Coming back

It had been too long since we’d been to this part of Montana. The North Fork of the Flathead River used to be a place my family visited
often when I was a young child. Some of my earliest outdoor memories are here when each summer my mom and dad would rent a small,
rustic cabin at Polebridge. (Who could afford to do that anymore!)

Years later fire swept through this region and left it a charred mess.
The last time we visited, yet another fire had breached all of the containment lines
and spilled over into the forest areas in & around Glacier Park.

The whole scene was heartrending to me. And so, we didn’t return until last week
when we found new life springing up everywhere.

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This might be heaven

The road to this place is over 100 years old built by people looking for riches. They sure found it.
But it still might be heaven because there were loons calling in the evening…
And Forest Larks singing in the treetops.
We only heard motors twice. Once, a small horsepower skiff and then a plane off in the distance.
Otherwise, it was nature’s own self composed music.

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I love Cacti

I was eight years old the last time I visited the desert, thus I felt like I was seeing it for the first time.
Of all the strange plants the barrel cactus intrigued me the most, I think. This one I found in the Valley of Fire.
Isn’t it a wonderful, weird and singular plant? I think it’s a plant. It looked to me that at any moment it might get up and walk away.
I probably was freaking it out with my camera.

Barrel-Cactus

The Joshua trees come in all shapes and sizes.. we found many at the Red Rock Canyon.
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I had to have Matthew stand near some of those taller trees. It looked almost lush in this little ravine or dry creek bed.

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Kerr Dam

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About five miles outside of Polson, MT; Kerr Dam is situated on the Flathead River.  Flathead Lake is still rising and nearly full. I have never seen the Dam this high.  The plume of spray itself is impressive; you can see it well before the Dam comes into view. And to think the snow in the mountains is still very deep. Oh boy.

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The local paper said the Dam is releasing around 60 something billion gallons of water a day.
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Love is our home

A snapshot of our weekend taken at Carroll College in the Science building.  Our youngest turns 19 today (bottom, center) and our oldest (top, right) is graduating in May and  will also be married in July to this lovely young woman.  Where does the time fly to?  It is bewildering.  Yet, we are always connected in our hearts and love is that timeless place we call home.

3-Musketeers

November light ~ SWF

The light wanes and shadows become longer and more obvious earlier in the evening. In western MT winter approaches in small, careful steps. Join in on fabulous sky watching at Sky Watch Friday.

Missions-shadows

Storm clouds race across the sky nearly every day. Photo below is the Rankin Building on the U of M campus. This is one of the older structures at the University.

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Around Missoula

Mansfields

We had a couple walks around the city of Missoula over the weekend. We shop there some and our son lives there now so we are visiting plenty. Fall is one of the most beautiful times of the year in Missoula mostly because of its richly varied, urban forest.  Above is a statue at the U of Montana of Senator Mike and Maureen Mansfield which stands outside the Mansfield Library where I used to study. Below is the Rattlesnake creek in Greenough Park where the creek still runs through it! We always see Belted Kingfishers here. Unfortunately they always fly just a bit ahead of you scolding loudly, and we couldn’t catch him fast enough on camera.

Rattlesnake
Here is a corner of the campus where I used to walk. Imagine that old beer bottle is still there in the statue’s hand!  Just kidding, as this piece is a new addition to the campus art display.
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Old Church

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I realize after reading some of the comments you all left regarding the old church, see post below, that I should have included a photo of the external portion of the building. This view is from the county road.  I believe I posted a photo a couple years ago of the church but this photo is current surrounded by the old growth Ponderosa Pines, some of which have been on the property for longer than any of us.

Thank you very much for your insights, reflections and ideas regarding this old place.  My folks are very hestitant to really alter the building in any way since a few of the old timers in the community have a real attachment to it as a church.  However, you set my mind spinning since at some point we will have to decide what to do with the old church.

Church Canoe

Proctor church

This old country church has stood unused for a long while next door to my parents’ property at Proctor.  My folks had a chance to buy it many years ago and now people in the valley occasionally will ask if they can use it for a wedding, but otherwise it stands empty. At least the sanctuary gets a good, sporadic cleaning that way although presently it looks a bit dusty. There is an outhouse in the back which is non-functioning.  My brother and a friend put a new roof on it several years ago and a little paint… other than that, it has been as it always has over the long years.

pump organ

These old buildings seem a bit sad to me; sometimes when I come in here I imagine to hear the singing of old hymns and the pump organ playing. The organ is in good shape and all the reeds still function just fine. This seems like a creative place to store the Red Raven for the winter, don’t you think?  Somehow it brings just a little bit more life back into the church.  An alternate title to this post could be: The Red Raven gets Religion.

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