Michael Mon Jul 8 14:39:52 2002|
Didja miss me?
I really like Montana. Besides all the mountains and stuff, we were there on July 4. To really understand the spiritual impact this had, you have to understand that explosive fireworks are illegal in Indiana. In Montana, however, where the basic American right to be as stupid as you want to be is still respected by the state government, everybody -- and I mean everybody -- buys a *whole lot* of explosive fireworks. Plus the visibility is way better for two reasons: here in IN, humidity means that the July night air is basically a translucent soup, but in MT it is air. And here in Bloomington there are a lot of trees wherever you don't mow, because our climax ecosystem is deciduous forest. In MT if you cut down pines, then you have grassland for a few centuries until the pinecones can manage to roll over to where you cut. Pinecones aren't real mobile.
So the result is that besides two city displays which were quite visible, there were also private displays throughout the Flathead Valley. Maybe a thousand. I mean, fireworks *everywhere*.
It was really, really cool.
Then we came home last night and I realized what was so quiet out there -- no crickets. No frogs. (Also no fireflies.) No cicadas. None of the sounds I associate with a nice summer day/night, and I do like fireflies a lot.
Great trip, though. And I managed to do a really significant Amtrak trip before they shut it all down. ("What's the difference between Dubya and Benito Mussolini? Dubya doesn't care whether the trains run on time.")