Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Water Racing Moon

wild Arnica good topically but don't eat

McDonald Creek heading west 

McDonald Creek as it Exits the West end of the Lake 

Fragrant flower 

Another view of the water exiting McDonald Lake into the Creek

Rocky point trail , Griz country

a friend on the lake beach 

McDonald Lake looking East to the Continental divide 

McDonald Lake 

Upper McDonald Creek where Avalanche Creek comes in

Avalanche Creek Showing off

Avalanche Creek

yet more  showing off  with a huge gurgling hole

Trillium blooming today
This is the Water Racing Moon, It will be full in about two weeks. During this time the water that has been locked away as snow for the last 7 months is mobilizing and racing towards the Pacific. All at once it would seem. The Lakes are full , the creeks are boisterous , and to tell you the truth the creeks are showing off just a bit with their frothy foamy bubbling as the water makes it's way from the mountains. It is easy to feel the exuberance of the water as it nourishes and brings life to the plants and animals. A good day of hiking for sure . A nourishing recharge.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Memorial Day

Bleeding Hearts 
 This Memorial Day please give some time to appreciate those who gave their lives for our freedoms. Many families today will be without their loved ones. Please support these families who have lost their fathers, mothers,brothers, sisters or spouse . America is a unique place . Americans who have served to protect us are dear to our hearts. Take a few minutes this weekend to honor our fallen soldiers and sailors.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Missouri Headwaters: Happy in Montana

Bleu Horses
Last weekend took me to Billings and some good social time . On the way back I headed to Helena for a test . I took the back roads after leaving I 90 and headed north on Highway 287 .  There is a whole hillside full of metal sculptures of horses. It is really quite striking . There is more about these lively four    leggeds at distinctly montana : Bleu Horses . There are 39 steel horses designed by sculptor Jim Dolan .  This display is about 3 miles north of Three Forks.
Ever present clouds 
 I happen to enjoy the open spaces and big sky in this area. This area being pretty much all of the West but Montana in particular. I would suppose the lack of people and the endless miles of highway might make some nervous. It is a sheer delight .
Heading across the tracks to the York Island area on the Missouri
 Heading up the highway I see another sign about the Lewis and Clark route. I decide to check it out but just barely missed getting across the tracks before one of the BNSF trains came chugging north . A five minute wait and then I am up across the tracks heading for the York Island camp ground and fishing access. The York Islands are named after one of the members of the Lewis and Clark expedition.  He was referred to only "York" in the journals and was a skilled black slave who contributed much to the success of the expedition by hunting and fishing . He was also able to win the respect of the native peoples they encountered with his unusual appearance . Many of the Native American people had not ever seen an African American. He asked for his freedom upon  finishing the trip however it took 5 years for this to come about . You can read more about York's life here .
Missouri Head waters 
 There is something magnetic about water. Moving water is particularly attractive. Many folks consider the confluence of the Jefferson, Gallatin and Madison rivers at Three Forks to be the beginning of the Missouri but others argue for the Brower's Spring area that feeds the Jefferson River . An interesting topic to research with more information at the Montana FWP Missouri source article .
Train bridge across the Missouri River 
 One of the great things about Mountana in May is the greening of the pastures. I saw more than one happy cow and frolicking calf along the way . I took a 5 mile detour down a dirt road to get another close up of the river .
Happy cows

More Missouri River views 
A gorgeous valley is  tucked away by the river with the Mountains keeping close watch . Rushing rivers and a couple of osprey nests are spotted along the way . Down by the river there were snow geese winging above the beach. It was a nice drive all around.
Nearing Home on the Swan
After a 3 hour drive from Helena I reach the Swan Lake . Not too far to home now. There has been mostly sunny skies and it has been a safe trip . You can't ask for more.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Slowly ….

Western Larch Budding
 Slowly life returns to the North West Rockies. It is warm for the last two days to 70 degrees and the buds are popping everywhere. A welcome sight when the Larch return to leaf. They shed their needles in the fall and lie dormant during winter fooling many who think the trees are no longer alive.
wild strawberries
 The cherry trees are budding out as are the apples. Not to get in too much of a hurry as we had snow in late May last year . Cautiously now , very carefully venture forth.
Cherry Buds 

Apple buds 

Lawn Beauty 
 The Rocky Mountain Maples are not at all the grand trees found back east. There may be a wobbly stem that grows out of these sprouts and sprigs. However the deer really like to munch on this new growth so it is a great diversion .
Rocky Mountain Maple sprouts

Ant's eye view 
In great haste I planted the garlic last October just before our first snow. it is great to see them coming up and looking quite fit . We will see what happens at harvest. There are three heritage types: Persian, Chet's , and music . So something to look forward too in late summer .