14 May 2010



In 1972 Libby dam was completed forming a body of water that is today known as Lake Koocanusa. Before the dam there was the once beautiful Kootenai River Valley. In days gone by the Kootenai Indians spent summers camped along the river’s shores fishing, hunting and gathering what would be needed for the harsh winter ahead. It must have been an extremely lovely valley in those times.

The reservoir runs some ninety miles from the dam in Montana to the Canadian Border and into British Columbia. In order to maintain travel Highway 37 was blasted out of the shear granite mountainsides high above the reservoir leaving literal walls of stone. Over the years nature has wielded Her paintbrush on this great wound of stone creating, at least to my mind, works of art.

I freely admit I am a romantic when it comes to remembering days gone by and I further admit I have a very active imagination. What I see painted here are the spirits of the Kootenai Indians who once roamed and lived upon this land. Maybe some of the stains are from the spirits tears? Things change. Life is hard. That is just the way it is.

Viewing art on a computer screen is very limiting, especially with our noses pressed so close. If you’ve bothered to read this far do me a favor. Stand up and move away from your computer screen, at least a few feet, and look again. Perhaps you too can see the willowy figures of the spirits.

I wish for you to see what I see but even if you can’t I think you must agree this is truly a work of Nature’s art.

©Kinsey Barnard Photography

Kootenai Spirits is a limited edition print. The edition is as follows


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