Rutland natives Dave & Pat (Anderson) Kulzer sent in a report on some interesting critters in their back yard. They live in the Swan River Valley, on the west slope of the Rocky Mountains, about halfway between Kalispell and Seelye Lake. Pat reports that they hit the jackpot of big animal pics from one of their trail cameras. “The buck pics are from Dec 5, 2020 about 1 pm, and the bear from Dec 6, 2020 about 2 am. We think the bear is a grizzly. What do you think? Dave counts 5 pts each side on the heavy, wide rack of the buck. The animals were about 150 yards from our house on forest service land just west of the huge old, downed, hollowed-out tree trunk that we call “the bear’s den”. Maybe this griz will decide to hibernate there this winter. Hope not! Most of our snow is gone but today is cloudy and there is light snow in the forecast for several days of the next week. Staying bear aware in Swan Valley, Pat”
Santa Claus Day had to be cancelled this year due to COVID restrictions on events but that did not stop Santa and his band of elves from visiting the Rutland children. Thanks to the Rutland Community Club and the Rutland-Cayuga Rural Fire Department, Santa Claus made his rounds on Sunday, December 13. The Fire Department chauffeured Santa to about 40 houses to visit approximately 88 Rutland area children, newborn to age 18. The elves helped Santa visit the excited children at each home and to present them with gifts which were enthusiastically received. Thanks to the Rutland Community Club and members of the Rutland-Cayuga Fire Department for taking the time to make so many kids’ Christmas wishes come true!
December 21st marks the winter solstice which is the longest night of the year. It is the point when daylight once again starts to gain ground on the dark of night. This year, that date will also mark the appearance of the Christmas Star. It has been nearly 800 years since the Star appeared in 1226. Jupiter and Saturn, the two largest planets in the solar system, will align. It will seem from our view that they are nearly touching but they will still be hundreds of miles apart. This lousy year will provide a gleam of hope and wonder. Be sure to watch for the conjunction of the planets which will appear low in the western sky for roughly an hour after sunset.
That is it for this this week from Rutland. Merry Christmas to everyone.