26 July 2008

Idaho & The Kootenai Wildlife Refuge

This week was a fun week, aren't they all? :) We went to visit really special friends of ours who have a ranch over near Sandpoint, Idaho. Our route took us down along the Koocanusa to Libby. The photo above is of Libby Dam. As you can see the water level is right up there. We really had great snowpack this year. Good news for all you folks down river!

Here's another one of mom's better wildlife shots. She really does a great job with statues! ;) The point here though is that this is the site of one of those Super Fund cleanup jobs. W.R. Grace nearly killed off all of the early Libby residents with asbestos. Now the place is a pretty park like setting. Better late than never but not much.

Next stop was the Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge. This is located five miles west of Bonner's Ferry. If you are in the area you don't want to miss this place. It is gorgeous.

It doesn't take much imagination to figure what this refuge looks like during the Fall migration. There is an auto tour road that winds through the refuge and gives you a birdseye (pardon the pun) view of all the goings on.

Far and away the coolest thing we saw was a moose cavorting in the water. He's was too far away to get a good photo but boy was this guy having a good time. Mom really gets choked up when we see wild creatures expressing their uninhibited joy of living. Just watching makes you happy too!

Mom says maybe we will come back in the Fall. I hope so but there are so many great places to go in the Fall it's really hard to choose.

We spent a few happy go lucky days at our friends ranch and then it was home again. On the way back we took a different route and instead of going through Bonner's Ferry we went east on 200 and took 56 north back up to 2. We hadn't gone this way before and up 56 is Rose Creek Nature Trail and the Giant Cedars. And let me tell you those cedars are giant.

This is what I call a BIG foot! This is another stop you would want to make if you are ever in the area. The nature trail is very nice and an easy walk for anyone.

That's it from the Kinsey & Koty roadshow. Another great week for us we hope for you too!

©Kinsey Barnard

19 July 2008

Southern Alberta - Part 2

So, off we went we went to explore the Allison Creek area. This drive takes you on a dirt and gravel road up along Old Man River, which apparently is a good one for river rafting. Unfortunately, the road left the river before we knew it and mom never got a picture of it.

This road also turned out to be a good one for wildflowers. We came across a huge filed of these pink flowers on long stocks. Of course, mom slammed on the brakes to takes some photos. There I am alone in the car on a road in the middle of nowhere and along come these huge dump trucks that start dumping right where I am and the next thing I know This huge piece of heavy equipment is headed right for me! Yikes!

We continued the loop and it was a long one. At the summit we came across a firefighting out post and naturally mom stopped to blabber and take a couple of photos which already published over at Simply Photos if you'd care to see them.

We finally did find Chinook Lake. It's a pretty little lake not far from the highway and right beneath Crowsnest Mountain. This photo was taken on Thursday and ....

This photo was taken on Friday. During the night a big storm blew in and dumped a pot load of snow on the mountain peaks. The sunrise that morning was spectacular! Please see Rocky Mountain Morning . This was the shot that almost got away. Mom took it in her PJ's!

That pretty much sums up our second trip to southern Alberta. It was another great one and I recommend exploring around in this area if you ever get the cahnce. Some very beautiful scenery around these parts.

Until next time.

©Kinsey Barnard Photography

13 July 2008

Ho! Ho! Ho! It's Back to Alberta We Go! Part 1

Well, off we went like a herd of turtles. You may recall we were up there a couple of weeks ago and had to return early on account of I was off my feed. So, we packed up Clementine, hooked up Shadow and back to Crowsnest Pass we went. We ended up at an RV park in Blairmore called the Lost Lemon. Wow! Was it a lemon. Worst RV park we ever stayed at. People were so crammed into this place the awning of one unit touched another. Usually, I like to park myself outside while mom does her work but not here. I couldn't get in Clem fast enough. Mom needs electricity for all her equipment and there are not a lot of choices in this area. If you can live with just electricity we later found a really nice provincial park at Lundbreck.

Not only is the park way nicer but get a load of these falls! They are called the Lundbreck Falls and are on the Crowsnest River.

Back to mom's favorite old saw about clouds and silver linings, the wildflowers this go around were really great. They were all over the place. This particular bloom we found on Miner's Path just up the road in Coleman. It's a nice little path that ends at a small waterfall. You can see more of the wildflowers we saw at mom's Simply Photos Blog

We did a whole lot of driving around this trip mostly because mom kept missing turns an getting lost but the thing about it is we learned a lot. You can really find stuff when you're lost! For instance, Albertans have a great sense of humor as can be seen from this ranch sign. And, let me tell you, they had some beautiful asses out in the pasture! I woulda chased anyone of them!

And, at least here in southern Alberta, Montanans have a whole lot in common with Albertans. It's the same western flavor. This is truly cattle country. And, awesomely beautiful. Mom really loves it! Course, when mom was a little girl she dreamed of being Annie Oakley while other little girls dreamed of Barbie. Don't tell her I said so but I think she turned out more like Calamity Jane! :)

Stay tuned for part two. Mom finally finds Chinook Lake and Old Man River. No kidding, it's really called Old Man River!

©Kinsey Barnard Photography

05 July 2008

I'm Too Sexy For My Shirt!

Dang! I am good looking aren't I? :) And, what a week I had winning the Arte de Pico Award I have no idea what it means but it must be a good thing right?! And, many thanks to those of you who offered congratulations.

So, what did we do this week? Oh, yeah, we went to Whitefish and Kalispell to do a little shopping. No shops in Eureka. The above is the best shot of a moose mom ever got! Don't tell her I said so. This one is outside our favorite outdoor store.

On the way home we stopped for a stroll along the Whitefish River which runs right through Whitefish and has lots of ducks floating around. They have great walking paths along the river.

On Wednesday we had a gully washer of a storm. Like everything else this spring the monsoon arrived late too. There was thunder and lightening like you couldn't imagine, rattled the windows. I don't like that stuff! I hid out in the house whilst mom tried to save the driveway. But, the rain came down so hard and so fast there was no saving it. When she came back in she looked like a drowned rat. Nice try mom. Better luck next time!

Thursday we went down to Dickey Lake. It's one of the more beautiful ones around here. The water has that rock flour stuff from the glaciers and it makes the water the most beautiful shades of blue. The lake is half private and half public. This house was built by some folks from Alberta. Lots of Canadians around here these days what with the tar sands and the very strong Loonie. Must be lots of money in that sand!

And, here's my favorite photo of the week. Some people say I have an over active imagination but this looks to me like a fuzzy headed, green monster munching on it's lunch whilst a little grouse hen looks on. She had better be careful. She just might be on the menu for desert!

Green monsters are cool! Thunder and lightening I have no use for. I sure hope that's the last of that!

Well, that was our week. Hope yours was great too!

©Kinsey Barnard Photography

01 July 2008

Koty Bear Wins the Arte de Pico Award

Well, howdy! I am so tickled to announce Heather at Azure Islands Design has given me the Arte de Pico Award. It's not everyday that a Siberian wins such an award. I am very honored and quite proud of myself.

The “Arte y Pico” award was created and to be given to bloggers who inspire others with their creative energy and their talents, whether it be writing, artwork in all media’s. When you receive this award it is considered a “special honor”. Once you have received this ward, you are to pass it on to at least 5 others.

1) The winner of the award must choose 5 bloggers that they consider deserving of this award for the creativity, design, posts and contribution to the blogging community, no matter the language.

2) Each award given has to have the name of the author and a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.

3) Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award itself.

4) Award winner and the giver of this award must show the link of the “Arte y Pico” blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award.

5) Post these rules.

In the spirit of the award I would like to share it with the following outstanding artists and bloggers:

1) Lynda Lehman Peripheral Vision - Inner Insights. Lynda is a talented painter and photographer and has a great perspective on art and life.

2) Robin Easton Naked in Eden. Robin is a writer, speaker, environmentalist, musician, nature photographer and adventurer. The Naked in Eden Blog is a collection of philosophical and social commentary posts with a touch of humor and a deep love of nature.

3) Tanya Trevor Saunders Tales From Kulafumbi - The Diary of a Nature Lover in Kenya. Tanya is an artist, naturalist and photographer who delights with her tales and photos from Kenya, East Africa.

4) Scott Carlin The Photography of Scott Carlin. Scott shares his Photography adventures in the natural world, photography tips and techniques, thoughts and musings. Scott is a truly gifted photographer.

5) Kristi Linauer Addicted to Decor. Kristi, a very talented decorator shares decorating tips and ideas that appeal to just about anyone.

A very sloppy wet kiss for my friend Heather at Azure Islands Design for thinking this doggie worthy of an award.