Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Cleft in the Rock

We returned from a wonderful vacation feeling thankful for the experience.  We’ve been finding various cabins that we could stay at over the last couple of years now.  My time in tents is really over.  They had another violent bear encounter near Cook City:  I know these things are very rare but I remain sold on being safer rather than sorry and facing the elements in a cabin and to comfort are two other benefits. 

One of the things I also enjoy from our cabin get aways has always been the sense of stress bleeding away every day until I feel much more in tune with God.  We didn’t go that far away this time.  Only about ninety miles out of town in Stillwater county near Meyer’s Creek is where we found ourselves this time.  I was somewhat worried about the weather since it’s been very volatile yet again as you can seeIt’s been pretty for us with quite a bit of rain but nothing dangerous in our city but other places have had tornados.  One reached F3 strength and lasted over thirty minutes.  This is rare under any circumstances but here it’s unbelievable.  Two people died…mostly because it was in a tiny town that’s sparcely populated.  There have been down bursts as well that leveled trees and did horrific damage.  Ever since our Father’s Day tornado I don’t look at the sky the same waybecause I recognize these storms can really reach out and touch you but at the same time there’s no beauty like they can provide at times and when that beauty comes along I try to be there with my camera

The view from the cabin took my breath away and it’s more than just the view it’s having the time to just sit there and feel the presence of God in His creation I can feel my dear grandpa on my mom’s side smiling somewhere in heaven.  You see he was a great lover of the outdoors and photography and he loved wild flowers great and small so each shot makes me feel near him and my grandma who passed away years ago now.  I have seen these flowers before but again in the quite of this time they seemed to almost speak to us.  The Blue Bells are having a bang up year…I love them so much Even the ragged flowers had a personality that I relate to.  They have faced the elements yet haven’t surrendered their voiceless praise to God I find them courageous somehow.  Sometimes it’s not just the flower but the backdrop that makes a difference.  Together they make a beautiful symphony that only the quieted heart can hear I love these things great and small.  Sometimes walking just to see what might be over the next hill or in the next little valley is all I need to walk miles It went from sunny to cloudy in an instant and this provided some tricky light but as I looked at the darker shots I like the almost sepia effect Yes, most states have farms but this is Montana, this is my home, this is personal to me These sun dappled hills are home to so many blessed memories growing up but also it’s the meeting of old and new wonderful experiences with my family now Here I envy no one and the nagging voices of the future trouble me not at all There is healing of the hurt, easing of the burdens and that which I seek above all:  the stability of faith and peace in God.  I am able to share it with those I love most The fields show a work completed and somehow I feel completed too Each peak has a silent majesty just waiting to be witnessed Truly this is a natural witness to the greatness of God. 

The white tail deer were plentiful yet difficult subjects of photography.  I did what I could but this was the best I got the whole trip The road we often walked never got old…there was something new to see each time There were many red tail hawks and red headed woodpeckers to see and hear.  They often frequented this forested area They also often visited this marvelous pine tree right near the house

Did you know a pop can makes a wonderful vase if you didn’t let me just say that it’s true.  There’s more than one way to “do the Dew”!  Sometimes a fence post provided the best table for said vase

Ever had hotdogs on a pine cone campfire?  How about Smores on the same fire later on I’m telling you kings don’t eat any better!

Each side of the house had a unique view that delighted the eye and each hour of the day made it change quite a bit.  Morning provided a heavy fog rolling over the mountains and hills that was so wonderful.  It was like the mountains were taking off a heavy quilt after a good night’s rest Things have been hot for you?  Well that ain’t so everywhere in fact these peaks not only had some snow on them when we got there but received some new snow unless my eyes deceived me

Political correctness hadn’t arrived when this sign was put in I’d say and there were signs of man’s presence.  I didn’t find these things annoying and thought I’d find some ways to take that in and photograph it too I almost expected this Brown Eyed Susan to wink at me Sometimes a single column of lavender stood out in a sea of green grass…I just had to capture it

I think I’d like to see this place in the fall Sometimes nature has an amazing symmetry.  The trees weren’t always like one another and I loved that contrast too though I do love pine.  These stood along a path right on the banks of Meyer’s Creek.  Now a last look at the mountains before signing off for this week I have many more pictures to share and will do that as we move along here.  The next series will be along the Sioux Charlie trail…truly one of the most beautiful trails I’ve visited and we had a bear encouter…that’s a teaser for later…ya’ll come back now ya hear?


  1. Wow, Joe, these pictures are favs #6 and #11 from top. Those I would frame! What a peaceful time you had...gave me some peace as well just to look at the pics and imagine I was there...amazing how a picture can transport you!!! So glad you got to go on your mission trip still on???
    Grace to you

  2. wow Joe, almost heaven! keep talking and clicking pics, I`m listening and looking!

  3. Your cabin vacation sounded like a wonderful retreat my friend. Your photos are breath taking and I could almost smell the mountain air. I so await your next segment as your teaser of a bear encounter scared me. I hear a large size pepper spray bottle that looks like a small fire extinguisher is needed for safety for bear encounters. Enjoyed your post very much and your writing.

  4. hi joe, sure will be back, enjoyed my walk through your marvellous pictures and great words, thank you for sharing - god bless - nita

  5. The vacation sounds great and you all came back relaxed and refreshed. The pictures are all wonderful.

  6. its a such an inner healing to be intuned within what God places before us.. always lessons to be learned..and those breathtaking moments in time that just reach out and say Hello..
    I just got back from a wonderful vacation to the Or.Coast..
    I love these mountains Joe.. Montana is my home as well.. but oh the coast is so transforming
    in its beauty..that it as well floods one soul with that inner peace.. its another place that wins my heart..captivates my soul.. and brings in that awesome Wow.
    beautiful captures Joe.. never been there.. its gorgeous..

  7. I survived a F3 tornado in 1998 and it took a long while to enjoy a thunderstorm again, but now I do.

    Breathtaking pictures!!!! Very few things beat a meal on the campfire.

  8. Joe I stopped by and loved your pictures and hearing all about your wonderful vacation. Sorry it took me so long to get here. I plan on coming back to read this post again when I am not so tired. It has been a long work week for me and I am falling asleep at my keyboard. Talk to you soon have a great weekend.
    Dianne :)

  9. Joe, I so enjoyed reading all about your stay in the cabin in the mountains. I have to admit as I read your post and was drawn in to the places you photographed, I am a little envious, but I am so thankyou that you were able to get away to such solitude and breath taking place to drain away all the stresses of everyday life,and the healing that comes with it as well.
    Your photos are exceptional along with your thoughts and humor. :) I smiled, then laughed at the Mountain Dew vase filled with wildflowers, sitting on the fence post. Perfect table and surroundings.:)
    I am looking forward to hearing and seeing more of your vacation.
    Well It is time to head back outside as it is a beautiful, sunny , breezy summers day , without the humidity of days gone by. I must seize the day that our Good Lord has given. This is the day the Lord has given and I will rejoice and be glad in it. It is a day off work , and for that I am grateful.
    Thinking of you and your family this fine day.
    Dianne :)

  10. Joe..I am using the cat's account..sorry, but this is THE blog of the year! The telling of your time away..every line and the pictures that so beautifully illustrated it. And above all, I love the line in which you stated:

    They have faced the elements yet haven’t surrendered their voiceless praise to God.

    There is no one who could have said it better than you, Joe.

  11. So beautiful place to be Joe
    i must say Looks lke paradise to me
    fantastic view u had from ur cabin..
    good idea to stay safe in a cabin..U never know.
    i love every pic.
    tx for sharing and tx God
    now ur fully reloaded to go for the next Longgggggg trip?

  12. tx Joe for adding me
    im not used to Blogspot yet...but i learn.
    and we have same background lol
    tc my friend

  13. Love the post and the pictures. You see such sights and you wonder how anyone can not believe.

  14. All your photos are wonderful Joe! That I can't pick to it one by one?...
    As you know I really enjoy your sits thank you.
    Hope your mum's getting better now?
    By the way when I saws your profile of the injection "what on the injection for?"LOL!
    Take care,

  15. Joe..
    I see and can almost hear the beautiful symphony you captured with each and every frame .
    Just stunning. !!
    A place I would be in peace. Thanks for sharing these.
    Glad you all stayed in a Cabin Joe. It is better safe than sorry. I know it too. Saw a bear this time out. Got his ears..hehe. but was scared . Had to stand in the box of the pickup to even get a shot and then I m sure I shook.
    Sorry to hear your weather has been so awful as well. Hot and dry here. Change is in the air I think. Great post. Wonderful photos and always always a plesure to view though your lens.
    oh ya. Im home..and love the farm shots here too. They grab my heart and soul as well .

    God is Amazing to each of us as he leads us down roads we never though we would walk . I know this over and over.
    Have a blessed night