Spiders on the water

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Creepy, they stand tall. Their legs stretching down. They crawl with each watery lap of lake, shadowed above the liquid tomb they are destined to rise above until they become a part of the sand their roots are buried in. With the low hanging clouds and the sun that is no longer there, they loom. Dark and foreboding. I love it.

Just as I expected too, a walk along the imbedded snags rests my mind. Wandering eases the restless need to sift through items that pull my arms heavy, next to my toes. Shutter clicks perk my eyes to tune into what is directly in front and behind. Below and above.

Stretching from my feet, the sand lined with water sucks at my shoes, squishing beneath each step I hope won’t get me wet. The glassy ripples reflect moments of clarity between rotting wood, sandbars and vegetation.

Geese honk, shifting my vision to something too far to see. Dark spots between me and the horizon fluff and flutter, taking up space in a bird shape with blurred edges. Grayish pink, blue and yellow fade even farther still, blending with the water that I know mountains edge, but can’t see.

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Reflections

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The path that leads from a gated entrance next to a barbed wire fence that’s been pulled apart just enough to duck through south of Eagle Bend, heads to the north end of Flathead Lake. Water levels have dropped in the valley, leaving Flathead Lake three feet short of full and a beach with a sheen of water that catches the sun through dark clouds on Thanksgiving day.

Trees and stumps washed ashore over the years are slowly being pulled into the thick sand. Their jagged roots reflect off small pools of water that have yet to recede. It’s a landscape that might not be considered as pristine as the rest of the valley, but shows the character of the north shore of the lake, where over the last century trees have floated down rivers and deposited themselves wherever they landed, never to be moved again.

Pre-hunt ponds

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Now that hunting season is here, all the places I usually take the dog are not really available to use. Places like the Blasdel Wildlife Management Area have trucks parked in the lots that once were empty. And gun shots can be heard in the distance. Not a place I really want to take a critter or myself.

I took these photos in mid-October, at the beginning of fall, when the leaves first began changing. The moon hung low in the morning sky and the mountains were dusted with the first snow of the season. There was a chill in the air and the tall brown grasses in the meadow made my toes numb as I walked.

Past the barn is a path that leads down to a set of ponds, with birch, aspen and willows surrounding them and tall green wetland grasses and cat tails between them.

Now the parking lot is boggy and wet with the first signs of winter snows melted into a warm spell and big truck ruts. And both the hunters and the hunted wait for the real cold of winter to come.

It’s forecasted to start this weekend.

From day to night

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One thing I’ve noticed living up here where night can descend almost as soon as you get off work is, the change from day to night is one of my favorite times to go for a walk.

Here’s a few shots I’ve taken while out and about around dusk.