Valley Roses


Valley Rose was one of several trade names used by Thompson’s Mills for their milled grain products. When I visited last Saturday, roses were still blooming at the millkeeper’s house, decades after the machinery had fallen silent.


One rose says more than the dozen.
—Wendy Craig

Hot Pink & Bright Blue Therapy

MT092809009I hadn’t expected to see this color combination when I passed through West Yellowstone, Montana, but thinking about it again reminds me of similarly unexpected riots of color I’ve encountered—the freshly-painted yellow house that’s not far from us, for example, or a fading green one I photographed in Alaska, its weathered exterior a broad canvas for blooming Fireweed flowers.

Each of these places experiences dark, gloomy weather for several months out of the year, along with shortened daylight hours (Alaska) snow (Montana) or rain (Oregon), and it’s no coincidence that people fight back against such depressing conditions by surrounding themselves with large splashes of bright colors.