Monthly Archives: December 2016


Kalispell, MT

Amid holiday fanfare, I step aside to observe how the plain can also be beautiful. A cluster of onions left in a snowy field, not even valued as foodstuff, still has integrity of form that claims the eye. With the click of the shutter, the onions are committed to film in an act of silent praise.


Tucannon River Valley, WA

Two definitions of “seasoned” come to mind: one, to flavor with spices; the other, to gain wisdom through experience. Here’s another possibility. What if seasoned means having experienced the seasons? I have passed this spot through the year — seen the soft new growth of spring, the verdant summer, the full palette of fall color, and stood with my camera against the cold to capture winter’s well-defined monochromes. We transition smoothly through the cycle, but at the peak of each, how startling the differences! From the seasons, we learn to be adaptable. We learn to celebrate diversity and welcome change. We learn to let go and embrace what comes next. Lessons not found in books, but supremely important to a life well-lived.

The size of the heart


Flathead Lake, MT
In the West, we are challenged to represent the scale of the landscape while remaining devoted to its fine points. Distance gives the heart room to expand, while dwelling on the particular – like the scattered confetti of swans adrift on the lake.
Elsewhere the scene is not so placid. Several thousand snow geese perished last week on the toxic brew that fills the abandoned Berkeley Mine Pit in Butte. It is one of Montana’s permanent reminders of past environmental ravages. A late migration forced by sudden snow onto the only open water, found death rather than shelter. Attempts to haze the birds off the water met with only limited success. Seeing how long and lethally environmental damage persists, we deeply fear the likely evisceration of environmental regulation under a Trump administration. Our boundless love for this land must guide our actions to defend its future.



First snowfall


Flathead Lake, MT

At first snowfall, a dialogue exists between the new drifts and the remaining vegetation. It is the calligraphy of change – of one season yielding to another. Each season carries out its respective tasks. To winter falls rest and deep renewal and the penetrating gift of moisture that will eventually usher in spring.