About Me

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Great Falls, Montana, United States
I love creating art. I love the Creator! And through that love, I find a little slice of heaven on earth and I give Him all the glory! It's a great adventure and I'm excited to see what's around the bend! Come join me, won't you?
Showing posts with label Leslie McNeil Photography. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Leslie McNeil Photography. Show all posts

Sunday, June 8, 2014

to tiger butte, montana ~

"oh build me a home... where the buffalo roam, and the skies are not cloudy all day!"

well, there's no buffalo here... and the skies are full of clouds. 
but it was one afternoon full of all kinds of montana landscape drama.

big and bold blue sky, with 'as-far-as-the-eyes-can-see' amazing clouds in a build-up of stormy and dramatic skyscapes.

such a treasure: wide open prairie vistas, wilflowers, old combine parts, and moody mountains, with lots of spring green on our country roads to the area known as "tiger butte."  
and our afternoon adventure began here...with the wild sunflowers and old machinery  {so enjoyable}. 
the high prairies looking east to belt butte, and the highwood mountains to the northeast

i always love an opportunity to photograph
 one of my favorite sunflower-wildflowers 
against a big blue sky.
{blue and gold were my highschool colors}

looking to the opposite direction ~ to the west for that storm that was a brewin'
and be aware... it sure clouds up fast ...
 yes... the infamous saying for most anywhere out west: 
"wait five minutes and the weather will change" ...
 {would like to have had a dollar every time i heard 
that growing up in montana!}
 look at those gorgeous pastures, and beckoning country roads, those massive logs framing a ranch gate...
"country looks good!"
and we enjoyed the "pre-game" show of the stormy drama that ended up in a real-life gully washer, as the storm finally unleashed it's torrents of rain. 

love this cool old mcafferty ranch barn, with tiger butte in the background


 this scene.  pastoral.  magnificent.  grand.  classic western scene don't you think?  could be right out of a movie...
 and a sweet pet on the nose to a gorgeous horse. isn't he amazing, set against that sky and pasture?  he's got a wonderful classic quarter horse profile and conformation. 

it was a sweet finish to a day in the big sky country. what a treat! 

soli deo gloria!
xo
leslie

Saturday, April 26, 2014

on golden {prairie} pond ~ an april montana morning

morning ~ 

indeed, it was a frosty one, just last week.  but you wouldn't know it from the warm glow of that glory sky.

i caught only a glimpse of it from my city windows... but my soul beheld what it could be... so, still in my pj's, i pulled on the necessities: socks, shoes, a coat, and grabbed my camera.

ahhh yes.  this is it.  this is what my soul was craving. some quiet moments on the frosty spring prairie are precious and fleeting.  i know this, and quickly make the turn off the main highway, heading east looking to the highwood mountains.
 the farm grounds are sweetly quiet. much like the soul waiting for it's easter breakthrough, a light straight through the dark...

anticipation floats in the big sky.  i can feel it as my shoes crunch through gravel, and crunchy frosty grass...  

the quansets and shops are still, at least for the moments of these early morning april days.  seeding plans at the next opportunity are ready to dance and prance as soon as that soon-to-be-tilled soil dries.

 renewing ~ and renewable. in God's great time-table. the easter present that always keeps giving.

my eye can't help but see the green come up through the golden hope of the sun, reflecting the chilly morning's dew, and last summer's dried grass.  {just like our easter hearts?}
the snow that made it's weight well known for a goodly winter's season portion is begrudgingly pulling back it's winter cape from the rolling prairie landscapes.
be still.  know.  fall into Him. 
He is {always} there. 

even the geese and ducks enjoy their icy spring plunges in the chilly, golden field's wheat ponds.
 except ~ where the ice still has it way, and reflects the coming of it's last days under the new morning sun rising.


oh yes.  golden stillness.  and we wait. 


to begin again.  



boundless hope ~ makes it's way.



Soli Deo Gloria.
xo
leslie

Sunday, April 20, 2014

happy easter!!

i was thrilled... not just to see buds on the apple trees, but to see these branches... and in celebration of this awesome day of Alleluia!

"why... do you seek the living among the dead?  He is not here, but is Risen! just as He said."

He  Is Risen ~ He is Risen Indeed!!!
"one of {London's} reference points in the city is the Charing Cross.  It is near the geographical center of the city and serves as a navigational tool for those confused by the streets. 

a little girl was lost... a policeman found her.  between sobs and tears, she explained she didn't know her way home.  he asked her if she knew her address.  she didn't.  he asked her phone number; she didn't know that either. but when he asked her what she knew, suddenly her face lit up.  "I know the Cross," she said.  "Show me the Cross, and I can find my way home from there."

so can you." ~ from Max Lucado: "And The Angels Were Silent"

amen.

love, grace and peace to you all in Christ Jesus on this glorious day!  
leslie


Thursday, April 10, 2014

the timeout room ~ spring 2014

hello ~ spring!

spring? really?  i think so...  i think!  at least there are buds on the tree branches!  

it's coming.  it's coming!  of that i am sure... with mud... and mud puppies! 
me?  i've taken a bit of a break from blogging lately, and slowing down to take in... 
we have a spare room at work, which functions as an extra 'guest office' when travelling staff from other offices visit, and it is also a storage room. it has no windows, just a hard tiled floor, storage cabinets, bare walls, and a desk with the bare amenities. so... we call it the "timeout room!"  

a bit of a timeout... {kind of like me} kind of like our spring! but see that green grass...?  well, it's pushing it's way through, reaching for the light, and that's kind of how i feel.  it's been darker, gloomier, and colder than i prefer... but the green continues to push...

and push. 

and push ~ its way upward...
and so am i!  

taking some time out.  inside and out.
psalm 23 tells me He leads me to lie down in green pastures... and still waters. spiritually. mentally.  physically. 
would that also mean 'out to pasture?' hmmm.  i don't think so.  at least ... not yet!

but i am {and have been} taking a 'timeout'  of sorts. to think. contemplate. read. gather up, look inside... think about some goals.
i have been creating.  it's sanctuary for me, whether taking photos, writing, drawing, watercolors, sewing and quilting... 
a time for every season.   
and a timeout so i can... pray more.  nearly. clearly. and dearly.
listen.  And give thanks. in all things. 
i also turned 56 this april. and i am excited about that.  it also means in a mere twenty eight months i will retire!  at least from my current career.  i have serious thought to give this... and i truly look forward to it.  after thirty years working in the federal court system, i have other ~ more artistic goals, dreams, plans, and hopes to pursue.  to go running after. to begin new plans.  a bed and breakfast out in the country? perhaps?  summer art shows?  volunteer?  illustrate?  become a professional photographer?  and... pick and choose my work hours... perhaps learn about what it takes to give and teach online classes?  teach more in person even! [love that!} and...  to dive into a body of work i truly am excited about. 
to learn anew. {and to learn ~  h o w ! ...} 
but for now.  but for God.
i will bloom.  

even in the timeout room!

blessings to you all,
xo
leslie

Thursday, December 5, 2013

tender mercies ~

hi there friends,

i ventured out into the bitter cold morning today a few minutes before i went into my office.

to see what i could see along a stunning {and stinging} cold, wintery morning along the river.

to thank God.

to embrace the bitter cold, and rejoice in the magnificent glory of the Creator.

and be glad for warmth. for love. for tender mercies.

little did i know when i took this picture today, just how much i would need to hear the words that follow... written by one of my favorite authors, susie larson.

"May God Himself surround you with His tender mercies and grace today. May He heal your soul so you can live by faith. Where you once reacted out of your insecurities, may you respond in faith knowing you possess all in Christ. Where you once white-knuckled your worries may you release every care to Him and lift your hands in praise. You are not made for this world. You're only passing through. May you live as the divinely loved and called soul you are!"

{thank you}
blessings upon you all ~
leslie
 

Monday, July 22, 2013

the joy of hollyhocks ~

hi friends ~

so i've been scouring the neighborhood on my way to work, hoping to find hollyhocks, but more importantly, to find access in which i could photograph them.  shouldn't seem so tough.  and it's not, really.  it's just a matter of seeing.  and timing.  and light.  after all, it's a short season.  and the days are getting noticeably shorter.

i was happy to find pretty ones in an alley in my neighborhood.  so first thing after supper, i went for a walk with camera in hand. 

i love these flowers.  they are nostalgic for me.  of a childhood spent making doll-like figures with the blooms for skirts and dresses.  i always think of that when i see hollyhocks.  and how we played with those stems, and pulled the petals off...  now i just want to capture them on camera so i can study the layers of light.  the shadows.  the color, textures and holes in the leaves...  for painting.  watercolor.  stitching.

and also to experiment with a fixed, 50mm prime lens for my canon camera t3i.  i've had it since i purchased the camera, bought on excellent advice from a pro photographer friend to photograph my quilts... but haven't really figured it out, because in order to do that i have to use it way more!  so i'm changing that this summer season.  i hope. 







they are so graceful, don't you think?

and, if you'd like to use these images ... please do so.  all i ask is that you let me know... and acknowledge where you got them if you do use them.

enJOY!  have a great week.
xo
leslie

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Snowy Mountain High ~

Helllooo!

It's a pleasure to bring you some photography shots of beautiful, blue, cold... Montana this past weekend. 
We stopped at friend, Jane's place, on our way home from church services on Sunday, and as Brian was whipping her snow blower into shape, I was getting into my own whipping,  trekkin' through the snow, just tryin' to stay the course through the deepness of the drifts, and uneven terrain.  I had a few mishaps... {what's a little snow on the clothing, but a chance to be 'refreshed' I ask?!} ... but did manage to get back up!  {or Brian would have been trying to snow-blow me out of there!}
Jane's horse barn tucked into the hillside
We got back on the road, and a half-mile away I asked Brian to pull over... and I hopped out for a fast couple shots.  The drifts are the only evidence of the wind blowing... whipping too.  I don't last too long out in the raw elements, as it was about 10 above {maybe} on a chill factor.  But I made the most out of my 8 minutes outside... 
The Little Belt Mountains in the background {above picture}... that is where my son's ranch is.

The Highwood Mountain Range {below} ~ beautiful.
I'd really love to watercolor this scene...
And these lonely mailboxes out on the open prairie...
John Denver in my mind...?  "Take me home, country roads... "  {maybe if you have a shovel, or a good four-wheel drive ~ lol}.  Or... a good tractor snow-plow, as I think these folks did.  Still... I'd live out in the country again, in a heartbeat.
Beautiful.  Stunning.  The Majesty of the Seasons at His Hands.

{and it is now melting!}  as we have 47 degrees the past couple days.  Nothing last forever... not even cold  weather!

Soli Deo Gloria!
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