Wilson is on the mend

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Longtime North Fork columnist Larry Wilson had a heart attack on July 4. He was taken to the hospital and a few days later had quadruple bypass surgery. He is now recovering in Kalispell Regional Medical Center; will soon be transferred to Brendan House as this is being written, and is expected to make a full recovery.

As you might imagine, Mr. Wilson will be away for a few weeks until he’s strong enough to write, though he is said to be in good spirits. As soon as he is willing and able, his column will return to the newspaper.

You can send get well cards c/o Wilson at P.O. Box 3, Columbia Falls, MT 59912

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The boy and I hiked 27 miles into the Belly River country of Glacier National Park over the weekend. The object of the jaunt was to look for loons at a couple of lakes. We saw none, which was sort of sad because the one lake typically has loons and on past occasions I’ve had been serenaded most of the night by their calls.

I’m not sure if I just managed to miss them, though I glassed the top and bottom of the lake and camped not too far from it, so if one called, I hope I would have heard it.

I also sat on the shore for the obligatory hour when one does a “formal” loon survey. You’d be surprised at what you see just sitting in the Park for an hour, pretty much doing nothing. These past surveys nothing exciting happened, but on one survey not too long ago a band of bachelor elk ran up the shore right behind the loons, which is something you don’t see everyday.

The last time I was back there it was raining so hard you could barely breathe. This time we had a thunderstorm, which kicked up some wind and a brief shower, but nothing terrible.

I love how a good thunderstorm can look like the end of the world.

On the hike out we saw three boreal toads in the trail. They looked plump and healthy. I like toads and it’s always a good sign to see the lowly creatures of the world faring well. The interesting thing about these toads wasn’t so much about them being in the trail, but how fast they got out of it when they saw you.

It didn’t take them long to hop out of the way.

I have a big portrait of a toad in hanging in one of our bathrooms. You have to get down on your belly to get a good toad portrait.

All in a day’s work, I suppose.

Correction: Last week’s story on Glacier’s wolves should have said 40 years ago, not 50 years ago. I apologize for the bad math.

Chris Peterson is the editor of the Hungry Horse News.

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