Autumn in Yellowstone Park

Autumn in Yellowstone Park
triple rainbow

Welcome to my house of sky

The sky is my roof in my favorite house--out and about in Nature--sun, snow, rain, warm days and cold. Everything about what is going on around me in fields and mountains and beside creeks is fascinating.

Here in my blog I will be sharing tidbits of what I am seeing - in my yard and on trips up trails and over into nearby Yellowstone National Park.

I hope you enjoy exploring with me.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

April. Phoenix. Desert Botanical Garden.
A new discovery. Hills like sleeping and curled up dragons in shades of dusky mauves and purples, sculpted by wind, scattered with sage greens of prickly pear and cordone or saguaro. Columns drilled with holes by woodpeckers, cactus that form "boots" inside where the woodpecker hollowed out space safe above the ground for his nest. Violet shadows. Golden showers of palo verde blossoms.
A quail threads his way through vegetation on the ground, top not bouncing on his head. Hummingbirds darting among hot pinks, oranges and deep reds of spring blooms. A hawk watches over the throngs of Sunday garden visitors from his aerie atop a curled, dusty dragon. Light, shade. Hot, cool. Butterflies, dragonflies. Somewhere a roadrunner. I seek the sun. Slide into shade beside a pool. Strange bird songs. I feel as though I am in a boneyard, a sculpture garden, a nest.



Saturday, February 18, 2017

Today I walked the paths around the ponds at Cherry River fishing access and sanctuary. The snow beneath my feet was packed slush. Overhead clouds were colors of faded denim, dusky lavender,
and violet-gray. The sky, where visible was a washed-thin cobalt overhead and pale lemon
near the horizon.

I didn't hear any song of returning birds. Not even a robin.

The honey, tawny, blonde and russet grasses are mashed by snow. Here and there stragglers, stems at odd angles, leaves curled and wet, wipe the frosted surface. When the sun shines through cloud, their shadows are violet. The old snow still sparkles.

Off in the distance rags of snow litter the mountains and hills.

Canada geese and mallards feed in the ponds' open areas. With each day above freezing, stained ice gives way to open water.

I find solace in walking there. A place to enter Nature's world and leave the cacophony of news behind.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Storm Surge

I've just returned from a conference at Asilomar Conference Grounds in Monterey, CA with poet David Whyte. In this beautiful setting by the sea, poetry, song, and fierce Pacific storm all came together to create a space of wild beauty--inside and out.

When we learned that two men were swept out to sea by the storm driven waves that rose higher than normal onto the land, we all joined for a few moments of silence to honor them.

"Half a Shade Braver" was the title of this conference for the weekend. We were all asked to contemplate ways in which, in our daily lives, we could be just a little bit more brave than before.
It's not required of us that we be super heroes or even change dramatically.

What one act can I take or make today to believe more in myself and my power to help a world
crying for love and peace?

I can begin with a poem:

My poem is an offering
to the pearls of rain
suspended
on soft green needles.
The fragrance perfumes sea air.
A gentle face
into a fierce storm
where waves unleash
their fury on the sand
and sweep the unwary
into their embrace.

These waters--
salt and fresh--
become one
as I breathe
how they join together

While I cannot speak,
in this silence
a fire warms my body,
music my heart.

My voice is here,
in the pines crooked branches
sheltering the hummingbird,
in the raven's call,
and gulls curved wings.

Last night
the wind knocked at my door
Who called me?
This morning
I will listen.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Today, a sparkling January day in Bozeman, Montana, I began my author adventure on Facebook. New adventures await while my book "River Shadows: A Passage from Head to Heart" nears completion -- and will be out in the world in March.

Meanwhile a family of deer gathered beneath our bird feeders. Their hooves embroider trails in the snow. A northern flicker pecks at suet. Magpies gather the suet that falls to the ground. Hairy and downy woodpecker ratchet up the ash tree. Chickadees flit from pine to feeder and back.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The musical buzz of a Green-tailed Towhee darted out from limber pines along the Drinking Horse
Trail this morning. On an unusually cool day for late July, I was enjoying the fresh breeze and late
summer flowers when I heard him. I hung out in the shade for 5 minutes or so while I watched him in his
plumage that reflected the coloring of his surroundings--olive green and gray with a russet cap--while
he hopped among shining green needles and then up to the top of the ropey, bare silver branches
of an old veteran limber pine. Puffy clouds floated by above us across a cornflower blue sky.

This is the first summer I have ever seen one, let alone the 3 or 4 on Drinking Horse Mountain and it added to the pleasure of a hiking/birding excursion that began with a Lazuli Bunting singing from a power line
as I parked my car in the parking lot.

I had taken this particular hike to check on the noxious weed situation since the herd of 400 or so goats
had been through chomping on leafy spurge and other invasive species a few weeks earlier. I also
wished to know what wild flowers might be left. I was not disappointed! Yarrow, flax, harebells, bergamot,
sticky geranium, scarlet gaura, blanket flowers and fleabane decorated hillsides and edges of the path.
The goats will return for a second go around later this season to feast on more weeds or the ones that
are beginning to grow back.

From my view on the  hillside of the valley, everything looked as though ripening into summer--beginning to head out, some hay fields still showing windrows, some in bales scattered across the hills.

Other birds I  noted this morning were: Black-capped Chickadee, Tree Swallow, Gray Catbird,
Western Wood Peewee, Dusky Flycatcher, Yellow Warbler.


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Hike to "Frog" Rock
Middle Cottonwood Creek Trail
85 degrees F. and clear with light breeze

I hopped over Middle Cottonwood Creek twice - once keeping my feet dry and the second time stepping into a pool of cold,  clear mountain water, deep enough to seep into my boots. Just enough water to
dampen my wool socks. Once on my favorite meditating spot--a granitic bedrock slab of gneiss--I removed my boots and rolled of my socks. I love the feel of polished stream bed gneiss under my bare feet.

No sooner had I placed my damp socks in the sun than two iridescent pale blue butterflies landed
on them and began sipping sweat and stream moisture from the wool fibers. Meanwhile, butterflies
in black, yellow and speckles flew across the rushing snow melt as it raced toward the far away sea,
weaving patterns with dragon flies and reflections off the water on boulders and lush foliage.

The undersides of wild maples, dogwoods, grasses and wildflowers shimmered in the reflected light,
while I sipped the sound of tumbling creek and a pair of American Dippers flew up stream. Above
me Swainson's Thrushes and Warbling Vireos filled conifers with song.  A flock of pale yellow butterflies
gathered beside the stream, reminding me of their gathering a year ago on the day my mother passed
on. My daughter and I had been hiking when the call came "your Mother passed." My mother had
always said that when she passed on she wished to come back as a butterfly so she could give
everyone butterfly kisses. Has she kissed me since she left?

Just as I was about to gather up my sock fountain for butterflies, one of the Dippers flew right
by me on a downstream trip and did his little dance for a moment before diving into the rushing
water for an insect morsel.

On my way back down the path toward the trail head, a hummingbird hovered along in the bushes
beside me!

The birds I saw or heard today were: Hummingbird (perhaps Calliope), Swainson's Thrush,  Warbling Vireo, Dark-eyed Junco, Ruby-Crowned Kinglet and  American Dipper.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Autumnal Equinox
A glimpse
Beneath the shroud of clouds
first snow on peaks
Through rain the season changes

In the fullness of the Harvest moon
inside me, turning
straining at my branches
as the quakies shimmer
silver green to gold,
I would speak of my mother,
a daughter now alone
harvesting her words,
ripening, longing
for another
conversation