Rural Thursdays



These were taken on the first day of fall, which seems so appropriate.


It wasn’t as cold standing in the water that morning as I thought it would be, so that was a plus!


Categories: Autumn, Daily life, Fall, Gallatin River, Harvest, Montana, Outdoors, Photography, River, Rural Thursdays | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

MORE FROM THE ROAD TRIP – super image heavy

IMG_5793As we traveled along these rural roads traffic was not a problem.  The most commonly seen vehicles were the snow plows, which were out in force to tackle the constant drifting snow – did I mention in a previous post that it was windy?  Well, it was.

IMG_5795While we appreciated the plowing, it was also frightening because those guys were “haulin'” and they left a cloud of snow/dirt/whatever that was hard to see through when they passed.


It was almost funny.  But we did appreciate the roads being cleared of drifts.


All that haze in the photo below?  Blowing snow.  It made the landscape look like something from one of the early Star Wars movies – cold, windy and stark, with odd buildings sticking up from the ground from time to time.


Amazingly, all these counties have pretty interesting court houses – as opposed to the one in Gallatin County, one of the most populated counties in the state, and our functioning court-house is in an old 1960’s style school building – ugly.  But these little towns of less than 3000 people have stately looking court buildings.  So ironic!


This particular court-house is in Stanford Montana, population  769, the proud county seat for Judith Basin County.IMG_5862

This building is also in Stanford, next to two other similar buildings.  Small town with lots of grain is all I can figure.


All these little towns were built along the railroad.  IN reading the history of some of them, the town was built where the railroad was supposed to come, but when the railroad changed the route the folks just picked up and moved the town site because it was no good not being where there was railroad.  That was a lot of power and influence in those private companies – which sort of explains a lot of the stories of corruption that you hear from days gone by.


Somebody used to live here, but not any more.


We ended our second day of driving by going through the Little Belt Mountains – quite a change in topography!  Andy had always heard the skiing was good at Showdown, even though it is just a little resort.  From what we got to see in the late afternoon, it would make for some great skiing, and they had plenty of snow!

IMG_5892After stopping at Showdown we headed down the mountain and into White Sulphur Springs where we had the worst hotel and the worst service at a restaurant, followed by the worst breakfast out we could ever imagine.  Nothing against White Sulphur Springs or anything, it was just not great accommodations we found.  We will go back, but we won’t stay in the same place and we’ll eat elsewhere as well – an hour and a half wait for a hamburger wasn’t the romantic dinner out we had in mind.


Categories: Barns, Daily life, Montana, Outdoors, Photography, Rural Thursdays, snow, Travel, Winter | 1 Comment


sm (6 of 8)This morning I got to go out into the front yard and take some photos of wolf tracks.  I was only this far away from the house (see photo below) at most, and many of the tracks were about 1/2 way between where I was when I took the photo and the house:sm (7 of 8)

So, that means the wolf making the tracks was probably less than 50 yards from the house yesterday/last night.

The tracks were discovered by Andy and Tank out on their evening walk.  It was a pretty big deal and J went out and used his old IPOD to get some night time photos.  I however was lazy and waited until this morning, which might not have been best as the night was warm and windy (probably above freezing most of the night with a storm coming in) so the snow deteriorated greatly over night.  Still, these are the photos I did get when I strolled out there this morning:

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Nothing too spectacular as prints go because of the melting snow, but still, a wolf, in my front yard.  That is pretty cool and scary all at the same time.

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J, of course, would like to shoot it in the name of protecting his chickens.  Andy and I aren’t on his page with that one.  While we understand the ranchers struggle with the wolves, we don’t think just killing them because they exist is very wise or good stewardship of God’s creation.  So, the rifle stays in the house.

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We haven’t actually seen the wolf, but our neighbor has – he is of J’s mind-set in case you wondered.  He’ll shoot on sight if he gets a chance.

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Impressive how long the claws are, huh?

We’ve had a wolf in the neighborhood before, but it was a number of years ago.  I saw it one day driving to the post office, and my brother saw it several mornings in a row in the same field as he went to work. 


Joining the rurality blog hop this week.

Categories: chickens, Daily life, J, Outdoors, Photography, Rural Thursdays, snow, the house, Winter, wolves | 4 Comments


Well, I’m trying for Bokeh as opposed to just poorly focused photos.  These were all taken yesterday morning just as it started to sprinkle – had to run in to stay dry at the end there.  IMG_9462_6783smI am not super satisfied with the sharpness of the main flowers – I understand what the issue was.  I was using my 50 mm at 1.8, and sometimes I was too close – think I culled the worst of that out before I posted any flowers.  Also, didn’t have a tripod and was shooting at around f/100 with a little breeze.  So, camera shake  as well as moving subject are possibility.


The results are a very narrow depth of field with flowers that were not tiny, so only a part of the flower (often a small part) is in focus.

IMG_9448_6769smStill not totally unenjoyable images, I hope.

IMG_9450_6771smIn fact, I’m hoping they have a bit of Artsy appeal if nothing else.

IMG_9452_6773smAre you getting the Artsy vibe?  Hehehe!

IMG_9458_6779smAnd I’ll finish off with a photo from this morning on the road just down from our house as taking J to meet the school bus:IMG_9510_6812highpasssm

Categories: Autumn, Daily life, Fall, flowers, J, Photography, Rural Thursdays | 2 Comments



Before I start here, I want to express (perhaps “again” but it never seems to be enough) that the gratitude I feel is not some gratitude to the unknown or unidentified.  It is specific gratitude to God for the specific gifts He has given me. 

My life is full of His many many blessings, as the list proves.  But it is also hard at times – very hard.

These gifts are the reminder that God has put specific things in my life to be encouragement, sources of peace and joy, reminders of His love even through the hard stuff.  And He has placed them when and where He does with a purpose. 

So, as you read this list, whatever your beliefs about God, I just want it to be clear that these are gifts from God in my book, not a bragging list of what I’ve got and not everyone else does.  Nor is it an attempt to prove my worth by showing my blessings. 

It is a pure expression of gratitude for the intimate details that God works in my every day, every moment life.

Two nights ago there was a beautiful glow on the landscape in our yard.  Please note, I did not say “landscaping”, I said “landscape.”  As these photos will establish, we do not have much in the way of planned and organized landscaping – it is “au natural” for our home, and really that is fine with us.

Anyway, the light was such that I was inspired to take photos.  So out I went.  These photos decorating this list of blessings are the result.


So, here are portions of the list, which grew greatly on vacation:

1883.  Lots of blooming trees this year.

1887.  The fun of making plans for a day in San Francisco

1890.  Dramatic clouds and reflective light in the sky.

1895-6.  Andy taking a new last-minute case without panic (totally out of his comfort zone) and his calendar suddenly clearing to make that a possibility.

1901.  Birds playing “tag” on a split rail fence when I was walking by.

1907.  The power of our Bible study group praying for each other.


1909.  Dinner with good friends and new friends

1911.  Seeds in the ground in time to be well watered by a steady rain

1913.  Good dental appointment – no cavities or other problems

1918.  Being able to rent a car without an official credit card

1921.  Dim Sum in China Town – feeding 5 for $35 with lots of leftovers and it was delicious!

1923.  Easy parking the whole time we were in San Francisco


1925.  Beauty at the sea-shore despite all the development

1929.  Andy’s joy at seeing beach where he used to scuba dive with friends

1934.  Other people’s small (tiny) bathrooms bringing a renewed appreciation for the fact that our home has big bathrooms – just didn’t realized how blessed we were in this way without seeing that it is not universal.

1935.  California smells:  Oak, oleander in bloom; eucalyptus; manzanita, sea-shore


1944.  J’s appreciation of details in photographs displayed at DeSassiet museum (Santa Clara University campus)

1947.  Being able to talk to Daniel and Eva while on vacation.

1949.  Pine nuts from daddy to bring home and enhance our cooking

1952.  Redwood trees and Big Sur river


1953.  Safety while visiting the fissures – didn’t lose any young children over the edge!

1955.  My cousin’s three-year-old-son’s way of narrating his life – so cute!

1957.  Touching El Capitan n Yosemite

1959.  Sarg’s vigorous state at age 89

1966.  Kids playing with big phone airplane

1971.  Fresh fruit

1974.  Water balloon launcher and six children

1979.  Access to old family photos – especially seeing photos of my mom when she was young


1982.  Colorful boardwalk in Santa Cruz

1985.  Finding MIL’s grandfather’s grave after many years – and exploring the area while we were at it.

1992.  Learning about ducks as egg producers

1995.  Janet’s roses

1996.  Smell of white poppies at the Peardale house

1998.  J’s interest in rasing chickens and ducks


1999.  Grandpa’s willingness to struggle with the effect of PD – joining in on eating out, picnic in the park, little bits of a walk.

2000.  Andy’s willingness to do what it took to go on family vacation.

2003.  Photos of J with his grandparents

2010.  Fog coming over the Berkeley Hills

2011.  Smooth sailing through TSA at SFO

2015.  J’s constant drumming and rhythm expressions

2018.  J dealing with his own bag issues (independence) at the airport


2019.  Andy praying for our day starting us out on the right foot and bringing about a good day in the midst of a busy schedule

2025.  Burning enough calories in a day to promote weight loss

2030.  Enjoying music on The Voice together as a family

2032.  J’s smile while in his first class back at karate after several months off


2031.  Tank’s joyful relationship with water and all things wet.

2034.  Liking the results of incorporating the tripod in more of my photography

2037.  Fun comments on my blog from people who I enjoy on-line.

2038.  J’s exhaustion means he was very active the day before.

2040.  Open/transparent discussion in Bible study.


2041.  J doing his chores well unsupervised

2045.  Watching the little twitches in Tana’s (cat) face as she stalks a moth

2046.  Ideas for improving our work situations.

2047.  Lupine in bloom along the road where I walk and run

2048.  Friend Holly giving encouraging words and bringing up relevant points that strike at my heart


2049.  Mangos at Costco (just the right level of ripeness at the right price).

2050.  Surprises around the house from the Hawley’s time there

2051.  Although Sophie’s kittens were still-born, she is healthy and recovering well.

2052.  Leo successfully stayed with Aunt Nettie while we were away.

2053.  Green everywhere on our home landscape.


2054.  Flowers are beautiful even when they grow among the weeds

2055.  Rose bush that grows through the deck cracks and makes a unique decoration

2056.  Big clouds over still snow-capped mountains seen from our property.

2057.  Raspberries for a snack


2058.  Seeds that have sprouted – carrots, pumpkin, peas, lettuce and beans to come

2059.  Ideas to improve our yard

2060.  Connecting with people after being away for 10 days

2061.  Running 3 miles relatively easy after too long of a break


2062.  Friends for J to connect with

2063.  Bright colored shirt that used to be too small fitting and matching my fun skirt so I can feel good about what I wear without having to purchase anything.

2064.  Job/money-making opportunities for J as he begins to save for trip to Washington D.C.

2065.  Getting parenting inspiration from watching some of the things that other parents do well.


2066.  Plans, ideas and dreams for the future to sort through, analyze and make decisions about, but ability to not have to rush.

2067.  Even when being in relationship is hard and chaffing, continuing the relationship is possible and desirable.

2068.  The hard parts are never unaccompanied by grace and gifts

Categories: Barns, Daily life, Faith, flowers, gratitude, Outdoors, Photography, Rural Thursdays, Thankful to God, This and That Thursdays | 3 Comments



All these photos were taken on the 1st of May.


Since that day it has been warm and dry – wearing shorts, watering lawns.


Tomorrow and over the weekend it is supposed to look like these photos again – yes, snow is in the forecast.  But I’m willing to accept that because it has been so very dry.


To keep the hills green and avoid fires like last summer, I’ll take any and all moisture, even the frozen kind.


Amazing how the weather can change so quickly – cold April, too warm in May, praying for moisture.  And it is only the middle of the month.

Today I’ll take photos of all the blooming crab apples (in town, not up at our house yet) and other flowering trees, because all those blooms will probably be destroyed in the weekend rain and snow.


Categories: Daily life, Outdoors, Photography, Rural Thursdays, Spring | 3 Comments

I was told there were some neat cows to photograph up in Bridger Canyon, on the way to the ski hill.  I went looking yesterday afternoon and found Miniature Scottish HighlandersIMG_3569sm

They are kind of cute, don’t you think.


It looks like a black angus got in with the mini herd – shhh!  Don’t tell him he’s not quite like the others! I’m pretty sure #10 thinks he just like #14, and it might crush his spirit to find out that he’s completely different – so much bigger!


A storm blew in as I was photographing these guys – but I must note, I stayed a bit into the storm because these are the first cows who actually started to walk towards me when I pulled out my camara. 

IMG_3581smI will be heading back out to visit these guys more – they are a lot of fun!

Categories: cows, Outdoors, Photography, Rural Thursdays, This and That Thursdays, Uncategorized, Winter | 4 Comments




Categories: Black and White Conversions, cows, Outdoors, Photography, Rural Thursdays, Winter, Wordless Wednesday | 5 Comments

Rural Thursdays – 2-28-2013


Skipped a day, not because my whole last post was such a flop – clearly I should not be in a rush when selecting photos for conversion to black and white and posting, ‘cuz I got that one wrong.  Any way, I skipped yesterday because I’m busy – doing taxes!  Yuck!


To make up for that, at long last, here are a couple of cows – selected in a hurry, not because they are the best photos.  Processing from RAW takes a few minutes and paying attention, so I just randomly got two and did them.  But it is proof that all those times I was out and about looking for cows, I really was, and I actually found a couple.

I hope to finish the taxes tomorrow in time to post here again, although right now I’m at a complete loss as to what I’ll post.  I think I owe Nicki a tagged post, so I might do that. 

Thanks for stopping by today!

Categories: cows, Daily life, Favorite things Thursdays, Outdoors, Photography, Rural Thursdays, Winter | 3 Comments



So, drooling cow/steer wasn’t a thrill for most of you.  That’s okay.  I’m still on the cow photo hunt, but for Valentines Day I thought I’d share some of the reds that I found along the way.


I love distressed old red items. 


Andy told me today that on Valentine’s Day 15% of women send themselves flowers. 

How sad! 

Not that they get flowers, that’s not sad.  But that (I assume) they feel they have to pretend they have someone to send them flowers so others would think them worthy is sad. 

For years I didn’t have anyone to send me flowers, but I never did send them to myself – too cheep I guess.  Anyway, now I have someone and flowers just don’t seem all that important or prestigious anymore. 

I hope none of you felt compelled to send yourselves flowers in order to convince others you are loved – you don’t need flowers to validate who you are to me! 

You are a child of God and worthy of love, attention and affection based on that alone!

Hope your Valentine’s Day is full of lots of love.

I’m joining is with Ruralality for the first time – thought I’d give it a try – and on Thursday Favorite Things.  See what you think – click on the links.

Categories: Andy, Barns, Faith, Favorite things Thursdays, Outdoors, Photography, Rural Thursdays, Winter | 4 Comments

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