gallatin ~~ This appears to be a peaceful scene which I quickly shot out of the car window this morning as we were hunting supplies in Bozeman, MT for our son before he begins his internship at Montana State University tomorrow.  It was peaceful this morning and very sunny, but we were somewhat harried trying to find an inexpensive computer desk and gather in a good supply of food for Ian to stock in his own, first official apartment.  I mentioned this particularly cool event here regarding the satellite project he will be working on for the next nine weeks.

As a Mom, it was difficult to drive away and leave him standing underneath the carport all alone.  Thankfully, his roomie and fellow student-intern was to arrive soon.  Still, as a parent one often gets hit broadside by the realization that even though not that much time has passed – yet there he is – a man all set up on his own.  What happened?  I did a lot of sighing today.  Good luck honey on your exciting, new adventure!

The photos are, I believe, looking towards the Gallatin Range. I was rather turned around by the time I snapped these (driving around in circles often will do that to a person)  so I could be mistaken as to what mountain range this is.


Glacier Burn


I mentioned I would post a photo of the burn around Fish Creek.  Above is Matthew standing in the evening near the overlook with Lake McDonald through the trees in the background.  Then there is the photo below:  I liked this image a lot in black and white.  Down in the bottom of the burn you can see three year old trees growing in the jumble of fallen branches and felled trunks.  I know that fire is good for a forest and I have written that fact here many times, but emotionally I think it is very difficult for us to get around scenes like this.  It feels stark and empty especially when one can remember the thick forest growing here just a few years ago.  However, I know it is anything but empty given all the elk berries we found lying around. Also, now one has all these great views through the charred timber which was not available before the burn.  You couldn’t see a thing for the trees!  The burn is a really good, repeat lesson with a theme on life and rebirth.  Underneath all this mess is our future forest emerging – literally a Phoenix rising out of the ashes and very much alive, even if the appearance states otherwise.


Round Barn part 2

My friend Bill Carroll sent me another photo a couple weeks ago of another round barn.  Thank you Bill!  I love it!  The Palouse country seems to have a rich barn building craft.  Here is what Bill wrote about this particular barn:

People seemed to like the last round barn picture I sent, so I stopped by another one, located southeast of Pullman, WA.  This one is also 12 sided, built in 1917 to replace one burned by kids playing with matches. It has 3 levels, the lower one for livestock, a middle hayloft and top for miscellaneous storage and has a diameter of 60-ft. It was remodeled a few years ago and is known as the T. A. Leonard barn.


On and off the trail

Winter leftovers in Glacier Park which springtime reveals, providing me with some interesting observations.  For instance, how many inches of pine cone hulls were under this tree?  I bet nearly 6 inches at least.  That is a lot of pine cones; or many busy squirrels all sitting approximately on the same branch.  I guess they were having a little squirrel gathering called munch-a-bunch.


A woodpecker was busy on this tree.  This is a prominent cedar on the trail near the bridge at Fish Creek and it was not that riddled last fall.  All these photos enlarge.


Elk leavings on a pullout overlooking the big burn area.  There were several piles near the informational sign.  I guess they were reading up on the latest fire theories.


And a tree root near Lake McDonald.


Lake McDonald in the spring

Late in the evening we paddled a silent and clear water on Lake McDonald near the entrance to Glacier Park. The tourists had not yet arrived and the quiet was only broken by an occasional robin and raven in the trees on the shore.  As you can see by this photo springtime is only barely touching the Park.  The trees and bushes have a mere hint of greening leaves, the water is high and in some places the aspen are standing in the lake up to their ankles.  Our days are long now; the light lasting well after 9:30. I spent most of our paddle this evening simply taking it all in and we hugged the south shore.  I relished the chance to Just Be.  I could think of no other place I would rather sit and admire the beauty all around:   the magnificent views from every direction, the water, the paddle and my husband in the stern.  I practiced a few new paddle strokes as well:  the draw for one – which would turn out very useful the next day when we went on our hunt via canoe – which you may read about here– Matthew’s account for The song of the paddle In Search of the Medicine Wheel… Lake McDonald, Montana.


Here is a glimpse below of the canoe ready to be launched the next morning for our search which would take us about 6 miles round trip. The wind is calm and the sun glints off the charred trees on the opposite shore which burned most of that forest into the lake side and up to the low mountains towards Fish Creek.  I will have pictures of that burn tomorrow.

For now I will wish you all a Happy Memorial Day.  I paused many times here in this spot thinking of the family members, now gone, who very much enjoyed this place and with whom I was here often.


“Every action of our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity”
Edwin Hubbel Chapin

Trillium at Glacier Park

trillium ~~ Thursday we managed to take off for a pre-Memorial Day camp trip before the hordes hit Glacier National Park. I really wanted to get up there to see the Trillium since it’s been several years since I had that opportunity.  This year’s wild flowers are late blooming due to the very chilly weather we’ve been having — until this weekend which has turned out quite warm and inviting everyone to getting outdoors.  Thursday afternoon we set up camp at Apgar Campground; people were already arriving from out of state for the weekend but they were mostly retired folk biking or youthful Canadians tenting and snowshoeing up on the higher snow banks of the Park.  There is such a variety of activities to enjoy in Glacier but my main objective Thursday evening was the Trillium and I was not disappointed.  There they were near Fish Creek in their shady, secluded spot blooming bravely in the glade.  These photos all enlarge.


You can tell by the ground that the snow has only just recently left and in some places there were still mounds piled from the snowplows. The Going to the Sun Road is being cleared partly due to a class 5 avalanche which must have occurred early in January and wiped out thousands of trees, carrying huge boulders and snow across the road in two places. I’m not sure how they are going to deal with all of that. It is a major project just to clear the road in the spring so all the tourists can enjoy the scenery but when you have the aftermath of an avalanche to deal with, then that is a different matter. People will simply have to be patient, which they often are not – especially the business people. That road is the life blood of the park and they want it open at all costs. Here’s a thought, maybe the businesses could contribute a little to the Park’s maintenance instead of whining!  I cannot even guess how much that will cost to remove all that debris in the next weeks.  Meanwhile they are holding the rest of the park together with duct tape because there is not enough money to keep everything in shape.  I am not kidding about the duct tape.

Anyway, below is a shot of the creek side and some very quickly growing ferny foliage.


Water view ~ Sky Watchers


This is a water view of the sky from our canoe which I took the other day when we were out on a small, local lake enjoying the sunshine of May. I was behind our son and took this shot low to the water.  The water was very calm that afternoon.  You all have a happy, safe, and sunny Memorial Day weekend. Join us at Sky Watch Friday for more fab sky shots.

Glacier Lily

A yellow flash
lily of the forest edge
barely visible.


Waiting on shore at Lake Mary Ronan for Matthew and Ian as they paddled the canoe the other day, I caught a slight glimpse of yellow in the brush and found a couple Glacier Lily plants. I hope to find more this weekend.  I just about missed this.  The blooms vary greatly in size depending upon how much moisture they get.  These were small being right next to the picnic area where I am not sure they catch much rain.  And the photo below is nearly a turtle’s water view as I was being escorted around by our son and Matt in the Raven.  I had the queen’s seat in the middle while they paddled.  All I needed was a glass of wine and a parasol to complete the scene.  It was a smooth ride!


Larch cones


~ My Mom pointed these flowering cones out to me the other day on a larch tree at their place which I planted with a friend when I was in my college days.  All that time I had never noticed the color these produce in the spring.  I thought it was enough that they grew all new needles each year and turned golden in the fall, but look a the subtle color.  I felt kinda’ unobservant!  Neat, huh?  Something new to learn all the time.  And in the grass below tiny little hyacinths.  They are higher in elevation than are we so their spring is a bit behind us with some of the flowers, yet my Mom’s rhubarb is going crazy while mine is just limping along.  All these photos enlarge.



O'Keeffe's Tulip ~ OSI

Some called her cranky and odd
particularly reserved,
hording herself like a stone
painting flowers grown in her own mind
the hermit artist woman
holed up in her adobe shrine.

The fools of shallow visions
always complain loudly
and show little tolerance
for anyone who is different.

Yet wisdom speaks:
in these silent variations
on a theme
which constitute unmeasured talent
form and color
are woven into threads of genius.


Bee’s eye view of my Mom’s tulip in honor of Ms. Georgia O’Keeffe.  Photo by my Matthew.  Please visit One Single Impression this week. Our prompt is Tolerance.

One mention:  Matt and I were discussing this morning O’Keeffe’s eccentricity while I posted this flower photo.  She had the peculiar habit of collecting rocks and could tell you where they came from and when they were found.  Her friends used to put their own, unusual stones out in obvious places as a joke, to see if they would eventually go missing and end up at O’Keeffe’s place.  Usually they did.  I have been known to secret away with rocks before but I have not yet swiped one out of a friend’s garden.  I certainly have been tempted.   Here is a video I found…