For Callie : )

Before school started in 7th grade, I went to a new school in a new town to tour my classrooms and meet the teachers. I was scared and felt very, very small. I saw a girl that day with blonde hair, glasses, and the same kind of white sneakers I liked to wear. I told myself that day that I wished I could make her my friend. Ten years later, she's one of my best friends and my favorite people of all time. We don't get to see each other much, and I hate that, but I think she knows I love her all the same. Before I left for Montana, she gave me an all "eco-friendly" going away gift that included a big bag of wild flower seeds that if planted, would attract butterflies. I haven't seen any butterflies, but the seeds have been planted and I'm reaping the benefits of their beauty. Callie's getting married next month, and because of school I can't be in her wedding. I'm very upset about this, but I wanted her to know that I think of her every day, when I look at these flowers.

I love you Callie!

Glacier National Park

Ah. The great outdoors.
Sadly enough, it's all around me in Missoula and yet I've found myself trapped in a classroom or at home in front of my computer for the last three months. Bleh! I've loved every moment of school, but my body was screaming to be outside. So, after SI was over and I had a break from classes I ventured out!

A friend of mine from school invited me to go for an evening hike last week in the rattlesnake valley area north of town. Once I saw it, I kicked myself for not going sooner. It was beautiful. Wildflowers were everywhere and a storm was rolling in so the light was gorgeous. We took her two dogs, Dixie and Sweet Tea. They loved being off the leash. And I did too :)

I've been fortunate to live with such a sweet roomate, that's not only great company, but openly lets me use her kitchen and her little outdoor grill whenever I want. I've eaten more grilled food than normal. I feel like this summer has been full of truly "summer" things for me that just make me smile. Kabobs make me smile. These were some of the best I'd ever had. And yes, I even ate the mushrooms! : ) I'm going to miss summer.

I love the open road.
The trip to Glacier was nice. I was a little worried it would be miserably hot without air conditioning but the heat here just isn't as bad as Oklahoma, and I'm still not used to that. So with the windows down and my hair blowing everywhere it was too loud to talk, but a perfect time to let my thoughts be carried into the wind.

We stopped along the side of the road to pick these wild apples. Very tart, but fun to say the least. I was also super excited to stop and buy cherries from a local vendor on Flathead lake. I'd never seen so many cherry orchards. Another thing to make me smile. :)

Glacier was beautiful. Pictures don't do it justice. Aside from the over-touristed aspect of the park, I was blown away with mother nature's way of always astounding me with her beauty. I got there in the late afternoon and the evening light falling on the mountains was just amazing.

The sky that day was so blue and full of the puffiest clouds. If there's one thing I've learned in school it's that clouds can make or break a picture.

And of course, I'm surrounded my gigantic mountains and yet, I photograph the details.

Wild berries were everywhere! I ate so much fruit that weekend. YUM. Yum. yum.

imperfection = beauty.

no words are needed...
This reminded me of what we call "titty mountain" back home at the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge.

These goats made me think of my older sister. They were everywhere. Too cute!

Woke up at 5:30 AM Saturday morning to drive in and photograph the sunrise. It was cold and extremely windy. And the sunrise was disappointing, to say the least. It was once again another moment that confirmed why I am not a landscape photographer.

The best part of the whole weekend was getting to see Hidden Lake. The hike down to the lake was a good hike. It was painful to be reminded just how out of shape I am. But the ending result was breathtaking. I'd seen sooo many pictures of it before I went to Glacier, so I wasn't expecting to be very excited. So I don't know if I was just tired or not, but I couldn't keep from stopping just to admire the deep blue color of the water, and the clear clean view of the rocks on the bottom of the lake. And I loved that it was hidden. Something about that made the hike down make me feel more worthy.

After failed attempts at sunrise and sunset, civil twilight prevailed to be the prettiest light I encountered.

Out with the old, in with the new. This is what I woke up to Sunday morning. Cute little baby trees!

: )