From a week ago or so!sm-9It didn’t last long – just into the mid morning.


I’m not so sure the farmer was all that excited about this.  sm-7

  But now this field is harvested.


The snow must not have done too much harm.


Made for a beautiful opportunity to pull over on the way into town and get a few shots.


Did get my shoes pretty muddy as I approached the field, but it was worth it.


Categories: Autumn, Daily life, Fall, Harvest, Montana, Montana weather, Outdoors, Photography, snow, Weather | Leave a comment



3001.  Daisy’s along the road as driving to work.

3002.  J’s dedication to karate.

3003.  Delicious cherries.

3005.  Good advise from Steve and Daniel re: fasting

3007.  Sunshine as part of the weather after days of rain.

3008.  Including our teenage kids on a walk with my friend.

3011.  Successful solo hike in Yellowstone.

3017.  Hearing J’s innocent giggle

3022.  Easy access to Cottonwood Canyon for hiking.



3024.  Good nectarines

3035.  J playing cajon with Paul and friends while Andy and I swung on the swing in the evening dark.

3038.  Encouragement for J from his cousin James.

3043.  Wisdom from the book Wild Thing and constant opportunities to apply it

3047.  Full moon rise over Lake Tahoe

3051.  Being home after a week away

3056.  Walking and talking and sharing life with Denise

3060.  Gordie Hooper’s love and care for Andy

3061.  New camera lenses

3067.  Watching Garrett play bass in church worship group with such engaging enthusiasm

3070.  Time with Beau as a guest in our home.



3072.  Meat from Daniel W. that is delicious and in sufficient quantity to share with our guests

3074.  Flowers shared by Eva

3077.  J did a pull-up

3079.  Completing a 26 mile walk in one day after lots of training.

3085.  J finding his I-pod after thinking it was lost.

3086.  Hiking with the Anderson girls

3089.  Touching base with HOlly

3090.  J”s friendship with Nick

3096.  Grain harvest happening on surrounding properties.

3097.  J settling into school

3102.  Catching some evening photos.




3104.  Susan and Sarg are physically safe.

3105.  Friendship with Eva

3106.  Found lost keys in the dark.

3107.  JW’s quick recovery after face scraping fall.

3108.  Shooting photos at football game with J.

3109.  Warm weekend weather

3110.  Harvest activities all around the community.

3111.  Walking  with Denise

3112.  LH’s faith shining through during a tough time

3113.  J’s willingness to talk especially when driving



3114.  Reliability of our 17-year-old  truck

3115.  Kids independence at the mounted shooting event.

3116.  Encouraging words from Denise.

3117.  Comment from Aunt Susan on this blog.

3118.  Susan and Sarg’s home and property safe from nearby fire.

3119.  Beauty of frost on the hollyhocks

3120.  Good newsletter from Samaritan’s Purse

3121.  Beautiful photo on Instagram of little Liana

3122.  Quiet Saturday afternoon at home alone.



3123.  J chosing Christmas music to do his chores to  – in September

3124.  Lots accomplished in tackling the mounting clutter – seeing surfaces that have been covered for weeks!

3125.  Andy’s desire to do models in craft room – means more time together

3126.  Good photos of JW to work with despite scraped up face from fall during photo session

3127.  Bumper crop of apples and apple sauce in the making on the stove.









Categories: Autumn, Fall, flowers, Frost, gratitude, Hollyhocks, Montana, Montana weather, Multitude on Mondays, Outdoors, Photography, Weather | Leave a comment




Right away, lest a mistake be made, let me say these two are just friends.  They have been buddies for years and years – since kindergarten.  They are super comfortable with each other, and when one of them has a crisis in life, they call each other and talk it through – been that way for years. 


Because they are buddies she felt comfortable asking him if he wanted to attend the “Swing Ball” the last Saturday of August.  You see, if they bought tickets together she saved quite a bit, and she knew he’s usually up for trying something like this.


Not only was he up for it, but Andy and I joined as well – not pictured here because, well we didn’t have anyone to take our photo and frankly we were so poor at learning the dances that if someone else had a camera we would have avoided it like the plague!


At the real deal in the evening (other photos are from the morning teaching session) it was revealed that she is really quite the swing dancer already – way ahead of him and us!sm-83

But she taught him and he caught on pretty quick.  They enjoyed it.


This event was put on by a couple of young siblings who grew up home schooling and run a pretty tight ship on this event.  And they taught the dances too!  I think the brother is like 21 and the sister is just getting out of high school, so they really are young.


By the way, that man in the gray vest?  That’s her father.  When she met J in Kindergarten he was in Afghanistan with the Army National Guard.  J was super impressed because she told him that her dad was there fighting the Taliban with a giant bull-whip.  J believed every word of it!  Every word!

Categories: Daily life, Dancing, Family Fun, J, kids, Photography, Swing Dance | 1 Comment


On our way home from Reed Point (yesterday’s post) we stopped in Big Timber and a couple of places along the highway to take some photos of the beautiful Crazy Mountains and surrounding farm land.


The Interstate follows the rail road tracks along this stretch, so when we got out in Big Timber we had to cross them to get the view I wanted (see above).  Andy got out and joined me.  Next thing I knew, along came a train:Ellie-128


After it was gone I saw Andy fussing around on the tracks.  Then he showed me this:


which he got by putting a quarter along the tracks before the train came – something I didn’t notice as I was busy setting up my tripod near the farmers fence well away from the dangers of the tracks.Ellie-156

Felt like a couple of kids playing along the tracks.Ellie-155

The clouds that day were fairly dramatic making big shadows across the land.Ellie-159



Categories: Andy, Crazy Mountains, Family Fun, Montana, Montana summers, Montana weather, Outdoors, Photography, Railroad Tracks, Reed Point, Trains, Travel | Leave a comment


There is a cool festival/event that is quintessential Montana in Reed Point, between here and Billings.  Andy and I took a half a day to have a date and check it out.  I love a date that is made up of me, my man and my camera. 

This festival includes a sheep run through town – something we didn’t see because it took place at the end of the day and we weren’t there anymore.  But there are also many vendors, lots of food (we didn’t eat any of it) and demonstrations of some amazing western skills and talents

The town itself is very vintage!



The vendors had everything from antiques to cheap beads to lambs wool products – all that wonderful texture!












I missed the sheep shearing demonstraton (darn it!) but we will be back next year, so I’ll catch it then!














Categories: Family Fun, festivals, Montana, Montana summers, Outdoors, Photography, Reed Point, Travel | Leave a comment













Categories: Autumn, Daily life, Fall, flowers, Montana, Montana summers, Montana weather, Outdoors, Photography, Weather | Leave a comment



Categories: Autumn, Daily life, Fall, Montana, Montana summers, Montana weather, Outdoors, Photography, Weather, Wordless Wednesday | Leave a comment


This week I came across a familiar statistic:  Only 1 in 9 people in the world have access to clean water.

sm-4345I also heard that Brad Pitt did that through ice water over your head for ALS but he used water gathered from his  household toilets to make the point that the water in American toilets is cleaner than the water that is available to most people in the world.


Also this week I saw a blog post where a woman talked about how she was tired of feeling like her kitchen (and perhaps her whole house) was inadequate because it wasn’t like the friend/neighbor down the road who had a remodel recently.  Then she walked around and saw that she had running water when she turned on the tap, and it was clean and sanitary – she could drink straight out of the tap without treating or boiling.  And she realized her family was blessed.

sm-4050And my aunt commented on this blog pointing out that my lament about the cool wet weather we are expecting this weekend would be so welcomed in California where things are tender dry, and the drought is the most severe in generations!


So I am humbly being thankful for the water we have here, regardless of whether I perceive it to match the calendar.

Categories: Daily life, gratitude, Montana, Montana summers, Montana weather, Outdoors, Photography, Summer | Leave a comment



It is getting to be late summer here in Montana – and probably lots of other places too.  Hollyhocks are always a good sign that August is well on its way to being over.


You also might have a hint of late summer based on the fact that I posted no less than two photos of snow on them thar’ hills in the last week.


The Back-to-School photos might have been another hint too.


Well, the trend is continuing.  This morning the weather man told us to enjoy today because for the next six days (yes, just one day shy of a full week) we are going to “enjoy” temperatures at about 20 degrees cooler than normal for this time of year.


Hey folks, that means there is a real possibility of frost on the ground and more of that snow in the mountains.  And if it rains, hopefully enough sunshine to bring us another one (or two or three) of these:


Categories: Daily life, flowers, Hollyhocks, Montana, Montana summers, Montana weather, Outdoors, Photography, Rainbow, snow, Summer, Weather | 1 Comment


sm-3852The Beaten Path is a well used path from Cook City Montana (North East corner of Yellowstone) to East Rosebud Lake Montana through the Beartooth Mountains and the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness.  It is usually backpacked in a couple or three days.  But we felt up to the challenge of doing the whole thing in one day.

We got to the trail head at 6:20 a.m., took a few photos and started walking.  It was barely light outside.

sm-3855This hike was a jubilee – celebration of 7 x 7 years – but some of us were older than 49 (not me).

sm-3862Much of the trail was mucky from the rains the days before.

sm-3869There was morning mist on the meadows.






And above 8000 feet the wild flowers were still blooming on August 16th.



sm-3896The lakes were stunning and often dotted with the endless circles of fish jumping.

sm-3897But we didn’t have time to wet a fly, had to keep moving to get it all done in a day, since that was the challenge.


Sometimes it was hard to tell where the lake ended and the river began.


Sometimes I was ahead of others . . .


And sometimes I brought up the rear.








It was 10 miles up to the highest pass – where we had lunch at a little after noon.  Only 16 miles to go!



There was snow way up there at 10,000 feet.




One of us may have learned that snow in August is not particularly soft to plop down into, but a snow angel was made regardless of the hard landing.





It was all beautiful! And then . . .sm-4022

We ran into two of the ladies’ husbands who were hiking the whole thing in reverse.  It was a nice little short visit – we didn’t even sit down.  They still were headed up and we were about a mile into our downward trek.







Waterfalls were a theme on the 16 mile down hill section – I lost count, but I bet it was more than a dozen waterfalls, some of them so large that I couldn’t fit them into the view of my 50mm lens.  I selected this lens because it was the lightest weight one I have, and mounted on my camera it all fit into my fanny pack worn turned to the front for easy access.


Along with the waterfalls, the views on the down hill section continued to be breath-taking.  If we had more time I’m sure each of us would have jumped in a lake and/or river, and would have just sat on a rock and contemplated the beauty of God’s creation as it was being revealed to us.  But we were trying to be done by dark (which we were, but just barely).


The last 4 or 5 miles were pretty rocky on the down hill, and it was a bear to deal with as by that time the knees were hurting pretty bad.  Nothing 800 mg of ibuprofen couldn’t address, but the going was slow as the trail was steep (lots of stair-step type trail with uneven landings and rocks galore!)  With about 2 miles of this left my Andy met us on the

By the time we finished the sun was gone from the canon, but the peaks were still glowing.

When we were all done Andy had ice cream sandwiches waiting for us kept frozen with dry ice, and then he took us all out to a famous burger place called the Grizzly Bar in Roscoe Montana.  It was delicious.

Amazingly, not as sore as I expected the next day, and by 48 hours later, not sore at all.  Those knees recover quicker than I think they will.

So, this hike was the reason I hiked and hiked and hiked all summer long – I was in training.  Now just back to daily walks, and the 4 – 5 miles seems like such a small endeavor now.

Categories: Bear Tooth Mountains, Beaten Path, flowers, Hiking, Montana, Montana summers, Outdoors, Photography, River, snow, Summer, Travel | Leave a comment

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