Wednesday, November 30, 2005



Hangin' on (1), originally uploaded by Bitterroot.

The last day of November, 2005! Each time I turn a virtual page on this blog and post a new scene, I think of life's fundamental contradiction: the certainty of impermanence vs. the exquisite beauty of our world in this present moment. Remembering this helps to heal the erosions of daily life.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


Dappled light on leaves and rocks

This late afternoon photo was taken in the Rattlesnake Wilderness near Missoula, Montana. The leaves and rocks are part of a tiny pool of water that has moistened the rocks and made them shine. The small pebbles in the upper left are actually submerged in crystalline water. To see the full richness of the texture in this miniature world, view large (see instructions at left.)

Monday, November 28, 2005


Sunlit glade in the woods

Sunlit glade in the woods, originally uploaded by Bitterroot.

Because today is dreary and drippy beyond description, I'm posting a photo that I took just six weeks ago. The sunlight flooding this glade is a reminder of the seasonal cycles and the light at the end of that long wintry tunnel just ahead!

Sunday, November 27, 2005


Winter walkers at dusk

Winter walkers at dusk, originally uploaded by Bitterroot.

...on Thanksgiving weekend.

Saturday, November 26, 2005


Cedar grove

Cedar grove, originally uploaded by Bitterroot.

Friday, November 25, 2005


The other side of the Missions

Mission Mountains, originally uploaded by Bitterroot.

On November 22, I posted a shot of the Mission Mountains as seen from the east side, in the Swan Valley. Here is the west face of the Missions, in a shot taken in the Flathead Valley in western Montana. The sheer granite wall of this magnificent range rises up from the valley floor with startling suddenness. View this in a large version (see instructions at left) to see the ridiculously diminutive human settlement in the shadow of these peaks.

Thursday, November 24, 2005



Potomac Valley, originally uploaded by Bitterroot.

A glimpse of the Potomac area in the exquisite Blackfoot Valley - western Montana. Part of my own personal thanksgiving is the chance to spend time in the pristine places of my childhood.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Thanks to faithful readers...

I was completely flabbergasted today to visit some of my favorite Montana blogs and find that "Bitterroot and Bergamot" had tied for first place (with "Thoughts from the Middle of Nowhere") for Best Website for Montana Photos.

To those faithful readers who cast a vote for this humble blog, thank you! I am truly honored even to have been noticed at all. I started this site last April as a way to capture places and experiences that have been personally meaningful, and have made some wonderful friends along the way. Particular thanks go to MontanaRaven and karbonkountymoos for your encouragement as I took those first timid steps into cyberspace.

I feel a kinship with my readers, as my Statcounter program tells me generally what regions of the country you all are from. There are some faithful daily viewers that I greet with pleasure each afternoon (hello Houston, hello Yakima, hello Missoula, etc.) Though I've never seen your face or heard your voice, your regular visits inspire me to keep plugging away with the photography.

The Montana blogosphere is a marvelous place, and I look forward to my own visits to my favorite sites. David at the Big Sky Blog keeps a comprehensive updated list of Montana bloggers if you are interested.


Two-way traffic

Two-way traffic, originally uploaded by Bitterroot.

Can you guess who's the alpha male in this shot?!

Taken at the MCG Ranch, western Montana.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Mission Mountains

Mission Mountains, originally uploaded by Bitterroot.

The Swan Valley south of Glacier Park is flanked by two magnificent mountain ranges, the Missions and the Swans. This was taken from the foothills of the Swan Range in October. A brooding scene with new snow highlighting the peaks.

Monday, November 21, 2005


A sense of place

MCG Ranch, originally uploaded by Bitterroot.

Taken at one of my favorite spots, the MCG Ranch in western Montana. Love the swoop of the hill as a backdrop to the weathered buildings framed in the foreground by pine. Texture and dimension again...

Sunday, November 20, 2005


Hangin' on

Hangin' on (3), originally uploaded by Bitterroot.

Saturday, November 19, 2005


Sunset in winter woods

Sunset in winter woods, originally uploaded by Bitterroot.

Friday, November 18, 2005


The meadow across the way

The meadow across the way, originally uploaded by Bitterroot.



Enlightened, originally uploaded by Bitterroot.

Friday cat blogging: Gus the delinquecat in a rare contemplative moment.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Winter's moving in...

Two Medicine webcam shot.jpg, originally uploaded by Bitterroot.

Winter has arrived in northern Montana. This was captured yesterday afternoon at a spot on the east side of Glacier Park. Wouldn't you like to be out there braving those winds and feeling those icy snowflakes biting your nose?!

Click here for an up-to-the-minute view of this spot.

...Bonus shot from this morning...

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Swift shadows

Swan Range, originally uploaded by Bitterroot.

Swiftly moving cloud shadows change the visual texture of a mountainside. This is the Swan Range in western Montana. On this day, there was a brisk breeze, sending the clouds scudding around the sky and providing a continuous light and shadow show on the peaks.

Monday, November 14, 2005


A crack in the earth

266Canyon view from pl, originally uploaded by Bitterroot.

Taken from a small plane in northern British Columbia flying over the Stikine River Canyon.

Sunday, November 13, 2005


Perched on a hilltop

, originally uploaded by Bitterroot.

The sweetest little cabin perched on a hilltop that overlooks the valleys, rivers, and peaks of my childhood. I could do a whole blog just on log cabins built by my family members at various stages of their lives. There's something here in the communal family memory dating all the way back to the 1860's.

Saturday, November 12, 2005


Hanging on to the color

Hanging on to the color, originally uploaded by Bitterroot.

Friday, November 11, 2005



Salmon Lake, originally uploaded by Bitterroot.

Here's a little more texture to finish off the work week...the luminous light glow at day's end bounces off the bark of the birch tree and lights up the marsh grass in the distance. Taken at Salmon Lake in western Montana.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Comforting lamplight

Comforting lamplight, originally uploaded by Bitterroot.

This is for all those who suffer from health concerns on this day.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


A shower of berries on a windy day

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


How Glacier Park looks now

When the seasons change, I like to check into my little webcam collection to see the progress of the foliage and, ultimately, the snow on the mountains. It's a wonderful real-time glimpse into another world.

You can go to this link to see the same view, any time!

Monday, November 07, 2005


Bare bones of the forest floor

Bare bones of the forest floor, originally uploaded by Bitterroot.

We're back in Wisconsin...looking at gnarled branches of a fallen oak, spreading out over a carpet of newly shed leaves. Somehow, my mind's eye sees much in common between this scene and yesterday's post of the Cluny Museum. Is it structure? pattern? color? time? dimension?

Sunday, November 06, 2005


History carved in stone: Cluny Museum, Paris

Cluny Museum, Paris, originally uploaded by Bitterroot.

I know my enthusiasm for historical places, be they the ancient trails of the Salish Indians or the strongholds of the Benedictine monks, is all due to my dad, who filled my youth with the stories of the land where I grew up. Following in his footsteps in so many ways, I love to delve below the surface of a place.

As part of our texture perspective, here indeed is history carved in stone. According to the site linked above..."what is now the Cluny Museum in Paris was the property of the Abbey of Cluny in Burgundy...on it Abott Jacques d'Ambroise had a building constructed (between 1485 and 1498) to accommodate the Benedictine monks who came from Cluny to visit the capital.

The Chapel, the ancient oratory of the abbots, is the most famous room. It has a single pillar in the center, from which the ribs of the vault fan out. Along the walls are a series of niches standing on consoles containing the statues of the d'Amboise family."

The intricate tracery of the stone ceiling vaults is unlike anything I've ever seen. This is a relatively small room, and its effect is overwhelming. Again, wondrous!

Saturday, November 05, 2005



DSC03016, originally uploaded by Bitterroot.

Here is Omaha Beach on the north coast of Normandy, on this day a lonely and cold and empty place. I am standing there reflecting on what my dad, a very young GI, might have seen as he approached this shore from England in 1944. (Photo by Paulette.)

Friday, November 04, 2005


Wooly warmth

La Foulerie, Normandy, originally uploaded by Bitterroot.

And here's texture of a very different sort: the wooly softness of this ewe and her lamb, taken at a farmhouse in Normandy. Mama's round body with her spindly legs, knobby knees, and her deceptively wise countenance charmed me completely. The babies had a curious eye for newcomers!

La Foulerie, Normandy

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Mont St. Michel, Normandy

A "sea change" from from yesterday's entry: Mont St. Michel, a 1,000-year-old Benedictine abbey just off the coast of Normandy, built on a rock that juts up out of the sea. The abbey is atop, with a little village at the base of the rock. Here is how this mysterious place looks as you are approaching it from the mainland on a gray and misty day:

Mont St. Michel

And here is a view from the parapets, high up on the rock. I loved the angularity of the structures set against the endless reach of the tide flats. In winter, you can feel the ascetic loneliness of the place.

For nine centuries, travelers to Mont St. Michel had to wait for the tide to go out, as it has in this photo, in order to cross to the abbey. As one who grew up in Montana where the "official" history lessons date back only 150 years, I found Mont St. Michel to be most wondrous.

Mont St. Michel, Normandy, originally uploaded by Bitterroot.


Baubles, bangles, and...

Paris shop, originally uploaded by Bitterroot.

I have a few more photos of France that I want to share while continuing to think about texture. My eye was captured here by complexity and dimension of a very different nature from the rural and mountain scenes that are so close to my heart. This is a passing glimpse through a shop window in the Marais district of Paris. For a split second in time, I was 10 years old again - my nose pressed against the window, entranced by the lighting, the ambience, and the arrangements. A veritable kaleidoscope!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Paris street market

Paris street market, originally uploaded by Bitterroot.

Ah, the wonders of blogdom...I love being able to careen about from place to place geographically and thematically.

We're still thinking about texture, with France as our immediate subject. Here is a Paris street market on a blustery winter morn. Truly a feast for the eyes as well as the palate! Just reliving this, my eye is enjoying the angles of the wall art and the handwritten slates as a backdrop to the artfully arranged veggies. I can also feel the chilly wind on the back of my neck!

As with all photos, this scene is best viewed large. See instructions in the column to the left.

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