August 2017: Greetings from Lady Dunrovin

Cover Photo by Sandy Walters
Dunrovin Ranch Lifestyle Magazine

Just when we really needed it, Montanans pulled together to put on a spectacular art extravaganza for the inaugural Horse of a Different Color. Sponsored by Dunrovin Ranch’s affiliate nonprofit organization, Friends of Dunrovin, to raise money for equine-assisted therapy, the event was months in the planning. These plans could easily have gone up in smoke, along with the forests in the surrounding mountains, as the Lolo Peak fire exploded and engulfed our entire valley. Nerves were frayed. Bodies were exhausted form hard work and endless worrying. Spirits were shrouded and defeated by the cloud of thick smoke. And then, like the flowers that will surely come in the wake of the fire, this brief and beautiful moment of community art, connecting with our lovely equine partners, and good food, wine, and music, allowed us to revitalize, to regain our footing for the challenges of the days to come.

What a juxtaposition! The night before the event, conditions conspired to whip the fire into a frenzy that rained ash on the ranch and ringed our horizon with flames. Up all night manning the hoses to ensure the ashes did not burst into flame, it did not seem possible that the event could go forth. Yet, in spite of having to evacuate their homes or help family members do the same, everyone stepped up and made it happen. What resilience and courage and spunk! 

While tragic to humans, fire is a natural part of western Montana’s ecology. Many of the plants have evolved strategies to live with and thrive in the face of fire. It is a challenge for us to do the same. For far too long, we have seen forest fires as the exception, rather than the rule. It will take energy and commitment and enlightenment for us to adapt, to alter our expectations and monitor our forest activities to adjust to a reality that has been there all along, but from which we have tried to hide.

At times like this, I am grateful for all of the strength, dedication, and spirit of my neighbors, friends, and the many firefighters from across the nation who responded to the call for help. I am humbled and grateful for all of their contributions. I am also grateful for my many online friends who have held my hand throughout the ordeal with encouraging words, cards, and messages. You have made a difference, and I thank you.

Putting this issue of the magazine together has been rewarding for me. It has helped me sum up all that has been happening in the valley and all that went into creating such an outstanding inaugural Horse of a Different Color. This month has taken me to the extremes of anxiety, of worry, of hope, and of joy. I welcome the opportunity to share it all with you.

DaysAtDunrovin Community 

Our D@D community is a subscription-based online community. Our subscription serves three very important purposes:

First, it allows us to pay the costs of operating DaysAtDunrovin without having to use our limited resources chasing advertisements as a source of revenue. We do not see our community members as consumers in the online world, but as friends who have come together to celebrate animals, nature, and learning. We strive to create an online community free from constant, invasive pushes to purchase. Information about and links to our partner organizations appear without charge on our public D@D pages. We are proud to be associated with these entities and hope you will support them. They share our values and will serve you well.

Second, our subscription creates a "gated community" where people with common interests and values can freely communicate without fear of disrespect. Requiring a D@D membership to participate in the open chat and posting forums ensures protection from internet trolls and bullies. Open and respectful communication opens hearts and forms the basis for friendships. Our website must be safe and secure in order for meaningful conversations and friendships to thrive. Furthermore, this is very personal for me. I live at Dunrovin and I am inviting you into my home. I need to know that you, too, are a real person with honest and good intentions.

Third, we would love to raise money to give back in meaningful ways and support nonprofit causes which speak to the values we all hold. As a community, we can collectively be a force for good.

If you want to join the D@D community and cannot afford the $8/month subscription fee, please email us at dunrovinmagazine@gmail.com and we will work with you to set up a scholarship. Willingness to divulge who you are and abiding by our conversation standards of respect are more important to us than payment. Ability to pay should not be a barrier to community membership.

Please share your thoughts about our magazine. Email your comments and suggestions to dunrovinmagazine@gmail.com. We cannot promise to answer every message, but we do promise to read every one and post them in our Discussion section for our D@D members to see and discuss. We will work with our D@D members to determine the magazine's course together.    

Thank you for your time and attention. Welcome to Dunrovin. I'd love to hear from you.

Sincerely, 

Transparent Sig