Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sunday Drive on a Thursday

I realized today that I hadn't been up to Glacier for a while, so I went for a little drive.  It was fantastic.  I love the drive up the mountain to the park.  It's always peaceful, especially on sunny days like today.  I got really excited when I saw the snow on the mountains.  Winter happens quickly up there.  

I took some pictures, and I compared them to the ones of the same part of the park from a month ago.  The differences a month can make in a landscape are astounding.  

The leaves were just beginning to change in September, and the mountains were just bare rock.

Now the mountain has snow, and the leaves are all yellow or on the ground.  

I love sunny days off.

I get to look at things like this whenever I want, just because I can.  So pretty.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Winter Happened Over Night

So I've been kind of MIA for a while, and I apologize.

Winter happened since I posted last, and I pretty much just stay curled up in a blanket when I'm not working.  I refuse to turn on the heat in October.  Absolutely refuse.  I did get new-to-me skis last week, and I am getting really excited for the snow to fall.  Snow is already covering the taller mountains out here, but it will be a while before the resorts open to skiers.  I could climb to the top and ski down anyway, but there are no lifts running yet.  Pity.

I have a couple of projects going on that I'm trying to do at the same time.  We'll see how well that works.  I won't tell you what I'm doing yet, but I promise to let everyone know when I finish them.  In the meantime, I posted some pictures from the summer.

I think this is my favorite picture I've taken out here so far.  It's so stark and beautiful that I can't help sharing it with you.  Also, I never got my pony when I was a child.  I'm still upset about it.  I may need a therapist.

This is from my epic hike on the Highline Trail in Glacier National Park.  Indian Paintbrush is everywhere.  The pink is such a wonderful contrast against the grass and rock up here.  I really love living here.  Everyone should visit at some point in their lives.

This dog is weird.  Her name is Xena, and she has an underbite.  I tried a new effect with this picture, and I'm not sure how I feel about it.  I'll have to try it on more pictures before I can be sure.  Do you like it?

This is the original, fresh out of the camera picture with no correction at all.  What do you think?

Also, shortly after I took this picture, Xena was covered in green and purple spots, courtesy of colored bubbles.  Fun, colorful, non-toxic, colored bubbles.  Strangest toy ever.  I'm pretty sure the bubbles stain clothes.  Xena came clean, though, so I can't be sure.  

Is everyone else as impatient for winter as I am?  I'm freezing, but I still can't wait for snow.  I'm sure I'll regret that statement in May when it is still freezing and snowing and gross, but I just don't care right now.  If it's going to be cold, there should be snow on the ground.  

Ok, I'm done ranting.  Come visit me, people!  I miss all of you.  Really.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Butterflies and Frozen Mornings

I keep forgetting that a) I live in the mountains and b) Kalispell is significantly farther north than Rochester is.  This usually isn't a big deal, but when I forget to close my bedroom window at night (every night, by the way.  I'm dumb.) I wake up FROZEN.  Absolutely frozen.  I have consistently woken up with a very cold nose every morning for the past 2 weeks.  There was one morning when I didn't wake up a popsicle, but that's because I actually remembered to close my window.  Who knew that a window opened only 4 inches let in so much cold air?  In September?  Summer is fading fast up here, and I think I like it.  If only I could remember to close that silly window.  

I took this picture a couple of weeks ago, and I really like it.  Butterflies aren't usually my thing, but this little guy slapped me in the face.  I had to pretend I didn't notice, but anyone who has been around me for more than five minutes knows that I spazzed a little bit.  It was inevitable that I take this picture after the butterfly made me look like a crazy person, and it turned out well for everyone involved.  The butterfly now has its moment on the internets, and I get to share a pretty picture with everyone.  

Next time, I'll look out for errant insects, though.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

In Absentia

All right, folks.  Sorry things have been slow recently.  I'm trying to get motivated to blog again, but it has been really hard lately.  There are so many other things I want to do, but I still want to blog.  Trying to fit everything in, plus work, is hard.  This is gonna be a wordy post about things that have been happening around me.  Forgive the ADD.

Summer is gone.  It snowed in the mountains today.  Snow.  I found some pictures of the first tracks on Snowbird in Colorado.  Of course, I can't remember where I found them, but I started drooling.  At work.  I want to go skiing soooooo badly.  I can't even focus on fall colors yet, skiing has taken up so much of my focus.  This will be a winter of epic powder opportunities, and I will not miss it.  

I'm making a separate site for my pictures, but it is nowhere near completion.  I'm still testing the customization of everything, and I'm trying to organize my pictures into galleries.  Getting organized is hard enough when I'm procrastinating like usual, but when there are so many fun things to do around Kalispell I just can't concentrate.  I'll do better, since summer is GONE NOW.  I'm only slightly missing it.  Slightly.

I still go up to Glacier or south to Flathead Lake whenever I can.  I even went for a short hike yesterday afternoon along one side of Lake MacDonald in Glacier.  Short as in a half mile.  Wouldn't want to wear myself out, now, would I?  Ha.  I have a massive library of pictures saved up for future blogs, but I don't think I'll post as many as I have been.  I'll let you know as I determine what is going on.

I went to a Sports Bar (capitalized because I will call this bar Sports Bar from now on.  I liked it that much.) to watch the Packers/Panthers game on Sunday.  Yes, Minnesotans, I went to a BAR on a SUNDAY.  BEFORE NOON.  Because I'm in a different time zone, I had to figure out what the hell time games are on here, and I don't like it.  Eleven is too early for football, so I had a beer and a burger for breakfast.  So since the Flathead Valley is so gorgeous, there are a lot of people here from elsewhere, like me.  There are so many Packers fans in Whitefish, where Sports Bar is, that we take up the whole back room.  And they projected our game on the giant screen.  Because we're awesome.  Anyway, I made friends!  This is a strange situation for me, since I don't talk to people.  Everyone knows everyone, so I stuck out in the crowd (also strange for me.  It's a week of firsts, peeps.) enough for the locals to ask who I was and what I was doing in Whitefish.  Rainy football Sunday led to my discovery of a micro-community in which I so clearly belong.  Also, Sports Bar serves their liquid refreshments in mason jars. Love it.

I live in the mountains.  This guy is just one of many reasons:

He's (she? I didn't check) a marmot, and they are everywhere in Glacier.  I want one.  

Everyone needs to come visit me, if only to realize that I am not crazy and that the valley is a wonderful place to live.  I love it out here.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

My First Rodeo, Part 2

So, after a few late nights at work that left me in no mood to blog, I finally got around to editing pictures and my second rodeo post.  I'm still amazed at the athleticism/crazy the cowboys (and girls, as you'll see) have.  Mostly the crazy is what gets me.  I guess it's fun.  

I left you with the bronc riders in my last post, so I'll pick up with the trick riders.  There were two girls, and they must have amazing core strength.  These girls were amazing.  And sparkly.  

I don't understand how anyone would learn how to do this without killing themselves.  

Um?  Those horses were moving really fast.  And she's upside-down.  Crazy.

After the trick riders did their crazy show, the tie-down ropers did their thing.  They ride out after a calf, try to rope the calf around its head, and they have to tie its front two legs to one of its back legs or something.  I couldn't really tell, and they move too fast.  Like under 7 seconds fast.  

So, they chase the calf (with their piggin' string - not kidding - in their mouths) and try to rope it.  This cowboy missed, so the rest are a different guy.

The horse pulls the rope taught so the calf doesn't move when the cowboy flips it over.  Yep, the horses are smart.  They even know to let it loose when the cowboy walks back to his horse.

Cowboy flips calf on its side...

And ties its legs together.  

The horse lets the rope slack when the cowboy stands up.  Yes, they do that.  The calf has to stay tied for 6 seconds or something like that.  Again, I wasn't really paying attention to the rules and this was a couple weeks ago.  

After the tie-down ropin' were the bull riders.  I think only 3 guys stayed on the full 8 seconds, and I only got semi-decent pictures of one cowboy who got thrown in 3 seconds.  

He's preparing for the crazy that's about to go down.

Getting situated on a bull is a precise skill that takes a lot of help from your fellow cowboys.

That bull was mean.

He looks like he's gonna stay on through that spin...

No dice.

Cowboy was limping when he climbed out of the arena.  

The rodeo was a lot of fun (so was the honky tonk afterparty), and I will definitely go to another.  Probably just to drool over cowboys wearing chaps.  Not gonna lie.  Now that rodeo season is over in Montana, though, I'll have to settle for football and hockey.

Go Pack, Go!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

My First Rodeo

A couple of weeks ago was the Northwest Montana Fair in Kalispell.  I went to see how much like other county fairs I had been to, and there happened to be a rodeo three nights of the fair.  I went to the first and the last nights of the rodeo, which was definitely worth the price of admission.  It was my first professional rodeo, and I'm excited for next summer for more cowboys.  Yep, the PRCA (Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association) rodeo made me even more of a country girl.  I even bought some cowgirl boots.  They're turquoise and awesome.  And I forgot my camera the first night, so all of my pictures are from the final night of the rodeo.

Since I took a lot of pictures of cowboys, horses, and cattle, I spread them out into two days of pictures.  Expect the others tomorrow sometime, provided I don't fall off a mountain before I get around to posting again.  

The first event of the night was steer wrestling or bull doggin'.  (We drop our Gs off -ing words around here.  It's cool.)  What the cowboy has to do is throw himself off a moving horse onto a steer, pick the steer up and lay him down on his right side.  The other cowboy is called a hazer, and he keeps the steer going in a straight line.

Notice the cowboy on the right is moving from horse to steer.  They're all moving really fast, too.

He's on the steer now.  Watch out for the horns, cowboy.

And now he's wrestling the steer onto the ground.  All of this happens in under 12 seconds, usually.  

After the steer wrestling, the saddle bronc riding started.  Basically, the cowboy has to stay on the bronc for 8 seconds.  He gets points for how he handles the horse, how hard the horse makes it to stay on it, and several other criteria that I didn't catch.  There were chaps and Wranglers involved.  I'm not responsible for my attention span at that point, sorry.

This cowboy stayed on the full 8 seconds, but the horse didn't make it easy for him.

He was off the ground right out of the gate.  

Still not totally on the horse.

He made it, and he's smiling.  That's usually good.  I don't remember the rankings after the scores were figured, but I think he did pretty well, if I remember correctly.

This cowboy, however, didn't do so well.

He looks good at first, but...

He's sliding off the saddle here.  

He was really close to the full 8, but close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.  I think he was one of the top-earning cowboys last year in the National Finals Rodeo in Vegas.  It was not his night.

The horse was very happy to not have a rider anymore, and she was even happier to see her colt.

Horses are crazy athletic.  And beautiful.  And super smart.  I think probably smarter than the cowboys who get thrown off of them for a living.  I don't mind watching the cowboys, though.  I have a thing for chaps, Stetsons and boots.

More rodeo tomorrow, 

Monday, August 22, 2011

My adventures with mountain goats

Mountain goats are funny animals.  I met two of them on my hike in Glacier National Park, and they were one of the best parts of my trip.  The goats in Glacier are not very skittish.  They use the paths just like everyone hiking, and they don't care if silly humans are there or not.  They just ignore everything.  

Until you get in front of them with a camera.  This one was chewing on something, not yelling at me for getting in his face.  

He was a bit of a ham.  He really liked having his picture taken, and I was the stupid tourist with a camera who ate it up.

Seriously.  They are the weirdest creatures.  I love the underbite.

And the smirk.  Next time when the ranger says, "Careful, there are mountain goats on the path," I know to be ready with the telephoto lens and watch for slow moving hikers.  This guy caused a bit of a traffic jam.

A little later on the hike (4 miles after the first goat), I met up with his girlfriend, who was eating her dinner.

She was shedding a lot, and it looked like someone sheared her but stopped halfway down her back.  

She clearly cares a lot about how she looks.  I think she just wanted the tasty grass I was standing on.  Silly goat.

Aside from the goats, the hike was amazing.  I have more than just animal pictures, so I'll have a few more posts about the hike.  I finally got my photo editor to work again, so I should be back to a more regular schedule.  I even have the rest of the week's posts planned already!  I'm such an overachiever.  

Loving Montana more every day,


I thought this picture was hilarious.  You should laugh, too.

Please tell me I'm not the only person who thinks this is witty.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Blogswap 2011

Shanoy, from Jamaican Mommies is taking over my blog for the day.

I'll be back to my normal programming later in the week, after I get all of my pictures edited.

When given the task of a blog swap with a very heavy photo content, coupled with the 'summer' theme, I instantly got excited...After all, I live in the Caribbean where summer means sunshine, friends, sea, fun, party, food, exotic locations, out of town treks, relaxation and the like (I'm already excited remembering the fun I had and continue to have this summer)...

In the midst of my fun though, it would be useful to note that as a 20 something mum and wife (who blogs over at, summer fun often has to incorporate the family. So here goes my very own Jamaican mum's view of summer (complete with images) to maintain the essence of the My Life in pictures blog.

Also note, I'm trying to steer clear of the very 'touristy' image one gets of Jamaica from the tourist board ads, to really show some of what I think an 'average Jamaican does for fun in the summer

Also as one who resides in the country's capital and works within the 'new town' of New Kingston, this is one of the many lovely views I'm privy to from the office floor...It certainly comforts during many lunch times when I'd much rather be sprawled on the beach...

Then I'm a lover of the 'country', having spent great deal of my life in a fairly rural area of St. Catherine and being quite appreciative of the fresh air, cooler climate, animal sounds and general sense of calm, we had to make a summer trip out of town...

And what would summer in Jamaica be like without the river or beach??

So here we are on one of the many beach treks made this summer

And to balance it all out, I also journeyed with friends to this river we found along the border of St. Andrew and St. Mary (Castleton Gardens/Ginger River)

Then when we felt just a little bit touristy, we journeyed to one of the island's many All-Inclusive hotels, Iberostar Resort in Montego Bay! In a word Fabulous! Especially if you get the chance to check out the Grande Suite which provides waitered service, fully stocked ...heavenly!

and yet another

Then back to reality, there is a whole lot to do, like just jogging in the Emancipation Park in Kingston with its sometimes controversial statues.

A boat ride over to one of the island's many sub-islands (cays), in this instance, the ever popular Lime-Cay off Kingston's coast proved most appropriate.

Oh and for the super adventurous, a trek to the island's Blue Mountain range is a must...I didn't dare travail this path in the summer, but did do it over the Easter weekend and so I just have to include two of the fabulous scenic shots

You can also check out local offerings such as the Mystic Mountain and Sun Coast Adventure tours which offers skywalking experiences, zipline, bobsled etc.

and with budget considerations, house parties have become a good choice this summer... a few close friends, everyone contributes to food and fun fun fun... It works!

and of course the annual Independence gala is a big to do as we celebrate Jamaica at 49..Oh my this country is starting to get old :-).. so there's a shot of us being all patriotic

and because this post could go on forever, let me just say summer in Jamaica also means cool beverages, lots of food and the like... so after all the hectic stuff and as the day winds down, I enjoy a refreshing summer mix, yum!

Alas, time does not allow me to go on, but it is my hope that you would have gotten a good enough peek at some of the interesting sites that makes for excellent summer fun in my island home...Happy reading as I prepare to watch a local play "Charlie's Angel" , which is guaranteed to provide a belly full of laughter, this following my enjoyable episode last week with the local movie Ghetta Life, now showing in movie theatres here.

Walk good and enjoy!!

J Mom signature