Sunday, June 30, 2013

Happy in Montana: Another Little Feet adventure to Avalanche Lake

Avalanche Creek
 A great way to bring June to a close. Hiking up to Avalanche  Lake with my favorite daughter. The snow melt is in full swing and the creek is full with lots of jumping cascades and frothy falls.
Avalanche Trail
Hiking through the dense forest there is an area of previous storm damage with lots of dead fall. The good news is that you can now see a view as you pick your way through giant trees that were knocked down by the wind storm 
Avalanche Gorge filled to the Brim
 The gorge has many moods. I do love it when the creek is full and there is a great deal of sloshing going on.
Avalanche Trail mossy goodness
 The Lake is 2.5 miles from the parking lot . more hiking through dense woods with the bear spray in hand. We probably won't need it as many tourists are hiking today in flip flops and without water. Their kids are running loose ahead of them .
Gnarled tree roots
Lots of old conifers on this trail, western cedar and various firs. At one point the creek is full and spills through the lower forest floor making an impromptu marsh . Bird song is every where . 
The Creek escapes the banks and meanders through the forest
We are rewarded by reaching our destination. The sound of water falls crashing off the cirque ahead of us. Avalanche Lake spills out cold and clear with beautiful colors of green and blue. 
Avalanche lake

Nothing better than snow melt in the Rockies
 The water for the first few feet has been warmed by the sun but farther in the feet go numb as the temperature drops . Plenty of ducks across the lake fishing while we are pursued by the local chipmunks .
Happy in Montana: Little Feet

As we hiked back to the lower trail we passed a Ranger looking for a bear that was just spotted in the area.  We didn't see it or smell it but glad to be back to base in one healthy and happy piece.
A bit of live action with the creek entertaining my favorite daughter .

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Happy in Montana: Healthy Boundaries

super moon
 The super moon is out. In the valley here we have abundant clouds which makes chasing the super moon tonight more of a challenge. Always balanced with the ever present question of how long do we want to stand in the dark waiting for the clouds to shift? This is tempered by the question of where is the mountain lion right now ?
This is a rose bush I planted in great haste last fall . It is bee friendly and as I checked out the yard this morning the bees were gathering great balls of yellow pollen tight to their bee tummies for the flight back to the hive. Some day I will have hives here but for now creating a bee friendly space is fine. 
Blue Flax
I believe this is blue flax . They are a new find this year and of course I am delighted they have joined the yard in providing for diversity.
Trumpet Honeysuckle
Another new comer ( I am sure they were there all along ) is the Trumpet Honeysuckle . I was in the deep forest part of the yard and noticed these orange flowers on the ground. Later I found a large clump of them at eye level and they were on a vine versus flowers from a tree. 

Fungal composition
A beautiful fungal composition deep within the woods. within the few acres that I care for, there is open meadow and deep deep forest with mossy recesses. I suppose you think of Montana as being very dry. And yes it can be very dry especially in August and September . However we are in the Rainy Season and the fungi are having a merry time with the nutrients found on the forest floor.
 Dozens of seedlings have sprouted in the warmth of the spring.
Wet weather nurtures fungal variety

Velvety Iris
 Although not a wild flower , the iris is very happy this morning . Another being happy to be in Montana. Happiness is essential for health. Boundaries that are healthy are one of the prime lessons we work on  while we spin though space on this beautiful gem. Where do we stop and start as people? What are we really responsible for? Those of us who have our physical health and mental faculties have a responsibility to be aware of what we create. We make choices daily and we need to be aware of those choices. We are more than a pin ball bouncing off of  obstacles within a game. Our energy can either be self supporting or that of an energy vampire. We can lift up those that we come in contact or we can drain others by demanding that they sacrifice their lives to our laziness. So much complication for day to day decisions. We can be good parents and encourage our children to grow and explore life with enthusiasm or we can shackle our children with guilt,fear  and the threat of rejection . From cradle to grave we have the opportunity to create our lives in a positive and truly beautiful expression of who we are soul wise. Why do individuals go astray? Why do people choose greed , lies, violence and fear? Is this necessarily an easier path than generosity, truth , peace and courage? Look at your boundaries. Are they healthy ones? Or have you been coerced, frightened, or threatened into making your life decisions? Choose wisely. Walk softly on this beautiful Earth, say hello to the Sun and let the Universe know you are full of love and light.
wild lupine in the meadow

Monday, June 17, 2013

Happy in Montana

A surprise beauty this morning
Another glorious morning . People kick into high gear when it gets warm in this area. Lists of things to accomplish before the first snow flies.  June has been a prolific blooming month. This is a new iris to bloom this year. It was hiding the last two springs in the cozy house in the woods. 
A wild grass that flowers
 Nice creamy flowers that bloom from some sort of grass. I still need to look this up . A lot of folks might want to spray it and get rid of it but I look forward to this one's visit each spring.
wild grass before it unfurled
 It has been a week of heavy machinery and burn piles. My neighbors have horses and the patch of wild woods is transforming into pasture. Good for me as now I can see the Mountains better and it does help with fire mitigation to get rid of the scrubby packed grand fir. It was a mess before but now even Mr Mountain Lion can be seen sneaking up on us.
Neighbors hard at work

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Stillness and other musings ....

Bee friend gathering wild Montana Rose pollen
A tribute to our bee friends who are struggling .Is it the cell towers,the high fructose syrup fed to the bees, the mono crops or the neonicotinoid pesticides we liberally sprinkle on everything? Whatever it is we as the human guardians need to get busy to find the cause and eliminate it. We will not do well with out our bee friend. As a small start I am planting my yard with a variety of bee tasty flowers emphasizing the native species. The Montana wild rose may not be much of a looker but this lucky bee had a giant ball of pollen gathered so they must like this wild flower.
Echo Lake sunset
After chores a quick trip to the lake for a walk at sunset. The air is gentle and the Osprey are calling out to each other .Ospreys are big birds if you have never seen one up close .  One bird parent stays in  the nest and the other bird parent fishes. I wish I was fast on the camera draw as one of the parents flew down to the lake surface and snagged a fish that was a least 18 inches long. The adult flew back to the nest holding the dinner in it's feet. The fish glistening in the setting sun. The osprey have a very definite call . Their conversation back and forth bring the lake alive along with other evening bird song. As we know a wise person once said that "birdsong sings life forward". In the stillness of the evening that feels true down to my toes.
Osprey Nest
 No flooding this year . The waters are still and not even close to breaching the causeway road as in years past. The snow pack was adequate but not excessive this year.

Marsh at the North end of the Lake
 The north end of the lake eventually dries out leaving a marsh as Fall approaches. For now it is home to the water fowl with good nesting grounds.
In stillness we hear the voice of wisdom
 When you walk in nature are you at peace? Is your heart content? Do you have positive feelings about your life choices and the good you do with your hands ? If you can say yes to these questions then you know you are turning your footsteps towards the path that leads away from misery and towards enlightenment. The human soul makes choices every day ,all day long that either encourages or stunts the growth. There are a lot of deceptive distractions that can lead the soul to stagnation and then death. If you can be quiet inside and leave the clutter of the external world behind then you are well on your way to connecting with the ancient wisdom and light that is available to us as we travel this land.
Volunteer flower
 We are lucky to have 2 and 4 legged companions on our journey. When you look in the mirror and see as much compassion as this kind four legged carries in his heart you will be close to soul completeness. Many people think animals are not our equal . I for one beg to differ. Safe journey my fellow seekers. Protect yourselves and be aware. Look for the beauty in life, the stillness and peace around you , but be alert to those who might cause you to stumble. Love is the answer . Always..

The eyes of compassion

Monday, June 10, 2013

Just flowers

Purple and white iris with rainbow
Short and sweet . Late spring is full of flowers this year . After the winter slumber the earth gives us her gifts of floral beauty. It is worth the wait. Some area delights that can be found blooming this time of year !
Purple and white iris back lit with morning sun

Mystery bud

Lupinus Perinnus

Yellow Lilly

Quartet of Bear Grass

Bleeding Hearts

Wild flower along Bowman Creek wild geranium perhaps?

More Bowman Lake wild flowers


Rhododendron buds

columbine up close

Purple iris bud

Purple iris unfurled


wild pansie

Lupine with a bee friend



Purple iris


Purple and white iris bud