Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Mom always said I paddled my own canoe...

Storms move quickly in southeastern Montana. Sometimes I'm surprised by how fast they travel.

Friday we were out scouting the sites for Conservation D
ays, which is an event sponsored by the office I administer. We bring 5th and 6th graders from all of the schools in the county to three locations where they spend a day with us. We break them up into groups and hold 25 minute sessions on archeology, soil science, water quality, forestry, surveying, range and wetlands or wildlife, depending on the location and instructors available. The groups and their team leaders go from station to station, learning about conservation. It is a very popular event and one that we try to sponsor every year.

Our task for the day was to travel around the county, check the three sites for access and determine what we needed to do to prepare for the students arrival. In the morning we went to the site closest to our office. That is where I found this wonderful tree.

This is a photo of the trunk. I wonder what caused it to do this? Lightning? Very large termites? Laser beams from outer space? Any guesses?

After lunch we went out to the more distant sites.

I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before, but I'm the coordinator of a watershed group. The people in the group all live along Rosebud Creek which is pictured above. I took this picture on our site inspection tour, near one of our sites.

As we left Rosebud Creek, clouds started building.

The third and final site location was at Crazy Head Springs, which is located between Ashland and Lame Deer, MT in southeastern Montana. The recreation area is located on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. It is a wonderful place, with a great diversity of flora and fauna; perfect for Conservation Days. The red winged blackbird, pictured above, was one of many that flitted around the ponds in the area.

We were at the last site for less than an hour and then it started to get windy and cloudy.

We left Crazy Head Springs and headed north. The cloud appeared to be centered directly over Forsyth.

This is what greeted us upon our return to the office.

Has anyone seen my canoe?


Pam said...

Thanks for taking us with you, I enjoyed the trip, and I didn't have to get wet! I'm with you on that tree, it's neat. I use to love to draw old, knarled or unusual trees, they always caught my eye and imagination.

Anvilcloud said...

I'm sure it will be a great event —' weather permitting.

Gina said...

Some of those are so pretty, they look photoshopped!

Bonita said...

Wish I could go along for the ride and attend the seminars. That is some gorgeous country ...Big Sky Country!

threecollie said...

I love the tree....and the storm photos. Very nice!

Pendullum said...

Thank you for the adventure...
That tree was magnificent..

Laurie said...

Pam, thanks for coming along. I love that tree. I wanted to back up some more to get more of it in the frame, but there was a swamp right beside me and I didn't feel like wading in it.

AC, so far, so good. Both days, so far, the temperature has been in the 80's, with little or no wind.

Gina, I haven't had time to photoshop anything this week. I might mess with them later, though. ;-)

Bonita, the seminars have been outstanding, I wish you could be here to enjoy them with me! I am having the time of my life.

Threecollie, I'm so glad you liked the photos. Thank you!

Pendullum, the tree is really fascinating. I am going to try to get a few more shots of it tomorrow.

Within Without said...

I think it was laser beams sent out by that red-winged blackbird, which is secretly an alien.

Great shots -- and boo hoo for getting a little rain. What a great idea for the kids, though.

Squirl said...

Wow, that's some wet weather. I love the picture of the red-winged blackbird. I also like the way you caught the rain pelting down in the street. A lovely set.

Hope you're doing well.

kittycatlane said...

I love rain!
Such beautiful country.
Thanks for sharing the pictures.

I think it's wonderful that you have a program to help teach children about conservation and appreciation for such gorgeous areas.

I have pictures of trees that have caught my eye. I 'do' bonsai here at home and I'm always looking at strange shaped trees.
When we lived in St. Anthony, Idaho, there was a favorite tree of mine between Sugar City and Parker Idaho, (very near St. Anthony) I made sure I took pictures of it before we moved. I miss that tree.

I'm thinking lightning or a farmer/rancher who burns off weeds, caused that damage to the trunk.

OH, next time I post "eye candy" I'll add Vigo, just for you. lol
(hope I spelled his name right)

MsLittlePea said...

So nice. I love that bird. We have those here in Fl too. I just saw one yeserday at my friend's feeder. Don't you just love the sound of rain?

KGMom said...

Such lovely country.
And the variety of clouds--which of course bring the downpours of rain.

Laurie said...

WW, an alien red-winged blackbird...I'd have never guessed. ;-)

The rain was very welcome. No Boo Hooing going on here, although 3 inches (to the south of us) in 2 hours might have been a bit excessive.

Conservation Days is wonderful. It is amazing to see the kids figure out that everything in nature is connected in one way or another. Seeing the lightbulb go on is an incredible experience!

Squirl, there was water running everywhere and there are still puddles in the parking lot. We needed the moisture, as usual, so we were pretty happy to get it.

Kitty, I have a collection of dead tree photos on my flickr account. I've always been fascinated by them for some reason. I also have favorite live trees all along the route I take to my dad's house in Absarokee. One of them kind of resembles a Bonsai.

Laurie said...

Mspea, I love the sound of rain, especially on a tin roof. And I do love red winged blackbirds. They are a beautiful bird. I saw a lot of them on Tuesday.

KG, it is pretty here. Especially now because it's so green and lush. The sky is so big here (hence, of course, the nickname Big Sky Country) that you can see a huge variety of clouds from a single vantage point.

jen said...

great pics. it's been in the 80s here...this makes me long for more rain.

Mary said...

I'm so happy to see your photos again, Laurie! Beautiful! I like how your camera caught the rain in motion.

Some don't care for red-wing blackbirds. I like them. They have an annoying sound but they're peaceful birds and that flash of red is appealing.

I'm hoping your event is going well and no one needs a canoe, for goodness sakes!

Laurie said...

Jen, it's been warm here too. I hope you get some rain soon.

Mary, the workshops have been going great! I'll try to post something about them soon.

Anonymous said...

Is that the workshop where the kids go out and one of the activities is measuring a tree? and taking sample from the inside of it? I think I remember that from when I was in school. I had tons of fun. (Mom wasnt happy when I came home with mud all over me :D )

JustJock said...

send that rain down to me. my souls needs the moisture.

Laurie said...

Dawn, that's the one! How cool that you enjoyed it. I think the kids did this year too, they sure seemed to. :)

Jock, if I could, I would.

Cathy said...

I'll tell you what Laurie - when I see clouds like that I get reallly antsy. I mean - I'm no fun to be around. I'd be yelling to 'take cover!' On the other hand - I would have missed that incredible shot of that bank of clouds. Whoooee!

Oh - it's a laser beam that rent the tree. Trust me.

Reverend Sumangali Tania Pink said...

Laser Beams. Its definately laser beams.

Methinks the canoe is in the garage. Time to get it out!

I love the rain shots...I tried to get some in Tanzania but when it was monsooning I didn't want to take out my camera - nothing avoided the buckets.

Ur-spo said...

please write or send an email on what is a watershed group; I don't know this term!

Anonymous said...

These pictures make me want to visit Montana!

Potato Print said...

Good morning DMMGMFM
This is a really neat post. I am enthusiastic about hands-on learning opportunities of kids. I'm also quite fond of the environment. This seems like an excellent program -- I'd love to see you in action. This is the first time I've read you in your "professional" tone. Your eye sees so much, and you write really well.

So I'm contacting my bloggy friends to say that I'm back in the saddle again after a long break. I look forward to more exchanges with you.

Gawpo said...

The red winged blackbird may be my favorite of all time. I have heard that some trees get a disease which makes them appear to have been burned, but they are not. This one, however (dead cottonwood???), appears to have gotten its butt burned real good.

And that forest of green below that forest of white----you have got to enter that one in the fair, Dahlin'.

Beautiful post, Laurie.

homo escapeons said...

Jeez that tree is spooky!
What a great tour.

Happy Muthaz Day Laurie.

Laurie said...

Cathy, I think you're right about the laser beam. ;-)

Pink, I was standing under the eave edge to take the photos because I was worried about damaging the camera.

Ur-spo, I'll do that!

Thomas, it's a beautiful state, and the scenery is very diverse. You should come visit!

Potato, so good to see you back! I will check out your blog immediately. Thanks for letting me know!

Gawpo, awww, shucks, thanks!

HE, it's even spookier looking in real life, but I imagine it's a great place for the wildlife to take refuge in. :-)