Summer

THANK GOD FOR THE WATER!

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.

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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!

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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

LATE SUMMER 2014

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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:

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

THE BEATEN PATH – 26 MILES IN 14 HOURS

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.

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

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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.

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

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Sometimes I was ahead of others . . .

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And sometimes I brought up the rear.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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 trail.sm-4091

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

SNOW IN AUGUST

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It wasn’t at our house, but it was snow on the mountains we see from our back yard this morning.  Couldn’t tell you about the mountains we see out the front yard because those mountains were shrouded in fog all day long.  Fortunately it is supposed to warm up this coming week, so summer is not over, just took a three-day vacation with the snow as the climax of the cold front.

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

JUNE AND JULY PHOTOS – SO FAR BEHIND!

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Categories: Andy, Andy's Family, Cottonwood Canyon, Daily life, Family Fun, flowers, Hiking, Hyalite, J, Karate, kids, Montana, Outdoors, Photography, Summer, Tahoe, Travel, Vacation | Leave a comment

WEEKEND RECAP

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J is out-of-town – on a trip to the East Coast with a group from his school, so Andy and I were alone (except for Paul, who lives in the basement).  Anyway, part of my training for a big hike in August is to do long hikes on Saturdays.  This week was scheduled for a 12 miler, so Andy joined me.  It was very fun!

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We actually joined up with some friends by accident – the wife of that couple is doing the same training I am, but we thought they were going at the crack of dawn, so when we saw their car at the trailhead around 9 a.m. we assumed we’d see them hiking down while we were still on our way up.  So we had some company almost the whole way because we saw them just past a mile into the hike (we caught up with them, which suggests we were at a faster pace? Oh wait, it’s not a competition).

These two photos were taken about five miles in.  If you look closely you will see a dog (our friends’) chasing an elk at the edge of the meadow.  But the view in that meadow was just breath-taking! 

IMG_3021smOther than that big hike there were some hours at the office, some house keeping, gardening, photographing of flowers, bbqing and other cooking, and general relaxing.  Nice to have a start on the weeding done. 

J comes home on Tuesday (late) and we can’t wait.  It is a busy week at the office, but I hope to post some more flower photos. 

Gotta find a real live person willing to model for some photos – got some ideas to try!

Categories: Andy, Daily life, flowers, Hiking, J, Montana, Outdoors, Photography, Spring, Summer | Leave a comment

ICELANDIC POPPIES

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The Icelandic poppies thrive around here. 

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They are in my back yard and along the roads.

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They start out so very bright that it is hard to photograph them.

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Then time, the sun, the wind, and the rain bead down on them and they fade into a beautiful paleness.

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New pods are bursting open every morning.

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While old blooms prepare to become bare seed pods.

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Categories: flowers, Montana, Outdoors, Photography, poppies, Spring, Summer | Leave a comment

I LOVE LUPINE

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Categories: flowers, Hiking, Outdoors, Photography, Spring, Summer | 1 Comment

June 2, 2014 Gratitude

sm-27002913.  More egg production last 2 days

2914.  Ben and Becca’s great graduation speeches

2915.  Standing to sing hymns is the right thing to do.

2916.  Brief fun connection with Anna H.

2917.  J’s connection with M and N still strong

2918.  The healing and emotional health we can see in J since joining MCS

2919.  Good meeting with Max and Merrilee

2920.  Camille sharing her heart about so many thingssm-2685

2921.  Cool breeze through the windows at night

2922.  So many fun people to connect and reconnect with at the graduation party

2923.  Dark purple flowers on the wild Delphinium plants along trails and roads

2924.  “Wild Things” from Linda

2925.  Hugs and warm greetings from Ben

2926.  Healing for Jax’  ear

2927.  Safety for a 4-year-old approached by a stranger

2928.  Arisson’s little tuft of wild hair on the top of his head

2929.  J’s respect for Glen L.

2930.  J’s successful playing drums for worship service

2931.  The way J describes Ben’s influence in his 8th grade project paper

2932.  8th grade project is all turned insm-2681

2934.  The wind through the open windows at night

2935.  U-Swirl is mostly gluten-free

2936.  Another new paying client

2937.  Excitement for Garrett and Andi’s wedding

2938.  So many yards with blooming flowers in town

2939.  Beau visiting and sharing about his life

2940.  Tank healing so well

2941.  My concerns understood by Denise

2942.  Summer bucket listssm-2691

2943.  summer food like corn on the cob

2944.  Being useful in the wedding preparation.

2945.  Coming to realize J will be in highschool soon and the changes that reflects and foreshadows

2946.  J doing well in karate after missing several weeks of sparring

2947.  Looks like no rain until after hike and not during Garrett and Andi’s wedding

2948.  Pelicans flying in unison

2949.  Completing hardest 10 mile hike I’ve ever done

2950.  J’s positive response to hard karate workout

2951.  Rain held off long enough to mow the lawnssm-2677

2952.  Wild flowers in abundance on 10 mile hike

2953.  Garrett and Andie’s wedding a success – not rained out and lots of fun

2954.  Tired body after active day

2955.  David K’s transformation from what seemed like a disaster to the pinnacle of success

2956.  Camera not damaged when it fell from the roof of the moving car

2957.  Lessons from Jasmine Star available for free on the internet

2958.  commonalities on our summer bucket lists

2958.  Reconnecting with friends over a meal

2950.  Tank back to wanting to walk around the field at night with Andy

 

Categories: Apple blossoms, flowers, gratitude, Multitude on Mondays, Outdoors, Photography, Spring, Summer, Thankful to God | 3 Comments

SPRING HAS

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I know it probably seems a bit late to most people across the country to be saying “spring has sprung” but here in Montana it is right on time – at least for our little corner of Montana.  Heck, there are still areas nearby that are inaccessible for hiking because the snow is too deep, so we are happy for the green areas!

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This week school ends for J, so summer is fast approaching!  He’s got his 8th grade project to finish up, and that is about all.  So excited for him, but also in a certain amount of awe at the concept that he will be in high school.  Seems impossible, but it is true!sm-2711

We are doing a bit of planning for summer, each of us creating a “bucket list” of what we want to do.  While there was a great variety, there were also several points of cross-over, which is fun to not.  Looks like we’ll all be fishing and camping some over the next few months, and maybe, just maybe, there will be some dance lessons thrown into the mix for the Mrs. and Mr.

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The office, always a factor in our lives, is coming up on a busy time – several jury trials in July and August, which means lots of preparation.  Also have a jury trial this Wednesday if the prosecutor doesn’t come to his senses.  So that summer bucket list has some competition for our time, but that is normal, and we will find a balance!  I promise we will!

Categories: Apple blossoms, Daily life, Family Fun, flowers, J, Montana, Outdoors, Photography, Spring, Summer | Leave a comment

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