31 December 2015

Winter Sapling Shadow - Missoula, Montana

"I wear my shadows where they're harder to see, but they follow me everywhere. I guess that should tell me I'm travelling toward light." - Bruce Cockburn, from Birmingham Shadow

30 December 2015

Perfect Reading Day - Missoula, Montana

"On gray days, when it's snowing or raining, I think you should be able to call up a judge and take an oath that you'll just read a good book all day, and he'd allow you to stay home." - Bill Watterson, There's Treasure Everywhere

29 December 2015

Snow Squared - Missoula, Montana

"A round man cannot be expected to fit in a square hole right away. He must have time to modify his shape." - Mark Twain (1835-1910)

28 December 2015

Wagon Days Done - Corvallis, Montana

"...A wagonload of radishes on a summer morning. 
Sprinkles of dew on the crimson-purple balls. 
The farmer on the seat dangles the reins on the rumps of 
dapple-gray horses...
The phantom of an old workhorse taking the steel point of a 
plow across a forty-acre field in spring, hitched to a harrow in 
summer, hitched to a wagon among cornshocks in fall, 
These phantoms come into the talk and wonder of people on 
the front porch of a farmhouse late summer nights..." - Carl Sandburg (1878–1967), from Cornhuskers, 1. Prairie 

27 December 2015

26 December 2015

Christmas Terrarium - Corvallis, Montana

So fitting for Boxing Day: a wee bit o' fairyland 'boxed' up in glass - an enchanting living room reminder of magical viewpoints we can choose.

"There is such a place as fairyland - but only children can find the way to it...Only a few, who remain children at heart, can ever find that fair, lost path again; and blessed are they above mortals. They... can bring us tidings from that dear country where we once sojourned... The world calls them its singers and poets and artists and story-tellers; but they are just people who have never forgotten the way to fairyland." - L. M. Montgomery (1874-1942), The Story Girl

25 December 2015

Christmas Lights - Downtown Missoula, Montana

"Moonless darkness stands between.
Past, the Past, no more be seen!
But the Bethlehem-star may lead me
To the sight of Him Who freed me
From the self that I have been...
Now beginning, and alway:
Now begin, on Christmas day."

- from Moonless darkness stands between by Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889)

Happy Christmas to you, in the truest sense of what Christmas means.

24 December 2015

Winter Quiet - Missoula, Montana

"Have you ever heard the wonderful silence just before the dawn? Or the quiet and calm just as a storm ends? ...or the hush of a country road at night, or the expectant pause of a room full of people when someone is just about to speak, or, most beautiful of all, the moment after the door closes and you're alone in the whole house? Each one is different, you know, and all very beautiful if you listen carefully." - Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

23 December 2015

Retired - Missoula, Montana

"Maybe [retirees] could do worse than give themselves to the world that needs them as much as they need the world.
This may involve things like volunteer work at the hospital or delivering meals on wheels or heading the library-fund drive, but the place where giving yourself to the world starts is simply paying attention to the world—to the people you've been saying hello to for years without really knowing them, to the elementary-school kids hanging upside down on the jungle gym, to the woman taxi driver with the face of a Boston bull and no teeth to speak of who waits for fares at the bus stop, to the old vets marching down Main Street on Memorial Day." - Frederick Buechner, from Beyond Words

22 December 2015

Snow Silence - Missoula, Montana

"...Like some soft minister of dreams
The snow-fall hoods me round;
In wood and water, earth and air,
A silence everywhere..." - from Snow by Archibald Lampman (1861-1899)

21 December 2015

Walking Through - Quail Tracks, Corvallis, Montana

"[Miss Green] says that being an artist is more than a job or a skill; it's a way of walking through the world." - Filomena, p. 38, The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant

Wishing you continued (or newly begun) striding along, comfortable in your own skin and whatever personal version of artistry it contains.

20 December 2015

Memory Stirs - Missoula, Montana

"I remember a hundred lovely lakes, and recall the fragrant breath of pine and fir and cedar and poplar trees. The trail has strung upon it, as upon a thread of silk, opalescent dawns and saffron sunsets. It has given me blessed release from care and worry and the troubled thinking of our modern day. It has been a return to the primitive and the peaceful. Whenever the pressure of our complex city life thins my blood and benumbs my brain, I seek relief in the trail; and when I hear the coyote wailing to the yellow dawn, my cares fall from me - I am happy."- Hamlin Garland (1860-1940), McClure's, February, 1899

19 December 2015

Evening Nigh - Corvallis, Montana

"I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape - the loneliness of it... Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show." - Andrew Wyeth  (1917-2009)

18 December 2015

Historical Depot Christmas Beacon - Missoula, Montana

"A mother's happiness is like a beacon, lighting up the future but reflected also on the past in the guise of fond memories." -  Honore de Balzac (1799-1850)

And wasn't part of first Christmas's true beauty and hope that of a mother's heart? It amazes me to think on Mary's (and Joseph's, too, but that doesn't tie in to my quote) trust and obedience amidst a situation that must have garnered an avalanche of questions. Possibles: What?! Why? Who?! How?!!! When? Where?!  And despite - or perhaps because of? - these, they continued on as directed. May we be inspired in this season to shine our best light, whether it be toward someone's hopeful future or with thankful reflections from our own history. 

17 December 2015

Walkin' In A Winter Wonderland- Missoula, Montana

A morning of steady snowfall inspired much stomping of boots in the office vestibule and whistled snatches of " outside is frightful...let it snow, let it a winter wonderland...".

16 December 2015

Leftover Gold - Missoula, Montana

Autumn's golden leavings 
stand rustling
amidst winter's stark wind 
and marbled shore,
like so many muddled strands of 
Rumplestiltskin's discards.

14 December 2015

Berries For The Birds? - Missoula, Montana

"White and yellow, kill a fellow.
Purple and blue, good for you.
Red... could be good, could be dead..."
- berry mnemonic from former Green Beret Myke Hawke, discussing outdoor survival tips on Good Morning America 

12 December 2015

Small Twig,Rushing River - Missoula,Montana

"I want to cultivate the seed that was placed in me until the last small twig has grown." - Kathe Kollwitz (1867-1945)

11 December 2015

Solid Foundation - Greenough Park, Missoula, Montana

"A grateful heart is a beginning of greatness. It is an expression of humility. It is a foundation for the development of such virtues as prayer, faith, courage, contentment, happiness, love, and well-being." -James E. Faust (1920-2007)

09 December 2015

Much Rain - Missoula, Montana

"....And my sleeps were sweet now and there was much rain and, betweenwhiles, the kind southwind blowing in at the window, and sunshine...We talked, when we talked at all, of common things."
- from Till We Have Faces, p. 83, by C.S.Lewis (1898-1963)

08 December 2015

Rusted - Missoula, Montana

"You know, rust is just oxidation. The same chemical process as fire. Oxygen interacts with steel, electrons drift from one element to the other. So really, rust is a slow fire. Isn't that weird? Water causes something to burn." 
- from Cam Girl by Leah Raeder

(I'm not absolutely certain of this chemistry claim, but it sure sounds cool!)

07 December 2015

Looking Like Christmas - Downtown Missoula, Montana

"...It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas,
Soon the bells will start,
And the thing that will make them ring is the carol that you sing
Right within your heart..."

06 December 2015

Industrial Icicle - Missoula, Montana

"...Or if the secret ministry of frost 
Shall hang them up in silent icicles, 
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.

From Frost At Midnight by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)

04 December 2015

River Reflections - Missoula, Montana

"Rivers are magnets for the imagination, for conscious pondering 
and subconscious dreams, thrills, fears.  People stare into... captivated, as they are 
when gazing into a fire. 
What is it that draws and holds us? 
The rivers' reflections of 
our lives and experiences are endless ..."-   From Lifelines, by Tim Palmer

This week, western Montana vacillates betwixt freeze and slightly less so, hence this lovely reflective sheen of water atop the brooding, moody ice.

02 December 2015

Phantom Winter Trees - Corvallis, Montana

“Are ye the ghosts of fallen leaves
O flakes of snow, 
For which, through naked trees, the winds 
A-mourning go?”  
- from Phantoms by Father John Bannister Tabb (1845-1908)

01 December 2015

Key Lime Pie Fix-All - Missoula, Montana

" 'Flappers,' Mrs. Morse said. 'Our mother would have fainted dead away to see all the leg they're showing.'
Mrs. Styles said, 'Mother would have taken a stick to them. Things were better back then.'
Mrs. Morse said she thought some things were better nowadays, but Mrs. Styles didn't see it...
Mrs. Morse said, 'Well, there's nothing you can do about it so why don't I cut you a nice piece of chocolate cake?' She could fix almost anything with a piece of cake - or pie." - from p.167 of The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant

Today's pictured key-lime cure-all was recently self-administered - strictly as a preventative, immunity-building measure, with no dire scenarios in sight - at Iza Restaurant in downtown Missoula. Verdict: a hands-down recommendation for all that ails you - or doesn't!

30 November 2015

Secret Country - Missoula, Montana

"Most of us, I suppose, have a secret country but for most of us it is only an imaginary country. Edmund and Lucy were luckier than other people in that respect." - from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis

29 November 2015

Further Up - East Missoula, Montana

"A long valley opened ahead and great snow-mountains, now much nearer, stood up against the sky.
"Further up and further in," cried Jewel and instantly they were off again." - from The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis (1898-1963)

Today is C.S. Lewis's birthday; the world is a much more intelligent place thanks to his thoughtful and entertaining contributions to literature, radio, and scholarship. When I remembered (a bit belatedly) that November is his birth and death month, I thought it fitting to use quotes from his works for the remainder of the month. Coincidentally, I've been listening to several of his audio books in recent months, so timing was perfect, as I had a little mental quote stash ready to go. Whether Narnia or otherwise focused, Lewis's books are engaging AND consistently  provoke me to question and stretch my thoughts toward the best ends. For your pondering pleasure, a list of his books available via The Gutenberg Project can be found here. Bon appetit!

27 November 2015

Winter Trees - Corvallis, Montana

"She looked at a silver birch: it would have a soft, showery voice and would look like a slender girl, with hair blown all about her face and fond of dancing."- from Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis

26 November 2015

Childlike Thanks For New Snow - Missoula, Montana

"How ever did you learn to do that, Mr. Denniston?" said Jane. "I don't think I should ever learn to like rain and snow."

"It's the other way round," said Denniston. "Everyone begins as a child by liking Weather. You learn the art of disliking it as you grow up. Noticed it on a snowy day? The grown-ups are all going about with long faces, but look at the children - and the dogs? They know what snow's made for." - from That Hideous Strength (Space Trilogy #3) by C.S. Lewis (1898-1963)

25 November 2015

First Snow - Missoula, Montana

"Slowly, quietly, like snow-flakes—like the small flakes that come when it is going to snow all night - little flakes of me, my impressions, my selections, are settling down on the image of her. The real shape wil be quite hidden in the end." - from A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis (1898-1963)

24 November 2015

Operation Christmas Child - Missoula, Montana

Sixty boxes packed by River of Life's families join the thousands of boxes headed out from Clark Fork City Church, one of Missoula's central collection points for Operation Christmas Child, a division of global relief agency Samaritan's Purse The worldwide goal for 2015 is to distribute 11 million shoeboxes to children who need not only small hygiene and gift items, but also a tangible reminder that they are precious. 

To share some personalized Shoebox love via their new, year-round opportunity, go to

23 November 2015

Across the River - Largent's Bend, Vaughn, Montana

"But I will not tell you how long or short the way will be; only that it lies across a river. But do not fear that, for I am the great Bridge Builder." from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis (1898-1963)

22 November 2015

Woods On Every Side - Greenough Park, Missoula, Montana

"But when day came, with a sprinkle of rain, and he looked about him and saw on every side an unknown woods, wild heaths, and blue mountain, he thought how large and strange the world was and felt frightened and small." - from Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis (Nov. 29, 1898 - Nov.22, 1963)

21 November 2015

Vibrant Trees - Greenough Park, Missoula, Montana

“Have you ever stood at the edge of a great wood on a high ridge when a wild south-wester broke over it in full fury on an autumn evening?  Imagine that sound.  And then imagine that the wood, instead of being fixed to one place, was rushing at you; and was no longer trees but huge people; yet still like trees because their long arms waved like branches and their heads tossed and leaves fell round them in showers.  It was like that for the Telmarines.  It was a little alarming even for the Narnians.” – from Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis

20 November 2015

Trees Awake - Greenough Park, Missoula, Montana

“She looked at a silver birch: it would have a soft, showery voice and would look like a slender girl, with hair blown all about her face and fond of dancing. She looked at the oak: he would be a wizened, but hearty, old man with a frizzled beard and warts on his fact and hands, with hair growing out of the warts. She looked at the beech under which she was standing. Ah! --she would be the best of all. She would be a gracious goddess, smooth and stately, the Lady of the Wood.”

― C.S. Lewis, Prince Caspian

19 November 2015

Strolling Woods - Greenough Park, Missoula, Montana

"Hear him! Hear him? said the Bulgy Bears. "Whatever we do, don't let's have any running.  Especially not before supper; and not too soon after it neither." 
- from Chapter Seven of "Prince Caspian" by C.S. Lewis

18 November 2015

Future Forward - Missoula, Montana

“…Please, Aslan! Am I not to know?"

"To know what would have happened, child?" said Aslan. "No. Nobody is ever told that."

"Oh dear," said Lucy.

"But anyone can find out what will happen," said Aslan. "… what will happen? There is only one way of finding out.”

― C.S. Lewis, Prince Caspian, Chapter 10

17 November 2015

Storm Clouds - Missoula, Montana

"The air is charged and thick....The clouds are squid-ink black, inverting and churning, a river of pulsing bruises." - Michael Perry, Population:485 , p 207

16 November 2015

Existing Moss - Greenough Park, Missoula, Montana

“It is enough that things exist for God to be unavoidable. Let us but grant to a bit of moss or the smallest ant its due nature as an ontological reality, and we can no longer escape the terrifying hand that made us.” - Jacques Maritain (1882-1973)

15 November 2015

Weight Of The Autumn Sky - Missoula, Montana

"And see the peaceful trees extend
their myriad leaves in leisured dance—
they bear the weight of sky and cloud
upon the fountain of their veins."-  from Envoi by  Kathleen Raine (1908-2003)

14 November 2015

Rampant Autumn Gold On Grant Creek - Missoula, Montana

Montana's mining history - and present - is rife with tales of dedicated creekside miners investing their toil and time into a passionate belief of striking it rich on a  particular claim. Thank goodness for me, our fair state boasts another variety of golden riches, available every autumn by the rampant eyeful - without breaking a sweat, or even leaving the cozy confines of your vehicle.

13 November 2015

12 November 2015

Winding Glade At Greenough Park - Missoula,Montana

"The heart has a yearning for the unknown, a longing to penetrate the deep shadow and the winding glade, where, as it seems, no human foot has been." - Richard Jefferies (1848-1887)

11 November 2015

Poppies For Remembrance Day - Hamilton, Montana

"...To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high...
" - from In Flanders Fields by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)

On this day, we pause to recognize how much we prize living amidst such dearly won freedom, and also how thankful we are to those who serve in our military forces.