Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Moonlight over Montana Mountains

This was shot with a tripod and I used several different exposures. This is the one I liked the best.

This was taken in early morning with the full moon.

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Lake Mary Ronan in Montana

Lake Mary Ronan offers pretty decent bass and perch fishing. There are shallow areas with lots of underwater vegetation for fish to hide. This lake is located in northwestern Montana, not far from Flathead Lake.

I liked the calm view of the lake in this photo with the empty dock and various blue hues of the sky and water.

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Moonlight Morning

This is a special time of the year, with snow on the ground, the moonlight often serves up spectacular effects and reflections. This is just a simple shot of the moon in the early hours of a very cold morning.

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Monday, December 22, 2008

Log Cabin with Sod Roof

This looks pretty authentic.

Not in use (currently), ha ha, it is located at the Miracle of America Museum in Polson, Montana, five acres of Americana, featuring both indoor and outdoor exhibits. Yes, this is a real sod roof cabin. They don't make 'em like this anymore.

Note how oversized the windows appear to be. I thought it was normal to keep the size of the openings as small as possible, due to the harsh winters up here in the "far north." Perhaps this particular exhibit was "reconstructed" from available materials that were of the appropriate era and age.

I shot over 100 photos during my first visit, before my camera battery went dead. A return trip is certainly in order, as the exhibits number in the thousands...not hundreds...but thousands. (In fact, over 100,000!)

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Water and Rocks in Creek

This is one of my favorite little photos from camping, even though it just shows rocks.

I love how water moves and reflects light. Being next to a creek, river, or lake is probably my favorite part of getting out in nature.

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Wicker Fishing Creel

wicker+fishing+creelAt the risk of seeming "artsy," I cropped this photo down to the creel and part of the old handmade wooden sitting bench. My spouse never owned a creel like this, but he thinks it is "part and parcel" of authentic fly fishing days. Perhaps he is just getting carried away by the Brad Pitt movie about Montana and fly fishing, A River Runs Through It.

This little bit of history was part of the decor in our room at a cozy "getaway" in Whitefish, Montana.

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Historic Wilma Theatre

The Wilma building, with its Louis XIV-style theatre, is a Missoula landmark. It houses three theatres (two small cinemas, 125 seats each, and one large 1,067 seat theatre), three private banquet rooms, offices, a lower level restaurant, and five levels of residential condominiums. The Wilma was built in 1921 and sits alongside the Clark Fork River.

This photo was taken from across the street. In the foreground is the walkway adjacent to the top level of a downtown parking garage.

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Monday, December 8, 2008

Northern Pacific Engine #1356

A permanent fixture of downtown Missoula, the NP Engine #1356 is situated in "Circle Square" adjacent to the old Northern Pacific Railroad Depot.

Mount Jumbo and the Loyola High School "L" is visible in the background.

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Friday, December 5, 2008

Whitefish Winter Carnival Snow Carving Contest

This photo was taken during the Whitefish Winter Carnival, which, in the past, has featured a wonderful snow carving competition. The Winter Carnival takes place in February of each year and attracts visitors from far and near. (February 6, 7, and 8 in 2009) However, I don't see the snow carving competition on the schedule for 2009.

Whitefish is also the home of the Big Mountain Ski Resort (just recently renamed the "Whitefish Mountain Resort at Big Mountain")
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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Mount Sentinel in Winter

Mount Sentinel is a Missoula, Montana, landmark, although more distinctively recognizable in summer with the big white "M" on the side of the mountain. This shot was taken from the roof of City Hall.

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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Farm Near Polson, Montana

This is so typically reminiscent of the farms when I was growing up....oh, a little more modern, I imagine.

The scenery here next to Flathead Lake is so beautiful. I never tire of it and it is so huge, that I never fail to find something new.

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Friday, November 28, 2008

Trout Creek Campout

This is a favorite campground of ours, right near Superior, Montana, and features huge campsites completely separated from each other, and right along the creek too.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Turkey Named Marie Antoinette

This one takes some explaining:


As part of a radio station promotion, a local turkey breeder offered to deliver this bird, all "prepared for cooking," to the household who offered the largest donation to the local food bank, just in time for Thanksgiving. My spouse offered $200, but with the caveat that she be allowed to "adopt" the turkey and the breeder would keep her around the farm instead of "preparing" her for cooking. The deal was struck and my wife drove us out to the farm so she could meet her adoptive turkey. She decided a name would be in line, and since "le guillotine" is associated with Marie Antoinette, that became her moniker. The breeder was quite amused, and his daughters loved it! A turkey's life span isn't very long, but this one lived to see another year anyway.
Now...the turkey trot below is a frame captured from a video, so it is pretty small. Wild Turkeys bound around here during late spring and these guys were mixing it up pretty good.
They are also very, very vocal.


Montana Wild Turkey Trot
I won't embed the Youtube video, but here is a link (only 38 seconds long): Turkey Trot

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Montana Farm and Hay Stack

I don't think hay stacks are very common any more. I rarely see them. Mostly, we see baled hay, both the rectangular and the big round bales. This is sort of a Montana heritage photo, the kind of scene that we hope will always be here for our children and posterity.
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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Moon Over Lolo Peak in Montana

Although this photograph is named after Lolo Peak, the mountain in the forefront is Morman Peak, with Lolo Peak slightly behind and mostly obstructed from this particular perspective. Photo was taken from our home along the Bitterroot River, just outside of Missoula. One of the more controversial land development proposals being reviewed by the U.S. Forest Service is the "Bitterroot Resort" which would bring skiing to this mountainside.
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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Missoula Montana from Blue Mountain

Missoula is one of the fastest growing cities in Montana, as well as one of the largest. Still, it is only about 80,000 people, just a "small town" in the view of New Yorkers and Californians who come to play and buy vacation homes. Missoula's nickname is "the Garden City" due to the large urban forest.
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Burned Out Forest with Logging Skid Marks

After a wildfire burns through the forest, the standing timber can sometimes be salvaged. This is what the mountain looks like after the loggers have "skidded" the timber down the side of the hill. This will not look much different ten years from now, even if tree seedlings are planted. Snowfall and rain will exacerbate the erosion in the skid mark trenches and just leave a mess. This is one argument against "clear-cutting," but when the timber has been burned, I guess there is little choice. The only alternative is to lift logs by helicopter, but that adds considerable cost to the salvage operation, as you might imagine.
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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Abandoned Family Farm in Montana

This is becoming all too common. Family can't make a living and is forced off the farm and moves to "town." Big outfits then buy up the place and continue to operate on the farming acreage or pastures while the family farmhouse just sits, unattended, until nature reclaims the yard and garden, then the house itself. I wonder if this building will still sit here fifty years from now. There are many others like this all over the State. It is so sad.
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Friday, November 14, 2008

Montana Railroad Tracks to Somewhere

Big Sky, Big Mountains, Big open spaces of Montana. I really like this shot because it is almost like an art class depiction of the "vanishing point." Great clouds that day too.
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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Morning Light in Camp

This was a much larger photo but has been cropped down to just show the picnic table and the wisp of smoke drifting across the scene. This was a lovely campsite. We have a little Coleman propane stove set up at one end of the table, and I really like the tablecloth laid out like this.

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Hoodoo Pass - View into Idaho

When one stands atop any of the mountain passes between Montana and Idaho it feels like the top of the World. This is a favorite shot into Idaho from the Hoodoo Pass trail. Lots of "bear grass" up here this year, but what is in the foreground is not blooming. I don't know what the "red" foliage is called, but I liked the added color in the photo. You can see the highway down into Idaho looks just like a little ribbon.

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Saturday, November 8, 2008

Weathered Grave Marker for Tom Williams

The engraving reads "Tom Williams Died 1898"

This simple marker stands amongst others in an old "boot hill" cemetery in Montana. The little flower that someone placed on the grave is plastic; could have been here for years.

This is serene, pastoral, and very authentic. So true of most of Montana.

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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Autumn Evening in Camp

I tend to kitchen duties when camping and it seems so much more fun than at home! I love the smell of campfire smoke and don't even mind bringing the smell home on my clothes. I love the taste of iron skillet potatoes with onion. I love the smell of wet leaves and the gentle sounds of the forest.

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Monday, November 3, 2008

CheyAnna and Coby Cuddle

Oh God, but what a wonderful pair! Coby, the lab-rott, age 6, just loves his new playmate, CheyAnna, age 5 months, and a "Dalton Terrier," which means she is a cross between a Dalmation and a Boston Terrier, plus a little of something else that the breeder won't reveal. (Trade secret, I guess.)
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Saturday, November 1, 2008

Window on the Wilderness

This is a simple shot from inside a mountain cabin in Montana. The elaborately decorated bay window area stands in contrast to the simplicity outside.
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Thursday, October 30, 2008

These Eyes are Really Puppy Eyes


I called this "Puppy Eyes" because these eyes are the most distinctive feature. Now, this "pup" has grown to over 100 pounds! She is named "Lucy" and she is a St. Bernard! What a gentle sweetheart she is too. We rescued this baby and then passed her along to a wonderful family who always wanted a Bernie. They love her and she deserved a good home.
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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Historic Izaak Walton Inn

The Isaak Walton Inn is located along the southern edge of Glacier National Park, on U.S. Highway 2, very near a spot in the road called "Essex, Montana." Constructed in 1939, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.Renowned as a cross-country ski paradise, the Isaak Walton also offers some very unusual "cabins" for rent. This is one of four cabooses on the site, (simply named Red, Green, Blue and Orange caboose),and they are located away from the lodge, across a high footbridge that spans above the railroad tracks.
The Izaak Walton Inn was named one of the top cross-country resorts in the Rocky Mountain region. (There is a live web-cam image on the Inn's homepage)
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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Dinosaur Mailbox and Purple Critter

I was quite intrigued by the originality and anatomical "correctness" of this odd creature, which also fulfills the practical purpose of holding the mailbox. Located in good old Missoula, Montana.
(Be sure to check out the purple critter down below)
I had to include this "purple critter" because he/she/it evidently is related to the dinosaur above, if only by being located in the same front yard. Whatever happened to pink flamingos? Oh yes, they are on the Montana Flamingo Farm (here).
A close examination of the rear end of this purple critter reveals just the smallest part of it's own pair of "brass."
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Friday, October 24, 2008

Montana Mountain Cabin in June Snow

Yes, this photo was taken in June. There is snow somewhere in Montana every month of the year. The residents here have to "snowshoe" or "cross-country ski" to get home in the winter. The owners crafted this themselves, totally by themselves, using timber from their own property, twenty years ago.
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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Lost Horse Creek, Bitterroot Mountains

There are many drainages coming down off the east slope of the Bitterroot Mountain, flowing into the valley and the Bitterroot River. Each of these drainages offers spectacular views, hiking, and often fishing too. Rainbow and Brook Trout mostly, but you might catch a Brown closer to the mouth of the Creek. There is a great Lodge and Restaurant "a-way the heck up there" that offers a terrific Sunday brunch--or used to. Lost Horse Creek Lodge--better call 'em first. (And ask for directions, too, if you aren't a local)
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Monday, October 20, 2008

Farmal Tractor in Montana Field

This is just a simple shot of a tractor, looking to be in pretty darn good condition too, sitting in a field in Montana. I do believe this is still a working tractor, not something just put out for tourists to gawk at.
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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Spahr Home in Great Falls Montana

I love this photo because it shows what we can preserve from our past. I also love the home because I know how well it has been taken care of, inside and out. At one time this belonged to a wonderful Journalism teacher at Great Falls High School, Mr. William Spahr, who also served a couple of terms in the Montana State Legislature. He was in the North African Campaign in 1942, as World War Two was just heating up for American Forces. He was evacuated with sandstorm damage in his lungs, to such an extent that he was only expected to live a short while. Last I heard, he is still going strong. He always credited a daily walking routine for his full recovery. He took great pride in this home.
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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Square Butte near Simms Montana

One can see this from twenty miles away. It becomes increasingly more imposing (and impressive) as you get closer and closer. You can drive right up to it too, but much of the beauty lies in its visual effect on the horizon, don't you think?
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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Blackfoot (A River Runs Through It)

This is undoubtedly one of our favorite spots along the Blackfoot River. I also think this is one of our best photos. Taken in early autumn, there is just a dusting of snow on the distant Mission Mountain Range.
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Monday, October 13, 2008

Big Arm Bay in Morning

I entitled this "Clear Morning at Big Arm, Flathead Lake, Montana." Obviously, this title is much too long so we must be satisfied with something a little shorter. I simply LOVE the shimmer of light on water, and look for these opportunities whenever we are out camping. We almost ALWAYS camp next to water of some kind. I am partial to creeks, but Flathead Lake is a spectacular place, and way too much to capture with ANY number of photos. I think Flathead is the largest freshwater lake in the U.S.A., other than the Great Lakes. It is about 30 miles long, north to south, and 16 miles wide, covering 191.5 square miles. The .5 square miles is how much bigger it is than Lake Tahoe. I am going to include a NASA satellite photo here with the arrow pointing at Big Arm, which is a State Campground and named after Big Arm Bay, which you can see in the satellite image.
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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Charles M. Russell Log Cabin Studio

This is the log cabin art studio of the western artist Charles M. Russell. The next door house was his home. There is also a wonderful museum displaying his work, all located in Great Falls, Montana.
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Friday, October 10, 2008

Fire Lookout on High Ground

The Fire Lookout is part of Montana's past as well as present. Some of these remain in operation; others have been converted into "rentals" for adventurous hikers. This is the "Sliderock" lookout and it is now an exhibit at the Historical Museum at Fort Missoula. This lookout is complete with all the equipment used by the "lookouts." Performing duties at a Fire Lookout was (and remains) a lonely experience, but a VERY important job.
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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Tepee Burner or Tipi Burner


These big ol' things aren't used anymore because they polluted the air. At one time I guess these were pretty common in the areas where logging took place. I think they might have been used to burn up the small branches and maybe the bark that was stripped off the logs before they were shipped somewhere to a sawmill. Whatever...they are pretty impressive and big! I think this one, which is at the outdoor museum in Fort Missoula, Montana, is about forty feet in diameter.
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Monday, October 6, 2008

Big Bugger


I have no idea what this "bug" is called, but we have way too many of them around our house and garage right now. It seems to have something to do with the time of year, September-October. If any "bug scientists" know what this is officially called, I would love to hear from you. For now, we just call it the "Dinosaur Bug."

Note: OH, thanks to a wonderful commenter named "Lee" this bug has been identified an "Assassin Bug" If you look at Lee's Comment you will see the html link to a "bug site" ha ha Thanks, Lee.

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Friday, October 3, 2008

Retired Riding Rake


I just love this old farm "rake." If you are over fifty or so, and from a rural background, you may recall one of these in action. This one has obviously been "retired" from active service. It is located at the produce farm in Missoula, Montana. The two previous photos were also taken at the same site.
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Thursday, October 2, 2008

Horse Before the Cart


This unusual garden and floral arrangement is also located at the produce garden that I mentioned in the previous photo. I just think this is such a peaceful setting.
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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Montana Flower Garden


This beautiful flower garden is in Missoula, Montana, at a local produce farm, where corn-on-the-cob is picked each morning and sold to locals who just "show up" each day. The farm has been here for many years, right in the heart of town.
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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Gemstones or Just a Bucket of Rocks?


I took this photo of a bucket full of "rocks" at my sister's cabin up in the mountains. She just finds stuff and tosses it into a bucket outside her home. Quite a variety and quite beautiful too. I'm not sure if you can call this a gemstone "collection" or not.
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Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Mushroom Couple

Whether a "Mushroom Couple" or a couple of mushrooms, I so wish I could tell the difference between the "good" mushrooms and the "bad" mushrooms. How does one tell if a mushroom is ok to eat? I guess the easiest answer is to just buy them in a grocery store. Every spring following a big wildfire season, the forest is full of mushroom pickers, but I never know what it is they are finding that is so good. I know they sell the mushrooms but I don't know what the "good ones" look like. These two just seem like a nice couple, but I left them alone.
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Friday, September 26, 2008

Lolo Creek near Missoula, Montana

This is one of our favorite photos from our favorite Montana RV Park. This is the view from our campsite, taken in August after the spring runoff is over. This creek is also good fishing.
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