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Archive for the ‘wilderness’ Category

the long weekend

Monday, October 13th, 2014

hh-2    Saturday morning at Hungry Horse for the Le Griz Ultra Run (50 miles). We were there to crew for a good friend. It was a long satisfying day in a gorgeous place.

HH-am The weather was variable, with everything except snow. Tamaracks and aspen have turned a burnished gold.

talltrees   fall

Later in the weekend we walked around Lion’s Lake. The trees are so tall. The climate there, near Glacier Park, is more like the Pacific NW than the part of the state where I live. It is semi-arid here.

backyard  west

the view from the house, looking west.

roadhome the road home, today at noon. That snow capped mountain is behind the house.

**
Years ago, in Houston, a random person gave me this quip as an early birthday gift.

It was a delight to see the words on a bumper sticker Sunday afternoon.

the edge

hideaways

Saturday, September 28th, 2013

The theme for this month’s Sketchbook Challenge is “houses and hideaways”. It’s a great opportunity to do a follow up on the last blog post, a visit to the treehouse.

We spent a long weekend there, returned Tuesday. It was as always, therapeutic.

The interior space is quite small but the decks are expansive. Here are some views and details. Perhaps you will see how the place got  its name. From inside, every window looks out to panoramic landscape as well as the branching of the log supports.

nwcorner

the kitchen window
e-deckSouth East deck     morning

looking out to the “driveway”

    butte.nwdaybreak secorner west-dusk

 

jay

In the morning the grey jays fly into the deck for treats: bird seed or bread, or dog kibble in a pinch. Unlike the more showy Stellar Jays, they are not shy birds. This past visit we saw a lot of elk and moose sign but no animals.The dogs may have had something to do with that.

Visit the Sketchbook Challenge Blog to see other interpretations of this month’s theme, and drop in on the personal blogs of other hosts for tutorials, videos, giveaways.

Leave a comment here for the chance to win a pdf of my “Idea to Image” workbook. A name will be drawn at random on October 4.

 

p.s., with any luck at all, the GeoCounter will be back before this posts – that’s an ugly space without it.

unplugged

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

ridge2

Earlier this week, after too much thinking and not enough planning, we headed upcountry for the first time this season. Being completely unplugged and off grid provides a wonderful opportunity to *not* think, to *not* worry or plan and to *not* get bogged down in the details of  responsibility. Certainly there are chores: opening the treehouse, cleaning up the decks, moving wood and more. The difference is, for me anyway, that I can see and feel the results of my efforts when I am up there. For example, piles of firewood are quantifiable. It is easy to see when wood needs to be moved closer to where it will be used and so forth. Similarly, clearing walkways, cutting back tall grass in my “parking spot” and pruning out young trees are all tasks that need doing every year. I love knowing that I got the work done, can go off for a walk, come back and sit on the deck watching the birds, the dogs and the shifting light.

thebowl       secorner

Although my neighborhood is relatively quiet and the morning river walks are lovely and somewhat solitary, the noise of being in town is constant.  Having the stillness and peace at the “tree house” this week was a gift and a reminder of how important that deep solitude is to me. At home in town, in addition to the birds in my gardens, there is the almost constant electrical whirr of fans, of the fridge, the noise of neighborhood children, dogs and traffic, occasional sirens.

At the treehouse: the soft whirring of the jays, the cries of coyotes at night, the river of a wind storm followed by the rhythm of rain all night and the whistling call of the ground squirrels my dogs find so entertaining. Every once in a while, a large animal will move through. We hear branches breaking, the rustle of grass, the dogs might bark once or twice. This trip I did not see them but moose, elk, black bears and deer all live there, it is their home, I am just a visitor.

My next trip will be in a week or so depending on various schedules. We will stay for 5 days if all goes well. Stay tuned.

***

beau-9-3   Beau, keeping track     gracie-9-3 ms. Gracie, ready to roll, again!

The dogs were ecstatic when we arrived at the gate and they were released.

gate2

By the time I had made the climb up our drive, they had criss-crossed the ridge and met me on the deck, both in full body wag. They spent our time there on the  move, chasing and waiting for ground squirrels that live in the wood piles and downed timber. They would come back to me for a bit, have a drink or a rub, then one or the other would alert and both would take off up the meadow or down the hill. Beau would sometimes lay down for a nap (he has an “off button”), ms. Gracie would still be running had we not come home. She has the Border Collie energy and stamina. She is also still young and at an  age where she will whimper with fatigue but get up and run some more at the smallest opportunity.