It just keeps snowing


We had planned a family ski trip today but Lookout Pass has emergency travel only and the webcam shows a white out on Interstate 90. (Check that camera out if you can in the next day or so; the snow is incredible.) So, we will twiddle our thumbs until we can schedule another chance at the slopes. I get to keep working today and Aly gets to keep studying.

Here is one more offering of my Mission Mountain shots. Like I’ve said before, the view changes if not hourly, then certainly from day to day, from dawn to dusk. Light intensifies or softens the features on the cliffs and snow seems to enhance further the perspective that the mountains are right at the doorstep. They are, by about 2 or 3 miles. I love that big lens, and I love that it just seems to keep snowing.

Going over the hill


To all of you my friends, thank you for the wonderful messages today! I am so touched by your comments, emails and greetings; they truly made this day very special and warmed my heart. I am one of those who is not going over the hill without a fight. (I’ve been heading over that portentous hill for a few years now!) So, thank you for helping make the process of going over the hill a little easier on my spirit!

Where did that phrase come from anyway? What age signifies being “over the Hill“? And which hill, exactly, are they talking about? There are so many! Could it be this one above? (Our yesterday’s snowfall on the Missions.) If so then it’s going to be a heck of a ride. Well, and if it’s the hill of 50 they mean, I still have a few years yet. It’s already become one heck of a ride.  Whee….

Here is a Happy Birthday video Deb sent me which I wanted to share with you all. Thank you so much again!

Laugh it up at the winter blahs

And while we are still on the subject of winter around here, albeit very hard to ignore right now with that gale blowing outdoors and snow flying everywhere. I ended up putting silly putty around the gaps in our back door this afternoon where the cat messed with the insulating weather strip. (She loves shredding that stuff! She’s indeed mental.) Up north they closed a bunch of roads and schools because of drifting and downright perilous conditions. ~!~ Don’t get me wrong I still love winter, but honestly! Here is a truly, funny essay on the winter blahs and what we just might do about them. This post is sure to improve your mental health as it made me LOLZ several times. My friend Deb has this perspective on the annoying doldrums of winter and has a chilling photo of the north shore of Lake Erie besides:

“So, now that we have the holidays behind us, and have got past Jan. 24th — officially known as the Most Depressing Day of the Year— it’s time to perk things up around here.”

Note: I love that line from Kokomo: “We’ll perfect our chemistry…”

Winter Wonders Warmth

The One Deep Breath prompt this week is Winter Wonders. I’ve already posted quite a few haiku or tanka on winter wonders this season. We have blizzard conditions this morning in northwest Montana and I am considering what a miracle it is to stay warm. This piece is dedicated to the wonders of creature comforts in subzero weather, and to this old tree which my brother finally (and with sadness) had to cut down, but is helping to keep my parents warm this winter. Incidentally, my squirrel friend has stored most of his apples and pine nuts in the wood pile. I trust he will remember where he put his impressive, well hidden stash.


Into each crevice
the wind blows snow stealthily
there is no escape.

Profound gift of warmth
from the old cottonwood tree
a fire illumines.

Free Clawhammer Banjo Music: The Old Brown Fiddle

banjoviola.jpgThis is a clawhammer tune I wrote in honor of the fiddle Christine learned on as a little girl. She mostly plays viola now but the fiddle, which was built by her great-grandfather in Southern Illinois still lives in our home… Since I was born and spent the first years of my life in Southern Illinois (Herrin…), it was cool to find out that Christine’s family had a connection to the area as well. This piece is recorded on my Fairbanks with nylgut strings. The tuning is fDGCD…

Click here (or right-click to download): The Old Brown Fiddle

Sky Art


I caught this jet-generated sky art a few days ago when we had blue skies. We normally don’t get that much air traffic so it was unusual to see such criss-crossing patterns. I shot the image towards evening right over the mountains looking east.

10 Renewable Energy facts

We are talking about investments which nations and businesses are making in renewable energy sources or research:

45% Increase in world’s solar generating capacity in 2005.

2 Rank of China as global producer of solar cells, behind Japan (U.S. ranks 4th).

$1.5 billion Amount US government spends a year on renewable energy research.

$1 billion Amount Exxon-Mobil earns in a day.

$2 billion Amount GE Energy Financial Services invested in wind, solar, biomass and geothermal energy in 2007.

Read the rest of the list here at Environmental Defense.