Excellent Birds

Archie Bray birds

Photos by Caitlin Carroll taken at the Archie Bray Foundation, Helena Montana last weekend. This foundation is Montana’s most famous ceramic arts hang out where creativity taps you on the shoulder from any direction. Some of it might be mind bending. Click on the pictures for a better view. Here they decorate the grounds with whole art or broken art. You just never know what you’ll see but it is always highly interesting. For Caitlin it was a photographer’s haven. One might even manage to see…. right through a piece. Ah, I get it!


Ian at AB

Grace Paley

Grace Paley:  12/11/1922 – 8/22/2007  Poet, Pacifist, Writer of short stories died last week. She was the same age as my Mom. I love this poem.

The Poet’s Occasional Alternative
I was going to write a poem
I made a pie instead it took
about the same amount of time
of course the pie was a final
draft a poem would have had some
distance to go days and weeks and
much crumpled paper
the pie already had a talking
tumbling audience among small
trucks and a fire engine on
the kitchen floor
everybody will like this pie
it will have apples and cranberries
dried apricots in it many friends
will say why in the world did you
make only one
this does not happen with poems
because of unreportable
sadness I decided to
settle this morning for a re-
sponsive eatership I do not
want to wait a week a year a
generation for the right
consumer to come along

Kayak update

The kayaking on Sunday was fun punctuated by moments of wicked surprise. This Eddyline boat is a much different critter than our Prijon, naturally. Aly and Matthew ended up tipping and dumping themselves which was a shock. We don’t usually have that occur. Mostly it was a cold, wet surprise to them followed by a rubbing of the chin wondering what just happened. I had better luck with my short and cautious trial in eight inches of water. (Emphasis on the word “cautious”). The center of gravity is apparently a big issue and I am much smaller than are they. The boat feels very unstable until you really start paddling. I think it will just require a bit of practice. I will have to give it a real test when we find calmer waters or more courage on my part. A very gusty wind came up on the lake and that pretty much ended our experiments with the new kayak. So I am withholding any more comments until a further date. ~chicken~

My nephew and his young daughter are here visiting at my family’s house this week and I just arrived home for a bit to catch up on things with business and the garden. More coming soon.

Much kayaking to be done

We have just found a used Eddyline single kayak for our son (or for whoever shows up and wants to paddle – that might mean you). It was a rental at the Canoe Rack in Missoula and we were delighted to find a good deal on it. It is now all cleaned up and ready to put on the lake this afternoon. I believe these kayaks are made in Burlington, WA near Mt. Vernon. This is the Nighthawk 16 foot. It weighs significantly less than our Prijon, of course which is a real bonus. We haven’t done much paddling at all in the last two weeks because of the air quality. The smoke from the local fires has diminished this weekend so we are going to take advantage of clearer air and some warm temperatures. You all have a great weekend and thanks for your encouragement of our Made in Montana Fractals! What fun.

Night hawk 16 foot

Blue Fractal

The blog has been getting quite a few hits lately associated with fractals, i.e., the search word being “fractal” or the plural thereof. People seem to like them and why not? Fractals are really cool. Well here is another image which Matthew conjured up from a new flame generator. The oddest fractal searches we’ve had so far have been: naked fractal and haiku fractal. Huh? Wouldn’t the naked and haiku bit become rather lost? So much so that it would render them totally meaningless? I can understand attempting to write a haiku to accompany a fractal image on the side. It would be a challenge, but it is an intriguing idea. However, I’m unsure about the naked theme. I’m not sure I’ve even used that word in any of my posts. Although I’m certain it could help me get to the top of the search engines – naked….naked… naked. What a funny looking word. Especially after you write it a lot.

Moving along…

We’ll introduce our new fractal now, but it really has nothing to do with naked and I promise this image did not originate from any such aforementioned theme. Honest.

Introducing — Ta-Da: (naked) blue fractal ~~

Blue Fractal

Welcome Allison~

Isn’t she lovely?  This is my niece’s (and her husband’s) new daughter, Allison Charlotte, born a week ago August 15 at 9:15 pm. She weighed 8 pounds, 2 ounces. Welcome, welcome little one.

Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ~Elizabeth Stone

Big Sky, clear sky

Big Sky Garrison Junction

This shot is around Garrison Junction as we drove home from taking our son to college. Finally, clear skies. I was beginning to believe they were a myth from the distant past. We got out of the car and just took it all in. This area and beyond has actually gotten a bit of rain, as have we and the fire fighters are making progress on the wild fires which have all but surrounded us the last weeks. Foresters have been telling us recently that we should get used to smoke filled summers as this seems to be a pattern that will not change anytime soon. You can read the article on fires reclaiming their natural role in the online Missoulian. “People need to realize the environment we live in is a fire-adapted ecosystem,” said the U.S. Forest Service’s Northern Region deputy director of fire, aviation and air. “We need to live with the expectation that fire will be part of life here.”

If that is so, then I feel the State of Montana needs to start opening our campgrounds a bit sooner in the Spring so that we who live here can take advantage of the smoke-free weeks preceding summer. Many campgrounds don’t open until mid May or Memorial Day which gave us only about six weeks of clear air camping this summer. There is, of course an offering of off-road camping all year ’round but we don’t feel safe hauling our Scamp up two-track ruts in the road which might wash out overnight. Washington State offers a variety of campgrounds open most of the year. I’m not sure what makes us so less than evolved in that respect. How about May1? I’m sure more Montanans would use the campgrounds earlier now that our late summers are often restricted for outdoor recreational fun.

Scamp in BC
[tags]Montana campgrounds,fires,summer,outdoor recreation[/tags]

Daybreak (One Deep Breath)

morning walks through trees

contemplating silently

one step at a time.

Lindberg shoreline

If I sit at dawn

on a shoreline of deep thoughts

memories clutched tight

I will never launch the boat,

come home to an open door.


Solitary light

enters the silent forest

loons call from the lake.


[tags]daybreak,haiku,tanka,quiet water,poetry[/tags]

(Click photo for a better view) Find more haiga here.