Double Date…

This past Saturday we had a double date with my parents…

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My mother is the primary care-giver, support person, and everything else to her sister, who is going through the final stages of terminal brain cancer.  My mom is the most caring person I know and would do anything to help anyone.  She works a more than full-time job at a busy health clinic and then spends her evenings and early mornings with her sister in the hospital.  She’s starting to run low, so we kidnapped her for the afternoon and evening and went to her favorite spot, took some pictures, froze to death and waited for the sun to set…

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There wasn’t much color that night but we had fun.  Afterwards, we met my brother who happened to be in town for supper.  I think we all had a great time and it was wonderful to see my mom laugh and smile again.

 

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Beautiful Day with the Boys…

After the fog cleared early last Monday, we were graced with a virtually cloud-free, blue sky day.  I knew I needed to head to Glacier, even if it was just for a few hours…

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That afternoon was virtually windless making Lake McDonald very glass like!  Actually, I don’t remember ever seeing it as smooth as it was that day.P1120188

Two of the boys also decided to tag along…

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Rurality Blog Hop #43

Merriest Christmas Wishes!

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John 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome.  9 The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

 

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

A Morning Camping…

While camping in Grand Tetons, we were able to see this mighty Bull Moose, I’ve posted other pics of him here…

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Before spotting him though, Mark and I were outside, blissfully enjoying our first cup of hot coffee for the morning,  It was one of the more cool mornings we had at Gros Ventre campground.  A car stopped beside our trailer and parked on the road.  It was a bit strange because the road was closed just a bit down the road.  The guy finally got out with his camera and gear, which perked my interest!  We grabbed our camera’s and woke up our oldest and let her know we were going on a walk.  In just a couple of steps up and out of campsite and to the other side of the road we could see what made the other guy stop…

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What we thought were two mule deer bucks, ended up being three!

1We hung out for a while there and noticed another guy walking right past the deer, with a huge camera.  We decided to follow him just a little ways which led to…

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This is what we came back to at the campsite…

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The kids roasting mini-marshmallows around the fire…  🙂IMG_5259

What a wonderful way to start the day!

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Nature Notes

Rurality Blog Hop #43

Meeting Clara…

 

Our kids were able to visit their brand-new cousin the other day.  They were so totally excited to finally get to meet this little baby…

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Little miss Clara…

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Love those teeny tiny toes!

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Garrett, so excited!

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Teigen loving on her…IMG_7434

Baby Clara!IMG_7469

 

Me getting my baby fix…IMG_7488

Cousins…

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My hubby with Emma and his new niece…

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Zayne giving her a squeeze…

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Maddie checking her out!

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Tori gets to have her baby fix too!IMG_74591

Victoria showing the other kids…

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Hayden giving a little love…

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Emma and ClaraP1090167Sawyer and Sammy with their new cousin!

What a wonderful blessing babies are!  I feel particularly blessed to have been able to help (I hope) my beautiful sister-in-law through their birth process and take pictures of this wonderful and exciting time.  It really has helped to heal my heart!

  Little by Little   Thursday Favorite Things

 

Along the Firehole River…

On our recent trip to Yellowstone, we stopped to have a bit of a break and a picnic on the Firehole River….

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The kids were able to explore the river and splash around a bit…

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A curious on-looker begging for food….

 

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Even a chance for a nap…P1030278

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A “Camp Robber” decided to check things out too…

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Otherwise known as, Clark’s Nutcracker, they are friendly, curious little guys…

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Cool Facts

  • The Clark’s Nutcracker has a special pouch under its tongue that it uses to carry seeds long distances. The nutcracker harvests seeds from pine trees and takes them away to hide them for later use.
  • The Clark’s Nutcracker hides thousands and thousands of seeds each year. Laboratory studies have shown that the bird has a tremendous memory and can remember where to find most of the seeds it hides.
  • The Clark’s Nutcracker feeds its nestlings pine seeds from its many winter stores (caches). Because it feeds the young on stored seeds, the nutcracker can breed as early as January or February, despite the harsh winter weather in its mountain home.
  • The Clark’s Nutcracker is one of very few members of the crow family where the male incubates the eggs. In jays and crows, taking care of the eggs is for the female only. But the male nutcracker actually develops a brood patch on its chest just like the female, and takes his turn keeping the eggs warm while the female goes off to get seeds out of her caches.
  • Not only do the lives of Clark’s Nutcrackers revolve around their pine seed diet, but the pines themselves have been shaped by their relationship with the nutcrackers. Whitebark pines, limber pines, Colorado pinyon pines, single-leaf pinyon pines, and southwestern white pines depend on nutcrackers to disperse their seeds. Over time this interaction has changed their seeds, their cones, and even the trees’ overall shape in comparison with other pine species whose seeds are dispersed by the wind.
  • The Clark’s Nutcracker tests a seed for soundness by moving it up and down in its bill while quickly opening and closing its bill, in a motion known as “bill clicking.” It also chooses good seeds by color: when foraging on Colorado pinyon pines, it refuses all but dark brown seeds.
  • Ounce for ounce, the whitebark pine seeds that many Clark’s Nutcrackers depend on have more calories than chocolate.
  • Clark’s Nutcracker is in the crow and jay family—but the first time Captain William Clark saw one, in August of 1805, he thought it was a woodpecker. He and Meriwether Lewis collected a specimen in Idaho on their return journey a year later. Clark’s Nutcracker was one of three new bird species brought back from their expedition, all of which were described by the naturalist Alexander Wilson.
  • The oldest Clark’s Nutcracker on record was at least 17 years, 5 months old.

For more information please visit, here…

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Nature Notes

Petrified Tree…

 

By Tower Junction, in Yellowstone…

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Trying to fathom that something can be tens of millions of years old is hard to do. Well, that is how old the Petrified Tree is. This now solid rock was once a giant redwood tree surrounded by a forest of trees just like it. During violent volcanic eruptions millions of years ago, mudflows and volcanic deposits rapidly filled the open pores of the tree , solidifying it into the rocky trunk that you see today. Where there was once two there is now only one petrified tree left standing. In the earlier days of the park, visitors and explorers took pieces of the second tree until there was nothing left to take. A fence surrounds the remaining tree so that it will be left alone and still standing for generations to come.  Read more here…

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The crew checking out the rock tree…

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