Laughter via OSI


Little messenger
you put laughter in my heart
just by being there.

My weary worries
scatter with your morning song
then evaporate.


Chickadee saying hello: Photo by Alasdair on one of the few sunny days we’ve had.

More smiling entries on laughter at OSI.


Watching the clouds


We are still getting snow. These are snow clouds, although they look strangely ominous suggesting hail or ice. This morning we had a couple inches of wet, fluffy stuff on the ground. This is all welcome precipitation for reasons which I have stated before, i.e., maintaining snow pack. My friend Bitterroot has a super photo essay on her site concerning the Seeley-Swan fires of last August which I had also documented. (See August archives.)  I don’t have the up-close and personal photos which  she took last fall in October, and I like the flow of her picture narrative.

These fires were devastating and raged for many weeks costing millions of dollars just to combat, let alone control.  The final relief came with rain and up until the moment the weather shifted the firefighters could only try to save homes as the fire spread out of control.  The smoke on this side of the mountains was nearly unbearable; ash covered everything.   We have not ventured east over the mountains yet to see the damage, although the papers were full of fire photos at the time.   We will soon make a trip over and try a hike around Holland Lake and vicinity. I am hopefully anticipating the power of nature’s ability to rejuvenate.  Already green is beginning to show in places which were absolutely scorched just a few months ago by intense fire storms.  I have some thoughts on that here.

Sweet Sixteen

geocaching.jpgTime. How it does fly. Sixteen years ago our younger son was born and I can remember that day so clearly like it took place only a couple years back.  Now he is a tall, fine young guy who plays drums like there are no windows nor ceiling to keep him confined. He loves the outdoors but mostly he loves music. Happy Birthday, Sweetie. The sky is the limit.  (This photo was taken recently while we were out on a geocache.)

Walking word of the day

I think my S key is sticking. I’ll be typing along all happy and intent on what I’m doing, then ~~~ dssss. So if you see any rogue S’s in my posts you will know why and politely pass them by.

Peregrinate: to travel over something especially on foot. To walk or travel over : traverse

This is something we love to do just about anywhere we are. And for those of you who are also walking enthusiasts here is a marvelous site originating from fellow Sky Watch Friday blogger Beating the Bounds.

Today is a quintessential blustery, cold March day. The clouds are gloomy and moving fast along the mountains with an icy wind chasing them. We had snow on the ground this morning at 30 degrees, and corn snow later on at noon. Now, it’s frightfully chilly. Our walk this afternoon will be taken with the wool sweaters and hats once again. (It is a great time to buy wool anything on sale right now, by the way.)

I’ve been making mental field notes on our walks the last few days. Snow continues to fall in the mountains but the wild things are beginning to wake up slowly. The trees are cautiously budding out as I see my pussy willow is all fuzzy, and we did spot the bright yellow tops of skunk cabbage a couple days ago in the swamp. It might be limp, frozen skunk cabbage by now. Yesterday we saw two ring necked pheasants in the fields near where we walk, looking for a bite to eat or maybe some springtime companionship. I’m not sure how that works honestly, perhaps they do that in the fall. They both seemed a little overly addlepated, so I’m suspicious. But springtime is for going in pairs whether or not you are a biped-upright or feathered friend.

Iraq toll now 4,000

Exactly how does a person become so calloused? The VP has nothing new to offer concerning the thousands of American dead. The disturbing item: Cheney doesn’t see how wrong it is that members of the armed forces are being sent back time and again; being put in harm’s way through multiple deployments. My own cousin, who is a bit older than I am, has been over twice now for over 18 months at a time. He has been deployed longer in Iraq the last five years than he has been at home in Alaska. Further, I wonder what Cheney would say about all those who didn’t volunteer their lives, like the thousands of Iraqi civilians who are now dead? No family has been left unscathed. The cost is heart-wrenching.  And when, might I add, are these reporters going to start holding our elected officials accountable?  Stop allowing them to squirm out of every direct and difficult question.

First tracks

lodge.jpgWe have been away off and on during this Easter break. I want to wish you all a belated Happy Easter. Today we went skiing and I’m enthusiastically reporting that the snow is still very excellent snow. And it is deep. Here in the lower elevations we don’t see much left except for the drifts in the ravines, but higher up it is most persistently winter. The runs were uncrowded today and we made first tracks on three slopes this morning as the lifts opened. First tracks do not occur often enough but every skier should have the opportunity to create this rare event at least once each season. One has to be in the right place at the right time with fresh powder from the previous night. Of course, that is one of the great joys given to the back-country skier, however on this particular ski slope we have to share. Today we all were one big happy family with many smiles to give away and an occasional “woohoo!” from a neighboring run . (Gosh, I sound like an advertisement but it’s all true.) What a day!

Given the solid snow pack up there, which is obviously encouraging to us here in the western summer fire zone, I am hoping the weather stays chilly on the mountain and spring-like down here, of course. I want it both ways. As we were on the North Star lift this afternoon there were four young kids below slowly making their way down to an easier run which followed the lift alley. They were friendly and waved up to us and I asked them how the snow was. They replied: “Fluffy!” Indeed it was, and they were all four having a struggle to make their way through the deep powder.

Some mountains further east don’t have much snow at all, such as here on top of McDonald Pass. This is peak (peek) from way up high.