27 February 2011

My Week in Pictures

This week was all about cold and snow. We had the biggest storm I've seen in the nine winters I've been here, 20 inches in around 24 hours. And, we had the lowest temperature for this winter -11. By we I mean Koty and I. But we are very fortunate to live in a micro-climate that allows us to stay 10 to 15 degrees warmer than most other places. Of course, -11 or -25, I can't tell the difference when it gets that cold.

Koty still in bed. He is not a morning person.
After the big storm the trees were just loaded with snow.

Out at Walden Pond the warm water from the spring kept the ice at bay.

Snow piled on old grass made for an interesting landscape. Kind of looked like a lunar landscape to me.

The snow was so deep Koty had to jump along to break trail. He loved every minute of it.

101 Ranch barn and fences covered in new snow.

The view from Sophie lake east to the Galtons and Mt. Baldy

Mt. Baldy. This mountain is actually in British Columbia

This shaggy, little old pony was just standing by the roadside caked in ice. It was -9 degrees. He reminded me a lot of a horse I had when I was a kid, his name was Pancho. I know animals are designed to tolerate the cold but it still makes me sad to see them out in it. The truth is even if they have access to a barn most of them prefer to be out.

Just an old snow covered truck I came across. When I took this little tour of the valley after the storm I stayed in the car and shot through the car window most of the time at -7 to -10 it's colder than I like and I can't hardly work the controls on my camera.

Along with the pot load of snow we also  has some wind. I didn't get that much at my place but other place got quite a bit. This is what the snow along the roadside looked like after the wind sculpted it. I really find these natural designs beautiful.

Just another moonset. I took this through my living room window. Too cold for me out there!

No telling what Mother Nature has in store for us next week. But, it will be interesting no doubt. Spring breakup could really be a very messy business this year. I read in the local paper,  published once a week, all the watersheds are above normal for snow and some close to 150% above normal. If we get a sudden period of high temperatures this spring there will be flooding and ice jams galore, no doubt about it.

©Kinsey Barnard

20 February 2011

My Week in Pictures

A selection of images that shows the kinds of things I got to see this week.

Koty riding on the four wheeler. Not much snow but that would change overnight.

Walden Pond still frozen

Took this through the bedroom window which is why you see the reflection above her head. This is my special girl Daisy. It won't be long now and she will be returning to the high country. I'll certainly miss her.

Mule deer mom and her baby down at the house pond
Mom doing a little grooming

Baby posing at the pond.

Baby wondering what I am up to.

Over at the creek

Another view of the creek

The moon setting over the forest.

Kootenay Rockies, British Columbia

Kootenay Rockies, British Columbia. This is my ninth winter in northern Montana and this is the most snow I have seen. You can only see it a little bit but it was just beautiful the way the wind was blowing the snow off the peaks.

The Canadian Rockies with the Elk River in the foreground. Fernie, British Columbia. Fernie is a great little ski town and only about forty-five minutes form my place in Montana

Kootenay Rockies, British Columbia

Sun setting on another beautiful week.

19 February 2011


24 degrees this morning and cloudy. The day ended at 21. Last night it was clear as a bell and the moon on the snow lit the place up like day time. I have noticed a certain weather patterns and they seem at odds. Most of our clear weather is at night and yet almost all the snow has come at night too.

Russel says watch 76.5 on the dollar and I will.

Slithered off the mountain to get to the post office and to get some supplies at the grocery.

I decided to go on a little tour to see if I could find anything interesting to shoot. Drove Indian Creek, Sinclair Creek and finished with a walk at the Riverwalk. Never found a single thing that interested me or my camera. Some days are like that.

My third most favorite thing to do after, photography and exploring the wild, is eating. Turns out food was my greatest discovery today. Today I discoverd Pistachio instant pudding. OMG! It's to die for and it's sugar and fat free! It even has little bits of nut in it. This stuff is a perfect subsititute for my ice cream addiction. Ah, that's it. Jello Instant Pudding, the methadone for ice cream junkies.

Jello Instant Pudding-Pistachio Flavored

Cold and clear tonight. I'm thinkin sunny skies tomorrow.

©Kinsey Barnard

18 February 2011


Snowed another 3-4 inches overnight. We now are back to looking like the dead of winter. Had to plow again. Afternoon sun. High 35.

Neighbors stopped to chat as I was down at the gate plowing. Sadly, they reported that more people we know have been forced to leave the valley because there is no work here. Other sad news. A mountain lion was treed and shot because she was on the Kootenai Trail where people like to walk. Neither man nor beast is making out too well around these parts. Hard times all around it seems.

Koty and I hiked in the forest for a couple of hours. It was so beautiful with all the fresh snow. Saw some wolf and wildcat tracks. We followed the wildcat for quite a way. It's silly I know but it always pulls at my heart strings when I see small cat tracks in the snow. They seem so small compared to their world. I guess it's the same with us. We just leave much bigger tracks.

Looks like winter is fixing to stick around awhile longer.

©Kinsey Barnard

16 February 2011


Mother Nature finally made up her mind and decided to go with snow. We got about and inch and a half over night, enough to shovel and plow. The temperature is mild at 38 so I don't reckon this will stay with us for long.

The pre-dawn landscape was just gorgeous. I guess it was the snow that gave it the blue glow. Whatever it was so pretty. This was taken at a very slow speed, 1/2 of a second.

Plowing was a bit of a challenge. The ground is a little bit soft and I managed to gouge a huge divit out of my driveway. I think there's something not right with that plow. It flops around like a landed fish. Need to get someone to take a look at it before I take it off. Hope to heck I remember. I get so anxious to get the damned thing off I'll probably forget ..... again!

My pal Mona came to call and we had a great time catching up and brainstorming. I need to decide what pieces I am going to show at the Bigfork Museum in May. I have just an awful time choosing.

Koty is really bent out of shape now. Whilst Mona and I were visiting he drug out his toys, tore open some tummies and scattered stuffing all around the house in a valiant effort to get some attention, all to no avail. I WILL take him for a good long hike tomorrow come hell or high water!

©Kinsey Barnard

Another muddy gray morning but the temp was at 38 so we continue to thaw. Weather can't seem to figure out if it wants to rain or snow so there were showers of both.

I read an interview this morning with Charlie Maxwell, a respected energy analyst. What he has to say certainly got my attention. Bottom line: He is projecting $300 oil by 2020. 2020 is not that far off. I'm thinking I'd best saddle up Clementine as soon as the snow clears. So much to see so little time left to do it! If you'd like to read the article ...... Charlie Maxwell Interview.

Koty's nose is bent out of shape because I went into the woods alone today. I seldom leave him behind but sometimes I just like to be by myself. I wandered over to the little creek that runs through my property. The water cascades down the mountain and makes the most wonderful sound. I thought about what my life would be like if gasoline really did go to $300. Not much different I concluded. I would just be spending more time at my creek instead of gallivanting around to other creeks.

Rushing Water - Music to My Ears
 Just another day in my version of paradise.

©Kinsey Barnard

15 February 2011


Muddy gray this morning temp at 32 and we are definitely in a thaw. The high was 45. It feels like we may be making the turn toward spring. The birds and squirrels seem to sense it too. When I went out on the deck at daybreak the birds were chirping and the squirrels were chattering. In the dead of winter the forest is as silent as a stone. Oh, we may get another snow or two but my "friends" and I we think spring is right around the corner.

Ready For Spring

This afternoon I walked in my forest. I came across where a squirrel had been out of his hole working his pine cones. Everybody is getting anxious to go back to work. Me too. As I walked around I saw so many wind fall trees I need to clean up.

Squirrels out working in February

I may be on to something with my "My Week In Pictures" idea. I've only done it two times now but yesterday I had the largest number of visitors I have ever had in a single day, over 700. The people have spoken. I have really struggled with this blog thing, trying to find the right mix of doing something that I enjoy and that others enjoy too. All I can say is, when it comes to the Internet, it's a jungle out there.

I found this article this morning. The IMF Calls for dollar alternative. There was a time when such a thing was unimaginable. It blows my mind!

I think I've reached that age where I start remembering "the good old days", just like my parents did and their parents before them. Egads! It is really true, life does go by in a flash and the older you get the faster it flies.

Hope everyone had a happy and love filled Valentines day.

©Kinsey Barnard Fine Art  Photography

13 February 2011

My Week in Pictures

These are just some of the wonders that my eyes beheld this week. There are a few more in posts from earlier in the week.

Dang me! Dang me! They ought to take a rope and hang me! Nobody should be this fortunate.

The Street Where I Live

Ice and Snow on the Walls at Lake Koocanusa

Ice Fall

Just a wall but to me a work of art

Just Another Sunset

The Shores of Lake Koocanusa

Beautiful Brown Eye

You can't really see it, so you will have to take my word for it, a perfect image of the forest and the sky is reflected in her eye.

©Kinsey Barnard

12 February 2011

Today I Made a Pact With Myself


Mostly Cloudy. High around 44. Looks like another thaw is on the way.

Well, I flunked the course. Yesterday I managed to completely avoid working on my taxes. So, I'm going to have to put it in writing "I will work on my taxes one hour per day until they are done". Over the course of my life I have found putting things in writing can be a compelling time management tool. It gives me impetus I might not otherwise have. We'll see how that goes.

The day started off on a very positive note. For the past 13 years I have hung out at a place called Silcon Investor. It's a good place to interact with other investors and pick up an investment idea or two. There are also "threads" that are just for chatting about nothing in particular. The other day I posted the link to my "Canyons of the Ancients" story on the chat thread and this morning I received the following comment this morning.

"“You are just so amazing....I am in awe with what you do....and you are so right with what you wrote below....I think of that too sometimes, but you are so much more eloquent... I lived in Albuquerque as a kid, and hope someday to see things from my adult eyes now....

"At one place, on the rim overlooking Sand Canyon, I stopped to ponder the fate of the Anasazi. Because there were no other people or distractions I was able to let my imagination run wild. As I sat there looking out over the fabulous vista I imagined myself one of them. What I was seeing was exactly what some Anasazi saw thousands of years before. It was as though the canyon was a time tunnel through which I could travel and connect with ancient spirits. The wind blew through the canyon at just the right velocity to create a soft sound that seemed almost like ghost whispers. What were the ghosts telling me? Maybe they were telling me to live every moment to the fullest drinking in all the beauty I can because one day, like the Anasazi, I too will disappear." ~~~ KLP Silicon Investor

Well, that's a keeper!

OK, so what I did about my tax work was set my timer to one hour and made myself sit there until the buzzer went off! One hour down, heaven only knows how many to go!

Looking down on the Tobacco Valley & Lake Koocanusa 2-10-2011

Now here's a pip! I had to call in Interbel, my telephone co-operative, because my internet service was slower than molasses in January, this after they tore the place apart putting in fiber-optics last summer. (see Fiber-Optics Rural Utilities). Now that all is said and done it turns out there's a data bottleneck down in Kalispell that holds the flow up anyway. What a world!

Mubarek finally threw in the towel and left Cairo. Oil dropped like a rock.

©Kinsey Barnard

10 February 2011

Procrastination- I Am the Champion!


Cloudy and gray today, temp hung around 35 for most of it. Sun came out in the afternoon.

I got a very nice surprise this morning, my article "Canyons of the Ancients-Land of Enchantment-Land of Mystery" was nominated for story of the week at JPG Magazine. That really made my day!

It's tax time and I should be getting my stuff together for my CPA but I just hate to do it and will look for any excuse to avoid it. I'll even do housework in an effort to divert myself. I was able to burn up a couple of hours playing with Twitter and Facebook. I still don't have the hang of those places. After doing some housekeeping I went back to work on my photos. Gawd I'm good at being bad!

Here's another photo of the ice falls.

Koty spent the morning out on the deck yodeling his displeasure at not being out hiking.

We did go out after lunch and I found the most wolf tracks I've seen all winter. Looked like a pack of maybe 6 to 8.

Also, ran into a local couple driving the forest service road and passed the time of day, as is the custom in the country. I always learn something from these chats. What I learned today was that there are serious concerns about flooding down in the Flathead due to all the snow they've had. Even the high country up here is loaded. Should be an interesting spring.

©Kinsey Barnard

Hard At Work-Ice Falls Image


Mostly cloudy today. Average temp around 25. Just a few snowflakes flying around.

Spent the morning putting the finishing touches on my JPG article "Canyons of the Ancients-Land of Enchantment-Land of Mystery" I really want to express my appreciation to those who took the time to vote for it. I had no idea when I asked that you would have to jump through a bunch of hoops to register and what not.

After I got the article off my desk I went to work on the images I took yesterday. I was right, there are some keepers. Here's one with a little potential.

In the afternoon we marched up the mountain for a couple of hours for exercise and a little fresh air. The view down into the valley was beautiful, nothing new there.

Someone sent me the image below. Sadly, I think it is a valid social comment.

©Kinsey Barnard Photography

09 February 2011

Lake Koocanusa Bridge


It snowed a couple of inches in the night. The morning was sunny and beautiful. After cleaning up the overnight deposit I decided it was a good day to get into town and pick up the mail. I hadn't been in for nearly two weeks. Postal clerks get a little testy when the box gets too full. So I loaded up Koty and we slithered off the mountain.

It was so bloody gorgeous I detoured down to the Koocanusa Bridge.

Koocanusa Bridge

Spent several hours photographing some absolutely gorgeous ice falls. Fairly certain I got some keepers in this lot.

©Kinsey Barnard

06 February 2011

My Week in Pictures

Believe it or not, I've run out of hot air so I thought I just show my week in photos.

Mother Nature is certainly a big tease. One minute it's 50 degrees and we're thinkin' yippee and the next it's 20 below!

It was colder than a well diggers butt early in the week and folks down in the valley really got socked to -20 and below. I never got below -2 but that's because I live in an awesome micro climate on the side of a mountain, warm in winter, cool in summer. I had no idea about that when I bought the place. Just another thing that makes it my heaven on earth.

When it gets really cold beautiful ice crystals form on the surface of my house pond. To me they look like ice flowers.

Ice Cyrstals on the Pond

Ice Crystals

Poor Clementine, she has to stand out in it all winter.


Down in the meadow this little squirrel popped out of his hidey hole to take a look around. It always touches me when I think how tiny these creatures are compared to the world that surrounds them.


The best thing about the week, if there was a best thing, it was all good, were the sunsets. Below are a few of them. Just awesome.




We took a hike over to the Canadian Border and the Canadian Rockies were awesome to see. Lucky me, all I have to do is hike a couple of miles through the forest to see them in all their glory.

Canadian Rockies as Seen From Montana

This is just a little snowscape. I love the eerie feeling. It looks like a black and white photo but it's not.


This would be me sitting on my patookie resting my carcass and drinking in all the beauty that surrounds me.

My Left Foot

Hope you all had a great week too!

©Kinsey Barnard