Field Notes

Skiing with My Camera: Ouzels, Snow and Blackbirds

A couple days ago while skiing I saw four Water Ouzels, (also know as American Dippers) hanging out together in one of the irrigation ditches. One of them was plunging its’ head into the water looking for food. Dippers are “equipped with an extra eyelid called a nictitating membrane” that allow them to “see underwater, …

Skiing with My Camera: Magpies and Winter Songs

This last week in Montana has been cold enough that I didn’t want to bare my fingers very often so — I don’t have many new photographs. I shot these magpies through the window and then played around with the shapes and grainy nature of the image. The coldest ski day since my last post …

Skiing with My Camera: Snow and Ice

It has been ten days since my last field note. The landscape near my home in Northwest Montana had so many variations over that period of time. As I skied along an irrigation ditch (above) with my camera I experienced the daily transitions. The snow melted out of the trees a couple days after the …

Walking & Skiing with My Camera: Frost, Snow and Branch Lines

Last week the snow melted out of the trees and we had some hoar frost days. Another transformation is in process. It has been snowing continuously for two days where I live with my family up on a hill in Northwest Montana. Small steady snow flakes keep falling—enveloping our home in a sheltering quiet. I …

Walking with My Camera: Ice Silvers and Just Enough Snow to Ski

This last week we have had just enough snow to ski. Today it has been raining so I will probably be walking rather than skiing when I go out this afternoon. In early January, before it started warming up, the winter sun gave a silver sheen to the lines in the irrigation ditch ice. Recently …

Walking with My Camera: Watery Snow Folding

Earlier today big snow flakes were drifting in rotating swirls. The photo above was my attempt, shooting through the window, to capture the feeling of the dense snow fall. Skiing along the irrigation ditch near our home a couple days ago, there was a place where collected snow was being folded by the water — …

Walking with My Camera: Mountain Snow, Solstice, Weathered Wood

hibernal solstice — the long dark — and now the lengthening of days ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ We have been getting snow in the mountains but very little at lower elevations. This morning the darkness felt close. To be warm inside yet held within the winter darkness is a feeling I treasure as I welcome the slow movement toward …

Walking with My Camera: Big Knife Ice

The last patch of cold weather brought new shapes to Big Knife Creek. Lost in gleam. Is it then a loss or a light? The movement of past moment slipping between darkness and translucent waves—between sorrows and elation of the wider world. Here in this small place a celebration— water meeting a sway of coldness—shaped …

Walking with My Camera: Tumult and Snow Melt

The snow has mostly melted off except for in the more shaded places where I walk. The irrigation ditch holds reflections of early winter in slow movement. Today I was drawn to a favorite red-orange rock, reflected blue sky and water plants blended by the flow of Big Knife Creek. I was drawn to the …

Walking with My Camera: Leaf Transitions

  Today there is sun. Flickers fly back and forth from the house eaves. I am not sure what they are eating. Snow has melted at our elevation. The bare branches of late fall bring a different architecture of light to the landscape. Yesterday I walked along Big Knife Creek. The bright colors are gone …