Wednesday, October 31, 2012

St. Ignatius Mission

With my husband being enrolled in the MBA program at the University of Montana, we have plenty of chances to go to Missoula. This is wonderful for me as there are plenty of sight seeing opportunities in the area. One of the places, I've been wanting to visit for a long time is the mission in St. Ignatius. I've heard it's quite beautiful. I have to admit that doesn't begin to describe the building. I was quite awe inspired by the paintings and decor of the church. I really feel it holds it's own against the cathedrals in Europe.

PS - I do apologize for the quality of the photos. When we pulled up to the church there was a gentleman in his car blaring rap music, so I totally forgot to bring my good camera in. I did at least remember to bring my iPhone. Believe me, there's no photos on this planet that would replace actually being in the church. I literally felt at peace the minute I walked into the place. Perhaps, I will make it back with the good camera during one of these trips. Enjoy!

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Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Beauty of Ice

Yesterday I decided to go up to Grotto Falls for a hike. I hadn't been in awhile and I wanted to go somewhere close. Seeing as how this is one of my favorite spots to visit, I have visited frequently throughout all times of the year. Consequently, I wasn't expecting much. Just a quick shoot and off with the rest of my day. Boy was I wrong. I've really got to learn to stop taking the world for granted. As I rounded the corner at the bottom of the trail, I could hardly believe my eyes. I fell in love all over again. The temperature had to be well into the 60s if not 70s and yet there it was plain as day, ice. Icicles, flowing ice, sculpted ice. A winter paradise in the remaining warmth of fall. Needless to say I took my time, slowed down and spent the moments necessary to enjoy this natural wonder.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Brackett Creek - A Vibrant Fall

Roughly a week ago I decided it would be a good idea to go up to Brackett Creek for my weekly hike. I had my doubts as I headed out because the whole valley was hazy with smoke thanks to the fires in our area. Most of them were under control, so I decided to continue on down the road to see what I could find. The area was open and amazingly, the air was much clearer out that way. Fortunately for me. Everywhere I looked, the brilliance of fall met my eye. Truly, I think it was the most beautiful fall scenery I've seen in a long time. And while I don't normally make long posts with lots of photos, I just couldn't bring myself to turn these shots into collages. They deserve a large format like the larger than life fall we are having. PS - Yes, I did do some editing. Although I was only there for an hour, I managed to make good use of my time and captured hundreds of shots.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Little Big Horn Camp

Little Big Horn Camp Motel is located about an hour south of Billings in the Crow Agency. Apparently this was a nice place to stay until it got wiped out by floods in May of 2011. The campsite has remained closed ever since. Below is one of several photos I took of the abandoned site. The rest of the photos are over on I encourage you all to drop by and take a look. I believe the site will require a registration, but it is well worth it. There are lots of good photos of abandoned buildings if you're into that sort of thing. Also, you would be amazed how deteriorated this particular campsite became after only being closed for a year.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Gallatin City Hotel

I randomly picked some photos out of my archives for this blog post, and I couldn't have picked a better subject. For one, I imagine my blog feels much like this building, abandoned and deserted. For two, Missouri Headwaters State Park is one of my favorite haunts, and I just stopped by there last week. And well, abandoned buildings are one of my favorite subjects.

You can learn more about the park and the hotel here.

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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Along Hyalite Trail

Last summer I finally ventured out and saw more of the falls along Hyaltie Canyon. Hiking to Silken Skein and Arches takes one through some very beautiful and scenic territory. I was quite entertained along the way and was fortunate to get some wonderful shots of this awesome area.

Double Exposure of Rock and Leaves

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Another Look at Gates of the Mountains

Nearly an year ago already, my husband and I took a little side trip after dropping our son at camp. I had heard some wonderful things about the Gates of the Mountains tour, and so I talked my husband into coming along for the ride. The area is every bit as beautiful as I had heard. On a good day you can see eagles and mountain goats. We did see a young eagle, but it was difficult to spot him since he was on shore and among trees. Also we saw some mule deer and a few seagulls. Even without the local wildlife, there are plenty of interesting sites to capture one's imagination. To begin with, there are the pictographs which are thousands of years old. Experts think they were used to navigate the area - a map of land features in a way. Plus there are plenty of rock features that are visible from the boat. I think my favorite is Stoney Elephant. I saved the best for last. The landscape view for which the area is named. Enjoy!
If you look really close you can see the pictographs on this rock.  They are the markings in red. 

This is one of the rock features along the tour.  This one is called Stoney Elephant.

This is another rock feature called Rhino.

And this is the most important feature of all the gates themselves.  Thus the name: The Gates of the Mountains.

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Sunday, April 29, 2012

As the Holidays Fly

To say I'm behind is an understatement. I still have my Christmas decorations up. I meant to get to that this past weekend, but that's another story. So granted this post is about three weeks behind, but I figure it's better than having two sets of easter egg photos to post next year:)

This egg was made by boiling a set of eggs in a pan filled with blue food coloring, vinegar and water.

This egg was made by dripping food coloring on the top of it.  If the egg is left in place too long, it will have a large spot on the bottom from the combined colors.

These eggs were all made using the rolling method.  You can buy kits that do this by spinning an egg around a dish when you press the button at the top.  We pretty much did the same thing only we used an old leftover container in which we put some food coloring.  Then we placed the egg in the container and spun it around by hand.

This is the method we've been using to dye egss for a couple of years now.  Simply place some karo syrup in a cup and add some food coloring.  You can paint the egg with this mixture or dunk it straight in.  If you dunk the egg, you'll find the karo syrup can be sticky, so you may want some paper towels handy to wipe your hands.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Most Awesome Hike Ever!

To begin with, once again, I managed to struggle up the steep side of The M Trail. Any day I pull that off is awesome. The icing on the cake though was coming down the easy side. A, it flew by since the incline, or decline I suppose, is less instense. B, we were hiking with cubscouts, and they managed to find a snake. How exciting was that? Pretty newsworthy. By the time I was done with the impromptu photo session, we had attracted a few more people who wanted to take a look. Poor thing couldn't get back under the leaf litter quick enough. Fortunately, for us, the snake is not poisonous. In fact it's a member of the boa constrictor family: the rubber boa. Also fortunate for the boys and me, our new found friend is not large enough to squeeze us into a meal.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Walking in Wonderland

These photos were taken during a walk along the trails near my home. Such beautiful scenery makes it very easy for me to get my daily exercise in.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Beauty of a Rainy Day

Drinking Horse Trail is one of my favorite spots to go hiking. I had decided to take one last hike up the trail as fall began to set in. I'm a wuss when it comes to winter hiking. One small problem though, the weather decided that was a good day to rain. Hum, not exactly the crisp fall day I was hoping for. Fortunately, I didn't let that deter me and dug my umbrella out from under the front seat. I have never seen so many opportunities to photograph water droplets before. (Perhaps I need to get out in the rain more often.) While I quite enjoyed the bejeweled beauty of nature, that wasn't the best part. Toward the end of my trek, I found a little treasure taking shelter from the rain under a thistle blossom. Turned out to be a gorgeous day after all.

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