Walking with My Camera: Thunderhead Gardens and the Open A.I.R. Fundraiser

I am a participating artist for the upcoming Open A.I.R. fundraiser at Thunderhead Gardens September 11, 2021 in Moiese, Montana. The work being created for auction is based upon inspiration of the land where the fundraiser will be held. I had the privilege of spending some time at Thunderhead Gardens and here are some field notes and photographs from my time there.

Tickets for the event are limited. Support raised during the evening will benefit the Open AIR program and Western Montana Creative Initiatives: supporting community, creativity, and connection in Montana. This event takes place at Thunderhead Gardens, a private ranch. The festivities include live music, a sumptuous repast, silent and live auctions and a chance to connect and celebrate with community grounded and connected to the land.

I will be posting updates about what my piece will be for the auction.

I walked

the dry path between the fields

lined with thistles and Red Winged Blackbirds

the air

filled with heat and the haze of wildfires

the Flathead River

smoke softened–a faded hand colored vintage postcard scene

I released my body to the water and let her take me

a cooling wet slow drift

walking back–grasses, backlit by brightness

spoke of their summer fullness

Returned to Thunderhead Gardens

I wandered in the warm light of evening sun

the guardians of this land, are nurturing the plants and trees forward

the grasses they planted now home to wild ones, a refuge of diversity

a restoration, a healing, to make whole

Many birds sing here,

The stewardship of love in this place called to mind the Chinese proverb

“If I keep a green bough in my heart the singing birds will come.”

More wandering, a swoop of Nighthawks above me, at my feet

long dried grasses, tossed and bent by water, glowed amber, umber, gold

diminishing light offered a pale smoky hued wash

a pale illumination–slipping toward night

Please check out the Open AIR Fundraiser at Thunderhead Gardens: an inspiring and celebratory evening filled with art, music, and food in a breathtaking setting.



$300 – VIP

$150 – Evening Celebration




5:30 PM – DINNER



TICKETS ARE LIMITED: We recommend early registration to guarantee your spot.

VIP: VIP tickets include the Evening Celebration, plus a pre-event, intimate musical wine tasting led by the charming wine aficionado Jessi Trauth, and early access to the silent auction.

EVENING CELEBRATION: The Evening Celebration includes live music, delicious food (dietary accommodations available), live and silent auctions and bonfires, and an opportunity to connect with others in this stunning setting.

DRESS: Do dress in warm layers and wear your walking shoes so you can explore the land comfortably. We will provide a self-guided walking tour.

BEVERAGES: Beer and wine available for purchase.

ACCESS: Though this event takes place on rugged land, some accommodations can be made to support individuals with disabilities. Please reach out to Stoney at to discuss how we can support you.