leiritz were in Geneva, Switzerland, just starting a family, and Phil was working as an engineer with a large firm. In 1992, that firm built a new plant in Michigan, so Phil packed up his family and moved to the United States to run that facility. Phil spent the next three years racking up more than 650,000 miles, traveling around the world. In October of 2002, Phil quit his job and relocated his wife, two daughters (Lucie and Julia) and their son (Marc) to Montana. During his years traveling extensively, Phil spent some time in Montana and fell in love with it. He loved the mountains and the seasons, and it reminded him of his home in Alsace, France. Now Missoula is home. Phil found work in the engineering field here in Missoula and Frenchie opened a

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cleaning service. Coming from France and growing up around wine and vineyards their entire lives, Frenchie and Phil naturally got involved in Lake Missoula Cellars. They helped book the entertainment and Phil spent his weekends building custom wine cellars in the back shed of the winery. However, Lake Missoula Cellars Winery

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folded and in February of last year, Frenchie and Phil took over the business entirely, changing it to Missoula Winery and Event Center. “I believe it is a good time to start a business in a slow economy; it allows us the necessary time to fix mistakes and perfect our craft,” says Phil.

Now, I confess, I hadn’t been to the winery since it was under Doug Wagner and it wasn’t until this past November that I returned. My only regret – everything! After attending a fondue party and wine tasting in November, I realized I have really been missing out, especially after I learned about all that is going on out there. If you


haven’t been out to the winery since Phil and Frenchie have taken it over, it is time. Not only is the couple simply charming, but their energy and enthusiasm is contagious. You just want to be a part of it all. Their ideas and plans to expand the winery and event center are exciting, and will be an asset to not only the wine scene of Missoula

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and your smoothie

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smooth move by betsy cohen photos by michael gallacher

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ired of Missoula’s gray and cold? Dreaming of the Caribbean and other tropical paradises? Strangely enough, at the Good Food Store, reality and wishful thinking go hand in hand. Step up to the store’s beverage bar, order from the menu of smoothies, and learn this delicious lesson in the heart of winter: It is possible to be in Missoula and the tropics at the same time. Here, in a corner of this organic grocery store, in the cafeteria next to the roaring fire is the place to get your fix of summertime colors and exotic flavors. Mangoes. Pineapples.

Bananas. Coconut milk. Blueberries. Raspberries. Add cranberry or apple juice, or perhaps a dash of vanilla yogurt. Add in an extra health supplement, maybe a hit of flax oil and calcium, and you will be sure to find a nutritious microvacation in a cup. “I’m pretty sure we are the only place in town that serves all fruit, certified organic smoothies,” said Rebecca Canfield-Perkowski, deli manager. Frozen fruit shipped in from far warmer climes is used to create these tasty concoctions, which are thick in texture but should not be confused with this drink’s decadent cousin, the

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Fruit smoothies at the Good Food Store are packed with important vitamins and nutrients needed to stay healthy, explains Rebecca Canfield-Perkowski, deli food manager. “Because of that, this is a great way to boost your nutritional intake, particularly during the cold and flu season.�

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milkshake. “These drinks are actually really good for you and come with great health benefits,” Canfield-Perkowski said. “This is an all-food drink. Except for the supplements – if people want them – our smoothies are made from real food, nothing else.”

Canfield-Perkowski said. Bright orange in color, the Cold Buster is a steamy brew of organic ginger, lemon, carrot juice, honey and filtered water. Because of its bright coloring and

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his delightfully refreshing drink is one usually reserved for the hotter months of summer, but in fact, winter is probably a more ideal time to consume a smoothie. “They are packed with all the vitamins and nutrients of fruit we just can’t easily get this time of year,” CanfieldPerkowski said. “And because of that, this is a great way to boost your nutritional intake, particularly during the cold and flu season.” If quaffing an ice-based drink is just asking too much of a winter-weary body, the Good Food Store offers a customerinspired hot beverage called the “Cold Buster.” “This is like your grandmother’s tonic, it’s like an old-fashioned remedy,”

“You drink this and you feel like you immediately did something good for yourself,” Canfield-Perkowski said. “I think that is why it is our best-seller this time of year.” At the Good Food Store, they truly make lemonade from lemons. So when blahs threaten to take a hold and spring seems far away, there’s an inexpensive solution to brighten the day. Leave your baggage at home and take a trip to the Good Food Store. For $4, buy yourself a 16-ounce smoothie or Cold Buster. It will likely boost your mood, but it will definitely improve your health. Betsy Cohen is a reporter for the Missoulian. She can be reached at (406) 523-5253 or by e-mail at bcohen@ missoulian.com.

thickness, the Cold Buster looks like a cold drink, and that in part, is some of its allure. Sweet and fruity, it is not: The Cold Buster has a bite to it, a taste sort of like a cough drop – a tasty cough drop.

Michael Gallacher is a photographer for the Missoulian. He can be reached at (406) 523-5270 or by e-mail at mgallacher@missoulian.com.

If you can’t always eat the daily recommended amount of vegetables, try a shot of wheatgrass in your smoothie.

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missoula reads

winter reading by barbara theroux photo by kurt wilson

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he classic scenes of winter reading seem to be done by a fire – at home or at the ski resort. Whatever your favorite warm reading spot may be, here are some paperback suggestions to pass the cold days and nights: “Remarkable Creatures” by Tracy Chevalier On the windswept, fossil-strewn beaches of the English coast, poor and uneducated Mary Anning learns that she has a unique gift: “the eye” to spot fossils no one else can see. When she uncovers an unusual fossilized skeleton in the cliffs near her home, she sets the religious community on edge, the townspeople to gossip, and the scientific world alight. After enduring bitter cold, thunderstorms and landslides, her challenges only grow when she falls in love with an impossible man. Mary soon finds an unlikely champion in prickly Elizabeth Philpot, a middleclass spinster who shares her passion for scouring the beaches. Their relationship strikes a delicate balance between fierce loyalty, mutual appreciation and barely suppressed envy, but ultimately turns out to be their greatest asset. “Fossil Hunter” by Shelly Emling For book clubs that want to add to the discussion, a biography of Mary Anning is also available. Mary Anning was only 12 years old when, in 1811, she discovered the first dinosaur skeleton – of an ichthyosaur – while fossil hunting on the cliffs of Lyme Regis, England. Until Mary’s incredible discovery, it was widely believed that animals did not become extinct. The child of a poor family, Mary became a fossil hunter, inspiring the tongue-twister, “She Sells Sea Shells by the Seashore.” She attracted the attention of fossil collectors and eventually the scientific world. Once news of the fossils reached the halls of academia, it became impossible to ignore the truth. Mary’s peculiar finds helped lay the groundwork for Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, laid out in his “On the Origin of Species.” Darwin drew on Mary’s fossilized creatures as irrefutable evidence that life in the past was nothing like life in the present.

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“Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand” by Helen Simonson The major leads a quiet life valuing the proper things that Englishmen have lived by for generations: honor, duty, decorum and a properly brewed cup of tea. But then his brother’s death sparks an unexpected friendship with Mrs. Jasmina Ali, the Pakistani shopkeeper from the village. Drawn together by their shared love of literature and the loss of their respective spouses, the Major and Mrs. Ali soon find their friendship blossoming into something more. But village society insists on embracing him as the quintessential local and her as the permanent foreigner. Can their relationship survive the risks one takes when pursuing happiness in the face of culture and tradition? “The Imperial Cruise” by James Bradley In 1905, President Teddy Roosevelt dispatched Secretary of War William Taft, his daughter Alice and a gaggle of congressmen on a mission to Japan, the Philippines, China and Korea with the intent of forging an agreement to divide up Asia. This clandestine pact lit the fuse that decades later resulted in a number of devastating wars: World War II, the Korean War, and the communist revolution in China. In 2005, James Bradley retraced that epic voyage and discovered the remarkable truth about America’s vast imperial past. Full of fascinating characters brought brilliantly to life, “The Imperial Cruise” will powerfully revise the way we understand U.S. history. “The Hand That First Held Mine” by Maggie O’Farrell In the thrilling, underground world of bohemian postwar London, Lexie Sinclair is making an extraordinary life for herself. Taken up by magazine editor Innes Kent, she learns to be a reporter, to know art and artists, to embrace her life fully and with a deep love at the center of it. Later, in present-day London, a young painter named Elina dizzily navigates the first weeks of motherhood. Her boyfriend, Ted, traumatized by nearly losing her in labor, begins to recover lost memories. He

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cannot place them. But as they become more disconcerting and happen more frequently, we discover that something connects these two stories – these two women – something that becomes all the more heartbreaking and beautiful as they all hurtle toward its revelation. “Committed” by Elizabeth Gilbert (Due in February) At the end of her memoir “Eat, Pray, Love,” Elizabeth Gilbert fell in love with Felipe, a Brazilian living in Indonesia. The couple swore eternal love, but also swore (as skittish divorce survivors) never to marry. However, providence intervened in the form of a U.S. government ultimatum: get married, or Felipe could never enter America again. Told with Gilbert’s trademark humor and intelligence, this fascinating meditation on compatibility and fidelity chronicles Gilbert’s complex and sometimes frightening journey into second marriage. “The Man From Beijing” by Henning Mankell (Due in February) It’s January 2006 in the Swedish hamlet of Hesjövallen, where 19 people have been massacred. The only clue is a red ribbon found at the scene. Judge Birgitta Roslin has particular reason to be shocked: Her grandparents, the Andréns, are among the victims, and Birgitta soon learns that an Andrén family in Nevada has also been murdered. She then discovers the 19th-century diary of an Andrén ancestor – a gang master on the American transcontinental railway – that describes brutal treatment of Chinese slave workers. The police insist that only a lunatic could have committed the Hesjövallen murders, but Birgitta is determined to uncover what she now suspects is a more complicated truth. The investigation leads to the highest echelons of power in present-day Beijing, and to Zimbabwe and Mozambique. But the narrative also takes us back 150 years into the depths of the slave trade between China and the United States. “The Postmistress” by Sarah Blake (Due in February) In 1940, Iris James is the postmistress

in coastal Franklin, Mass. Iris knows more about the townspeople than she will ever say, and believes her job is to deliver secrets. Yet one day she does the unthinkable: slips a letter into her pocket, reads it and doesn’t deliver it. Meanwhile, Frankie Bard broadcasts from overseas with Edward R. Murrow. Her dispatches beg listeners to pay heed as the Nazis bomb London nightly. Most of the townspeople of Franklin think the war can’t touch them. But both Iris and Frankie know better. “Country Driving” by Peter Hessler (Due in February) In the summer of 2001, Peter Hessler, the longtime Beijing correspondent for The New Yorker, acquired his Chinese driver’s license. For the next seven years, he traveled the country, tracking how the automobile and improved roads were transforming China. Hessler writes movingly of the average people – farmers, migrant workers, entrepreneurs – who have reshaped the nation during one of the most critical periods in its modern history. “Country Driving” begins with Hessler’s 7,000-mile trip across northern China, following the Great Wall, from the East China Sea to the Tibetan plateau. He investigates a historically important rural region being abandoned as young people migrate to jobs in the southeast. Next Hessler spends six years in Sancha, a small farming village in the mountains north of Beijing, which changes dramatically after the local road is paved and the capital’s auto boom brings new tourism. Finally, he turns his attention to urban China, researching development over a period of more than two years in Lishui, a small southeastern city where officials hope that a new government-built expressway will transform a farm region into a major industrial center. “Eaarth” by Bill McKibben (Due in March) Twenty years ago, with “The End of Nature,” Bill McKibben offered one of the earliest warnings about global warming. Those warnings went mostly unheeded; now, he insists, we need to acknowledge that we’ve waited too long, and that massive change is not only unavoidable but already under way. Our old familiar globe is suddenly melting, drying, acidifying, flooding and burning in ways that


no human has ever seen. We’ve created, in very short order, a new planet, still recognizable but fundamentally different. We may as well call it Eaarth. That new planet is filled with new binds and traps. A changing world costs large sums to defend; think of the money that went to repair New Orleans, or the trillions it will take to transform our energy systems. But the endless economic growth that could underwrite such largesse depends on the stable planet we’ve managed to damage and degrade. We can’t rely on old habits any longer.

17 craftsmen and 80 hours to create your Hancock & Moore original

“Solar” by Ian McEwan (Due in March) Michael Beard is a Nobel prize-winning physicist whose best work is behind him. Trading on his reputation, he speaks for enormous fees, lends his name to the letterheads of renowned scientific institutions and half-heartedly heads a government-backed initiative tackling global warming. While he coasts along in his professional life, Michael’s personal life is another matter

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Partners in crime fighting Written by GWEN FLORIO Photographed by TOM BAUER

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“K-9 is the one tool that can’t be taken away and used against me.” missoula magazine

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I

f you’re a bad guy and Ryker heads your way, you want to stop. Really. Because he’d like nothing more than to grab you and sink his teeth into you and shake you like a rag doll and not let go until Missoula police Sgt. Nick Walters tells him to. Which Walters will only do if you stop – or if Ryker has brought you down. You’d prefer the former. Because while Ryker is only 70 pounds, the Missoula Police Department’s sole K-9 officer has superhero teeth, so strong that once he latches onto something, Walters can lift him off the ground and he won’t let go. “He loves to bite,” Walters said. “The bite is his reward.” Here’s another of Ryker’s rewards after a hard day’s bite – er, work. He gets to go home with Walters and lie on the floor while Walters’ 2-year-old and 3-year-old climb all over him, grabbing his ears and tail, putting their faces right up to those choppers. “He’s just a normal everyday dog,” Walters says. “Really.”

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ormal, if you count nearly

300 hours of training as normal. (For comparison purposes, kindergartners are required to get 360 hours in Montana.) Normal, if you count a nearly $10,000 starting price, one that quickly climbs to closer to $30,000 when you add more training, equipment and his handler’s 24/7 commitment to him. Normal, if you count the fact that he can track a man across a snowy field, sniff out drugs encased in a vacuum seal, and then turn around and serve as a tail-wagging goodwill ambassador to Missoula’s schoolkids. “Talk about Missoula’s taxpayer dollars being used wisely,” said Hellgate High School social studies teacher Bill Gaul. Ryker visited several of Gaul’s classes this winter, entertaining – and educating – students as he quickly located a marijuana-laden backpack (No, not a student’s, but one hidden by Walters) and then chomping Walters’ colleague, patrol officer Kurt Trowbridge, who posed as a bad guy, albeit one whose arm was encased in a bite-absorbing jute sleeve and thus remained intact.

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Moments later, Ryker was mingling with the students, cozying up to them for some petting and gentle canine roughhousing. The students learned that the 5-year-old Belgian Malinois (similar to a German Shepherd, but smaller) represents a resurgence in the use of police dogs. Their popularity fell off around the country after the 1960s, with its images of police siccing snarling dogs on terrified civil rights workers. Missoula dropped its K-9 program in 1976, and reinstated it in 1995 with Dick and Hector, two Czech-trained German shepherds funded by the city’s Masonic groups. Now, because of budget restrictions, Ryker comprises the Missoula Police Department’s entire K-9 contingent. In a recent week, he was called out on 12 cases. “I’d love to get a narcotics dog and two apprehension dogs,” Walters said wistfully. Until money grows in doggy dishes, though, Ryker does double duty.

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e got his basic training

in Czechoslovakia – hence, Walters’ incomprehensible commands to him – and then completed narcotics training in Spokane. In addition, former Forest Service patrol captain Dale Brandeberry – who helped develop certifications for police dogs in Montana – worked with Ryker and Walters on tracking. “If a dog is trained but not constantly worked in the right way, they get sloppy and become unproductive,” said Brandeberry, who now runs Command K9 Services in Kalispell. Walters is required to spend five hours a week training Ryker, often with the help of Missoula businesses that make their space available. Quality Supply, for instance, is a good place to practice ferreting out a suspect hiding within a clothing rack. Drugs can be stashed all over the place at Blue Ribbon Auto Supply. And public spaces like Fort Missoula are great for tracking. On a recent snowy morning, Walters, Trowbridge and Ryker headed there in the police department’s K-9 van, whose signs warn “Keep Back.”


Ryker stayed in the car. Trowbridge donned an entire “bite coat” whose sleeves hung down over his hands, crossed a road and jogged long looping trails through a field, then hopped a fence and hid behind a large tree. Walters waited. And waited. A UPS truck came along the road, driving over Trowbridge’s tracks. Walters waited some more. After about 15 minutes, he loosed Ryker. Who put his nose to the snow and then instantly outpaced Walters as he streaked across the road, zigzagged around the field, bounded over the fence, wound around the tree and leapt onto Trowbridge, joyfully burying his teeth deep in the coat. As we said earlier – if you’re a bad guy, you don’t want things to get to that point. Because it took Walters awhile to get close enough to call Ryker off. Still, at least he can call Ryker off. A dog, unlike a zap from his Taser or a bullet from his .40-caliber Glock, “is the only force that can be recalled after being deployed,” Walters said.

Walters lets Ryker loose during a tracking exercise, part of the minimum five hours per week the pair spend training.

• • continued on page 52

Walters and Ryker train with fellow Missoula police officer Kurt Trowbridge, right, wearing a bite coat. missoula magazine

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e t a l o c o h c chocolate written by

betsy cohen

photos by

tom bauer

C

hocolate,” Sara Bauer explains, “can crystallize into seven different kinds of crystals, and one of those crystal shapes makes it really shiny.” Intent on the task at hand, the proprietor of Chocolate Eclipse, a specialty chocolate business that celebrates the decadent, delicious truffle, slowly stirs a melting concoction of dark chocolate and cream. “That’s what chocolatiers want,” Bauer says, having finally arrived at the magic moment in her truffle making. She removes the stainless steel pot from the stove top and reveals a lustrous pool of chocolate, so smooth and fluid it is difficult to imagine that it was but moments ago a rather dull-looking solid chunk. The transformation is stunning.

Edible designs become part of each truffle as they cool after the dipping process. missoula magazine

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Sara Bauer makes truffles one at a time, dipping each center into melted chocolate.

“Really, anybody can do this,” she says enthusiastically. “It just takes patience.” Perhaps. But few amateur truffle makers work with the kinds of highend chocolate Bauer uses, and few home chefs stock their kitchens with colossal 10-pound chocolate bars. Even fewer are those who have Bauer’s Zen-like touch. “Chocolate,” she says knowingly, “can be temperamental to work with. The most common mistake in working with chocolate is getting it too hot. With most chocolate candies, like truffles, you are always working towards that shiny look. “In that form,” she explains, “it is referred to as being ‘in temper,’ and that’s when chocolate is in its most workable form.”

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aybe it’s her scientific background and her former career as a geologist that makes Bauer seem so steady and efficient in the kitchen. Whatever the influence, Bauer moves about her work space in rhythmic way, methodically and purposefully taking one truffle-making step at a time. The work requires exact measurements of ingredients, several trips to the stove top to first melt chocolate to the perfect consistency, and others to make the various flavored fudge-like centers that make her truffles so distinctively delicious. After the melting period, the cream and chocolate mixture is cooled until solid, then it is cut into bite-size pieces and dipped into a glossy pool of melted chocolate.


do use fancy cutting-edge equipment to make their chocolates look perfect – it’s almost a manufacturing process – and they use molds to make them identical. “I like my lumpy handmade creations,” she says. “I think it makes them more interesting, and you definitely know they have been made by hand.”

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erious about her work and her fledgling business, Bauer laughs at the telling of how she became a chocolatier. As a college student, she spent many holiday seasons trying to make budget friendly presents her family would want. She’d rather not remember some of them, but she still gets a giggle when she thinks about the bath salts she dressed up in decorative jars and gave as gifts. “That didn’t take off too well,” she recalls. “In fact, the last time I was home, my mother was using hers as a door stop.” Yet, for all her failures to bring joy to her family with her handmade items, one year Bauer ventured into the culinary arts. To the delight of everyone she knew, she made truffles. So exceptionally wonderful was the outcome, it changed her life. “They were such a big hit, I decided to keep at it,” Bauer says. To learn more about working with chocolate and how to become a more sophisticated candy maker, Bauer enrolled in a community college course near her home in California. Taught by a veteran chocolatier, Bauer learned how to coax out the rich flavor unique to individual types and brands of chocolate through cooling and heating, and how to gorgeously decorate her work.

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mboldened by her newfound skill and passion, Bauer quit her job as a geologist in 2008, moved to be with her boyfriend in Montana and started Chocolate Eclipse in a commercial kitchen in Arlee. Regular appearances at regional craft shows and farmers markets have helped grow a customer base, and the chocolate enterprise gets a boost from Etsy, the online store that sells all things handmade. Demand for her truffles has become so great that Bauer now struggles with how to expand the business to meet the orders of her growing clientele, and how to do it without considerable risk. “I am fully aware that most small businesses fail in the first few years of operation,” she says, worry filling her voice. “I don’t want to be one of those statistics, which is why I am going slowly. “My plan is to grow slowly, to enhance my online store and I think it would be really fun to have my very own small chocolate shop. “If I could figure out a way to make that work,” she says, “I’d have one here, in Arlee. It’s a really friendly community and I feel like it’s an up-and-coming place.” Once her creations cool again in neat rows on shiny trays, Bauer carefully lifts off the truffles and reveals the intricate floral and geometric designs that have melted on to the bottom surface. The finished product is edible art that comes in a range of flavors, dark chocolate to more experimental options like her lemony white chocolate. When you first eat one, the chocolate outer coating should “snap” just as you bite into the creamy center, Bauer explains. “That’s the goal,” she says. “To have those different experiences and textures at first bite.” To make this kind of truffle is a fastidious labor of love. “Some chocolatiers think I’m nuts for still doing all of this by hand, one piece at a time,” Bauer confesses. “And a lot chocolatiers

Betsy Cohen is a reporter for the Missoulian. She can be reached at (406) 523-5253 or by e-mail at bcohen@missoulian.com. Tom Bauer is a photographer for the Missoulian. He can be reached at (406) 523-5270 or by e-mail at tbauer@missoulian.com missoula magazine

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reclaimed

Written by JOE NICKELL

Photographed by TOM BAUER

K

aren Slobod was drawn to Montana by “The Pink Panther.” But when she set about remodeling her new home last summer, the motivating hue was green. “Even before I found this house, I already knew that my goal was to use as many recycled materials in a remodel as possible,” said Slobod, a California native and freelance graphic designer who has called Missoula home for seven years. “It was about saving money, but it was also about being ecologically mindful – as well as being creative.” As she spoke, Slobod stood in the vaulting, airy main room of her finished project, a 2,100-square-foot chalet-style house that overlooks the Rattlesnake Valley north of Missoula. Beneath her stocking feet lay parallel planks of pinkish, wide-grained fir. Along the massive, south-facing glass wall that looks out over the valley, a neat row of white, shutter-style doors provides privacy and insulation. In the middle of the room sits a long, rough-hewn dining room table. Each element has a backstory. The flooring was milled especially for the project by Heritage Timber of Potomac, using beams salvaged from the old mill in Bonner. The shutters came from the Home Resource, the Missoula reclaimed building materials store. The table was constructed out of wood found in the house when Slobod purchased it. She even outfitted the table with matching chairs, purchased from the University of Montana’s Facilities Services surplus sale. A guided tour through Slobod’s house feels almost like a highlight reel for local green building businesses and second-hand stores. A large wooden island, built from the same wood as the floors, separates the great room from the kitchen sink – itself another score from Home Resource. A large slab of granite frames the stove. “It made me feel really good to find that at Home Resource,” said Slobod of the granite, “because I didn’t want to be a part of mining anything in the process of this remodel.” Nearby, a custom-built window seat and storage unit, again made from the same reclaimed wood, frames a breakfast nook. The theme runs throughout the house: new windows in most of the five bedrooms, tile in the bathrooms, a beautiful glass French door that leads to a patio, a hammock made of old garden hoses, door knobs, wallpaper, insulation, faucets, carpet padding – the list of reclaimed and reused materials in Slobod’s house goes on. The result is a home that blends quirky touches with sleek, modern design principles, all folded under the high, steep-pitched roof of a classic A-frame chalet. In that sense, it’s an apt reflection of Slobod’s own aesthetic, which she said was a big part of what brought her to Montana in the first place.

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A custom seat with shelves made from reclaimed wood frames the windows of Karen Slobod’s Missoula home. Slobod has remodeled the 1960s-era house using as many reclaimed and recycled materials as possible.

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“Finding the right materials required creativity as much as it required good checklists and persistence.�

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“P

A table made from reclaimed wood is one of several furniture pieces in Slobod’s home using recycled materials.

The bathroom in Slobod’s basement, which she previously considered “a scary dungeon,” was renovated with recycled tile and other materials.

retty much the reason I moved to Montana was that I was heavily influenced by the aesthetic of (‘The Return of the Pink Panther’), the one where they’re in the Alps and there’s Henry Mancini music playing in the background,” said Slobod. “So when I saw this house, what interested me was that I could turn this into a whimsical Swiss ski lodge.” But when she saw the house, she also knew it would take a lot of work. Built in 1968, the house hadn’t been updated significantly, until Slobod came along. After living in an apartment for her first years in Missoula, Slobod was looking for a house that could benefit from some sweat equity. When she started actively looking for a home to buy in the autumn of 2009, the house on Carriage Way was one of the first that she toured. “I was looking for a house with some character that I could fix up because of my design background and fix-it background,” said Slobod. “I was looking with the idea that I would use recycled materials and patronize the green businesses in town. So when I saw this place, it seemed like it had a lot of potential, but it also had a lot of challenges that needed attention.” The required work ranged from replacing the ancient and worn carpets, to knocking out walls, to transforming the basement from “a scary dungeon” to a livable space with two bedrooms and a full bathroom. But after looking at several other properties over the course of months, Slobod ultimately decided to make an offer on the house. She closed on the purchase in late June, and quickly set out to find all the materials and contractors necessary to transform the space. “I borrowed my friend’s truck for a month, and started going to Home Resource every day looking for things I knew I needed,” said Slobod, who served as her own general contractor for the renovation. Finding the right materials required creativity as much as it required good checklists and persistence. “You’re not sure what you’re going to get at Home Resource, so you have to be looking for certain things and keeping your eyes open and having an open mind,” said Slobod. “Things are sometimes not totally clean and you have to clean them. They’re generally well-organized; but everything’s original and unique, it’s not like there’s a slew of the same-size windows of the same brand sitting next to each other.”

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Th e A m er i c a n West t h at n ever left me William Albert Allard has traveled the world for 46 years making photographs for National Geographic magazine. Early in his career, assignments brought him west to Montana and he fell in love with the place. During his career, he looked for “any excuse, any story idea,” that would bring him back to the West. Now, Allard has bought a home in Missoula, where he lives part of the year with his wife, Ani, and his beloved dogs, Buster and Lizzy. Last fall, the book division of National Geographic published, “William Albert Allard: Five Decades, A Retrospective,” a comprehensive look at Allard’s photographs and essays, many of which were made in Montana. Allard and the National Geographic were pleased to share an essay he recently wrote and several of his Montana photographs with Missoula magazine readers. “William Albert Allard: Five Decades, A Retrospective,” is available at local bookstores or online at nationalgeographic.com.

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Floyd and Smitty, Padlock, Montana, 1972

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Wild-horse race, Wolf Point, Montana, 1998

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Calf branding, Padlock Ranch, Montana, 1972

written and photographed by

William Albert Allard Do you ever feel like going away,” I asked. It was a summer day in 1969. There had been no rain for weeks. The 17-year-old boy from a Hutterite religious community in Stanford, Montana, said you can tell it’s really dry when a single rider can kick up a dust trail. We stopped with our horses at a stream. The water was good and tasted of the earth. We drank carelessly, splashing our faces until our shirt fronts hung wet. “You know – do you ever feel like leaving the colony?” “No,” the boy said. “It must be a pretty rough life on the outside, all alone, trying to make a living. Don’t you think?” We let the horses drink, and then rode on. “Yes,” I told him. “It can be all of that.” Since that innocent exchange, I’ve spent much of my life traveling the world. I’ve seen a lot of wonderful places. But it was the American West that never left me. It kept drawing me back.

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Stephanie Stahl at bat, Surprise Creek Colony, Stanford, Montana, 2005

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Kelley Hofer and Cactus, Surprise Creek Colony, Stanford, Montana, 2005

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aised in Minneapolis, I didn’t get my first look at the West until the mid-1960s, while on my first assignments for National Geographic magazine. I can still remember one early morning in Wyoming and the first light on high mountain meadows, the wisps of clouds within my reach. That look demanded another, and another, until I found myself seeking any excuse, any story idea that would lead me back from the East, where I had moved, to that grand expanse. Now I live half the year in western Montana. I once knew an old Montana cowhand, now dead, who used to muse about times when the country was more open, with fewer fences and gates to slow a man down – restrictions in the land of the free. I suppose we all feel more restricted today. There seem to be gates in our lives that we never get open. But if we’re lucky, we find a place special to us. Even though it may change with time, if we love it deeply enough, there is a part of it within us to the end. That’s how I feel about the West.

Reprinted with permission from the October 2010 issue of the National Geographic magazine. For more photographs from “William Albert Allard: Five Decades, A Retrospective,” go to ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2010/10/allards-west/ allard-photography.

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Nature’s YEAR 24

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written by Sherr y Devlin

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2011

photographed by Linda Thompson

began the new year with a resolution inspired by writer-naturalist Jim Heynen, who tells the story of an old woman who marvels at the way ducks fly south each winter. All that migrating, the woman says, keeps ducks strong and healthy. “Isn’t it wonderful?” “What’s so wonderful about it?” grumbles her acquaintance. “If the weather stayed nice, they wouldn’t have to go through all that trouble flying south. If the weather stayed nice, the ducks could spend their time swimming in the quiet ponds. Or preening themselves. Or learning how to sing. Instead of their miserable quacking, maybe they’d sit and listen to themselves and learn how to carry a tune.” “Carry a tune?” shouts the old woman who – Heynen says – always saw the best side of nature. “Quacking is their own beautiful music.” And so comes this resolution for a new year afield in western Montana: To always see the best side of nature, which to my way of thinking is every side. Blustery and blistering. Still. Silent. Predictable. Surprising. Smelly and gross. Here is a look, month by month, at Nature’s Year 2011.

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Januar y

From winter’s depths come great revelations. Some of the loveliest: the relics of last year’s nests, revealed by the falling of leaves in a season now decidedly past. Though simple – common, even – cup nests are my favorite, made as they are from the twigs, grass, moss and bits of string their makers can scavenge. The wonder, though, lies in the lining of each nest, made soft in preparation for fragile eggs with feathers, hair and mud. These, too, are the days to search out animal tracks in the snow, ice and frozen mud. Wolf. Fox. Tweety bird. The occasional roused-fromslumber bear. The naturalist Aldo Leopold, in his “Sand County Almanac”, marveled at the clarity of observation afforded by January’s stillness. “The months of the year, from January up to June, are a geometric progression in the abundance of distractions,” he wrote. “January observation can be almost as simple and peaceful as snow, and almost as continuous as cold. There is time not only to see who has done what, but to speculate why.”

Februar y

What’s all this about flying south for the winter? Spend February celebrating the true “snowbirds” – those stout species that believe western Montana is “south.” In the Mission Valley, you’ll find a bounty of over-wintering hawks: Cooper’s, rough-legged, red-tailed, sharpshinned, kestrals, merlins and prairie falcons. They use weeping birch for hunting perches. And fence posts. Anywhere you can find open water along the Clark Fork River, you’ll likely find waterfowl that decided this was as far south as they wanted to go for the winter. Mallard ducks and Canada geese are our most common wintertime guests. Look, too, for bald eagles and osprey perched in the treetops near open water. Ice fishers they are not. And while you’re out, start watching for signs of spring. No kidding. The late naturalist-writer-public radio commentator Kim Williams always spent the third weekend of February searching for spring: robins whistling for mates, starlings staking out their territories, postal workers in Bermuda shorts.

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March

Come the first week of March, you’ll find Montana’s state butterfly flitting about in still-snowy woods. Mourning cloaks are found in all of our 56 counties, and in every sort of setting. On rocky walls in Hellgate Canyon. In a barn, asleep on a bale of hay. Atop a winter-killed mule deer. On the back fence. “It is such a beauty,” says Jean Thomas, the Stevensville woman and Montana Federation of Garden Clubs officer who championed the species’ designation at the 2001 Legislature. And such a sweet harbinger of the season’s change. March is the month to search for, make note of and pay homage to each new and increasingly voluptuous sign of spring: sagebrush buttercups at Fort Missoula, a chickadee calling, aspen leaves opening in the backyard grove, chives pushing through the mud. We make it official on Sunday, March 20 – the vernal equinox, when daylight and dark are equally apportioned.

April

A few years back, I followed a naturalist-schoolteacher as she led her young charges in a hike along the Bitterroot River in early spring. My favorite moment of an altogether perfect day was our encounter with a great logjam on one of the river’s many side channels. Aha! our teacher exclaimed. Beavers! Accountants of the natural world. Inevitably, I now think of beavers come spring and Tax Day. Did you know that a beaver can cut down 1,700 trees in a single year? Lone Pine Publishing’s “Mammals of the Rocky Mountains” suggests that, rather than accountants, beavers may be the Olympic weightlifters of the animal world: “Although the American beaver is not a fast mover, it more than compensates with its immense strength, the guide instructs. It is not unusual for this firmly built rodent to handle and drag with its jaws a 20-pound piece of wood. The resulting beaver dams and dens are feats of engineering. ... Just one other mammal has a greater impact on its surroundings than the beaver: homo sapien.”


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May

Native storytellers know of a starving old woman who was comforted by a red bird, an ambassador from the sun. “A new plant will be formed from your sorrowful tears,” the bird said. “Its flowers will have the rose of my wing feathers and the white of your hair. It will have leaves close to the ground.” “Your people will eat the roots of this plant,” the bird told the old woman. And although bitter because of her sorrow, the plant would be nutritious and would save the people from starvation, the red bird promised. The people would see the plant and be grateful, saying: “Here is the silver of our mother’s hair upon the ground and the rose from the wings of the spirit bird. Our mother’s tears of bitterness have given us food.” May is the month to hunt for bitterroots in the Missoula and Bitterroot valleys. Indians once dug great quantities of the roots each May, although they took care not to take too many – lest the plant disappear. White settlement has not been so attentive to the bitterroot’s needs. Subdivision and development has eliminated most of the traditional bitterroot hunting grounds. Look for the deep pink to white blossoms on open hillsides and rocky breaks, beginning in May but continuing into June. Bitterroots open their buds in the hottest part of the day, showing up to 18 elliptical petals in a rosette fashion. These plants hug the ground on short stalks. The leaves are narrow and fleshy, and form a flat circle on the ground. True to the storytellers’ words, these flowers are bitter but beautiful survivors.

June

It is important, during the darkest days of Missoula’s year, to remember the ever-lengthening days of June. Of standing along the Higgins Avenue Bridge and watching the sun drop behind the mountains, later and later into the evening. Of trying to convince little children that, yes, it is time for bed even though it is still light outside. Of giving up and simply surrendering to, and enjoying, the light and warmth. Of knowing we who are given such long and increasingly lazy days have been blessed.

June brings to western Montana the birth of white-tailed fawns, industrious ladybugs nibbling on aphids, young robins learning to hunt for worms. Everywhere you turn this month, there is something new returned, renewed, reemerged. During every week from April to September there are, on average, 10 wild plants coming into first bloom, Leopold wrote in his “Sand County Almanac.” In June, as many as a dozen species may burst their buds on a single day. “No man can heed all of these anniversaries; no man can ignore all of them. Tell me of what plant-birthday a man takes notice, and I shall tell you a good deal about his vocation, his hobbies, his hay fever and the general level of his ecological education.”

July

The season of the blueback salmon run in Wallowa Lake, said Nez Perce of the month called Khoy-Tsahl. Like the salmon, these are the days when western Montanans are known to run into their wild backyards in search of sustenance. Travel north in July in search of wildflowers on the Kootenai National Forest. Look for the delicate Prince’s pine, or Pipsissewa, a member of the wintergreen family and one of the smallest evergreens. Its tiny rose-colored flowers hang from dark red stems, branching out umbrella-like at the top of the stalk. They flower in June and July in coniferous woods and sheltered huckleberry patches. July is also ski season on Logan Pass in Glacier National Park. Grab your telemark skis for one late, last ride downhill. By the Fourth of July, the ice starts to melt on the highest, most remote mountain lakes. Glacier lilies are in bloom. Wild mint is ready for collecting. And the serviceberry harvest hits its peak this month. Pick a few, but leave plenty for your neighbors and the bears. There is an urgency to July in the high country; with each dawn, comes the sense that this most voluptuous of seasons will quickly fade.

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Year of the

Rabbit 2011

china woods FURNITURE

ACCESSORIES

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716 dickens toole ave at the tracks 550.2511 thurs - sun 11 - 5 chinawoodsstore.com

2010


COFFEE FOR

FREE THINKERS

BUTTERFLY HERBS Coffees, Teas & the Unusual 232 N HIGGINS AVE • DOWNTOWN

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proper balance

...continued from page 17 but the cultural growth as well.

F

renchie and Phil obtained their winery license in May of 2010 and began securing vats of grapes in Washington to bring home to Missoula to begin making their own wine label. Today, they have nine varietals, among them Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Syrah, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Sangiovese. My tasting notes are below. The Leiritzes also have aspirations to plant some vines this spring at the winery and are working with a consultant from Burgundy who specializes in hand-crafted Pinot Noir, made in the French Burgundian style. “We are excited about the wines we are crafting and what we have going on out here. We love what we do and enjoy sharing it with others. We want to be part of people’s wine education,” says Phil. “The process of turning grapes into wine ... something that people use to toast friends and family, for special occasions, makes winemaking special, and coming out to the winery for events ensures you have a great time drinking it,” adds Frenchie. Other ventures include a wine bottle recycling program, in which empty bottles from both the local residents and restaurants are reused to bottle their own wine. “This program has blown up and so many people are dropping off bottles here at the winery,” notes Phil. “What we don’t use, we will give to other local wineries here or in Washington State,” he explains. The entertainment at the winery includes an ever-growing collection of events and tastings, from live music on Friday nights and pétanque (a French lawn bowling game) to wine dinners, private parties, Saturday night jazz and art showings. The winery itself is also open every afternoon and evening (except Wednesdays) for tastings and Friday and Saturday nights they remain open until midnight for events, parties and live music. To find out more about the winery schedule you can visit their website at www. missoulawinery.com. Coming on Thursday, March 10, is the Raclette cheese and wine dinner that you won’t want to miss and a great event to check out if you haven’t been to the winery yet. Tasting Notes: 2009 Sauvignon Blanc ($10). Made in stainless steel tanks, this wine is crisp and fruity. The palate is rich and sweet-fruited with layers of guava, passion fruit and peach with a dry finish. This wine is a good table companion to seafood, fruit, mild cheeses, creamy pasta dishes and roast chicken.

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2008 Chardonnay ($10). This wine is barrel fermented and aged in French oak for five months. In the mouth, this wine is concentrated with ripe flavors of papaya, melon, nectarine, pineapple and pippin apple, framed by a touch of vanilla, hazelnut and acidity. Phil and Frenchie proffered this wine at their Swiss cheese fondue dinner and it paired wonderfully with the cheese, cornichons and pearl onions. 2007 Syrah ($12). On the palate this wine is brimming with layers of cherry and black fruits, and rounded out with spice, vanilla and hints of leather. This wine is full-bodied and will pair nicely with tomatobased sauces and hearty red meats. Yes, this one will even stand up to your famous chili recipe. 2008 Lightning Red ($18). This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Tempranillo. This blend creates for a big wine with notes of dark berry flavors, plum and cherry flavors with hints of violet, ground coffee and fresh herbs on the finish. Pair this wine with gorgonzola risotto, teriyaki beef, rosemary lamb chops or hamburgers. 2007 Sangiovese ($28). This rustic wine fills the mouth with baked cherries, strawberry jam, festive spices and a hint of butterscotch from the oak. This wine begs to be paired with a rich tomato sauce with plenty of garlic, fresh herbs and parmesan, yet is versatile enough to pair with lean red meats or cedar-planked salmon. 2007 Cabernet Franc ($30). This was my favorite wine from Phil and Frenchie, only to find out it was the most expensive. I am always a sucker for Cabernet Franc and this did not disappoint. Elegant flavors of red fruits, black tea, flowers and sweet oak are backed by good acidity on a nice long finish. Pair this wine with white-bean bruchetta, pizza, Mediterranean fare or rotisserie chicken. Le Corsaire ($25). This is a dessert wine made from Zinfandel, aged 5 years in French oak barrels and fortified with brandy after fermentation. Corsaire means pirate in French and the bottle looks like it belongs on a pirate ship. The bottle is short, robust and the top is dipped in wax. This port-style wine is a great dessert wine to finish the evening off with and will pair with anything chocolate. Kate Murphy is a Missoula wine writer and columnist for Missoula magazine. Tom Bauer is a Missoulian photographer. He can be reached at tbauer@missoulian. com or at (406) 523-5270.


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...continued from page 25 entirely. His fifth marriage is crumbling under the weight of his infidelities. But this time the tables are turned: his wife is having an affair, and Michael realizes he is still in love with her. When Michael’s personal and professional lives begin to intersect in unexpected ways, an opportunity presents itself in the guise of an invitation to travel to New Mexico. Here is a chance for him to extricate himself from his marital problems, reinvigorate his career and very possibly save the world from environmental disaster. Can a man who has made a mess of his life clean up the messes of humanity? “Double Comfort Safari Club” by Alexander McCall Smith (Due in March) In the latest title in the popular Number One Ladies Detective series, Precious Ramotswe deals with issues of mistaken identity. It is sure to delight her many fans. Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi head to a safari camp to carry out a delicate

mission on behalf of a former guest who has left one of the guides a large sum of money. But once they find their man, Precious begins to sense that something is not right. To make matters worse, shortly before their departure Mma Makutsi’s fiance, Phuti Radiphuti, suffers a debilitating accident, and when his aunt moves in to take care of him, she also pushes Mma Makutsi out of the picture. Could she be trying to break up the relationship? Finally, a local priest and his wife independently approach Mma Ramotswe with concerns of infidelity, creating a rather unusual and tricky situation. Nevertheless, Precious is confident that with a little patience, kindness and good sense things will work out for the best. Enjoy the season and when all else fails, look through the seed catalogs! Barbara Theroux is manager of downtown Missoula’s Fact and Fiction bookstore, and a columnist for the Missoulian and Missoula magazine.

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partners in crime fighting ...continued from page 27

F

Ryker is the only K-9 officer with the Missoula Police Department. The cost of a dog, training and equipment can approach $30,000. Trowbridge, Ryker and Walters give a presentation to a Hellgate High School class. When he’s not working, Ryker is an ambassador to the public who likes to be petted like most other dogs.

rom Walters’ point of view,

there’s another consideration: “K-9 is the one tool that can’t be taken away and used against me.” That’s important because by default, he and Ryker are only called out on felonies. The inherent danger in that situation was brought home to him when he and Ryker went to the training in Spokane. Walters was the only two-legged officer there who hadn’t been involved in a “deadly force” situation. Brandeberry said he got involved in working with police dogs because of an incident involving a fellow officer. “He was tracking some bad guys and passed them. If he’d been tracking with a dog, he’d still be alive. But he got shot in the back.” A K-9 partner’s duties are equally fraught. In 2002, the Anaconda-Deer Lodge County Police Department’s drug-sniffing dog, Sasha, was shot to death and her body dumped near her handler’s home.

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A Missoula police dog named Bo was tracking a suspect so intently across a roof at Southgate Mall in 2003 that when the trail ended at roof’s edge and continued on the ground, Bo leapt from the roof, injuring his front paws and breaking several teeth. And a man suspected of stealing a van in 2008 put a Missoula police dog, Moose, into a choke hold, cutting off his air and punching him repeatedly in the head. For the record, the minute the man loosened his hold, Moose grabbed onto him – and didn’t loosen his hold. “He was an exceptional dog,” Walters said of Moose, recently retired with his handler. Injuring a police dog is a misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail and/or a $5,000 fine, said Walters, who thinks anyone who’d hurt his partner should be subjected to a felony.

• • W

alters and Ryker have a partnership that’s closer than any other on the force. That’s because a police dog lives with his handler; spends the first few months, in fact, “just being a dog,” getting used to both family and police department before going into more intensive training. Walters said his wife had her doubts about taking a large dog, trained to be aggressive in certain situations, into their home. Ryker quickly won her trust, along with that of the kids, and their golden retriever and long-haired Dachshund. Now, Walters said, when he walks in the door after his shift, it’s not, “Daddy’s home!” Instead, the kids shout, “Ryker’s home!” That’s important, Brandeberry said. “Ryker’s a very good dog. He’s social,” he said. “You don’t want a police dog that wants to bite everybody. You want to end up with a dog like Ryker, where you can walk up and pet him.” And you can. But ask Walters’ permission first. Because otherwise, Ryker might think you’re a bad guy. And as you know by now, you don’t want that. Really. Gwen Florio covers cops and courts for the Missoulian. She can be reached at 5235268, gwen.florio@missoulian.com, or CopsAndCourts.com. Tom Bauer is a photographer at the Missoulian. He can be reached at (406) 523-5270 or by e-mail at tbauer@missoulian.com. missoula magazine

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Karen Slobod sits in the living room with wood flooring that was salvaged from the Stimson Lumber Co. mill in Bonner. She’s holding a piece of the old St. Joseph School gym floor that will be used for a kitchen island

home reclaimed ...continued from page 37

W

orking with builder Bob Garrity, structural engineer Jennifer Anthony, and deconstruction specialists Martin Farney and Tony Montgomery, Slobod opened up the main floor of the house, fitted out the basement, and updated all of the rooms to a style that’s at once rustic and modern. “This is a mid-century modern house, but a lot of it didn’t reflect that style,” said Slobod, pointing in particular to the main-floor bathroom, which she described as originally following an aesthetic that was “on the Vegas-y side.” Slobod now finds herself the proud owner of a five-bedroom, three-bath house that befits not only her ecological intent, but also her aim to create an open, inviting space for social gatherings. And despite the fact that it was all achieved through custom work, Slobod said the price of the remodel was quite reasonable, in no small part due to the low cost of using reclaimed materials. As an example of how she shaved costs off the remodel, she points to the wood-framed French doors that now bathe the north-east bedroom in natural light. “Those cost $175 from Home Resource,” she said. “If I’d bought them new, they would have cost over $1,000; and yet they look brand new.” “The thing people should consider when using recycled materials is, you’re getting into custom work – and custom costs money,” she added. “So I saved money using recycled materials,

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but the labor was more expensive than it might have been otherwise. So the thing to do is to get a bid before you start, to make sure that you’re not getting into something where the work to install it doesn’t outweigh the benefits.” Fortunately, Slobod said that it wasn’t hard to find contractors who bought into her vision for the house. “In the last few years I’ve traveled a lot,” she said. “I was surprised to find that Missoula had more folks enthusiastically involved in the widest range of sustainable practices of any of the places I’ve been. Maybe it comes naturally to people here because the pioneer skills for self-sufficiency are still in use. … There’s a lot of positive, energetic activity in this community.” By using reclaimed materials and hiring contractors who shared her vision and ethics, Slobod said she ultimately managed to shave thousands of dollars off what she would have paid for the remodel, had it all been done with new materials. “If you’re trying to save money and also trying to be ecological, you couldn’t do better,” she said. “And I feel like I ended up with exactly what I wanted.” Joe Nickell covers arts and entertainment for the Missoulian. He can be reached at (406) 523-5358 or by e-mail at jnickell@missoulian.com. Tom Bauer is a photographer at the Missoulian. He can be reached at (406) 523-5270 or by e-mail at tbauer@missoulian.com.


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nature’s year 2011

all cabins, sheds and garages with sturdy shutters and doors. To store pet and livestock food in a building or bear-proof container. And to do the same with garbage. To eliminate all open dumps. To educate all children about mountain lions, bears and other wildlife. To never feed or use salt to attract deer, elk, bears or other wildlife.

...continued from page 47

Aug ust

Sleep on a mountaintop and watch for meteor showers early in the month, before the nights turn cold and summer turns the corner into fall. Or dip your feet in a mountain stream. Camp alongside a glacier-fed lake. Listen for loons from the shore of Elizabeth Lake, up high in Glacier National Park. They will not disappoint, for here loons are happy and healthy – and ever-so vocal. In western Montana’s lower climes, relief from the heat typically comes packaged as the August singularity, a sudden change in weather that comes around the 22nd. The air starts to smell like autumn not long thereafter and the first hint of yellow tints cottonwood trees in the river bottoms. Horses seem a bit thicker-coated. Common nighthawks become common day hawks. Moths feed at night on bruised apples. Change is coming, August says, and the promise is always kept.

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October

Migration makes maniacs of many as the days grow colder, so why not join the party by taking a drive across Rogers Pass to the Rocky Mountain Front? Freezeout Lake is October’s ode to abundance, as tens of thousands of snow geese and tundra swans stretch the season on the last vestiges of open water. Their liftoffs and landings fill the camera lens and the senses, defying would-be accountants and naysayers alike. Our favorites, though, are the shorebirds skittering along the water’s edge, tiptoeing through the last warm days. We like the sound of their names nearly as much as we admire their long legs and almost-as-long bills: American avocets, killdeer, snipes, phalaropes, marbled godwits and blacknecked stilts and whimbrels. Hurrah for the whimbrels! And three cheers for the surprise migrants that sometimes veer off course and through our valley! On Oct. 24, 1986, a rare northern mockingbird was seen, and heard, in Missoula.

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This fall, do a good deed for the many black bears and occasional grizzlies who live among us. Quickly pick the apples from your trees, so as not to encourage bruin visits. The more time bears spend in our backyards, the more likely they are to develop habits that will get them killed. In Missoula, volunteers will even pick your apples for you, in hopes of reducing human-bear troubles. In fact, biologist Jamie Jonkel of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks hopes everyone who lives in bear country – and that includes most of us – will make these New Year’s resolutions: To bearproof

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November

Migration? Check. Hibernation? Check. If you didn’t fly south, you’d best set about finding a warm place to winter over. Maybe even a place to just hunker down and snooze. This time of year, University of Montana professor Kerry Foresman devotes two weeks of class time to hibernation – that is, the study of hibernation. “Most people,” he says, “don’t understand what

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animals are doing when they hibernate. They don’t just fall asleep, then wake up in spring.” Hibernation is an attempt to stretch two seasons of food – one box of cereal, if you will – for 12 whole months. Animals eat the cereal during the summer and fall. And the box in winter. So say goodbye this November to the chipmunks, woodchucks, woolly bear caterpillars, painted turtles, marmots and other true hibernators of western Montana. Darkness overwhelms the daylight now and cold soaks into the soil. The time has come to conserve calories, lest the box not last until spring.

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December

In December, shift your focus from the big, dark picture to the smaller wonders. Like snowflakes. My guide, in recent years, has been scientist-author Ken Libbrecht, whose photographs of snow crystals and accompanying commentary were collected in “The Snowflake: Winter’s Secret Beauty.” Under Libbrecht’s tutelage, I’ve come to admire and appreciate snow. For its plenitude: Every second, a million billion snow crystals are formed in the earth’s atmosphere. And its complexity: Snowflakes are actually snow crystals, the shape of which tell how they were created. From the simple act of water vapor condensing into ice, complex, symmetrical and endlessly varied crystals appear. But I didn’t need a scientist to tell me this: Snow is fun. To slide in and on. To pile into great mounds. To study under a magnifying glass or microscope, or on a fleecy coat sleeve or the windshield of a parked car. As does much in the natural world, snow also teaches us not to dawdle. Seize this very moment, this very year. Because snowflakes, and so much else, come and go in a breath.

MONTANA

Sherry Devlin is editor of Missoula magazine and the Missoulian newspaper. She can be reached at (406) 523-5250 or by e-mail at sdevlin@missoulian.com. Linda Thompson is a Missoulian photographer. She can be reached at (406) 523-5270 or by e-mail at lthompson@missoulian.com. Photo by Jerek Wolcott

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parting shot

p.s. photo by kurt wilson

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The serenity of a late winter afternoon falls over the quiet waters of Flathead Lake and the Mission Mountain Range beyond during this peaceful time before summer begins.


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Missoula Magazine Winter/Spring 2011