Category Archives: wildlife

Montana

The last day of July I headed to Kalispell, Montana to join my daughter, her boyfriend and his parents for a vacation. I was super excited and looked forward to using my new full frame camera.

My flight was delayed resulting in my missing my connecting flight in Denver so I spent the night there and completed my journey to Kalispell the next morning.

After unpacking, we hiked the Avalanche Trail the afternoon I arrived.

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The next day, Tuesday, we hiked Piegan Pass.

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Surprisingly after 2 days of hiking only my feet were sore.

Wednesday it was 60 degrees and raining so we changed plans and toured the Conrad Mansion Museum.  Charles E. Conrad and his brother William established a shipping and freighting empire in Fort Benton, Montana Territory that eventually became the most important transportation center in Montana.  When Charles moved to Kalispell he had an impressive 13,000 square foot home built.

Thursday we drove around Flathead Lake admiring all the beauty. Then I headed back home.

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Visiting Family

We’re starting to organize our garage and create a space for Keith to work on various projects.  Keith had created enough space so we borrowed my Dad’s flatbed trailer and moved from our lake place to our home the huge worktable that my Dad built earlier.  The next day when I returned the trailer to my Dad, he and Camellia gave me a guided tour around town, which included seeing some elk.

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On my way home I stopped by the IOOF Noble Cemetery and noticed others bringing flowers this Memorial Day.  I enjoyed the warmth of the sun on my back and pondered the symbolism of my shadow on Mom’s headstone along with all the new growth of grass.  Standing there I felt both sadness in her absence and strength of her love as I affirmed the epitaph that my brother and I wrote about Mom.

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Breezy and Cool

For our first away from home camping in our RV we went to Lake McMurtry, which is near Stillwater where our daughter lives.  2016-04-30-10

We had a very shady campsite and Saturday, Keith and I enjoyed basking in the sun with a gentle cool breeze.

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On our drive into town there we several turkeys and I managed to snap a pic of one darting across the road.

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Note: The same day we bought our RV my brother and sister-in-law shared that they are expecting a baby girl in September!

City Farm

A few times a week Keith has been helping a friend by feeding his farm animals while he recuperates.  I accompanied him this weekend and the place is just on the edge of town so you get a feeling of being in the country but your not really.  Since I didn’t grow up with farm animals it was interesting to watch. 2016-04-02-18Standing in the food bowl makes a statement.

2016-04-02-15There are about 14 chickens and each day there are 4-7 eggs.

2016-04-02-23The cows get a little extra for their diet.

2016-04-02-35After dinner the cows watch me and pose for me.

2016-04-02-36The chickens were thirsty after eating so they went to the pond.

2016-04-02-37This one reminds me of a cartoon character.  “I say, I say…son.”

Spring is in the air

The wall hanging caught my eye with the stripes in the letters that were the result of the shadows.  I found myself focused on the short phrase “and be” that is a small part of the wall hanging.  Most often I ask myself what to be, when to be, how to be or why to be yet this morning the shadows directed me to the phrase and be.  Never mind the questions of what, when, how or why of being rather focus on adding to being, that is and be.

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As Keith was gazing out a window at our lake place he observed an adult male yellow-bellied sapsucker woodpecker in a nearby tree and told me to come watch.  I was able to get a couple of photos of the bird hunting for just the right spots to drill holes in the tree and wait for sap to seep out.

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You can see his red head and throat and his chest has a bit of yellow on it.

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In the photo below his head is blurry due to his drilling action in making the sapwells.  Can you imagine the knocking sound it makes?

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It’s officially spring with beautiful sunshiny days, birds playing and lots of wind.

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As I drove home I was intrigued by the 50 or so wind turbines in the Arbuckle Wind Farm that are busy capturing the kinetic energy of wind and converting it to electricity.  This product of electricity then is exported to Nebraska.  It boggles my mind.

Busy as a bee

On our way back from a quick visit to our lake place we stopped to see how my Dad and step mother are coming along with the workshop.  They’re busy painting the ceiling, walls and floor while just outside the workshop many bees are busy pollinating the pear trees.

 

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Notice the pollen baskets on the bees legs are getting pretty full.

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Fall Road Trip

We signed up to use Tripcast, which “lets you share your travel photos with the people who want to see everything, not just the highlights.”  We’ve really enjoyed using it and highly recommend it.  For the purpose of this blog I’ll just post a few photos from our trip.

We flew to Seattle where we rented an RV for 2 weeks.  We headed toward Pasco, Washington to meet up with some friends.

We enjoyed a private tour on this 55' boat on the Columbia river. We went through the locks at Ice Harbor bay, which was a fascinating experience on a gorgeous day.

We enjoyed a private tour on this 55′ boat on the Columbia river. We went through the locks at Ice Harbor bay, which was a fascinating experience on a gorgeous day.

Next we ventured on toward Spokane and stayed at Coeur D’Alene Lake, which was quite lovely.

I was taking a photo of Keith sitting in the chair facing the water when a woman in the RV park came up to me and said it was no good taking a picture of just one of us and that if I'd set my camera up she'd just push the button. I said sure and told her it was our 26th wedding anniversary and then she began telling us what to do for the photos by saying things like "look at her", "hold hands", "turn around" while she snapped several photos. She was a hoot.

I was taking a photo of Keith sitting in the chair facing the water when a woman in the RV park came up to me and said it was no good taking a picture of just one of us and that if I’d set my camera up she’d just push the button. I said sure and told her it was our 26th wedding anniversary and then she began telling us what to do for the photos by saying things like “look at her”, “hold hands”, “turn around” while she snapped several photos. She was a hoot.

The next day we drove to Missoula, Montana and I got to spend time with Carol, who was a good friend when we were in Junior High in 1973 & 74. The last time we saw one another we think was about 1985.  She and her husband graciously entertained us and we had a wonderful time.

McDonald Lake at Glacier National Park

McDonald Lake at Glacier National Park in Montana.

We had intentions of touring around Glacier National Park but most everything of interest was already closed so we headed on to Yellowstone where we spent two days then visited Cody, Wyoming and another day at Yellowstone.  I have a ton of photos that are scenic as well as of wildlife.

The bison were pretty much everywhere and we were able to get pretty close to them.

The bison were pretty much everywhere in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming and we were able to get pretty close to them.

Deer that just crossed the road near the east entrance to Yellowstone.

Deer that just crossed the road near the east entrance to Yellowstone.

Driving through Yellowstone National Park there was a mama grizzly bear and her cub beside the road. I had a pretty good view and as they were walking by the posts they each stopped to scratch their backs.

Driving through Yellowstone National Park there was a mama grizzly bear and her cub beside the road. I had a pretty good view and as they were walking by the posts they each stopped to scratch their backs.

After Yellowstone we headed for the Grand Tetons.

As the couple in the canoe paddled by Keith called out and thanked them for helping make our photo opp complete. –at Jenny Lake in Grand Tetons still in Wyoming.

We enjoyed roasted marshmallows (actually Swirlmallows caramel & vanilla) over an open fire.

We enjoyed roasted marshmallows (actually Swirlmallows caramel & vanilla) over an open fire in Montpelier, Idaho.

The National Oregon/California Trail Center in Montpelier had a simulated adventure along the old Oregon trail that we did. It was entertaining and educational.

The National Oregon/California Trail Center in Montpelier had a simulated adventure along the old Oregon trail that we did. It was entertaining and educational.

Google maps said we could take a 16 minute longer way to Garden City. Thinking it would be more scenic we opted for it but little did we know we'd be on an I paved road. It brings new meaning to shake rattle and roll when you're in an RV. On the way back we took the quicker route.

Google maps said we could take a 16 minute longer way to Garden City. Thinking it would be more scenic we opted for it but little did we know we’d be on an I paved road. It brings new meaning to shake rattle and roll when you’re in an RV. On the way back we took the quicker route.

Saturday morning we headed for Salt Lake City, Utah.

Spent an afternoon at Park City and enjoyed the Alpine slide and coaster. Pure fun!

Spent an afternoon at Park City and enjoyed the Alpine slide and coaster. Pure fun!

Monday we returned the RV in Salt Lake City and flew back home.  It was a grand trip with friends, fun, food and freedom from work.

Unforgettable

Our vacation finally arrived!  We flew to Kalispell, Montana and enjoyed several days with our daughter, her boyfriend and his parents.  In addition to wonderful company, the scenery and activities were memorable and fun. The hospitality we received was amazing and unforgettable.

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Cedar Waxwing, a fruit eating bird found in Montana year-round, flying at the pond.

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A doe and her fawn near the house. They were nearby every day.

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Keith learning how to fly fish at Lake Rodgers near Kalispell, MT

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Fly fishing in a Clackacraft boat at Lake Rodgers

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Lake Rodgers. Beautiful!

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Geese, lily pads, leeches, eagles and more at Lake Rodgers.

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Hoary marmot seen on the Going-to-the-Sun-Road in Glacier National Park

We went horseback riding, whitewater rafting, sat around a campfire at night and, of course, ate huckleberry pie and jam.  The sun rises about 5:45 am and sets after 9:30 pm and there was enough light in the evening to still see until 10;30 or so.  Montana is a perfect place to visit during the summer so that you enjoy its perfect temperatures and beauty.

What’s Up There?

In my brother-in-law’s backyard we watched the wildlife last night.  This squirrel was so cute, at least at a distance.

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45|2013 Thanksgiving Weekend (November 25 – December 1, 2013)

A few highlights from this Thanksgiving week:

  • My family was together on Thanksgiving Day and this was the first time since 1995 that my father was with us.
  • Everyone made or brought something making it a wonderful meal that was devoured in minutes.
  • My mother-in-law and father-in-law celebrated their one-year anniversary on the first of December.
  • Friday after Thanksgiving Keith and I borrowed his step-father’s motor coach and took a vacation to Broken Bow.

We left for our vacation early Friday morning and had an uneventful drive.  We found a nice spot where we sat up the motor coach and since we still had a couple of hours of daylight we visited Girls Gone Wine, a nearby winery, and sampled a few wines.

Saturday we drove all around the area and stopped at many places to admire the scenery and wander around taking pictures.

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Enjoying our campfire on a cool fall evening.

Sunday I watched some ducks swimming in the lake and we enjoyed feeding the squirrels at our campsite.

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By mid-morning we headed to Arkansas where we played in the dirt at the Crater of Diamonds.  We got some tips from a woman who found a 28 point white diamond just the day before but we didn’t find anything.  Instead, we left plenty for others to find.

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Keith returning the diamond hunting equipment.

Monday we packed up and got an early start home.  Along the way the outer back tire on the driver’s side blew out and Keith limped it 25 or so miles to a nearby town and thankfully they had a tire in stock to replace it.  With nearly a 4 hour pitstop to take care of the tire we made it home safe and sound by dark.