Friday, May 17, 2013

Mountain Sunrise, Rock Wall, Wildflower

A nearby hill (center) and distant mountain range (right) are silhouetted in this mountain sunrise on Wednesday, May 15, 2013 in southwest Montana.

Be sure and check out more sky photos in Skywatch Friday

Yesterday, we posted about an area known as Palisades along the Madison river. A large wall of rock lines the edge of the river for probably a quarter or half mile. The height of the wall must be about 200 feet and contains some interesting layers. Below we have an overview photo and then an enlargement to show you the detail.

The general elevation of this area is about 5500 feet.  Mountain wildflowers are abundant, although not many have bloomed this early.  The one below is a tiny flower, but we thought interesting and colorful.

Today's "point to ponder" ...

If you have to be happy
you will always be unhappy.


Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Palisades Montana

Please be sure to click on the photo for the larger view. This is an area in southwest Montana known as The Palisades. It's bordered by a very large wall of rocks along the Madison River. The photo was taken on May 15, 2013, near the Palisades Campground. The whole area is remote and home of many kinds of wildlife. While visiting here we spotted a family of Canadian geese taking their very young goslings out for one of their first floats on the river. The geese were on the opposite side of the river so we have a series of enlargements. Focus and tiny movements keep perfection out of the captures, but still hope you will enjoy.

Mom keeping an eye on kids

Come on, kids ...

Mom calling for daddy?

Dad arrives.

All is well.
The Madison flows out of Yellowstone Park and joins up with the Jefferson and Gallatin Rivers to form the Missouri River near Three Forks, Montana.  The Missouri, of course, flows into the Mississippi which ultimately flows into the Gulf of Mexico.  (Just wanted to give you the scope!)

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Tobacco Root Mountains

The Tobacco Root Mountains
as seen from near Norris, Montana
Photo taken May 14, 2013
Click on photo for larger view.

From Wikipedia ...

The Tobacco Root Mountains lie in the northern Rocky Mountains, between the Jefferson and Madison Rivers in southwest Montana.The highest peak is Hollowtop at 10,604 feet (3,232 m). The range contains 43 peaks rising to elevations greater than 10,000 feet (3048 m).

Much of the central part of the range is within the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, although many, mostly small patented mining claims exist within the forest boundary. The range saw significant gold mining, especially during the 1880s to 1930s.

The high peaks have been extensively glaciated, and most of the larger stream valleys held valley glaciers during the ice age.


John is visiting Montana for a few days.  We are sharing some of the views along the way.  The area is southwest Montana not far from Yellowstone National Park.

You will never

"have it all together" 

That's like trying to

eat once and for all!

----- Dr. Robert Anthony

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Old Mission - Idaho

The Oldest Building in Idaho
Photo taken May 9th, 2013

From Wikipedia ....

Coeur d' Alene's Old Mission State Park is a state park and National Historic Landmark in North Idaho, USA. It is also known as the Mission of the Sacred Heart or Cataldo Mission. It contains the church itself, the parish house, and the surrounding property. Mission of the Sacred Heart is also the oldest standing building in Idaho.

Read more about the Old Mission in Wikipedia

"Time and space are fragments of the infinite for the use of finite creatures."  --- Henri Frederic Amiel

Monday, May 13, 2013

Sphinx Mountain Montana

Sphinx is the dome at right.
Madison Mountain Range, Southwest Montana
Late afternoon, mid May, 2013

Info on Sphinx Mountain is here and here.

"The quieter you become, the more you can hear."   --- Baba Ram Dass

Thank you for stopping by John's Island.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Stuart Mountains

Mount Stuart is in the center.
Photo taken May 9, 2013
on a clear, blue-sky morning.
Be sure to click photo for larger view.
The following is from Wikipedia

Mount Stuart is a mountain in the Cascade Range, in the U.S. state of Washington. It is the second highest non-volcanic peak in the state, after Bonanza Peak and tenth-highest overall. Mount Stuart is the highest peak in the Stuart Range, and it is located in the central part of the Washington Cascades, south of Stevens Pass and east of Snoqualmie Pass in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.
Mount Stuart was given its name by George B. McClellan on August 26, 1853, in honor of his oldest and best friend, "the late Capt. Jas. Stuart of the Rifles—a gallant soldier & accomplished gentleman."
Mount Stuart is more notable for its local relief than for its absolute elevation. For example, the south face rises 5,000 feet (1,500 m) in just 2 horizontal miles (3.2 km). The northeast and northwest sides of the mountain exhibit similar steep relief. Due to its location away from higher peaks, Mount Stuart has a topographic prominence of 5,354 feet (1,632 m), making it the sixth most prominent in the state. The rock of Mount Stuart is unusually rugged and unstable, due to the extensive jointing of the granite. The north slopes of the mountain shelter three glaciers, including Stuart, Ice Cliff and Sherpa Glaciers from west to east.
The photo was taken along Interstate 90 about 10 miles west of Ellensburg, Washington.  Camera is the Sony DSC RX100
Thanks, as always, for stopping by John's Island.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Mount Baker

Mount Baker as seen at dawn from Seattle.
6 spotting scope captures merged into a panorama.
The following information is from Wikipedia

Mount Baker (Lummi: Qwú’mə Kwəlshéːn; Nooksack: Kw’eq Smaenit or Kwelshán), also known as Koma Kulshan or simply Kulshan, is an active glaciated andesitic stratovolcano in the Cascade Volcanic Arc and the North Cascades of Washington State in the United States. Mount Baker has the second-most thermally active crater in the Cascade Range after Mount Saint Helens.  About 31 miles (50 km) due east of the city of Bellingham, Whatcom County, Mount Baker is the youngest volcano in the Mount Baker volcanic field. While volcanism has persisted here for some 1.5 million years, the current glaciated cone is likely no more than 140,000 years old, and possibly no older than 80-90,000 years. Older volcanic edifices have mostly eroded away due to glaciation.

After Mount Rainier, Mount Baker is the most heavily glaciated of the Cascade Range volcanoes; the volume of snow and ice on Mount Baker, 0.43 cu mi (1.79 km3) is greater than that of all the other Cascades volcanoes (except Rainier) combined. It is also one of the snowiest places in the world; in 1999, Mount Baker Ski Area, located 14 km (8.7 mi) to the northeast, set the world record for recorded snowfall in a single season—1,140 in (2,900 cm).

At 10,781 ft (3,286 m), it is the third-highest mountain in Washington State and the fifth-highest in the Cascade Range, if Little Tahoma Peak, a subpeak of Mount Rainier, is not counted.  Located in the Mount Baker Wilderness, it is visible from much of Greater Victoria, Greater Vancouver, and, to the south, from Seattle (and on clear days Tacoma) in Washington.

Indigenous natives have known the mountain for thousands of years, but the first written record of the mountain is from the Spanish. Spanish explorer Gonzalo Lopez de Haro mapped it in 1790 as the Gran Montaña del Carmelo, "Great Mount Carmel". The explorer George Vancouver renamed the mountain for 3rd Lieutenant Joseph Baker of HMS Discovery, who saw it on April 30, 1792.


Technical notes:  At sunrise, of course, all we get is an outline of the mountain.  Even so, it's not that common to have clear seeing on these very early (light-wise) mornings when the sunrise is in a more northerly direction and creates the nice outline. The scope is tripod mounted and the camera, the Sony RX100, is not directly connected to the scope, but rather mounted just beind the eyepiece. Getting a sharp focus is a chanllenge, and I'm not sure it was perfect here, but close enough.  In creating the panorama, a little more time on the blending might have produced a picture without the darkness in the top center.  According to Google Earth, the mountain summit is about 84 miles from the scope location in Seattle.  The trees in the foreground are about 2 miles distant.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Monday at Green Lake

The heron seemed to be hiding but allowed a photo.

Geese family ... the little ones are new within a week or so.

Rare to capture this much of the trail empty especially on such a beautiful
morning for a walk around Green Lake.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Collecting Yellowstone Park

One of the early Greeting Cards
Are you a collector?  If so, you will know that putting together a collection is fun.  It's a hobby and can be challenging and take up a lot of your time.  John collects old stuff from Yellowstone National Park, the "oldest and best" US National Park.  You may be saying, Why on earth would John do this?  Well, the full answer is too long to post here, but the short version is this:  John (as you know, somewhat OLDER) first visited the Park in 1989, one year after the "great fire" that destroyed large areas. To visit a place like that, and despite the devistation, to think it is one of the most fascinating and beautiful areas you've ever seen ... well, that is impressive! And so, John fell in love with the Park and started visiting it every summer (and a few winters as well).  Now, put this together with another of John's fascinations:  railroad history.  Yes, John is old enough to be INTO history!  As you start studying Yellowstone, you will find that in 1872 President Ulysses Grant signed legislation creating the world's first national park. Imagine that in those early years the only way to see what all the fuss was about (folks were calling it "wonderland") was to go on your own two feet, ride horseback, or, if you were well-to-do, take the stagecoach. Not too many folks could do that. However, starting in 1883, the Northern Pacific Railroad installed a branch line to within 3 miles of the Park's northern entrance.  Over the next fifty years, or so, the railroads (NP and a few others) became the way that millions of people discovered Yellowstone for themselves. That whole process created a lot of really cool and interesting promotional materials:  postcards, brochures, maps, luggage labels, window stickers, guide books, etc.  So, in summary, that is the kind of stuff that John likes to collect.

Now, again, if you are a collector, you will know:  yes, it is fun to collect, but you can only get so much fun out of looking at all this stuff by yourself.  So, it is a good thing to SHARE and that is THAT is why John is posting some of his YNP collection on the Island.  

The bears are a popular part of YNP!

People stuck these kind of labels on their luggage.

A luggage label featuring Old Faithful geyser.
Old Faithful is perhaps the most famous of the many geysers.

In the early years camping was a more affordable way to stay  over
during your visit to the park.  Today it is hard to find
these labels in good condition.

Window stickers for your car.
The bottom one is somewhat newer and
features the Arch which was
constructed in early 1900s.

The original Official Photographer was Frank Haynes.
This is a blotter (yes, I know ... ha ha) from the Picture Shop

An early postcard, back when the population of Wyoming (the
whole STATE) was
only about 20,000.
The old postcards (sent back when it only cost one penny to mail) are ofen fascinating.  If you can read the writing on the back of the card below, mailed in 1909, you will see that the person who sent it (from New York City) wasn't sure where the Park was located, or at least the mailing address.  It does appear from the postmark that it made it to its intended destination!

Bears taking photos of tourists.

Imagine piling into this stage to tour the Park.
Look at all the clothes they wore!

This card was published over a hundred years ago,
so probably not.
However, whoever printed it did a nice job
with the rainbow at the bottom.

John likes the idea of YNP being a spot for "An International Rendezvous".  Just in case you can't read Gertrude N. Strausbaugh's 1929 creation on the card, we've typed it out for you below.

Yellowstone Park
An International Rendezvous

The Yellowstone Park, in the heart
of the West,
Where the wild deer run, where the eagles
The haunt of the elk and grey wolf lone,
The path of the silvery Yellowstone.

The crystal streams filled with speckled
The baby bear with his hungry snout,
The dragon’s mouth with its boiling breath,
The deep, dark pools, showing life, and

The Lake – a sheen of heaven’s blue,
The Pines – a marvel of emerald hue,
The Geyser’s light mist, the giant rocks old,
The Canyon – of shimmering, shining gold.

The Yellowstone Park where the nations
In a bond of friendship pure and sweet,
Where we gather round the banquet shelves,
We make new friends, and forget ourselves.

AMERICA’S PARK –in the mountains wild,
That calls with pride to the foreign child,
            “Come out in the West where the flag is
That stands for the freedom of all the

Oh, here in this spot of gold and blue,
May the friendship begun, extend on
To eternity’s shores, where again we meet,
And bury all malice at God’s own feet.

                        Gertrude N. Strausbaugh
                        Copyright  -- 1929 --

As always, thanks for stopping by John's Island.

Mostly Mt Rainier

Back to Mt. Rainier 2024 ... At the entrance gate the Ranger provided a map of the Park and a sheet of info for Spring 2024.  I was careful ...