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 Montana Landscapes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Montana Landscapes. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

montana's niagara falls ~ lost lake in the shonkin sag

greetings ~

today's feature is a continuation of our wintery day adventure with the clydesdale horses.   we ended it with a small hike in a chilly blustery late day under amazing skies, and crazy laccolith stone architecture.  it's an amazing geological tour to a very cool, and very unusual place, known as montana's very own niagara falls ~ lost lake.  there is a short,  well-written article about it ~ click here. 




lost lake
 "To imagine that volume of water, consider this: 
given the depth of Lost Lake, Davidson said, 
the falls probably dropped 300 to 350 feet 
when the Shonkin Sag 
was brimful and water poured over the top.  
At 300 feet deep and half a mile across, 
the Dry Falls would have been just about 
double size of the largest cataract 
at today’s Niagara Falls."
i've been here several times, and each time i'm awestruck by the grandeur and sheer rock formations.  it's quiet... and lonely with the wind roaring in your ears... and the sandy "beach" is rather unusual to me; coarse pebbly rock material with a generous dose of green lichen.


Patricia, Joseph and David pose for me in the rocks that rim this hidden "lost lake."
lost lake sits on private land, and is well preserved... no hint of litter or trash of any kind.  just pure unadulterated awesome. 

the highwood mountains in the distance, a spectacular view of ancient, blue, and quiet.





as i headed homeward bound...
a breathtaking sunset that took my breath away.
much like the entire day.

Your Glory, O Lord, reaches to the skies...
soli deo gloria.

Monday, March 2, 2015

a winter's day adventure with the lacey creek ranch clydesdales ~

hi!

last week began with a day's adventure, and a {tiny} break from collage quilts!  i went along as the "official" photographer {tongue-in~cheek}.  it was a spectacular wintery day spent on a ranch up in the highwood mountains... with two big beautiful clydesdale boys:  jerry, and ritchie, their owner and also with their handler friends.  we were treated to a little history of their coming to the ranch, the breed itself, and how they are cared for, and how they were harnessed.  now they're ready to take us for a ride as bob drives them out of the barn.  and just look at that beautiful craftsmanship of the barn! and those horses... aren't they beautiful? 
we were treated to a carriage ride; one of the finest in the world!  the wind was brutal cold, but we were covered up in wool blankets, and if it had been a nicer day, we would have been able to ride longer, but it was 11 degrees, and the wind was about 15-20 mph.  at any rate... the ride was fantastic.
and our friends from taiwan were able to get a bit of a lesson in horse grooming as they made friends with these awesome animals... this is joseph getting acquainted with ritchie:
no {small} detail was forgotten... and our favorite baby, matthew got to go for a ride, too!  and between blowing bubbles and snuggling in his blankets, he had a great time i'm pretty sure!!  he was so so good the whole time, giggling and smiling at anyone!


ritchie give us a beautiful view of intelligence, grace, and a "where's my carrot?" kind of attitude!

patricia gets to lead ritchie back to the pasture after being groomed and cooled down. just look at the powerful build of these horses...
below is dice, and he is half percheon and half quarter horse.  isn't he cute?!  nice little round body, and he had quite the character, too.  he is the ranch's saddle horse, and he gets a bit of a carrot treat, too!

it might have been cold, but it was a great time!


if we'd had a bit more snow, we would have ridden in the sleigh... maybe next time?
patricia makes friend with dice, and he is a sweet, 
friendly guy... and also looking for {more} handouts!

below is the main house, a perfect setting in this sweet valley of the highwood mountains... atop a small little rise above lacey creek.  this is the lacey creek ranch.  it is spectacular.  amazing.  breath-takingly beautiful... especially when the sun came out to shine on us...
bob, the owner, treated us to a delicious lunch of hot carrot soup, fresh, giant yeast rolls, ham, asian slaw and banana cake with browned butter frosting.  major yummy goodness all the day long.
it was a lovely sparkly day of adventure.  this wasn't the end of our day, only the beginning, and i have more to share!

i hope i get to go back... and practice {more} photography on these gorgeous horses, and amazing landscape.  thank you guys, for showing us a great time. bless you.

xo
leslie
soli deo gloria.

Friday, February 20, 2015

montana ghost ponies in the sky ~

hi there ~

does anyone out there remember the country song, "ghost riders in the sky?"

it was a song written in 1948 by noted american songwriter, stash jones. recorded by over fifty artists, including johnny cash, gene autry and frankie lang as some of my favorites.

how's that for a little trivia... and that song kinda sparked a bit of imagery to my imagination as we were traveling from highwood back to great falls one evening last fall...

i dubbed it "ghost ponies in the sky."  

and i thought it was cool.
and i think it will be really cool... as a collage scene.  
you're probably not surprised to hear that are you?
and i was saying to brian "how i wish i had brought my good camera" and all i had was the phone camera.  not a bad thing. this kind of lighting, sky and cool horse just doesn't happen, and it would have been so much better to have had a good lens on this beautiful horse!  i didn't grab my camera that evening as we were packing lots of dinner out to bible study. 

next time... regardless... next time i will pack the "good" camera, too. in fact, it needs to go everywhere with me...
because ~ just look at this face!  
and what a sweetie.  don'tcha just love the "ghost" circles around his eyes?


but ya know what?  good camera or iPhone, it's all really.  really.  good.

good as in 1000 gifts + good...
music.
patting a friendly painted pony on the nose.
fresh air.
beautiful fields.
my driver-husband.
iPhone camera.
montana.
a sweet sky.
This Is My Father's World.  {which is another favorite song}

amen.
thanks for stopping by for a bit of my montana.
blessings on your friday, wherever you are.
xo
leslie

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

christmas memories ~ wild and sweet montana

hello!  our christmas ~ full of all things bright and beautiful, with the love of God and family making it always extra magical and sweet... 

we headed out to the swan ranch once again, and enjoyed a treasured day among friends and family. although the snow storm made things "interesting" {always!} it was breathtaking, per usual amazing creation by God's hand...

i've been enjoying being able to get out and about and take a few photos... especially when the frost hit a few days ago, and of course, always a treasure for me to get out to the ranch and take a few photos.

i made a first-time ever new appetizer, in the pretty deliciousness of a handmade pomegranate cheese ball, and it was fabulous!  {i got the recipe from pinterest ya know}.  totally worth it, and we loved it enough, i think it may become a new traditional favorite!

and a new baby this year to the swan family, with a bit of a cowboy flair and ride on his new pony!  he's only four months old, but of course, he commands quite a bit of attention {and a photographer, too!!}

brian and i headed west to visit family in washington, and battered down and through a few more snowy storms, and many icy snowpacked roads, but it was a good trip, and we enjoyed our trip together tremendously.

so ... i've compiled a bit of a photo journal of our christmas days together {and in all kinds of montana weather!}...  

i hope and pray your days were all wonder memorable, quiet, wild, and sweet and filled with treasures of time with those you love.







i love the old cottonwoods against the dramatic beauty of the evening's setting sun on the mountain peaks

brian "breaking the trail" for his photographer wife!  what a guy!! xo 


not a bad view of the rocky mountain front through the car window!
our lovely and dramatic roger's pass of montana.  temperature?  -6 with a windchill of about -25 i'm guessing.
it was rockin!

a bit of a stretch break at lookout pass
happy new year!
be blessed each and every day.
with much love,
xo
leslie

Monday, September 15, 2014

st. peter's mission ~ cascade montana

monday... full of grace!

hope you're weekend was full of amazing grace!  ours was, as we had another awesome road trip to glacier national park.  {more on that later!}

and we had a show-off day last weekend, in the early autumn beautiful, perfect day out in the country.  i invite you to sit a spell... and take in a few moments of the simplicity and grandeur of local scenery and history... i know i did!
the might missouri, or as some call it "the mighty mo" just outside of a little teeny weeny town called ulm.

the iconic vista of "square butte" just outside of cascade, montana,
yes... this is what i wait for... a beautiful horse ~ this was one is what i refer to as a "palomino paint" {not sure of the official color description} but i love it... against a stunning backdrop of montana sky and mountains.  
and the road less travelled led us to a beautiful, historic place that's been on my ''montana hit list' for awhile.  i'd never been there!  so glad we did... 
it's difficult {for me} to imagine what struggles daily life brought to these early missionaries.  
would have loved to been able to get into the church building in the distance... perhaps another day.

and the architectural remains of a beautiful stone building.  i cannot imagine how each stone was placed, and slowly built into an amazing structure...

you may think it's a bit morbid... but i find the old graveyards fascinating ... and peaceful in many respects.  the stories that are untold {at least to me}, and the history ... the hardness of the life lived in this wilderness, carved out in the time-worn stones... {or not}.
many of the graves are unmarked now... but some attempt has been made recently to show where they were, in the white wooden crosses on this hill.



symbols of faith.  love.  and eternal life.

... therefore we do not lose heart. though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. {2 Cor 4:16 NIV}
and... "as amazing as God's work of creation is, it pales in comparison to His work of redemption."  {jean fleming, pursue the intention life, ch. 9, pg 61 ~ love this book i'm reading!}

an interesting marker... a new "x marks the spot" if you will, where the ravages of time have dissipated the previous marker.  

i've often wondered about why today, we need to have a place, a marker... a stone, to mark our spot on history.  oh, i know there are myriad good thoughts, historical, {business related too ~ ugh} and misplaced, guilt-ridden, or just because "that's what we do" kind of reasons, or even just a lovely sentimentality. i'm just sayin i consider these things.  i also can't help but think of the thousands who were buried in the prairies of this country, without markers, in order to prevent thievery, or abominations to the graves, as the settlers rolled their wagons over the grave to "bury" the existence of such a thing... does that life mean less.  nope.  absolutely not.

but the reality is that this life here and now is what begins our eternal life.  that is what really is the heart of the issue.  i'm not sure i'm a fan of graveyards, per say.  i'm not sure i even want a stone when i pass.   because the truth is... this world will all pass away...  and what really matters is the relationships we have now. the life we live now.  that's what i want my legacy to be, in the life we live each day.  "stuff" ~ homes, cars, financial gain, and... even the most sweet and beautiful old graveyards, will not withstand the day Christ comes again.  

although i do love what these old ones show us... and i sense peace from many of them when i visit, as i wander tenderly through the prairies and mountain grasses of hard, weathered earth.  

i know this life wasn't the end for many... but only a new beginning, regardless of a marker, stone, or grand fence surrounding the worldly evidence of a life upon this earth.
and... "release the obsession with building a life and believe in the life Christ in building in you."
and as i gaze into the amazing vistas of this most beautiful earth God created for us... and the hard, hard rocks... i am glad He also gave us a Savior to turn our hearts of stone, into hearts for Him alone...


you cannot help but notice that there is "nothing" out there... that is, no human evidence easily perceived.  this was hard country ... back then.  it still is.  even today here are not many new homes or ranches even, clear out here.  some tried, in the hardy, determined stance of many abandoned homesteads we saw... some who survived.  not that many.  but then others who did, not only survived, but thrived, and passed on that thriving, life-giving, living, loving legacy of faith, grace, and mercy.  
and the blessing for today:  "may you be diligent in taking time to pause and reflect on the many ways God has blessed you. may you cultivate a heart that knows how to rest in God alone.  may you take every chance you get to spend time with God, to accept His love, to trust His direction in your life. as you look to Him, may you be reminded there's a God in heaven very much involved in your minute-by-minute life.  He intends to get us safely home. but don't wait til then to find your rest in Him. embrace a joyful, faith-filled life and perspective today!" {inspired by susie larson}.  amen.

xo
leslie
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