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.

(Click on photo to open large size view.)

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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.
(Click on photo to open large size view.)

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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.
(Click on photo to open large size view.)

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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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