Sunday, May 31, 2009

Out and About Near Bozeman

This out and about is a bit out of order. I went up to History Rock Trailhead in Hyalite Canyon on Friday. I did not make it to the top because my poor dog was on a death march. I decided it was best to turn around and get her home to cool and water. I had my bag on me, but she won't drink from it. She had some snow and water run off. I'm hoping to go back this week as I gleaned from fellow hikers that it is a beautiful view and the rock is at the top of course.

All was not in vain though as I got some really cool shots. The spiders were everywhere. The one above was kind of enough to sit still for a brief photo shoot.

This moss was really awesome. Delicate in a way and lit just so by the little bit of sun that made it in.

These are gopher eskers. I can't swear on it. They could belong to a mole. They claim it's easy to tell the difference, but I couldn't do it using photos off the internet. It's quite the elaborate tunnel system, though.

Here we have a beetle that is very shy. I would not have spotted him like this. When I first saw him he was out crawling along the log. Very helpful though. I always look at half rotten logs thinking I should find something and coming away empty handed most times. It would never have occured to me that the insects may be half hidden and boring into the log in an up and down position. Now I know, and I'll look for that.

What Crawls on Flowers

I was out in what my husband calls the ravine or ditch by our house today. I call it a meadow. Some people think it's a dump unfortunately. I went up a different path than usual and found this bee crawling on these flowers.

When I got home, the beetles were all over my crab apple tree again. Not sure what kind they are. They're red and black. They don't seem to harm the tree and much like the bees they love to get into the flower and get pollen on themselves. I caught this guy sneaking a peak at me from beneath the blossoms.

My Shadow Tatoo

While just as cool, possibly cooler than, a tattoo, it's a lot less painful and permanent. Just stand near something that leaves a cool shadow on your skin and photograph.

Following is a bald faced hornet that Chris removed from our house. They keep getting in. I think it's the same couple of hornets coming back in when we throw them out. I'm all about the vacuum cleaner approach myself. I don't care if they're outside, that's where they belong. We had a nest of theirs on our garage. Chris took it down. I don't think they're too pleased.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

You Find the Oddest Things Revisit

Today we decided to go hiking up in Hyalite Canyon and go see Palisades Falls which we haven't done yet. Very worth it. Of course, then it rained. The title of this blog was going to be And Then It Rained until I found the underwear. Don't ask, don't tell. Works for me.

Of course, that's not all we found, so I put a twist on the orignal theme to add some other adjectives to it.

The Prettiest Things

The Oddest Things

The Coolest Things

The Scariest Things

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Well, today was officially my last PAC meeting as a Co-President. The two ladies who are taking over from me got this as a thank you gift. I really don't know what to think. Too late. I thought about it and now I'm getting teary eyed. This has got to be one of the most awesome things anyone has ever done for me.

Whenever I think about the last couple of years and what I've gained from this particular experience I think of the song Moments by Emerson Drive. The following line sums it up: Moments when I knew I did what I thought I couldn't do.

Out and About in Bozeman

This week I'm exploring the seedier side of Bozeman - the recycling bins at Walmart. I believe the true title of this post should be "Dumpster Not to Be Confused with Dump". I round the corner and yes, I have a question - What in the World!

This is not a place to hastily dump your belongings as you blast out of town. I'm sorry you can't afford a dumpster or the fees or time to run to the Logan dump, but seriously? None of this is recyclable. They won't take it. They won't even run over it with their trucks. And now I can't get to the aluminum and plastic from that side for who knows how long?

Is life getting so messy that some other solution can't be found? Perhaps, splitting it up into the garbage for weeks? (Actually this looks similar to a bunch of stuff that someone who lived on Rouse would leave on their front lawn for months proclaiming a rummage sale. Rain or Shine. If so, they had time to get it in the garbage. That pile did recently disappear though.) Maybe there just was not enough warning to find an alternative solution. I mean if I didn't know better I would think that one of the homeless people had dumped their cart there. They haven't even touched this.

The other thing that caused me to ponder was how much this feels like Eugene OR. I will relate. My sister-in-law lives in Eugene. One night, when we were visiting, we went for a walk and as we returned to her house she stopped by a friend's house to ruffle through what's known as a free box. Reba explained that you put stuff you don't want anymore in a box, mark it free and people take what they want. OK. Problem is her friend's free box looked a lot like this pile. And she did say that her friend needs to just throw out some of that stuff. (The homeless wouldn't touch that pile either.) I don't want to be Eugene. I don't mind a free box. I want it to be more like Japan though where people throw out perfectly good electronics because they have something newer. Apparently my brother-in-law has picked up many good things over the years because of this. That, I can groove on. I can not groove on people not knowing when to throw out stuff no one wants and each time it goes out again it looks a little bit more ragged.

I hope Walmart or the recycling company figures this one out. A) We all need to get to those bins. B) I don't think it lends the right atmosphere.

To Camouflage or Not to Camoflage - That is the Question

I went out to Missouri Headwaters State Park on a field trip the other day and decided to return on my own to see what I could find. Something found me first. The little guy above is a stone fly and is resting on the brim of my hat. I noticed this big blotch out of the corner of my eye and then I realized it was running around. It was kind enough to stick around for a brief photo session.

Below is another stone fly if you can find him. I believe it may be a Golden Stone Fly, but I wouldn't make a serious bet on it. This guy was a little harder to find. I saw something swoosh by and land in the space of a nano second. Which meant I had to look on the ground to find the exact spot and the exact insect. I know I'm good, but really. Consider that I don't know what I'm looking for. It blends right into the grass. And it is is about half an inch long, an eighth of an inch wide and an eighth of an inch, maybe, tall. I was thrilled when I found it. And yes, I have killer peripheral vision.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Bears My Foot - Try Landslides

These past two weeks have been impossible for me. Way too busy. I'm gathering material faster than I can organize it. Happens to me when the weather gets nice. I can't get outside enough. Add field trips and you can just about forget it.

These shots are from a trip I took last Friday to Lava Lake. At the bottom of the trail is the usual warnings about bears and what to do. So I'm the only one out there. Enjoying a nice quiet walk through the woods, OK, kind of singing to myself to keep the bears away. And I'm looking around to make sure I don't interrupt any wildlife. Nothing. That's when I round the bend. From the parking lot you can see a recent landslide or something. Rocks all over the side of the mountain. I'm thinking, hum, hope that's stable. That's when you get close enough to see it for real. And you realize that if anything slips and starts the slide again about 100 of the world's biggest splinters are about to come down on you. (Oh, sure some people call those things trees.) And you think, hum, hope the rocks get me first. But then you realize it would hurt a lot to get hit by something the size of a small pick truck at about 100 miles an hour. And then you think Bears?! What about the landslides. (Not to mention whatever left that track in the snow. Looks like a cat print to me. A large cat! Yikes!)

Of course I can see me having an ironic ending. Some little gopher scampering across that and setting it free just in time for me to be standing there. Definitely my type of luck.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Bee Hive

Well, I finally worked up the nerve, not that I'm afraid of bees, to go and see the beehive they have at my son's school. I didn't want to interrupt the teacher. She was kind enough to let me look at it for a minute or two and take some pictures. Apparently, this has been there for a long time. I never knew about it until this year. So when they put up signs that said come and see it, how could I resist?!

It's a pretty cool set up. The hive is in a flat box with a glass top and a board that can go over the top when it's not in use. A little bee privacy if you will. Then the bees come in through a sealed hole in the wall and they can go out again, too. My son's school is too cool.

A Little Spring Cleaning

Well, the other day I found a carpet of cat hair in my closet. Actually, I would surmise it's been there awhile, I just hadn't been on my hands and knees digging out my shoes way in the back and in just the right position to notice. I thought no wonder I have allergies. Time for some serious spring cleaning! So I've set it up to vacuum one room a day. Inside closets, along baseboards, next to bookcases and under beds. Yes, it is slow going, but I have finished our bedroom and have less stuffed up sinuses. Well worth it. The photo above is from me moving my husband's hampers. You can see where they were the dog hair is so thick. Yikes! I think Spring Cleaning just became Spring and Fall Cleaning.

Catch Up

Well this post is a doozy. It's been one crazy week so I've barely had time to add to my blog. This was actually taken a couple of weekends ago already. Due to 19th being detoured at the time, we were driving through that tech park, and I happened to notice a woodpecker chipping away at the Moleculer Biosciences building sign. Of course the minute I stop, he flies off. Last I saw him he was chewing on another sign out that way. You can see the hole and the stuff he dropped into it below.

So once we stopped, we noticed the small pond out there. It was brimming with life. Mayflies and diving beetles and all kinds of stuff. Worms even. The only decent shot I got in the water was of the diving beetle below.

Next I took a shot of a Mayfly my husband fished out of the water. We naively believed we were saving it from drowning. Turns out they lay their eggs in the water. This guy may be a juvenile who just hatched, and they will hang out in the water for a bit until they develop enough to fly to the trees. They then mate and fly back to the water. The whole process may take maybe 3 days. Very short time. So we may have fished him out of the water too soon. To make matters worse, I can see a small spider in the background when I completely blow up the bottom shot. (I cropped it out.) He may have ended up as dinner. Oops!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Out and About in Bozeman

This week's post is all about MSU. Before our soccer game, we ran over to the duck pond on campus and took some shots of the ducks. I was hoping to see some ducklings, but no luck.

Then this lady bug landed on my husband's leg during the soccer game. It's about to fly off in the top picture. Below you can see it's grabbing my poor husband's leg hair. He thought it was biting him. I replied I don't think lady bugs eat people.

Mess of the Month - May

I'm thinking I might make this a regular feature. This occurred to me when I realized that this table is always a mess, but it's never the same mess. It does change around. So I thought it might be an interesting project to photograph it once a month to see how it changes. Every once in awhile, it might end up being clean although I think I'll try to get it right before that happens. So, welcome to May's mess.

A Bit Behind

I am slow to blog lately. A lot going on. So here's my post for Mother's Day - a day late. Above is a flower from the bouquet my husband gave me. I think I am doubly attached to flowers. One, I love getting them for occasions. Two, I love to put them where the sun lights the pedals and take tons of pictures.

Below is a handmade arch in Gardner Park. I first spotted it on Mother's Day and thought that's pretty cool, I wonder who put that together. So I was out walking with my son when my friend and her family came by on their bikes and she said did you see what the guys did for my mother's day gift? I said awesome cool.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Out and About in Bozeman

The other day we were going to rent movies when my husband saw this cool spiderman pig in the Arts on Fire window. We also liked the lady bug below.

My friend, Sue, owns the store. It's a lot of fun to paint the pottery and see how it turns out. This is a great idea for unique gifts. I had other friends who were making dining sets which is cool. I think she also has a pottery wheel.

If you're ever in Bozeman and looking for a unique souvenir or just a way to kill time check it out. Arts on Fire: 200 S. 23rd Ave., Bozeman, MT. It's in the Alberterson's Shopping Center off Huffine and 23rd.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Spring at the Library

We usually go down to the library once a week. My favorite time of the year is when the daffodils bloom. Daffodils are one of my favorite flowers to photograph. I love the shape and the curves. Also, their yellow color has a welcome cheriness to it after a long winter of white.

More Cake

As promised, here's the finished version of the cake. It won 1st place for most creative. You can't tell, but it's a golden spoon. My son was very excited.