Tuesday, June 29, 2010

One Last Look at Northern Montana

This is the last post on our trip to Northern Montana. During our visit to the Chief Joseph Battleground, I took some closer shots of some of the memorials and the offerings that had been left at each one.

If you look really close, you will see all kinds of interesting items. I found tobacco at a lot of the memorials. And also coins. Beadwork, too.

The most interesting thing I found is in the last photograph of this post. I think it might be a mother goddess figurine. Or an amulet of some sort. The piece is very beautiful in its simplicity. It was found at the base of a marker that says "To the everlasting memory of the brave warriors Chief Joseph's Band who fought on these grounds in the Nez Perce War of 1877. Erected by the Nez Perce Indians and the Chief Joseph Memorial Association, June 1928. Apparently there used to be a bust of Chief Joseph at the top of this marker, but it has since been removed and resides at the Chinook Museum.

Looking Glass Killed

Chief Ollokot Fell

Bear Paw Battlefield and Chief Joseph Battleground are two names for the same place as far as I can tell. The brown road sign marker which looks fairly new marks it as Bear Paw Battlefield. However, once we were in the park I found a marker from 1989 which states that Chief Joseph Battleground is a national historic landmark. I would guess they have renamed the park in recent years.

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Monday, June 28, 2010

There's a Metaphor Here Somewhere

Below you will find a video (I had two set up, but one has an error. They were basically the same.) and photographs of my husband's anniversary present. To get the full experience, listen to the video first. Try to guess what it is and how many pieces it's in. The photos will let you know the answer to the first question. To find the answer to the second, scroll beyond the photos. I am not a happy camper.

To be fair, the item was very professionally packaged. And that just adds to the mystery. The company I got it from, Fishs Eddy, also sent along a set of instructions in case my item arrived broken. When I contacted them, they assured me that they would immediately replace it, and I should see the new item in seven days. This is a link to their website:
Fishs Eddy. Their customer service is above par.

The company that I have a beef with is UPS. They will be hearing from me in the form of a letter to their CEO. It's not that difficult to be careful and get a fragile package from one place to the next.

In closing, I'd like to say, that my marriage is, at least, less fragile than the gift that I wished to give in celebration.

The answer is about 7 pieces if you don't count the glass dust at the bottom.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sundays in My City - Our Road Trip Adventure

Unknown Mami has an awesome feature called Sundays in My City.This is my contriubtion. Please drop by and check out other cities around the world.

Today we decided to go on an adventure or a wild goose chase depending upon your point of view. We were trying to find the Parker Homestead, but our map wasn't much help. I have directions written down now, so I will try later and hope to blog about it in a couple of weeks.

In the meantime, we had quite the adventure driving around the back roads near Willow Creek Montana. We took a bit of a loop starting out from Bozeman, headed towards Three Forks on the 287, but we had to wrap around from Willow Creek and then head back. No luck with the homestead, so we eventually hooked up to the 84 and back to Bozeman.

Along the way we found these abanonded structures on the edge of Willow Creek. There's a house on the property, too. It looks pretty rough, but is a bit newer in terms of disintegration. My husband wondered if it had been part of a mine due to the very tight chicken wire blocking off the entrances of the second building pictured here. We both found it interesting that the building in the first photo had snapped in half.

While we were on our way back to a paved road, we startled this Red-Tailed Hawk or he happened to take off at that moment, hard to say. However, if you look really close you'll see it has a very tasty mouse meal.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Skywatch Friday - Here Comes the Storm

These clouds were gathering as a storm was brewing behind me. If I'd turned 90 degrees to my left, I might have gotten a lightening bolt. For more dramatic skies check out Skywatch Friday.

Chief Joseph Battle Ground

While we were visiting Northern Montana, we were fortunate enough to have some time to go visit the Chief Joseph Battleground. Being a history major, any visit to a historical park is a treat for me, but I was very surprised by how touched I was by this place.

There are many markers along the path that indicate where many of the indian chiefs involved in the battle died. What really adds to the emphasis of this is that people have left behind offerings at these markers. Also, there is a spot with a mass grave for US Soldiers. This added to the emotional impact as I begin to realize how many people lost their lives in this conflict.

Contrast this with the peaceful hillside and meadow that it is now, and you begin to wonder why anyone ever starts a war.

To view larger versions of the images below, simply click on them.  Photos: the general view of the valley where the fighting took place, the offering by the plaque that commemorates Chief Joseph's surrender,  the plaque itself. (I found it an interesting read.)

May peace be with you.  And with all the world.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What Time Leaves Behind

These are more shots from Northern Montana. All along the trip there were tons of abandoned buildings. Some in better shape than others. I thought these three were interesting in the fact, that one can imagine it was not that long ago that these buildings knew happier times.

The church at the top and the house at the bottom are near Zurich, Montana according to my notes. The diner is in Chinook.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge - Birds in Flight

Today I thought I would share some more photos of our trip up north. This was taken in the Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge. I may have mentioned in an earlier post that this place is overflowing with birds. Following are shots where I have captured them in flight.

I have also included a Google Map link at the bottom for those who would like to check out the area.


White-Faced Ibis


American Avocet

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sundays in My City - Happy Father's Day

Our Sunday in the City involved a visit to one of our favorite places in town The Museum of the Rockies. It's the perfect place for us to celebrate Father's Day. Right now they have an exhibit on the machines of Leonardo DaVinci. Apparently, a group of people built them following DaVinci's drawings. It's pretty cool. Check it out here.

And for more interesting cities, drop by Unknown Mami's feature Sundays in My City.

In the above photo, I decided to tinker with the original a little bit, so it is halfway viewable. I added a dry brush filter. Below is the original photo with some surface bluring to make it easier on the eyes. It was taken without a flash with low light. Also, it's a reflection in the glass of the exhibit behind my husband and son. Thus the graininess.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Little Stowaway

While we were driving down the road towards Havre, we kept hearing this buzzing sound. Madder than a hornet came to mind. The insect in question, finally came up from the storage area of our station wagon to the back seat where I was sitting. At first, I thought it was a bee. I tried to get it to go out the window, but it clung fast. I finally realized it was a hover fly after I took a few shots. He's the perfect mimic as you can see from the photos below.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Skywatch Friday - Smokestacks and Mountain Ranges

These were taken on the way back from a trip to Lost Creek State Park. The smokestack is from the Anaconda Smelter. The mountains belong to the Anaconda Mountain Range.

For many interesting views of the sky visit Skywatch Friday.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge

When we took our trip to Northern Montana we were fortunate enough to have time to go and visit the Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge near Malta. It's a very beautiful area. We saw antelope. All kinds of birds that I've never seen before or only seen once or twice. I got some really nice shots of what I thought was a Jay. Turns out it's a Cedar Wax Wing. You can see this striking fellow below. And the bees were humming everywhere. Caught the honeybee below on a leaf. And just to put icing on the cake, we found this large-jawed orb weaver (don't know the exact species) near the pond. Definitely one of the more memorable parks I've visited.

Mess of the Month - June

To Celebrate Mess of the Month turning a year old last month, I've decided to make it a meme.

Let's go make a mess together! Simply sign up below and link back to me using the button code below or a simple link.

Let the messy adventures begin!


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sundays in My City - An Evening Well Spent

We spent a just because evening at Bozeman Pond. Feeding the ducks and ducklings. Exploring our surroundings. Finding butterflies. Ending with a joyous game of Freeze Tag. City Park: free. Bread to feed the ducks: $2. My son's laughter: Priceless.

To see other priceless moments check out Unknown Mami's feature: Sundays in My City!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Charles M Russell National Wildlife Refuge

While we were traveling around northern Montana, we had some extra time and decided to take the auto tour through Charles M Russell National Wildlife Refuge. It's worth the effort. The country is beautiful, and the area is teeming with wildlife. Below is just a sample of the photographs I shot that day. Of course, as the last two photos prove, wildlife depends upon your definition.

Mule Deer

Lark Sparrow



Architectural Highlights

A couple of architectural opposites from our trip to Northern Montana. The first photo is of the dome of the Fergus County Courthouse in Lewiston. I thought the style of the building overall was interesting. To contrast that, I picked one of many abandoned buildings that I photographed along the way.

Skywatch Friday - Good Morning Snowshine

This is what I woke up to this morning. Does anyone else remember that we had to stop using aerosol cans in the '70s because they were causing global cooling? Yeah. I know which theory I believe right now. Assuming we can see the forset for the trees.

For other everchanging skies check out Skywatch Friday.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

An Unexpected Guest

A couple of weeks ago while hiking on the Triple Tree Trail and avoiding mountain lions, I had the opportunity to photograph some different life stages in the insect world.  I also had an unexpected guest, possibly a fly, on some flowers that caught my eye.

First is the larval stage of the mosquito.  If it's possible, they look much scarier in this form.  Like some sort of cross between a hook worm and some sort of alien life form.

The second photo is what appears to be a dead spider.  I'm pretty sure it's not.  Near him I found the blue wasp in third photo.  This leads me to believe that the spider is merely paralyzed.  He should have been a host for mama wasp's eggs.  I think I interrupted the process though as she flew off and began running along the ground again.  This would indicate she's begun the process of looking for a host all over again. 

The last photo is my unexpected guest.  Can't indentify him.  Hoping he's a bit less ferocious then the rest of the subjects I shot (or heard) that day.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sundays in My City - The Evolution of Fruit Salad

Well today was one of those crazy busy days where I was hardly home, and I think I have yet to catch my breath. I decided that the best approach for my Sundays in My City post would be to photograph the fruit salad we put together for the end of the year soccer party. Enjoy!