Home for Thanksgiving

Home for Thanksgiving, originally uploaded by MontanaRaven.

Gabe holding Baggins ... this is the only way I can get Baggins to look at the camera - usually he looks away (I think on purpose) right when I snap the photo.


sunny vegetables by ch☺c☺kat.

Sunny vegetables., originally uploaded by ch☺c☺kat..

I thought I would post a photo of a delicious, satisfying vegetarian meal today since tomorrow the millions of Americans will be stuffing themselves with meat in a feast of Thanksgiving. Today would be a good day for meatless meals!

As part of my recovery from sudden-computer-death and imminent camera death (read my first post about it here), I am continuing my daily feature of Flickr friends and contacts' photos. Today I'd like to introduce my blog readers to Kathya (ch☺c☺kat on Flickr)

Kathya is one of flickr's essential jewels. I drool over her food photos. Well, that might be a bit of an exxageration... but I do salivate. ;-)

Most of the food in her food pics is prepared by Kathya; some of it she shoots in restaurants, delis, even grocery stores. when I first realized how into food photography she was, I thought Kat was obsessed with food. I soon realized she's not obsessed with food and eating -- she's obsessed with living well, with the pleasure of earth's bounty, with the fun and satisfaction of sitting down to a beautifully composed meal or snack, even if you are eating alone!

As someone who loves to cook and prepare beautiful yummy meals, I have appreciated Kat's stylin' food pics whenever I need inspiration for what to cook tonight.

Check out her HUGE set of food pics here. An American living in Weisbaden, Germany, Kathya's blog, Let me think I left a spot on your lovely sunis one I try to visit regularly.

Symphony by Bitterroot

Symphony, originally uploaded by Bitterroot.

My computer died. Tis utterly and completely dead. Sob. My camera is on the blink. I should probably call in Hospice (for the camera.) I need a mortician for the computer.

So, I'm taking a break from my own photos until I get a new computer and probably a new camera --- two very big ticket items, so I have no idea when that will happen. In the meantime I decided I would like to introduce my blog readers to some of my flickr friends' amazing photography. You may already know some of the photographers I'll be featuring -- you may be one of those folks ... but if you don't already know them, please head over to their flickr streams and check out their unique photographic vision.

Today I want to thank my first ever real-life meetup flickr friend, Bitterroot. We spent one whole day together in Montana -- both of us traveled to get to our meeting place -- and hit it off from the first sight. She says I have taught her alot about how to see the world. She has her own deep connection with Nature, with the earth's pristine places, that has rubbed off on me inevitably as I float along in her flickr stream, and browse her blog, Bitterroot and Bergamot.

Bitterroot, this photo says so much about you - the title, for one. You have a poet's heart. The color - so vibrant against a quiet, simple ground ... the simplicity of composition. Your eye for magical details like the moisture shining on these perfect tiny globes. It's alot like you are as a person. thanks for your company and comraderie.


Thanksgiving Feast

Swimming Hole, originally uploaded by MontanaRaven.
Though it won't look exactly like this because I shot this photo in the summer, this is close to where we are hoping to spend Thanksgiving day. this is the swimming hole. I don't think we'll be swimming, but you never know. Someone might get brave enough to break the ice! brrrr.

So, anyway, we're sharing a Thanksgiving feast with some family and friends the day after Thanksgiving. It will be a rustic gathering -- sleepover Friday late afternoon to sometime on Saturday. if you want to stay overnight, just bring a bag and pad. We'll provide the floor, woodstove, food and an outdoor fire in the night, weather-permitting ... and if you have a musical instrument, please bring it. Homemade music is always fun.

Call or email for directions. if you're friends with Gabe or Mick, you know the numbers.

Sumac Branch

Sumac Branch, originally uploaded by MontanaRaven.

In celebration of trees, the Festival of Trees features some of the best blogging anywhere. Here's a slideshow of a collection of tree photos titled, Soul of a Tree.


Wild Asparagus

Wild Asparagus, originally uploaded by MontanaRaven.

In spring, here in Montana I love to find tender asparagus shoots while I'm walking in the countryside. The shoots are best when they're thin - about the size of a pencil -- and from six to ten inches high. They're so tender you can eat them raw as you pick the shoots. The asparagus I find on those early spring hikes rarely make it home to the steamer.

Of course, those tiny asparagus are hard to find, which is one reason wild asparagus is such a delicacy. Their stems rarely poke above the surrounding grasses and shrubbery when they're still small enough to eat. The best way to find wild asparagus in Spring is to think ahead -- when I'm walking the hills and valleys around Helena in fall and winter, I make a mental note of where I can see the tall, now-golden asparagus fronds left behind. Then, come Spring when the snow melts and the hills are starting to green up, I can go to those hidden hollows where I know it has been growing. A little hunting through the leftover grasses and forbs of winter ... and voila! My hiking-side-dish delicacy!


Calyx I

Calyx I, originally uploaded by MontanaRaven.

The Soul:
Forever and forever — longer than soil is brown and solid — longer than water ebbs and flows.

— Walt Whitman, from Leaves of Grass



Waiting, originally uploaded by MontanaRaven.

I love the way his rapidly graying face gives Sam these expressions. He looks almost worried, but I'm sure he's not. It's just kindof a sad-sack look ...


Tell me what you see vanishing

Tell me what you see vanishing Copyright 2006 by Maureen Shaughnessy

Tell me what you see vanishing and

I will tell you who you are.

-- W.S.Merwin


Lily Leaves with Skull

Lily Leaves with Skull, originally uploaded by MontanaRaven.


My Blue Double

My Blue Double, originally uploaded by MontanaRaven.

Self Portrait in Blue: this really is a corner of my studio, even though I played around with the photo --- just for fun.



Snowmelt, originally uploaded by MontanaRaven.


Poetry Thursday: she was just a child

She was just a child, originally uploaded by MontanaRaven.

I made this for Poetry Thursday.
Today I am in a thousand percent visual mood.

the words are
in there somewhere
she was only a child ...

i could not write it

Today's post is part of a growing circle of blog posts written for Poetry Thursday, begun by poets, Liz and Dana. Click on their names to see their blogs, or check out the other poetry posts for this week by clicking this button:

Poetry Thursday: this week’s (completely and totally optional) idea — snapshots


Moon of Offering Corn

Moon of Offering Corn, originally uploaded by MontanaRaven.

The sun falls lower in the sky each day.
The earth has turned
the color of buckskin and
gone to sleep .

excerpt from a poem by Nancy Wood, titled Migration:

Going from this place to another place
requires surrender of your old ways...
The soul's migration between the old place
and the new means
that you must recognize your path
to an unknown destination,
risking all with the chance
of gaining nothing. You are ...
the link that joins possibility to pain,
and thus you become the keeper of your own flame.


Sam Watching the Republicans go Down

In his 17 years, Sam has never been as interested as he is tonight, in watching the election returns. He feels the same way we do ... this country needs a big change.



Delphinium, originally uploaded by MontanaRaven.

things that remember themselves
are not forgotten, but rise on wings
of experience and paint our minds
with the visions of our ancestors.

things that remember themselves are pictures
without form and words without a tongue.
They give meaning to what we thought
we had forgotten in our youth.

Things that remember themselves give light
to the uncertain paths we used to take,
bringing beauty to the house
of our ripening old age.

-- 1995 Nancy Wood from Dancing Moons


Respect for all living things

now is a time to learn respect for all living things


Leaves like leather

Leaves like leather, originally uploaded by MontanaRaven.


subtle garment

., originally uploaded by MontanaRaven.

leather-brown leaves of cottonwood settled on rabbitbrush's muted blue-gray lace ...

when colors fade in
autumn, shapes and textures
come into focus.
i love the subtle colors,
crisp sounds, available light
of early November in the Rockies


Hold to this. Hold onto this until there's wind enough

excerpt from "To a Milkweed" by Deborah Digges:

Teach me to need the future,
and the past, that Indian summer.
Let me be tricked into believing
that by what moves in me I might be saved
and hold to this. Hold onto this until there's wind enough.


evening light

evening light, originally uploaded by MontanaRaven.

at Spring Meadow Lake
sundown walk with
Tim and Sam
the water looks like
rippled steel