Saturday, December 7, 2013

16 Degrees Below Zero

©2013 Ken W. Hall
©2013 Ken W. Hall
It was 16 below zero when I got up this morning.  As I write I can hear Ken telling me it is 12 degrees below now.

Yesterday was the big Christmas celebration day for Ennis, Montana.  We went out at noon to have lunch at True Value and Radio Shack.  They were serving lunch for $1 with all proceeds going to the local food bank.

We were surprised to find both business owners cooking and serving hot dogs outdoors.  It was about eleven below zero and the parking lot was full .  Later in the afternoon Ken attended the Christmas stroll where he reported downtown was packed with people.  They even had people on the annual hay ride.

Ken did not have his camera with us at noon to show you but we did drive over the Madison River to see if it had gorged.  Just as we thought ice was stacked up causing the river to overflow its banks and pour out into the surrounding pastures.

I am ready for a warmer shift in the weather.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Boy Is It Cold Outside!

©2013 Ken W.Hall

©2013 Ken W.Hall

©2013 Ken W.Hall
It was six degrees below zero when we woke this morning.  Ken went out in house slippers and no coat to capture this sunrise image before it passed.

The week began with forty degree temperatures on Monday afternoon followed by high winds, rain, then snow.  The high for the rest of the week is expected to be 2 degrees with the lows at night 16 below zero.

The roads are covered in ice and are likely to stay that way for several days.  The sun is shining brightly as I write.  I hope it stays that way.  It makes it feel warmer.

With these temperatures the Madison River is sure to gorge.  Stay tuned for pictures from Ken.  He is already anticipating a photo shoot of the Madison.

I am grateful to be warm and cozy indoors.  It looks like it may be warming a bit by Sunday to ten degrees above zero.  It is amazing how much better it feels when temps are above zero.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Sunrise in November

©2013 Ken W. Hall
Sunrise this time of year is so beautiful.  I love seeing what is in store every morning as I watch the sun come up over the mountains.

Weather continues to be a bit lower in temperature.  A storm came through on Saturday bringing heavy winds and some snow.  The unsettled weather pattern brought quite a few cloudy days.

It has been as low as twelve degrees and as high as fifty since my last post.  So far in Ennis we have experienced small amounts of snow.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Opening Day - Hunting Season 2013

©2013 Ken W. Hall

As if challenging all odds on opening morning of big game hunting season 2013, a fine mule deer buck stands just outside the back yard.  Thoroughly he sniffs car from Idaho visiting a neighbor…oblivious to the challenges of his kind for the next several weeks. Maybe the lesson is "Do what your instincts sing for and by doing so you are safe from harm". 

I am glad the buck called me to the window so we could talk. I had been yearning for an elder to advise and inspire me!

Ken W. Hall

 Temperatures remain below average for this time of year. The mornings are in the twenties and afternoons in the forties to low fifties.

Everyone braced for a storm on Monday that was expected to bring several inches of snow.  We endured high winds and cold but escaped the moisture this time round.

Today the sun is shining.  It is thirty-six degrees and the wind is just beginning to blow.  I love fall in the Madison Valley.


Monday, October 21, 2013

Deer Grooming Session

©2013 Ken W. Hall

©2013 Ken W. Hall

©2013 Ken W. Hall
Ken enjoys watching the deer up close in our back yard.  This week he observed a mother grooming her baby.  Fortunately Ken was able to capture some of the exchange on film.

Fall is definitely here.  The mornings are in the twenties and the afternoons from fifty to sixty degrees.  This morning it is a perfect fall day.  The sun is shining.  The wind is silent and the temperature outside is warming up from an early morning read of twenty-six.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

October One

©2013 Ken W. Hall

©2013 Ken W. Hall

©2013 Ken W. Hall

©2013 Ken W. Hall
Ken just sent me these images he captured on October 1st.  I was out of town last week attending a conference on essential oils in Salt Lake City.  The weather was beautiful when I left on Tuesday and lovely on Saturday.

In between those two days temperatures dropped to the twenties and lots of snow fell.  Ken reported about three inches in town.  Friends who live outside of town at a higher elevation reported as much as four feet.

Temperatures this week have been lower than normal for this time of year.  There was frost on the card this morning and temperatures only in the low fifties.  Winter came a bit early this year.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Changing Weather

©2013 Ken W. Hall
The weather is changing.  It has been below normal in temperatures with rain, mountain snow and now strong winds.  What a week.

Ken captured this lovely image Friday evening.  We went to the camp ground after dinner to visit the Madison River.  The sun was peeking through a few small patches highlighting areas at the base of the mountains.  It is so beautiful to behold.

Temperatures dipped as low as thirty-two one morning and highs in the mid fifties.  It must be the winter teaser to get us ready for winter.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Snow on the Mountains

© Ken W. Hall
It rained heavily for several hours the past two days.  This morning it was thirty-six degrees when we woke. Now the sun is shining.  At noon it was sixty degrees and a little breezy.

Ken just sent me this awesome image of the first snow on the mountains this season.  It arrived a little earlier than usual.  I do love seeing the snow on the mountain tops.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Bears Will Be Bears

©2013 Ken W. Hall

©2013 Ken W. Hall

Monday evening I got home from picking up dinner take out. When I returned home my friend Wade Miller was in my living room talking with Penny. As I entered the house he turned his attention to me. "Do want some bear pictures?" was his greeting.

Funny he should ask I thought to myself. Earlier today, in the morning, I went to his house to retrieve some apples. While walking to some trees that have a bounty Wade spoke, "You can come out any time but if it's after dark better bring your bear spray." I replied, "I feel like I need it now, there is one in the area. I can feel it! You say there is one in Jeffers but have you seen it?"

Then came his visit at dinner time. The only way I could reply to his invite to get bear images was, "I'll meet there in twenty minutes." With that the "safari" commenced.

When I arrived in Jeffers Wade came out and we set to meet Mr. Bruin. Was it a juvenile or an adult? Subsequent steps across the road to a large stand of old cottonwoods quickly eliminated one of the choices. The bear had passed juvenile seasons in thru past seasons. The bear the bear was settled in the fork of the giant cottonwoods waiting for the cloak of the fast rising of evening. Under the shadows of darkness the bruin could satisfy the gluten of fast arriving fall and an impending hibernation thru winter. Food was calling and the bear was listening.

After surveying the situation I picked my initial camera angle, made some test exposures and took a deep breath. Show time! The curtain went up and the camera began to sing. After a dozen or so images I chose to alter the angle of view for another series of exposures. This change gave me another wonderful angle of view, a view that was acceptable only to me, not the bruin. It began to utter guttural sounds rumbling from unknown centuries of programming. A warning, one observer to the other that enough is enough. The bear unscrewed itself from the confines of the aforementioned fork where had waited for darkness. The altering of its viewpoint of me had a specific intent and the intent was to let me know, one participant to the other, things were changing and changing in quick succession. The modeling session was over and whatever i had captured was all there was going to be, at least without putting myself in the crosshairs of the the bear. The decision was simple for me since I was the one who stood the largest chance of physical change and possible rearrangement of my body.

"Adios, and thank you for allowing us to come eye to eye with each other for this time and to experience our divine creation. You enjoy you apples and a long winter's nap. Who knows, if you be a mother, I would love to meet you and your cubs next summer. You will likely remember our time together so why wouldn't you share the story with the little ones. Tell them honest and favorable tales of Uncle Ken and the whirring sounds of his camera and a sincere donation to posterity."

We fear bears because of  because of stories of bears, some horrific. Then there are the "Winnie The Poo" ones, gentle and childlike. Both transfix our senses and spawn a primal urge to tell stories. This is my story, what is your's?"

Ken W. Hall
September 10, 2013
Ennis, Montana

Monday, September 9, 2013

Smokey Skies and the Moon

©2013 Ken W. Hall

There have been a few really heavy rainfalls these past few days.  It is  unusual to have so much moisture this time of year.   Temperatures remain in the eighties for daily highs and in the forties in the mornings.  

Ken sent me this photo with his comments.  I thought I would share them with you.  The image is spectacular.


This image was captured the evening of August 20, 2013 at 7:40 pm. That evening the valley was filled with intense smoke from fires in Montana, Idaho and California.

I got a phone call from a great artist friend, Bill Sweney, who lives with his wife Karen in Bozeman. At their home they have deck and yard with a due east view of the Bridger Mountains and in particular the pass that heads to Livingston. Bill called to see what kind of "show" we were getting here in our valley. Since the moon rises approximately 15-20 minutes prior to ours here, the call was enough lead time to grab my bag and head east 1 1/2 blocks to an open sage field where I sat poised and waited for the moon to peer over the Madison Range.

The majesty of the Creator never ceases to amaze me!


Friday, August 30, 2013

Moose in Ennis Montana

©2012 Ken W. Hall

©2012 Ken W. Hall

©2012 Ken W. Hall

©2012 Ken W. Hall
I just realized a month has passed since my last post.  We moved from one house to another in town.  It took longer than planed due to the need to paint the new location and the time it takes to move three businesses as well as a home.

We are blessed to be caretakers of a beautiful old home located in lower Ennis.  We have a strong connection with nature, the land and the animals.  Surrounded by trees and bushes on a beautiful creek we feel as if we are in the country but are just two blocks from main street.

While unpacking and setting up his office this week Ken received a call from a neighbor.  He asked Ken if he would be interested in photographing a moose that was feeding on apples in his neighbor's yard.

Ken grabbed his camera and the above photos are the result.  Moose sightings are rare so the three hanging out in town are causing quite a stir.  I am grateful Ken was able to preserve their visit.

The weather has been interesting the past month.  Lots of really hot days in the nineties, some afternoon thunderstorms, a hail storm and now afternoons in the lower eighties.  We were blessed to have such a pleasant summer.

With our move occupying so much time and energy we feel as if we missed much of the summer's activities.  Our collective creative juices are flowing.  It will be fun to see what we create this winter to share with our friends and visitors next summer.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Antelope Crossing

© 2013 Ken W. Hall

© 2013 Ken W. Hall

© 2013 Ken W. Hall
This morning Ken was held up on his way to breakfast by this traffic jam.  Fortunately they managed to cross the road pretty quickly.

The clouds were so beautiful early this morning.  I was too late to capture them on film but Ken managed this black and white.

Yesterday we enjoyed a day of cloud cover and cooler temperatures.  It was seventy degrees in the house when we went to bed.  That is more than ten degrees cooler than it has been for a couple of weeks now.

Today the sun is shining.  There is a slight breeze and the thermometer on the deck reads eighty degrees.  It is a beautiful day in paradise.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Unusual Weather

©2013 Penny Hall

©2013 Penny Hall
The first photo was taken the day before we had a huge downpour of rain and ice.  The creeks filled up to overflowing in a matter of a few short minutes.  Water stood in puddles for a few days.

We seem to be filling the bird feeders more often than usual this time of year.  Ken thinks it is because we have more large birds hanging around.

It was ninety-five in Bozeman this week,  Lately it has been in the mid eighties at sundown.  The past two mornings we woke to low forties.  I love the early mornings especially this time of year.  It is always peaceful and cool.

We are so blessed to live in this beautiful valley.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Afternoon Showers

©2013 Penny Hall

©2013 Penny Hall
Afternoon showers helped cool temperatures both yesterday and today.  I stopped by Lions Park for a short walk just in time to see most people exit the park just as the rain began to fall.

The 4th of July parade was a smashing success as always.  The crowd seemed to be one of the largest we have seen in our thirteen years in Ennis.  It marks the beginning of the short summer and tourist season.

I love how the tourists bring a much needed infusion of cash to help support the economy of our small community.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Last Light On The Madison

© 2013 Ken W. Hall

© 2013 Ken W. Hall

© 2013 Ken W. Hall

"Last light on the Madison, specifically below Ennis Lake in the Bear Trap and below the dam, is magic…nothing more, nothing less.  A perfect time and place to shoot images of the day, the land and the river and my Soul."

"It was half pass eight in the evening, the light was waning rapidly and one could smell the evening descending upon me, the camera and the tripod. Time was moving fast, second only to the raging water headed for the Missouri River to continue its trek across the continent. The final movement of the symphony was in the baton of the Conductor.

One could smell behind me at the foot of the canyon wall and a shear climb to the sky of the mountain, conifer trees and massive boulders perched precariously on slivers of shoes of an invisible ballerina poised in solitude awaiting the strike of the Conductor's baton. Without provocation, rhyme or reason the baton put the dance into immediate motion with a crescendo the summoned hair to raise in awesome reverence of what had been set into motion. A boulder, one balanced precariously on pointed toe, crashed with a thunder that shattered the solemn quiet. Trees crashed and snapped at the onslaught as the silence of the music was splintered as if it were one of the conifers. With a heightened intensity, the boulder commenced an urgent and  chaotic head over heel tumble toward the parking lot where my truck was lying in silence, waiting for my return. The moments happened so quickly that i stood in amazement as the boulder pummeled the mountain side and all things destined for the moment. Ten, fifteen or twenty seconds was the span of time in the entire production with a final resonance of thunderous sound as the boulder exploded into a conduit pipe some eight to ten feet in diameter and made of heavy walled steel. The sound was explosive and resonant in the canyon…and then it was over, finished, except for the echo bouncing off canyon walls as it ricocheted erratically northward.

I stood in the new silence, in amazement and gratitude that if the conductor had chosen a different movement of the baton, I and my truck would have ceased in the physical for eternity. Why was it the way it was? What had been the thoughts that had created this performance? Why was I given a ticket? All viable questions… but was there an answer to any of these queries. Of course there was, nothing happens without a divine plan that answers queries, whether in silent thought or spoken word. On more than one previous occasion while in this canyon I had asked in silent thought or verbal presentation, "I wonder what the sound of the descent of such a boulder would sound like?"

I know that every request is answered, likely not in the expected time for which I ask, but in the perfect time and the perfect manner it will come. It was perfect in the solitude of the canyon until my answer arrived. The circumstances dictate that the memory and the music of the composition will never leave my Soul. 

One last bit of information, the boulder was at least half the size of my truck. No match, no contest except for the miracle of answered prayer."

Ken W. Hall
June 26, 2013
The Bear Trap Canyon on the Madison River

Monday, June 24, 2013

Flowers in Bloom

© 2013 Ken W. Hall

© 2013 Ken W. Hall

© 2013 Ken W. Hall

© 2013 Ken W. Hall
The flowers are blooming and Ken is spending a lot of time with his camera admiring them.  The above are an iris and a columbine.  Both are spectacular flowers and Ken did a great job of capturing their beauty.

We have been super busy so I am late with this post.  The weather has ranged from calm hot summer like days to cold and windy days much like you would find in the fall.  This morning it was thirty-two and the roof had a white frost on it.  The clouds rolled in and the wind has been blowing so strong it is hard to stand and walk.

our summer visitors are coming back and there are lots more people to be found downtown.  I love the energy that stirs when tourists begin to drift through town.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Sun Ring

© 2013 Ken W. Hall
We were having lunch on the deck this week when Ken looked up and saw this amazing ring around the sun.  I am in awe of his ability to capture things like this so beautifully on his camera.

It has felt more like summer this week.  Temperatures reached into the eighties.  There were a couple of days when the wind was silent.  We love those days.

Saturday the town was hopping.  The hospital held its health fair at the elementary school. The farmer's market opened on Friday evening, it's new time slot.  And visitors as well as locals were out taking advantage of this beautiful day.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

New Spring Guest

© 2013 Ken W. Hall
This little guy is a rare sight in our part of the country.  I love the rosy color on the breast of this member of the grosbeak family.  It paid a surprise visit more than once this week.

Yesterday the weather was awesome.  Sunshine, warm and only a slight breeze made it a perfect spring day.  Today has been cloudy with sprinkles off and on.

The Madison River is slowing down and reports are the fishing is awesome.  I personally like to walk along the river and listen to the sound of the water flowing over the stones.  It is so relaxing.

It is supposed to get up in the high seventies later this week.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Yellowstone Babies

© 2013 Ken W. Hall 
Ken sent me this image to post.  He went to Yellowstone National Park while I was out of town for some business training last week.  Here is what his note said.

"I shot it in the Park Sunday. The little ones are like a young frisky cat. Standing still and in the next breath running like the wind chasing "nothings"."

It was raining when I left town and Ken said it was overcast and rainy most of the week.  The same has continued since I returned.  Temperatures are a bit below normal but we are all grateful for the moisture.

Temperatures range in the forties at sunrise to the fifties, sixties and seventies during the day.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Thank You For The Rain

© 2013 Penny Hall

© 2013 Penny Hall
We were delighted to see the campground filling up with campers today.  It feels good to see the tourists and summer friends begin to trickle into town.

We finally got some much needed rain for our parched land.  it has been a very dry spring.  The run off has begun and the river is turning chocolate brown.

We greeted our first pair of grosbeaks today.  I love seeing the birds come back home for the summer.

Monday, May 6, 2013

A Sunday Drive

©2013 Ken W. Hall

Sunday morning we decided to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather.  We took a leisurely drive through Jeffers and around the lake.   Although a bit breezy it was nothing like the past couple of days.  The electric blue sky and sunshine were a welcome sight.

The birds returning for the season seemed to greet us at every turn.  Among them were osprey, pelicans, red wing black birds and a yellow headed black bird.

Lots of fishermen were out on Ennis Lake and in the Madison River.  It was a perfect day to enjoy the outdoors.

Temperatures this week were cold in the mornings.  Some days in the low teens.  There were lots of clouds this week and a small amount of rain.

The past couple of days everyone was complaining about the wind but this morning it was much quieter.  Highs this week ranged from forty to sixty degrees.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Snow, Rain and Sunshine

©2012 Ken W. Hall

©2012 Ken W. Hall
Ken took the above photos on Monday.  The weather improved during the week as temperatures got a bit warmer.  Last night it was seventy degrees at 7:00 PM.

People were out in large numbers yesterday enjoying the warmer weather.  Our summer residents are beginning to return and we are catching up with old friends.

I am busy putting together new collections for my summer outlets.  It is hard to balance the need to get work done indoors and wanting to be outdoors enjoying the wonderful warm weather and rare days without wind.

This morning it rained and was very cloudy.  Now there are patches of dark clouds among the beautiful blue sky and sunshine.  I am headed out to help Ken with a little yard work.  I am loving the warmer weather.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Signs of Spring

©2013 Ken W. Hall

©2013 Ken W. Hall
It was forty-six and breezy this morning when we took a walk by the Madison River.  We walked through cloud after cloud of insects.  The meadowlark and geese greeted us with grand songs of spring time.  The aspen trees are budding and the wild iris' are waking up.

We drove through the campground to see what changes the gorging made this winter.  There appeared to be less of an adverse impact than last year.  The beaver dam survived.  All the ice has melted along the river banks and the water is clear and beautiful.

The wind is picking up speed and the clouds are getting darker.  The weather man is predicting two to six inches of snow this evening.  The land will be grateful for the moisture.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Spring Snow

©2013 Ken W. Hall
It has been cold the past few days with occasional snow.  This morning it was twelve degrees.  The weather man says we might see sixty degrees on Monday.

I am so ready for warmer weather.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Rain, Wind and Snow

© 2013 Penny Hall
Yesterday it was cloudy with rain off and on through the day.  It was a bit breezy but in the forties.

I was awakened this morning about four-thirty to the sound of strong winds causing the screen on the bedroom window to rattle.  The house felt colder than it has the past few days.

When I got up later I noticed the snow and the thermometer.  The twenty degree temperature combined with the relentless wind made it feel like winter again.

I am grateful for the moisture and the few calm days of warmth and sunshine.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

©2013 Ken W. Hall

It feels like spring outside.  The sky is blue.  The sun shines brightly and it is sixty degrees.  This is a perfect weekend.

Temperatures have been warmer this week.  The highs have been in the fifties and today sixty.  The lows are in the twenties and low thirties.

I feel a little like the bears waking from winter's sleep.  It feels so good.