Elkhorn Mountains, Montana

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After spending a week in Arizona with Mr. Blue Eyes and his kiddos, we all made our way 1,000+ miles north to the land of cooler temperatures and a more relaxed way of life.

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Blue Eyes’ parents live in Big Sky Country, the heart of western Montana, surrounded by miles of ranch land nestled among the Elkhorn Mountains. Due to some work responsibilities I was only able to stay for a long weekend, but I took many naps, finished two books, and went wandering with my camera while the rancher-neighbors cut and baled hay.

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The cool mountain air soothed my soul, the sunsets brought me peace, and spending a little time with Blue Eyes’ family and a whole pile of nieces and nephews kept me giggling and laughing all weekend. I caught toads with my nephews and watched baby birds with my nieces and wondered and marveled at the thing that is Evel Knievel Days and braided hair and played games and teased my brother-in-laws and chatted with my sister-in-laws. It was a delightful weekend in every way.

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I had hoped to be able to take a few day-trips around the area and do a little photographic exploring, but there just wasn’t time this trip.

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Hopefully next summer I can do some more exploring of the small towns and beautiful places of western Montana.

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Previous posts: Elkhorn Mountains // Comet Mine

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Elkhorn Mountains, Montana

Every summer Blue Eyes and I pack up and spend a week with his parents and family in a cabin deep in the Elkhorn Mountains in southwest Montana. I have very little cell service there, no internet, and miles and miles of open spaces. I usually have hours to spend searching out micro and macro vistas, fiddling with my camera settings trying to capture in pixels something that has no business being captured in pixels. Even in July the mountains have patches of snow on their peaks and the morning and evening temperatures leave you reaching for a jacket. The small towns and sprawling ranches that surround the mountains gave me and my camera plenty of raw material.

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The view from my in-laws house. It really is just stunning!

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Minty green lichen.

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Purple mountain lupine.

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There were fields and fields of this in bloom in early July! Entire hillsides were covered in clumps of purple blooms.

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No idea…

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An old abandoned Ford tractor.

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Montana Elkhorn St John Catholic Church_feistyharriet_July 2014

St. John’s Catholic church, out in the middle of practically nowhere, no town close by, very few ranches, just this tiny white church and graveyard.

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I love the old green paint on this bus! I stood gawking and snapping pics until the neighbors started asking questions. (In my bright red mini and giant camera I certainly don’t look like a local in this small rural town.)

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Montana Elkhorn Canola 5_feistyharriet_July 2014

Fields of rapeseed/canola. Rapeseed is the official name of this bright yellow flower, but the Canadians have renamed it “canola” for it’s uses in vegetable oil and plastic production. Canada + ola (meaning “oil”) = canola. Brilliant.

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This might be one of my favorites from my whole trip.

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Such a beautiful stripe of bright color in the middle of miles of greenish-brown fields, mostly alfalfa and hay about ready to be cut and baled for winter.

Next summer I want to take myself and my camera on a few short day-trips to explore more of the surrounding area. On our last trip Blue Eyes and I crawled all over the abandoned Comet Mine and I would love to find something else like that to explore!

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