Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2011, Christmas Morning

Photo by Ken W. Hall,  title     "Ol' Buck"

I randomly had been making nose prints on the plate glass window while conducting an imaginary count of the sun flower seeds lying on the snow on the ground under the bird feeders.  Luckily the number of seeds and hulls counted has no impact on any perceived benefit to humankind. If it does, we as sum of the human society may be in more dire straits than first reflected. After a brief time, seeds and numbers evolved into boredom. Why work on something that is of no interest to my soul when talking with people and sharing what we all desire collectively may be of far more benefit. Luckily and suddenly an old and trusted friend crossed my fence line and casually made a path to his spot just under the window.

"Mornin' Buck," I called out as is tradition here in Montana. "How's the world treating you this fine Christmas morning? You look tired Buck!"

With his head down and a nose that was surgically sorting hull from seed he glanced up revealing snow and ice on a nose that had likely seen colder temperatures than this thru the darkness of Christmas eve. In a tone shadowed of fatigue and hunger he shared, "I am tired. I's up all night on call. My agent had me booked 'stand by ready' for some outfit up at the North Pole. Had I flown with him the pay likely would have been sizable but the hours would have been worse than I can imagine." Batting tired eyelids he continued, "The idea seemed like a good one at the time but I'm pretty darned glad I didn't get the call."

"Hey Buck, wanna come in for a hot toddy before you head on to bed?"

"No thanks my friend," he uttered quietly. "I need to go and find a place to rest my bones. Thanks for the seeds and best wishes to you and yours for these days of reflection."

"Buck, I promise we're not serving venison. Sure you don't want to sit in."

Buck chuckled, "That's good news for my kind but seeds will hold me over for a spell while I rest. If I don't see you or talk with you until next Christmas, give your bride a warm Montana hug for me. She sure makes this world a better place to live. Montana had a good day when you brought here up here. Thanks for the seeds and friendship. I'll tell my family that this is a safe haven for any of our kind to stop and chat. Gotta' run."

With that and a silent leap over the old white fence Buck sauntered off to bed down. "Ya' think there is any possibility that outfit at the North Pole rested Buck just so he and I could talk on Christmas? Maybe we should tell our respective stories. Seems like Christmas needs some new friends with good strong memories of its past to ensure that future generations 'on both sides of the fence' can share a remembrance of the Truth. The fellow at the Pole must have some strong visions for Christmas future from who knows where. Sure glad Buck introduced me to him. This Christmas seems to share the best of the old with the best of the new for all the world."

"Pleasant dreams till next year. No doubt we all will have much to chew on and share. I'll let Buck know tell his friends that we will all get together same time same place next Christmas morning and count the seeds. In the meantime, my prayer is that we will all remember how to see with our hearts!"

                                                    --  Ken Hall and his trusted friend Buck
                                                         © December 26, 2011 Ken Hall/BearFeather Studio

Ken took photos of his friend on Christmas morning and sent me this story along with the photo this morning.  I thought you might find it enjoyable.  We had a wonderful day sharing food and conversation with friends and family.

It is thirty degrees out this morning with lots of wind.  Temperatures continue to be mild as we close out 2011.

                                      ---  Penny Hall

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Determined Flicker

Photo by Ken W. Hall

Photo by Ken W. Hall
This determined flicker showed up yesterday during our snow storm.  The house was spinning while this magnificent bird balanced itself with its tail feathers.  It never even noticed as Ken took its picture.

Today people here in Ennis are reporting temperature ranges from six below to two above zero.  The sun is shinning brightly.  It well be a beautiful day.

Well, off to my studio to cut out more pieces so I can make room at the dining table for our Christmas guests.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Trip To Lions Park

Photo by Penny Hall

Photo by Penny Hall  
It was a spectacular day.  The thermometer on my car registered forty-five degrees when I took a short trip to Lions Park mid-day.  The sunshine felt soooo good!

Although it was a bit breezy there were people out walking and admiring the almost frozen pond.  The Christmas decorations are delightful and fun to see during the day without their evening lights.

The weather report says we can expect some snow tomorrow and more mid-week.  Looks like we could have white Christmas after all.  This has been a very different November and December.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Fog and Ice

Photo by Ken W. Hall
It is seven degrees and foggy.  The fog is a lot like the one in this picture Ken took last week when we spent the night with friends in Bozeman. 

A beautiful frost is forming on everything.  It is especially beautiful on the tree branches.  It is a winter wonderland.

I have been busy filling orders and shipping them out for Christmas.  There is still time to order off my online shop.

Yesterday it was cloudy all day.  The high was twenty degrees but it felt really cold.  With no significant snowfall yet this month we are wondering what our winter will be like this year.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Peaceful Doves

Photo by Ken W. Hall
We were watching the birds this week at our feeders when Ken commented, "it is easy to see why the dove is the bird of peace."  We always comment on how frenetic the other birds are but that day we were able to see the calmness of the dove.

It is twenty-six degrees outside and windy.  Another cold front is due in tonight from Canada.  Temperatures reached nine degrees below zero on morning this week but has been between nine to twelve above since then. 

We still have some snow on the ground but it is going away slowly.  I am so grateful the main roads are plowed on a regular basis.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Artisans Market at Christmas Stroll

Photo by Ken W. Hall

Photo by Ken W. Hall

Photo by Ken W. Hall
Thursday, Friday and Saturday a group of local artists got together to offer our latest creations for viewing and for sale.  Late Friday afternoon and evening residents attending the annual Christmas Stroll stopped by to feast their eyes on our creations and their bodies on our homemade goodies.

It is always such a joy to visit with members of our small community we don't often see during the summer.  Santa was at the Pharmacy and children were delighted to share their excitement with us.  Many enjoyed the hayrides and other festivities found up and down main street.

Although traffic was slow on Thursday and Saturday we enjoyed spending time with fellow artists.  We shared information and ideas that kindled the fire of our creative energies encouraging us to move forward as winter begins to close in around us.

The weather was cold but not as cold as the year before.  Today it is sixteen degrees with blowing snow.  I have not had time to check the weather reports but I can tell you it is cold outside and a blanket of snow is everywhere.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The View from Lions Park

Photo by Penny Hall

Photo by Penny Hall
I wanted to go sit by the Madison river yesterday but the fishing accesses were closed.  Luckily we have not had much snow so I was able to go to Lions Park and sit on a bench above the river.  There is nothing more soothing than the sound of the river.

As you can tell a storm was brewing and headed our way.  The wind picked up later in the evening and this morning began with rain then turned to snow.  They are predicting two to five inches in the valley and six to ten in higher elevations.

As much as I would prefer winter wait a little longer I am sure the dance will soon end and I will be forced to settle into the quiet life style only winter brings.  It is sort of like a bear settling into its den for the winter.

So far, it has been an unusual weather pattern much like the rest of the country. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

It is Thanksgiving Day

Photo by Penny Hall

Photo by Penny Hall
It is Thanksgiving Day here in Ennis and I am so grateful for all the wonderful people in my life.  I am very blessed to have touched base with so many of them this day.

I also appreciate you checking out my part of the world by visiting this little blog from time to time.  It means lot to me to hear your words of appreciation for my posts and our shared connection to this place called Ennis, Montana.

At the moment the wind is still blowing.  The temperature is forty-five degrees which is above average and very different from this time last year.

Another cold front is headed our way but it does not sound like it will be too cold or bring much snow to the valley. 

As you can tell from the photos above the colors in the sunrises this time of year are spectacular.  It is a joy to wake each day to the changing Big Sky of Montana.

I trust you had a blessed day wherever you live.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

One Degrees This Morning

Photo by Penny Hall
Snow was falling and the wind blowing hard when I went to bed last night.  This morning it was calm and one degrees.  Now it is ten degrees and expected to reach eighteen.

Bozeman received lots more snow than we did here in Ennis.  Friends who were in Bozeman day before yesterday said trucks were overturned on Norris Hill.

Other friends reported a foot of snow fell in Bozeman.  As you can tell we might have gotten two inches here in town. 

The forecast is even colder tonight but warming up to the low forties later in the week.  It is shaping up to be an unusual fall.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Photo by Ken W. Hall

Photo by Ken W. Hall

Photo by Ken W. Hall
I can hardly believe a week has passed.  After the six inches of snow fell Ken discovered these icicles in the yard one morning.

Temperatures have been in the twenties to forties.  The strong winds make it feel much colder when you venture outside.

From time to time a few snow flakes have fallen.  Each time it was just enough to cover the ground.  Weather predictions are more snow and in the single digits later this week.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ice Trees

Photo by Ken W. Hall
Photo by Ken W. Hall

Photo by Ken W. Hall 

In the quiet of the morning I stood in the gallery in the presence of celestial beings in vestments carefully woven each in their own way so as to cloth them for the arrival of the new day. There was no music save the thunderous quite of the coming day.

Isn't it holy to stand in the presence of the Creation knowing that we are an integral part separate from absolutely nothing. It made me full within.  --- Ken W. Hall

The above images and words are from Ken.  He is enjoying the journey through years of photographs.  No, that is not what things look like today.  

The six inches of snow is slowly melting.  Temperatures have been lower than normal.  One morning it was twelve degrees.  This morning it was twenty.  The high has been in the low thirties.  Looks like it will get even colder as an unexpected cold sets in from Canada.
I am busy in my studio creating pieces for the holidays.  I just posted some new ones in my online shop.


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Snow is Falling

Photo by Penny Hall

Photo by Penny Hall
The snow has been falling since before sunrise this morning.  The bird feeder is serving up meals to an unusual number of birds. 

The children across the street are playing in the snow.  Snow balls are flying and decks are being shoveled. Snow angels are being born.

The temperature remains at twenty-eight degrees.  It has been a lovely morning watching the snow fall before heading off to work.

I love it when the wind is silent and the snow falls gently and steadily.  It gives me such a peaceful feeling.

Time to go get the snow shovel and get ready to head out.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Is It Really November?

Photo by Penny Hall
Is it really November?  Time seems to be passing quickly.  Hunting season opened along with a new meat market.  I think I heard their first game to process for the season was a moose.  I noticed elk in the back of some pickups as well.  The warmer weather seems to make it harder on the hunters.

This morning it was twenty degrees and thirty-two when I went out to run errands at 11:00 AM.  As you can tell from this photo taken from Jeffers it is also cloudy today.

The wind has been blowing strong for several days but today it is just breezy.  The weather is expected to be like this until Friday when a winter storm is predicted with snow and high temperatures in the twenties.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ken's Unexpected Journey

Photo by Ken W. Hall
There have been moments when being married to an adventuresome photographer like Ken Hall  has taken me on some unexpected emotional journeys.  This past week we experienced one I will not soon forget.

Ken was supposed to pick me up at 8:00 PM on Thursday evening but did not show up.  I finally walked home to discover he was not there and had not been there for some time.  I had no idea where he was but the filled water bottle left behind on the kitchen counter was my first clue along with the absence of his camera and tripod.

Earlier in the day he mentioned he wanted to get images of the fall colors before they were gone.  So, I knew he must have followed that urge.  I also knew since he did not call to let me know he would not be there to pick me up he was likely in trouble. 

I called a friend of ours who has worked with search and rescue to see if anything could be done this late in the evening.  It had been dark for some time and snow was predicted.  We both agreed not much could be done until morning.  All I could do is wait until dawn.

That night I got plenty of practice keeping myself focused on the truth of the present moment.  My precious mind wanted to take me on the most amazing imaginary journeys where Ken was in grave danger with bears, wolves or likely dead.  But I knew in my heart he would be fine and I would eventually learn the truth.

After a twenty-four hour roller coaster ride for both of us and a welcome night of rest the above photo was taken by Ken Saturday morning at sunrise from our front yard in Ennis.  He was grateful to be home after his unplanned snowy overnight adventure stuck in frozen mud near Black Butte in the Ruby Valley.  When he is ready to share his photographs and details of the journey I will share them here.

When I got up this morning I whispered another prayer of thanksgiving that Ken was home safe.  I noticed it was twenty degrees.  A cold front is expected to bring snow this afternoon.  The weather is changing and most people I talk with are reluctant to accept that winter is sure to come.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fire Clouds

Photo by Ken W. Hall

A few days ago we were having dinner with friends when Ken looks out the window, jumps up and runs outside to retrieve his camera from the car and took this photo.  It really did look like fire as the sun was setting behind the clouds.

We experienced our first really hard frost this week.  It was twenty-two degrees. Yesterday the sky was so clear, calm and beautiful we took a drive to enjoy the fall colors.  The clouds moved in today but it was a little warmer hovering around sixty degrees.

We just got home from shopping at the fall Madison Farm to Fork market.  The home grown produce we had for dinner was delicious.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Regal Deer

Photo by Ken W. Hall

We met around 6:00 pm on October 11, 2011. While walking home I felt his presence and quickly snapped my head to lock onto his path of site. He was lazy, slightly sleepy and majestic. He was definitely a regal being of his own kind. He had staked his claim outside a friends fence in order not to leave himself without an avenue of flight in dire emergency. He breathed slowly and fully with calm reserve. He was composed and patient as is waiting for the rut which was in the air. His harem would find him when the unseen signal of their ancestors sounded.

I walked with a heightened gate to my studio a half block away and palmed my weapon, a Canon. It was not a canon that would bring life to an end but an instrument of truth and wisdom that would facilitate two elders to come together to share wisdom, stories and implement peace. He rested on his vestment of hide and hair and I on my knees of denim and boot.

At the conclusion of gazing into the mystery of the other we concluded the ceremony complete each in our own method and desire. He had seen my Soul and I his. With this an unseen signal had been sent forth. Let the Peace begin and spread through all living things.

It was done so I climbed back to my feet, bowed and walked home. I wonder where he slept that night? But what I really wonder is if he was real or just a vision of my own regal holiness. Either way it is good, no not good but perfect. i slept in my own bed with a Soul at rest in its true essence. It was a good day.
                                                                                                          --  Ken W. Hall

Ken sent me this photo he got a few days ago.  Tonight it is raining.  It was cloudy most of the day and in the fifties to low sixties.  Looks like it will be in the thirties in the mornings and fifties during the day for the next week.  The fall colors are beautiful and the deer are all over town.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Dance Of Fall

Photo by Ken W. Hall
It occurs every year. They come in early fall with the first snow. Some come from the sky, some from the clouds and some from within the bosom of the Earth Mother herself. No matter from where they come but that they come.

There is a dance to be done, no a dance that must be done. With movement, form and pure essence they come to welcome Fall as her presence appears in perfect timing with the plan. The plan is an etheric blend of sight, sound, vision, premonition and display of the ever changing cycle we call life.

In early October, 2011 the dance began as scheduled in the Madison Valley, Montana. To most it went unknown and unseen but for those who listen to their own heartbeat the dance commenced with fervor, joy and commitment to change.

Do you ever wonder what the dance of Winter will look like?

                                                                                                        -- Ken W. Hall
                                                                                                           BearFeather Studio

Ken sent this to me today to share with you here.  It was taken this past week.  We have had several cloudy and sometime rainy days.  The mountains are snow capped.  The temperatures have ranged in the mid to high thirties in the mornings to the low to mid fifties in the evenings.  Lovely fall weather.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Snow On The Mountains

Photo by Ken W. Hall
It rained all night.  The thermometer said it was thirty-four degrees when we got up and headed for Bozeman.

The mountains were covered with the first significant snowfall of the season.  Ken got this great shot on the way out of town.

Two bald eagles flew over the car in the canyon along the Madison River.  There were several boats with fishermen on the river.

The high of the day in Bozeman was forty-six degrees.  It rained most of the day.  Fall has definitely arrived.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Fall Leaves

Photo by Ken W. Hall

Fall is here and the leaves are turning gracing us with a beautiful color pallet only nature can provide.  The Ken Hall photo above captures a small sampling of that color.

Yesterday the wind blew strong all day releasing the leaves and creating carpets of color all over town.  The warm temperatures were uncharacteristic of this time of year.

It was so warm last night we slept with all the windows open and woke to sixty degree temps outside.  It was calm for a few minutes then the wind began to blow.

The heavy cloud cover gives a feeling of humidity and moisture.  Temperatures are expected to drop and we are told by the weatherman this is the last of our warm above average temperatures.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Photo by Penny Hall

Photo by Penny Hall
It has been an amazing week full of lots of activities.  I was fortunate enough to participate in a Madison Farm to fork program.  It was a blast working with the fourth graders again.

We took a trip to Bozeman for art supplies and stopped by the Madison River to soak up the wonderful sun rays. It was about seventy degrees as the sun was slowly setting.

A couple of mornings it was thirty degrees but today it was fifty-four and only got up to the low seventies.  I am loving this awesome weather.

Saturday we took a break and went for a walk in the bear trap canyon.  We saw a little color as you can see by the red bush.  We shared the canyon with fishermen, rafters and bow hunters.

We observed hundreds of coots on the lake migrating through our area.  The osprey nests are abandoned for the winter.  Fall is definitely here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Elling House Art Reception and Concert

Photo by Penny Hall

Photo by Penny Hall

Photo by Penny Hall 
Ken was invited by The Elling House Arts and Humanities Center in Virgina City, Montana  to offer a showing of his fine art Photography last Saturday in conjunction with a delightful concert by the Bozeman Symphony Far Afield Oboze group.  It was a magnificent event.

Our good friend Steve Hulse was kind enough to share his amazing music for Ken's reception prior to the concert.  The music and images created a joyful dance as we soaked up the magic of the evening.

Volunteers provided an impressive variety of delicious food and beverages. What a blessing to have so many of Ken's friends and collectors join us for this special event ending a memorable summer.

You can enjoy Ken W. Hall's images on display at the show here for a limited time.   If you find one you would like to add to your own collection contact us at BearFeather Studio .  I think Ken is offering a special discount through the end of the month.

During the reception on Saturday some of our friends were commenting on the new snow dusting the mountain peaks during the stormy weather the day before.  This morning it was thirty degrees with a frost on the roof and windshields.  Looks like the promise of winter is knocking on our door.  I guess it is time to do some serious preparation.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Geese Were Talking

Photo by Penny Hall

Photo by Penny Hall
I was enjoying my morning meditation by the Madison river when I heard the sound of geese over my head.  They always seem to chat with each other as they fly in formation.  We are hearing and seeing more of them daily.

The weather remains awesome.  It was in the mid-forties this morning.  The full moon was taking its time setting as the sun made its entrance.

Yesterday was rather windy but so far today it is beautiful and calm.  It feels so good to enjoy the warm weather and sunshine.  What a magnificent day.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Fabulous Day

Photo by Penny Hall

Photo by Penny Hall
Labor Day we spent the morning walking along the Madison River.  The water was so clear I had to stop and take a picture.  Then I noticed two baby osprey in their nest.  As I attempted to get a good shot my battery died and the new ones were dead as well. 

I knew it was a day to just soak in the beauty and wonder of the day.  We observed geese, sand hill cranes, and baby deer.  The sky was clear.  There were butterflies and lots of flowers still in bloom. 

We took time to sit on a couple of boulders beside the river and drink in the sound it makes as it rushes past flowing over the rocks.  I love taking time to commune with nature.  It always seems to wash away the stress and concerns that prevent me from enjoying the present moment.

The weather continues to be delightful with cool mornings in the thirties and forties.  By late afternoon it is in the eighties to low nineties.  We are truly blessed and life is good. 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Another Busy Weekend

Photo by Penny Hall

 Photo by Ken. W. Hall -  "Four days ago I watched and captured images of this magnificent creature…two days ago I accidentally walked through his/her web which spanned eight feet from the fence to my porch…today I it showed me what patience had done for its home and what through my patience I captured by waiting." - Ken W. Hall

It was thirty degrees this morning.  It is as if someone turned a switch and overnight we went from summer to fall.  There is a distinctly different feel in the air.  Everyone was talking about it over the weekend.

It was a busy weekend.  Ken presented his popular photography seminar at the Madison River Foundation's annual Fly Fishing Festival.  It was well attended and Ken did an awesome job as always.

A couple of days ago Ken shared this photo with me.  He used it as an example in his presentation so I thought you might enjoy seeing it.

It is expected to be in the seventies and eighties this week.  Perfect weather for at least one more week.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Fall Is In The Air

 Photo by Ken. W. Hall"Mother Nature is beginning to dip her brush into Fall in preparation for a new beginning." - Ken W. Hall

Ken captured this image yesterday while walking by the Madison River.  The willows are changing color.  The grass is dry and thunderstorms along with careless burns are causing fires to break out.

Children returned to school this week.  Propane and oil tanks are filled.  I see quite a few trucks full of firewood in town.  There is a chill in the air reminding us to prepare for the changing weather certain to come our way.

The local weather man predicted three inches of snow in Glacier.  The people I talk to are resisting the idea of winter.  Our summers never seem to be long enough.

The wind blew all night.  It is still blowing and the temperature is fifty degrees.  Highs are expected to be in the seventies.

Yep.  Fall is in the air.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Changing Weather

Photo by Penny Hall

Photo by Penny Hall  
Yesterday was a busy work day including a trip to Bozeman for work supplies.  It was forty degrees when I got up but rapidly reached ninety by lunch time.  The lack of wind made it feel a lot warmer.

Late in the evening I took a drive to Burnt Tree fishing access.  There was a lone fisherman on the other side of the Madison River.  I stayed for a brief time watching the river flow and listening to the sound of the water and the birds in the trees.

This morning it was fifty degrees and cloudy.  The second photo shows the view from my front yard as the sun began to rise over the mountains.  Looks like it is going to be another wonderful day in paradise.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Madison River Magic

Photo by Penny Hall
I was feeling overwhelmed this morning with so much to do and so little time.  I knew I had to take a break and head for the Madison River.

I love that Ennis is located right on the river.  It takes me less than five minutes to locate a place on its banks.  Today it was a rock on the waters edge.

There is something special about visiting the river.  The sound of the rushing water as it flows past is so soothing.

After drinking in the beauty and wonder of nature's bountiful gifts I began to feel an inner calm.  I took a few more moments to express my gratitude for the grace that brought me all the gifts I enjoy in my life.

Refreshed I headed back to my studio with a little clearer direction and a lot more energy to move forward.

Once again we are blessed with spectacular weather today.  It was forty-five degrees when I got up and it is expected to be in the eighties again today.  The lack of wind makes it even more enjoyable.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Awesome Weather

Photo by Penny Hall
It has been a very busy week and the weather has been spectacular.  I took this photo one evening while enjoyiing dinner with friends. Several days this week we experienced afternoon and evening showers.

The weather could not have been more perfect for today's Farmer's Market.  It was in the fifties when we arrived.  The bright sun and calm wind made for an awesome morning.

It is now late afternoon and about ninety degrees.  We are so blessed to have such wonderful weather unlike many of our friends and family in other parts of the nation. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Summertime in Ennis Montana

Photo by Penny Hall
Summertime in Ennis, Montana is always busy.  There is so much to do it is difficult to cram everything into our short season.

Saturday was Farmer's Market, Ennis Arts Association Arts Festival and a Jamaican Festival all in the same day.  The town was hopping.

We entertained out of town guests and attempted to fit a little play time in between work and other obligations.

Our weather is spectacular.  The wind remains mostly calm.  We wake to forty and fifty degree temperatures that climb to the eighties by late afternoon. 

We experienced occasional afternoon showers this week.  Friends from West Yellowstone reported hail that looked a lot like snow.

Ahhh,  summertime in Montana is so wonderful.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Fishing at Lions Park

Photo by Penny Hall

Photo by Penny Hall

Photo by Penny Hall
After dropping off some new pieces to Maydak's Gallery on main street I headed for Lions Park to take a quick walk by the river.  The weather was spectacularly calm and seventy-two degrees.

There were lots of young fisher persons out supervised by their mom's and dad's.  Our little pond at Lions Park allows only children to fish. 

It is always great fun to sit on the bank under a shade tree and watch the delight in their faces when they catch their first fish of the day.