Yesterday I was treated to a morning with my camera and a car.  I headed to the Headwaters of the Missouri River – where the Madison, Jefferson and Gallatin rivers come together to form the Missouri River.  These photos were taken literally 25 yards down stream from where the Gallatin joins in the already merged Madison and Jefferson – so 25 yards down river from where it starts.  Given the role the Missouri River places in our history and economic/transportation issues in this country, it always amazes me to stand where the big river begins.


It was lightly snowing, but in the low 30’s so pretty comfortable for being outside.  Quiet too.  I don’t think I saw a single other person when I was there – unless you count the train driver (I’ll post those photos later this week). 


As much of the  country is revisiting uncomfortably cold temperatures it is chilling to look at these photos and know how cold that water is – reminds me of the old song “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” by Gordon Lightfoot.  I know that song is about a lake, not a river, but the chill, the wind, the grey of my experience out there yesterday just seems to express so much of the feeling of that song.


I hope everyone is able to stay warm – it’s about zero here this evening. 


Categories: initiate, Outdoors, Photography, River, Winter | 1 Comment


IMG_3647smI don’t think I’ve ever done this before, but I’m going to share some links at the bottom of this post that I’ve come across in the past few weeks (since the beginning of the new year).  This is part of my OLW of initiate.  I’m taking initiative to share.

As I wrote in my original post about selecting this word, I often have ideas to share with folks but get shy about approaching them for fear I’ll be interrupting or bothering them by bringing my idea to them. 

IMG_1009bwsmI’ve made some progress in this area in the last couple of weeks, which includes doing things like feeling called to pray with someone and actually approaching them about it and praying with them.  Or getting a brainstorm of an idea (meaning I thought of it, but I’m not wedded to it, just feel like it might be worthy of exploring and helpful in the process of sorting something out), and speaking it out loud to those who might consider it.

Funny thing this Initiate word.  A woman whose wisdom I value greatly and who knows my family and I well offered me a suggestion last week.  She advised me to take off my filter on ideas and opinions and speak my mind more.  I’d been holding back as I try to figure out how others will respond to my ideas, and she indicated it is time to let others be responsible for their own reaction to my ideas.  My ideas are mine, their reaction is theirs.  I’m not responsible for their reactions. 

I know, what a concept, huh!



It is profound how well this approach fits right in with the idea of initiate.  Her assignment to me of not filtering puts this whole word into a more powerful context for me than I ever dreamed.

So, back to the links thing.  I’m sharing because I think these are neat posts.  Maybe your reaction will be different from mine.  I’m not going to worry about it.  IMG_1001sm

Although, really, these are pretty safe because I don’t think any of them are terribly controversial.  None are religious or political – they are all style/photography/creative related.  So any disagreement about them being cool links would only be about taste I suppose.

Enough stalling, here are the links, with a little comment from me about what I loved.

Russian Mother’s Beautiful Photos

I just love this whole thing.  I am amazed at this woman’s photography – and a bit envious at her skill and abilities, especially after such a short time of being focused on photography.

Succulents as wedding flowers

I like all these photos, but what I really got excited about was the unusual use of succulents in the wedding flowers/decor.  Super cool!

Totally Cool Wedding in Vermont

This link is to a photographer my mentor suggested I follow because he does inspiring work and has a real fun attitude about it.  I’m not always sure I like everything he does or the way he presents himself – pushes my boundaries in some ways.  But I loved this wedding location and some of the ideas in it – plus the photography is pretty cool too.

So that is the update from me on initiating.  And, by the way, these are all old photos posted last year because Andy has the computer where my photos are at court in a jury trial – not sure the judge would appreciate me running in there to blog while the trial is going on, so it is make due time.  This was not an appropriate place to initiate and not worry about the judge’s reaction.  I am smart enough to know that.

Categories: Black and White Conversions, cows, Daily life, initiate, One Little Word, Photography | Leave a comment


Had to learn to spell this word to make it my word of the year.  (Learning something goes along with the family word, so I’m okay with that).sm-8234

My first word for a year was Proactive, and it was such a success that I thought I’d revisit a portion of the concept this year with Initiate.

I envision this word reminding me not to just think and dream, but to do.  Start the things I want to do.  I find that I’ll think of an idea and then freeze.  Maybe I wonder around the house, look at the items needed to implement the job, and not do anything.  Sometimes I do that so long I forget the idea and nothing ever

This happens with my interactions with people too.  I get shy and don’t mention, invite or comment, and the conversation never happens. I need to initiate the contact, conversation, interaction rather than wish I had.

The dictionary says that initiate means “to cause  or facilitate the beginning of” – yep, that is what I want to do.  I can’t necessarily control the out come, but I can get it

This year I want to initiate the ideas.  Who knows, maybe the implementation will take a different direction that I originally thought, but it will go somewhere.

My first act of initiating?  Well, these photos sprinkled throughout this

See the first two I took way back when we had the cold snap here at the beginning of December.  They are photos of ice dams that formed on the Gallatin River and some of the results.  I heard about the issue on the news and drove over there one morning on my way into town just to check it out.  What was significant was that these photos are all of the property of my brother’s former boss – and I would say his friend.  The building was where my brother worked many days (before the shop got moved to a new location).  Anyway, my thought at the time was “I should post these on the blog because I’m sure Daniel would be interested to know what was happening to Russ and Lorie’s property.  But I never did

Today Andy and I were back over that way for a little walk and I took the rest of the photos in this post.  I was shocked to see that the ice dams have not cleared, that part of the river is still clogged, and the water is flowing on Russ and Lorie’s property as well as on many of their neighbor’s properties.   While there is a beauty to the river, and it looks like Russ and Lorie’s actual house is still livable, the damage to property is stunning, and still in progress.  (Daniel helped to do a major remodel on that house and if it flooded it would be ruining some of his handiwork as well as really harming our friends and their family).sm-2821

So, Daniel, these shots are for you, and I am initiating (better late than never) showing them to you by posting them here on my blog.  An idea delayed, but not forgotten!   I haven’t spoken to Russ or Lorie, but it appears their house itself stayed dry and is being lived in through this

That is what I’m hoping for with this word.

Categories: Daily life, Extended Family, Gallatin River, initiate, Learning, One Little Word, Outdoors, Photography, proactive, River, snow, Winter | 2 Comments

Blog at