Spring ski

Friday was a ski day for us; perhaps our last of the season. I lost some skiing due to my accident with the snowboarder several weeks ago. I am just now beginning to feel well enough to go without Ibuprofen. We did ski when the college kids were home on break at the beginning of March but I had to take it really easy and everyone was a little nervous – but I did OK. Last Friday was more like a normal ski trip for me. There was a hint of blue sky when we got to the top but that all quickly clouded over and it was very muted and gray all day long with heavy clouds building over Idaho. It never did snow however. This photo of Aly (while he watches Matthew edge his skis) was the highest contrast photo I could grab. The rest of these images are fairly monotone and it was all downhill from here.  ~ Sorry~

These pictures  enlarge also.  You can see the steep climb up the mountain on the North Star chair;  I rarely look back and down because it very well gives me the willies.  Also, these chairs do not have the safety bar across the front.  No, I’m not that brave.  Some people ski this snow underneath the chair lift which is usually all deep powder.  It does not look that fun to me but I’m not sixteen either.  If they do it for the challenge then they’ve got it.   This is looking into Idaho.


Here is one of my sweetie. His blue helmet is about the only color available.  At least I always know where he is.


Wipe out wilderness and the world’s a cage. –DAVID BROWER

Smoke ~ OSI

my heart in tatters
sacred land engulfed in flames
smell of burning pines


white blanket of hope
daffodils heavy with snow
March fire insurance

black ashes fall
skeletons of giant fir
sprinklers on rooftops

The prompt this week at One Single Impression is “Smoke”. As I write this heavy snow is falling down here in the Mission Valley.  Every day we see snow or rain is a another day we don’t have to dread the summer fire season.  The new National Geographic this month shows desolate photos of the drought in Australia.  I know their heavy burden of seeing no rain fall.  My thoughts are with them and the heart break they suffer. Where there is smoke, is fire.

Winter is not over

I interrupt this irregular photo series for a news flash.  Two more feet of fresh on the ski hill.  Woo hoo.  Spring? ha, it’s still very much winter on the mountain.  There will be more pictures coming soon.  For now here is a shot of my sister in law’s garden and Mr. Frog for a more humorous bend to “Hard Stuff”. As you can see, two weeks ago there was quite a bit of soft stuff.  And you can guess that today we are gone….



A visual gallery ~ part one

I have been collecting images since November for a series I wanted to do depicting Hard Stuff. The counter balance in most of these images is soft stuff, or the obvious yin to the yang; either contrasting material or texture could be the subject.  I hope you enjoy them.


The place where you lose the trail is not
necessarily the place where it ends.

– Tom Brown, Jr.


Don’t tell fish stories where the people know you;
but particularly, don’t tell them where they know the fish.
Mark Twain


He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough. Lao Tzu


“Every poem can be considered in two ways–
as what the poet has to say, and as a thing which he makes.”
C. S. Lewis

You have it too – you know you do

We are watching the slow advance of the beloved, springtime blue sky.  Of course it is often accompanied by typical March weather — intermittent storm clouds, driving rain with brisk wind but the vivid colors which follow are worth it.  The ice is quickly receding on the ponds, Flathead lake and the Flathead river.  As some of you know, I don’t like the warmer weather to come on too quickly because we lose all our snow and then the end result is fire season comes upon us before the summer even gets started.  Last summer we were truly lucky as the snow cover stayed on for a long time.  It was pretty much a no smoke summer except for a few days in August.  But knowing all that does not help what ails me.

Matt and I often sit at breakfast discussing paddling trips for the summer.  That’s totally within norms, but now those plans are getting very specific – we are narrowing things down to the week instead of the month.  We are also hearing murmurs of cautious inquiry– questions about our kayaking / canoe plans for the spring and summer from our relatives and friends.  Those  conversations begin innocently enough and without knowing it – trips are planned.  This is all cloaked in polite hypothetical language, of course….  If a person were to go down the Missouri, what time of July do you think would be best to paddle?  Where are best birding sites along that stretch, do you know? But the real sit up and take notice question was quite specific:   will we need to rent an extra boat? Now, this sudden interest is most certainly the result of some serious spring fever if you ask me, and here it is only March!  I have built in sub-cutaneous detectors which quickly hone in on symptoms of spring fever.  The distracted glances, the twitchy legs, prickly skin, disjointed conversation – totally the big SF.  I suspect that most of you are drastically being affected as well.  No, really?

Lucky are you who have flowers blooming already! You know who you are.  My envy cannot be measured.   Even though I am pretty certain that floral envy is a sin.  Here in our valley it still looks rather drab.  So much so I thought this shot I took the other day at the bird sanctuary looked better in black and white.  This is a planted shrub cover for the pheasant and upland bird population.  If you want a color scheme one needs to keep looking at the mountains.  Click these to enlarge.




equals ~ OSI


Trekking to the north
pack your canoe for three weeks
kiss an unknown shore
Islands of the People wait
bearing equal adventures.

Read equal offerings at One Single Impression for more poetry.   This tanka is inspired by a dream trip my husband and I have spoken about often for several years – being a trip up to the Queen Charlotte Islands way up there in BC.  We now have the right equipment to make such a trip happen but will we conjure up the courage to venture into such far away, unexplored (by us) waters?   Probably not this summer will it occur, but soon!  Photo by Matt – click to enlarge.

It's Springtime!

My happy Spring offerings of photos were taken yesterday by Matthew and I from the fish, wildlife and parks sector of the Ninepipes Bird Sanctuary.  These mountain shots were taken on the Charlo side looking east towards the Mission Mountains.  Nesting season is in full swing so we didn’t walk out to where the birds were tending their nests.  One is not supposed to anyway.  Through binoculars we viewed two rookeries with multiple nests and occupants.  It was too far away to see what birds they were.  There were also hundreds of ducks and a redtail hawk flying overhead.  These photos will enlarge.


The sun was bright and warm; the cool breeze actually felt good as we strolled over the fields which are planted by FW&P in grains for the upland birds.  The wild geese fly frequently over our home in town but the other day, near the water tower we had stopped to admire the view, when a pair of wild swans flew directly over our heads towards the mountains.  We had a perfect view of their magnificent form.  Too bad for the camera which sat at home.


The glory of springtime in the Mission Mountains.


Sky Watch ~ through the trees

look up, see, capture
the open palette of sky
sunlight dips its brush
winter’s gray clouds dissipate
marvel possibilities


It’s amazing to me how quickly the sky alters its mood this time of the year right before Spring arrives.  These shots were taken only a couple days apart. As you see, the mottled sky of winter quickly changed into new clothes casting off the dull clouds in the wind and gave the sun free reign in a bright, blue bird sky.  Enjoy other sky photos at Sky Watch Friday and thanks to the team there for all their efforts.