Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Peaceful Holidays

Peaceful holidays from the folks next door

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Note to self ..... the continuing travels of little feet

 Note to self. Remember it really blows hard on the East side of Montana. Stopping on my latest road trip to the Helena area on McDonald Pass ( 6325 ft) , I stepped out of the vehicle and nearly lost my door. oops wind was blowing. Looking East the valley was peaceful and the slushy snow was piled high on the guard rail. Follow this link for more about the history of McDonald Pass Travellogs
 But I digress. The morning started out freezing and Foothill Road was nice and icy with a special treat of fog ! 90 miles of driving on the Swan Highway lay ahead. The Swan is a wonderful road and has beautiful views of several lakes.
 Frozen Echo Lake with some fog. I wouldn't think that a frozen lake can make fog but apparently it can. Early morning and sunset are the best times to enjoy the fog making.
 Once out of the Swan I headed to Helena the back way. Of course some seasoned Coasters ( those who live on the East and West coasts) would probably feel I 90 is the back way as well. This was the real back way with miles of nothing but cows and ranches. Nary a tree to hide behind even if an emergency should come up.
 But with all this emptiness is beautiful mountains, bald eagles, and lots of sky.The miles fly by mostly because the speed limit is 70 mph and everyone feels it is good to go for 90. Fortunately this stretch of road was dry.What if a cow is in the road? Or a deer?
 More mountains and sky I am humming Glen Campbell's Wichata Lineman with  sun and 46 degrees. A real treat for those from the Flathead. In the winter the Flathead is notorious for the snow and cloud cover. We secretly covet the sun of  Eastern Montana but with that wonderful sun comes the wind. I don't covet the wind. A little is fine but the door ripping wind can stay on the Eastern Side.
 So I would think that the rest of Montana has the same amount of snow however it just blows around more than the North West part.
 Mission accomplished. I drove to Helena and then located a really nice arboretum a bit south in Jefferson City Tizer Gardens to pick up some nice young Fat Albert spruce trees. This was a tree rescue trip. The trees had already been rescued from a tree farm elsewhere. With the trees packed into the car ( 7 to be exact ) I headed west. Back over McDonald pass and up the solitary highway. I passed an area know as the Blackfoot Watershed wetland project. The sun was starting towards it's western destination.
 the area was short on people but long on cows. What a wonderful place to have a ranch. These are some happy cows. Fresh air and beautiful scenery. I stopped for a bit and they were making all sorts of cow sounds in the distance. The sun was dancing , it was perfect.
 One may feel like Montana is too brown. Especially for those of you from the East . But the Brown is what turns golden in a thousand shades as the sun nears setting . It is quite magical combined with the beautiful blues of the sky.
 the sun is setting and I am hurtling towards the Flathead. As I head back down the Swan Highway darkness enfolds me and I am gifted by a truck going the same way. This guardian stays ahead of me the entire 90 miles adding light and a feeling of safety as I drive through the night. Plumes of fog drift across the roads from the lakes hiding the world for a few seconds before the cars burst out into the open.
Another little feet adventure ends . Time to put the boots up and rest for the night. 400 miles safely traveled and I am grateful for that . We will have to think of another adventure soon. In the interim I will decide where to put 7 more trees. It has been a good day.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cloud Beings . . . .

 The cloud beings were wildly active this afternoon. We had a snow storm front pass somewhat north of here and now on the back of it the clouds are dancing wildly in the frisky wind. The warm artic parka feels good today.
 Clouds over the saddle, as the sun travels to it's western home the clouds hasten towards the East.
 Life slightly blurred. Soft pastels fill the sky as the sun sinks farther .
The last sigh of light brilliantly reflected off the clouds. The bare larches stand outlined on the horizon.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Sunrise on the saddle
Sunrise on the saddle above the house this morning .Recently I have been going to work early so I have missed the sunrise that occurs about 8 AM. I love the snow pack and the subtle pinks as the sun peeks over the mountains. I am on a mission this morning to go to the trash area. I could get trash pick up but that is an additional charge. So every now and then I make the trek to the green cans.
Sunrise over the Foothills
Driving down the road by the state hatchery. The sun is rising over the Foothills. A welcome site as we have
had days of cloudy weather. We had a cold stretch for two weeks then today it was 50 degrees. The snow melted , the ice disappeared.  With the snow gone you can see the good earth. The wonderful loam is one of the things I am grateful for. I finished planting my last tree tonight. I am really thankful to be done with the year's planting projects.

After leaving the green cans I took a back road to work. As I drove through the wheat fields there were geese flying towards me. These geese were leisurely flying this morning looking for a place to put down.
In flight
They flew closer and their honking filled the morning air. The geese are so strong and so full of purpose. I
can't imagine their brains are very big however they get a lot of bang for the buck.

The geese carry on towards the sunrise. I am grateful for a slow drive to work this morning. Additionally I am grateful for my long term friends, close family ,and my healthy children as well as their children. A full life . A good morning with geese honking in the distance.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Silent Sunday

Snowing for the last 24 hours

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Heart Sister

Katie with her family
If we are lucky on the rocky road of life we will be honored to find our Heart Sisters. These are special people who gift us with a bond, who accept us with all their heart unconditionally. They encourage you , and hold your hand when the bottom falls out. Literally they are there through thick and thin. I have been lucky to find several of my Heart sisters on this present journey.  Today I say good bye to one . I will miss you Katie. Thank you for 24 years of friendship . You were a devoted mother and a steadfast friend. You have run the good race. The words of  e e cummings say it all.

I carry your heart with me by e e cummings

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
                                  i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Twinkling lights

Twinkle lights on the front porch, cheerful reminders that I am home.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

wordless wednesday

Full moon over the Foothills

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Cellular Memory

Familiar cows on the way home
Snow finally made it to the Valley floor last night. A reluctant rain shower that started late about 9 PM and turned to wet snow. Enough to decorate the evergreens but not enough to complicate the roads and driving. The low clouds obscured the Foothills.I set out for an early morning visit to the vet to fluff and puff the dogs for their yearly check up . Later while out in the yard finishing the "warm weather " chores I heard geese coming from the north.The sky was still thick with clouds so it was a while before the familiar V formation came into view. Several stragglers were calling out and catching up to the main flock. There is something in my cellular memory that gives me literally goose skin when I hear their call. There is so much purpose to their communications. So much purpose to their lives as they strive to become part of the formation flying south.  Quiet day ahead with bringing in the herb garden . We expect 15 degrees so I don't think the herbs would do well from here on out. For now a pot of chai tea to warm the bones.
start of the winter wood stack

Monday, October 31, 2011

On the way home....

 Driving home the sun was setting just so with the golden yellow melting in between the dramatic rain/snow clouds. The fields were like honey with snow showers a few thousand feet above them. Around the bend my favorite stand of Aspen. Quiet sentinels in the brisk air promising more winter than fall.
 The beauty of the area is almost unbelievable. Sometimes I feel like I am in a painting. Sometimes the lighting in just perfect . Of course reality knocks and you have to dodge a turkey or deer. So on the Hallow's Eve all is quiet. The animals are laying low. Just a turkey or two.
 Closer to home the familiar mountains soaking the last few rays of the day. On the summit we already have some snow lying at 6000 to 7000 feet. As I stand taking this picture the rain is mixed with fat snow. Transient but a promise to keep as we move towards winter. The Western Larch have turned golden yellow this week and dot the higher elevations with their regal branches. Already I long for their baby green in spring.
Cozy Foothills

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pink Glove Dance Breast Cancer Awareness Montana Style!

Ok this is a lot of fun with an important message . The crowd from work. Welcome to Flathead Valley Community College. ; )  Dedicated to Sarah , live long , live well! We love you!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Silent Sunday.... Home on the Range

Buffalo on Blackfeet Lands

High plains of the Eastern Rocky Front

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Saturday Harvest

Pumpkins waiting for a good home at Sweet Pickin's
 Saturday pumpkin run to the Sweet Pickin's pumpkin patch . On the hunt for some straw, pumpkins  and kettlecorn. The snow is on the Foothills to the East and coming down the mountains. Some wonderful pumpkins and other squash family members in a riotous collection which would make any farmer proud. The folks were very friendly and lots of fun rides for the kids. Tractors pulling trains made out of 50 gallon drum barrels painted with bright colours. An afternoon of sun reviving the spirit. Beauty and abundance are all around us. With gratitude we move through the weekend.

Snow on the Foothills

Pumpkins ( orange and white)  and winter squash

Nothing better than sun, screaming kids and a lot of pumpkins!

the deciduous trees are turning yellow but we are still waiting for the Tamaracks to turn


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Silent Thursday

Sunrise from the Amtrak Empire Builder along the southern border of Glacier National Park

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sunrise over the Northern Rockies

sunrise in the Rockies

clouds pouring through the V

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A journey of the Heart

Mission Falls near St. Ignatious MT
A journey of the heart today. I dropped one of my kids off in Missoula so he could continue his journey to visit some old friends. It is amazing the speed of time.It can catch you  in the middle with fond recollections and regrets of lost time spent pursuing the necessary work a day schedule . Where on earth did that tow headed toddler go?

Well to soothe the soul on the drive back north in the Mission Valley I took a side road through Saint Ignatious. I had spotted the Mission Falls as I was driving on the highway north and wanted a closer look. The Mission Falls are in the Mission Mountains Tribal Wilderness Area. This is a 92000 acre protected wilderness that was formed in 1982 through the cooperation of the Salish-Kootenai Tribe. Elevations range from 4000 to 10000 feet through out the range. The falls are surrounded by Kakashe MT ( 8575 feet) , Lowary PK 9969 FT, and Mountaineer PK 9261 feet. The Mission Falls begin about 5000 ft and drop 1000 feet to the valley floor. I have included a topo map of the area ( as I love maps !) and you can see how steep the mountain sides are next to the falls. Carved from glaciers this cirque bowl is home to a beautiful waterfall and many high mountain pristine alpine lakes.  Once more the beauty of nature takes the edge off the bittersweet of life. A treatment worth the time. Now to plan a return trip with camping in mind.      



Snow melt at 7000 feet
A lively stream born of winter snows reminds us how wonderful it is to be alive with it's dancing spray . How wonderful it is to be able to make choices . How remarkable a life can be when choosing truth, compassion , love and freedom.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Silent Thursday

Happy Goat Family with Baby bringing up the rear!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

One foot in front of the other

 One foot in front of the other is the best therapy. It creates a rhythm that drives out the demons. It clears the space and in that moment of honoring the four directions we become one again with those things that nourish us and protect us. Inviting the enlightened aspects of the universe to clothe us in it's armor.
Saint Mary's Lake and Wild Goose Island

Jackson Glacier in Eastern Glacier

Saint Mary's Lake blue enough to blind

Hidden Lake