28 April 2008


Every spring we have, in our village, this thing called Rendezvous. Rendezvous is the carrying on of a tradition that started back in the 19th century. Every spring trappers and traders would gather in the Tobacco Valley with the local Indian tribes to trade goods, stories and probably a little fire water.

The celebration has taken on a more modern mantle but many still dress in traditional garb and re-enact the gathering of yore. There is hatchet throwing, black powder shooting and trading. And a general fellowship kind of thing.

These days there is a parade down Dewey, which is our main street. The parade had everything from Canadian pipers to hot rods. The part I liked best was that the people in the parade had candy they tossed to the crowd. I tried my darndest to catch some. But, mom kinda cramped my style. In that area. The thing I didn't like was the shooting off of those blunderbusts. Not good for this doggie.

Also, around town was a quilt show at the fairgrounds and lots of people selling arts and crafts down at the historic village. I'd reckon there must have been double the population in town this weekend. Maybe more cuz we only have about 1,000 souls here on a regular basis.

Someone must have been smiling on us too because they had called for rain this weekend and it was a beautiful spring weekend!

If you're ever in the area around the end of April you ought to stop by to experience our Rendezvous. It's a lot of fun.

Oh, and another thing. Folks in Montana just love their dogs and we get to go nearly everywhere with our families. I highly recommend Montana for family fun when the family includes my canine brethern.

©Kinsey Barnard Photography

24 April 2008


Mom wanted me to post this photograph we received this morning from a friend in Kalispell. It was taken yesterday on Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park, of the tunnel just above McDonald Lake. She thought you might like to see for yourself we are not kidding when we say winter hasn't made it's departure yet.

©Kinsey Barnard Photography

20 April 2008

Walden Pond

You may recognize the name Walden Pond. My mom pilfered it from a guy called Thoreau. I think this fellow has been the most influential force in mom's life.

When we came to Montana nearly, six years ago, it was just after the death of Lady Jane, mom's mom. Lady Jane had Alzheimer's. Mom and I cared for her for nearly seven years. Mom was pretty worn out.

Mom fell in love with this place the moment she set foot on it. She purchased it on the spot. And, from that moment on set about turning it into a wildlife sanctuary. It has turned out to be as much a sanctuary for her as the wildlife.

As part of the plan she built a pond out in the middle of the property and she called it Walden Pond in honor of Thoreau. And, much like Thoreau we lived apart from the rest of the world for quite a time. Me, I'm happy no mater what's going on. For mom it was the elixir of life. All this to say that is how the pond came by it's name.

The weather has been really whacky since we returned. One day the sun is shining and the next it is snowing. This morning the sun is shining but it's 19 degrees!

The photos that you see were taken on a sunny afternoon over at Waldon Pond. The ducks are a mallard pair and a goldeneye pair. They were so beautiful to watch paddling along on the pond. The reflections in the water gave them a really special quality.

Naturally, I would have preferred to be off exploring in the woods but this was pretty nice too. Yeah, I can see why mom loves this place so much.

I think that guy Thoreau would have loved it! I'm not big on quiet contemplation but if I were this place would be Nirvana.

©Kinsey Barnard Photography

15 April 2008

Holy Smokes! It's Winter Again!

Holy Smokes look what was on the ground this morning when we got up! In Montana it really is true "If you don't like the weather wait ten minutes!" Personally, I like it! This has been the coldest, snowiest spring since we moved here 6 years ago.

©Kinsey Barnard Photography

12 April 2008

More Friends Come to Call

Mom continues to try and get herself organized. I don't know what her problem is. I was settled in the minute my paws hit the ground.

The thing I missed most about our ranch was seeing all are friends. We have so many. It's a never ending parade and feast for the eyes. It would be a never ending feast for my tummy, if I had a death wish! So, I content myself with watching. :)

The big news? We were finally able to get Clementine up the mountain. I think mom felt only half way home until we could get Clem home too. Course, now there is the unloading, cleaning and what have you. I'll be supervising.

And, then there's getting the ranch equipment up an operational. So far she's got the four wheeler on line as well as the ranch truck. If she doesn't hurry up she's going to miss the open burn season which is over the end of this month. I have a feeling we may miss it this year. One of our ongoing projects is cleaning and thinning to manage our forest for it's optimum health. You should see mom out there with the chainsaw. She even splits our fire would by hand. Usually about five cords worth.

One of the many great things about our place is that when the workday is done we as often as not have a sunset like this one to relax with. Man it is good to be home!

©Kinsey Barnard Photography

07 April 2008

Eureka! I'm Home!

Well, we made it! We are home at last after five months on the road. Poor Clementine isn't here though because she can't make it up the mountain yet. Too much ice and snow still on the road.

It is so good to be home! It's so beautiful and peaceful. As you can see from the photos, some of our friends came calling as soon as they saw we were home. These pictures were taken right from the deck.

Tigger our indoor/outdoor cat was on hand to greet us. Mom had to give me a little refresher course on the part about Tigger being one of our pack and not to be eaten. I caught on pretty quick when mom showed me her whip! :)

Thanks to our good friends Susan and Gary we were able to stash Clementine at their house. Shadow was able to make it up the road cuz she has front wheel drive. She spun out some but we got there. The battery in the 4x4 was deader than a doornail so a call to AAA got that fixed fast enough. When we started up the well the feeder hose to the hot water heater sprung a leak. A call to the plumber got that fixed too. A fire in the wood stove got the house warm and toasty in no time and all is now right with the world!

Our good friends and neighbors Doug and JoanAnn looked after the place for us while we were away. They made sure Tigger had plenty to eat. From the looks of her they really did a spectacular job at that! And they made sure the house maintained a proper temperature. I know that they gave mom a lot of peace of mind. You really can't put a price on good neighbors. If you could we would be millionaires!

This morning it snowed another few inches but if the Weather Channel knows anything spring is right around the corner. Personally, I love it that there is still snow. There's a reason they call us Snow Doggies!

©Kinsey Barnard Photography

02 April 2008


At last we are headed home! Mom is driving me nuts though because she cannot stop singing Country Roads and you outta hear her try and carry a tune! John Denver would have a heart attack. But, it's ok because my mountain mama is taking me home.

First I want to say how much we enjoyed our time in Florence and appreciate the new friends that we made. There was Paulie at the Pacific Pines RV park. If you are RV'ing through Florence, I highly recommend this park. It's like a home away from home for us now. Thank you Paulie!

Then there were Glen & Keith at the Dunham RV Service Center. These two guys were princes to work with and treated my mom really well and did great work. Believe me some of these RV places treat people like last weeks lunch. Thank you guys!

And a great big thanks to Virgie, Bill and Patrick at the Bill Roberts sign shop. They were the ones that did the sign work on Clementine and Shadow and made me look so handsome. Well, really they had a lot to work with! :)

And, last but certainly not least thank you to my friend Buddy. The little runt is a weenie dog and he bit me! Can you imagine? :) And a VERY special thanks to Buddy's mother Marilyn who drove us all over the place. It's that "blowing the coat" time of year and I left an incredible deposit of hair in the back of her SUV. She was extremely gracious about it! You don't know what shedding is until you see a husky blow its coat!

We left Florence a little late in the day and only got as far as The Locks along the Columbia River. We are headed for Spokane where we will wait for good weather and clear roads. Since our ranch is at nearly 4,000 ft. we may not be able to get all the way home. But, I don't care. We are headed in the right direction!

©Kinsey Barnard Photography