23 January 2015

S M R Ducks - Missoula, Montana

This mallard pair paddled fearlessly right up within a few feet of where I stood on the snowy bank of Greenough Park's Rattlesnake Creek. I watched and snapped delightedly for about 15 minutes as they repeatedly ducked under and resurfaced. Apparently, the feeding was too good to be bothered by the likes of me.

22 January 2015

Snow Quilt Shadows - Missoula, Montana

"I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says 'Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.' " - Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

21 January 2015

Coffee Smarts - Belgrade, Montana

Wry coffee commentary in small print: "Caution: Hot. But you're smart enough to know that." 

Not only was the Belgrade, Montana, Holiday Inn Express comfy and courteous, apparently the company also has a sense of humour. And the coffee was pretty darn good, too. What's not to love?!

20 January 2015

Heron Tracks - Missoula, Montana

Great blue herons have been among my favourite creatures since learning about them from the venerable Mrs. Casselman in grade seven science class.  They frequent our local watering holes - of the pond and river backwater variety. In flight, they bring to mind an awkwardly flying frigate. But anchored knee deep in water, they're one long sinuously graceful curve. 

Alas, no sighting this day; I happened along only in time to see leftover tracks, coincidentally veiled 'neath a track-shaped tree shadow! Typical imprints measure 6-8.5 inches long - enough to stabilize this wise-eyed bird with a seven foot wing span and standing height of over four feet.

Click here to choose from several audio recordings of these lovelies in the wild - then close your eyes and imagine yourself streamside.

19 January 2015

Crystallined - Missoula, Montana

"But frost, like the crystallized dreams of autumn, began to coat the clearing with its sugar glaze." 
- Victoria Steele Logue, 'Redemption'

18 January 2015

Star Dust & Dream Stuff - Belgrade, Montana

"Personality is the glitter that sends your little gleam across the footlights and the orchestra pit into that big black space where the audience is." - Mae West (1893-1980) 

'Tis once again the season in Montana for All Star Cheer competition, kicking off with yesterday's Fusion meet in Belgrade, Montana. The teams and individual competitors displayed the culmination of endless hours of physically demanding practice and skill building - plus a generous dusting of glitter.