23 August 2017

Heirloom Tomatoes- Missoula, Montana

I'm seeing red today - and yellow and interspersed swathes of green: all the best colours of heirloom tomatoes from the Missoula Farmers Market
I'm feeling healthier just looking at them!

21 August 2017

92% Totality - Missoula, Montana

92% totality is still pretty bright! 

Looking through our NASA-approved glasses, we could safely see the "banana sun", as predicted for our city. Daylight dimmed a bit, and the temperature dropped noticeably. I remember that it got very dark and quiet during the 1979 eclipse, so general expectation was for more darkness, or at least mysterious gloom. Good to know that a mere 8% of our sun's wattage is rather impressive!

18 August 2017

No Barrier at All - The Teller Trail, Corvallis Montana

"What have we to do this day, more pressing than the call to wander. " Pat R

"Dear old world', she murmured, 'you are very lovely, and I am glad to be alive in you."

- L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables, #1

Thanks to guest blogger Pat Richards for sharing views and thoughts from her Montana wanderings!
To see other far-flung paths Pat's feet have trod, take a peek at

17 August 2017

Smoky Sunset - Missoula, Montana

The Lolo Peak fire is still going strong, filtering smoke into the Missoula valley and making for some dramatic sunsets. And we are still praying for more rain.

16 August 2017

Dark Side Of The Xylophone - Missoula, Montana

Typically, this view of the xylophone's underside would only be seen by inquisitive toddlers - and curiously crouching photo snappers.

15 August 2017

Golden Blooms - The Teller Trail, Corvallis, Montana

"Why must people kneel down to pray? If I really wanted to pray I’ll tell you what I'd do. I'd go out into a great big field all alone or in the deep, deep woods and I'd look up into the sky—up—up—up—into that lovely blue sky that looks as if there was no end to its blueness. And then I'd just feel a prayer."

12 August 2017

Roots - The Teller Trail, Corvallis, Montana

Roots exposed
the essence of life
holding firm 
when all else is washed away. 

-Pat R

Pat (aka Big Sis #3) journeys hither and yon, but always circles back to Montana. (Sadly, annual visits seem to coincide with forest fire season...but, as you can see, her eye for beauty connected to our inner life is undeterred by rampant smoke.) 

Read more on Pat's purpose-filled travels at .

06 August 2017

August Weather - Up Kootenai Creek Rd., Stevensville, Montana

"August is apt to bring us fine weather. The meadows are sultry, but there is a wind in the sky and the clouds are great and dignified as they march against the mountains."

-from "Courtship Of My Cousin Doone", ch. 3, by Walter D. Edmonds (1903-1998)

30 July 2017

Forward Mobility - Missoula, Montana

"Tithing is like training wheels when it comes to giving. It's intended to help you get started, but not recommended for the Tour de France"

28 July 2017

Fire Formations - Missoula, Montana

Smoke plumes from a couple peripheral fires burning on national forest land blended with high cloud formations above the Missoula valley. Fire season presents a strange dichotomy which we in the western mountain regions have become used to: it makes for spectacular sunsets and provokes good-paying jobs, but we'd all prefer some rain.

27 July 2017

Other Days Blue Sky - Missoula, Montana

"...Other days from ridge to ridge
there’s only a high, dry, guileless blue,
and you can fairly hear
the meadow grass breathe. You could say,

I have lived well. You could say, I have lived
well and anyway been troubled. You could say, 
Come evening,
deer browse the meadow fringe."

26 July 2017

Some Days Sunset - Corvallis, Montana

"Some days clouds drift over the canyon,
horsetails, bits of high cotton.
In the afternoon, then,
the sky quickens, tumbles —
a dark creek crashing down the mountain...."

Big thanks for today's photo to Pat Richards. 
To see more through Pat's eyes, browse around in

25 July 2017

21 July 2017

20 July 2017

Another Day's Climb - Waterworks Trail, Missoula, Montana

This hill is bigger than it looks at first glance - kind of like "objects in mirror are closer than they appear". If you zoom in, you can see three tiny hikers framed in the second standing structure. I've climbed up and over this section of Trail from the other side, and it requires a fair stretch of time and determination- best tackled in dogged and optimistic company. But the. views are (of course) gorgeous - one year we saw a sheepherder's camp, vardo, sheepdog, flock and all! We'll definitely save this climb for another day!

15 July 2017

8:13 PM Mountain Time - Missoula, Montana

Similar Saturday evening views will be available well into August along the Waterworks Trail system above Missoula, MT. 
Self-serve, while they last!

12 July 2017

Perpetual Peeve - Missoula, Montana

If you are going to eat the last delicious bit of scrumptiousness that some kind, baking soul brought to share then, for crying out loud, clean up like you would at home! 

Oh, wait - maybe that's the problem - you have people for that at your house?
(Did that drip a wee bit too much sarcasm?)

Apparently, I'm not alone in this peevishness, as "Messy Common Areas" tops the list in this workplace peeve article

The optimist view, however, is that this repeated work scenario keeps me mindful of how thankful I am to have The Best Husband Ever aka Bit Of A Neat Freak

(Note: I love my work, and my co-workers are wonderful people, bar none. 
Thus, I can only deduce that there must be a rogue - & messy! - alien among us. 
But that could be attributed to a repeat viewing of Men In Black last night.)

10 July 2017

Golden & Glorious - Missoula, Montana

With the forecast pushing close 100 degrees F again this week, we're bound to have plenty of golden mornings like this one!

08 July 2017

Summertime Morning - Missoula, Montana

...& the living is easy!

(Especially when there is thank-you pie for breakfast!)

Gotta say that one of my chief summer delights is morning coffee on the porch. It's hard to replicate in the winter - indoors on a freezing day has its own cozy charm, but just doesn't evoke the same  languid warmth and serendipitous neighbourly chitchat - so I indulge on as many warm weekend mornings as possible. Kind of my own sweatless take on that timeless admonition to "make hay while the sun shines".

Anybody out there have a semi-guilty (G-rated, please) summer indulgence to share? 

(Note: Comments left as 'Anonymous' spare you some log-in hassle.)

07 July 2017

New Green - Missoula,Montana

I'm always amazed at fresh green sprouts among the matured purple leaves on one specific tree behind our office.
I'm sure it's a normal condition for this tree variety, but I can't help the delight at such an unexpected contrast - zesty brights of spring appearing long after that season has run its course. It begets the same brand of wonder as Montana snowfall in May or September when the previous day boasted 60 degrees F. 

Unexpected, but enthralling because of the surprise. 

If we pay attention, we see micro-wonders of contrast on a daily basis - the complex geometry of a dandelion puff in the weed jungle of an empty lot, miniature bright-hued gravel gems rimming a puddle at the park, the smell of summer rain bursting through mid-July's oppressive heat canopy...Tell me your favourite eyes-wide-open glimpsed glory.

04 July 2017

Colours Of Summer - Missoula, Montana

Ahh, the colours of summer brightening my kitchen sink! (Not to be confused with the more stately colours flying from our porch to honour this Independence Day.)

This rainbow chard spurred memories of our mother's sink full of greens picked from our garden. Funny how that sink seemed so huge packed with enough lettuce or chard for our family of 9, when it was probably just the standard double bowl stainless steel variety. (Insert your own tangential musings of childhood perspective and plenty.) Anyway, it was explained to me that it's important to fill the sink with enough cold water to float off any dirt and/or wiggly travelers. Wiggly travelers are NOT on my list of preferred proteins. 

I am thankful for other people's gardens that provide seasonal bounty for our table. Sautéed with sliced onion in a little olive oil (okay, a LOT of olive oil, because it just makes things yummy!) with a hearty splash of lemon juice, a scant dash of Chinese 5 spice, and a sprinkle of sugar (a secret from my mother - raw & organic these days, of course), we had ourselves a gorgeous summer mess of greens!

30 June 2017

Bitterroot Ripples - Tucker Crossing, Stevensville, Montana

"Each time a [hu]man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."

-Robert F. Kennedy (1925-1968)

29 June 2017

Puff - MIssoula, Montana

"The honors of this world, what are they but puff, and emptiness, and peril of falling?"

- Saint Augustine (354-430)

24 June 2017

Nice Day - Stevensville, Montana

"Nice day
for a
white wedding."

Driving up to the intersection above Tucker Crossing fishing access, the sky opened wide as I topped the rise, crisscrossing jet trails hinting at new adventures about to begin. Another glorious day awaits under the big Montana sky!

(Note: I was not actually fishing at the fishing access - this is not required. Good thing for me. But the "access" aspect is also useful for finding photo perspectives along the river.)

21 June 2017

Summer Clouds In Motion - Missoula, Montana

"But maybe Leo felt the same shakiness 
when he made it back to Sandusky...And my father, too,
 when he brought me to the Galaxy that first time,
 to show me how to be humble about what we love.

The point is not that you get away from fear, but that 
you move along with it.
 You don't let it freeze you in place."

20 June 2017

Townie Poppies Blooming - Missoula, Montana

"I remember taking my stabilisers off my bike with my dad in the back garden. It was a small little bike, and it was called Poppy, had balloons on it, and was purple."

16 June 2017

View From The Edge - Near Lincoln, Montana

"Out on the edge you see 
all kinds of things you can't 
see from the centre. 
Big, undreamed-of things - the 
people on the edge see them 

- Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007)

15 June 2017

Plain Intimacy - Near Shelby, Montana

"There was a sense of intimacy 
and exclusion about 
the vast, open plains 
that always 
made her feel at home."

- from The Spider's Web by Margaret Coel, page 218

(By the way, today's oil painting effect is courtesy of PicsArt.)

11 June 2017

09 June 2017

Handsome Pastures - Near Ovando, Montana

"All over the land are vast and handsome pastures, with good grass for cattle, and it strikes me the soil would be very fertile were the country inhabited and improved by reasonable people."

- Alvar N. C. de Vaca (c.1490-c.1557)

06 June 2017

Gas Stop On The Hi-Line - Shelby, Montana

"Go back to sleep. The hour is small.
     A freight train between stations
Shook you out of sleep with all
        Its lonely ululations....

The hour is small. Resume your rest. 
        Tomorrow will be kinder. 
Here comes a freight train nosing west, 
        Pulling the dawn behind her."

Read the full text of this lovely train poem here.

05 June 2017

Long Road Home - Near Ovando, Montana

Walking out to the school bus on childhood weekday mornings, our driveway seemed to be at least a mile long.. We moved from the farm when I was 12, and the first time I drove by our old home as an adult, I realized my younger perspective was rather skewed - a mile was extremely far-fetched. Six-year old eyes - and little legs - see a view entirely their own.

Perspective is an interesting thing. When you're in the middle of your own, it's hard to see any other. Rather along the lines of "can't see the forest for the trees". But if we can draw from other experience - even borrowed will do! - and mentally and emotionally step slightly outside our immediate circumstance, we see a bigger picture that is often less dire than we'd first supposed. And this can, in turn, inform our next choices with an entirely different, brighter light. 
Enact, pause, repeat. 
And be reminded how this living and learning requires time and grace!

04 June 2017

Big Sky Reflections - Near Browns Lake, Montana

The fishing access sign just up the road announced three miles to Browns Lake, where it's reported by those who know such things that "...Trolling is best done using weighted flies such as Wooly Worms and standard spoons and spinners." But shore anglers can find success with marshmallows and cheese. Bring some graham crackers and chocolate and you'll be set for the campfire, too.

02 June 2017

Latest Greatest Discovery - Missoula, Montana

Eureka! Split scoops are available on a sugar cone!

For the ice cream novice, a split scoop means you avoid the agony of decision when you really, really  want two flavours but only want a single scoop's worth of ice cream.

For some unknown reason made up on my own pea brain, I always thought this option only was served in a cup.  And - no offense to The Best Hisband Ever and Delightful Daughter - what is the point of ice cream in a cup? There's no dripping that you must hastily - and tastily! - amend, no satisfying crunches, no perfect miniature cone at the very end that you eat in one bite....Especially when Sweet Peaks has the most delicious, pointy sugar cones? (They also offer the soft-serve style  cone, which takes me back to my Baba's house where ice cream always tasted better served in a flat-bottom cone.)

Featured flavours are Chocolate Sorbet (dark chocolate with a subtle undertone of coconut) and Strawberry Rhubarb Jam (with homemade jam - I'm not making this up!). 

(Notice the big bite marks: 
   "My, what lovely teeth you have, my dear!"
   "The better to eat you with!!" 
   Munch munch munch!)