Archive for May, 2008

Fire on Little Blacktail

Monday, May 19th, 2008


This was the view off our deck on May 19th. After calling 911 we were told that this was a planned burn of Little Blacktail Mountain. We watched throughout the day as thousands of acres were burned.

fire-bt01.jpg(Click to enlarge thumbnails)

As night fell the fires continued to give us some beautiful images. These are long exposures and the light that looks like the sun is actually the moon behind some clouds.

blacktail-by-night.jpg blacktail-burning-02.jpg

Fellaship visits the local airplane factory

Sunday, May 18th, 2008

Yes, we have all the amenities up here, including Quest Aircraft. This company designs and builds “bush” planes. Think missionary flying into the bush of Africa and having to land on or take off from a very short runway. And while that’s the primary focus of these airplanes, they are now being designed for everything from private transport to sky-diving airplanes.

quest aircraft

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As the person who helps facilitate our our church men’s group (Fellaship), it’s my job to find reasons to…ahem…cultivate relationships within the men at church. Call it whatever you want, I call it fun, with purpose of course. Ever since we got into the area, it’s been somewhat hard to form relationships. Men here are very stoic and independent. At least that’s the way it seems from the perspective of someone who hasn’t lived here for the last 25 or 30 years. Fellaship was designed to break the ice a little in hopes that other groups with a more spiritual purpose will come of it. Here’s a shot of our group in front of airplane, serial number “3”.

quest aircraft

Observations of Small Town Living (OOSTL)

Sunday, May 18th, 2008

Preventing forest fires by starting huge fires. We had 5 to 7 huge piles of brush and trees, called slash piles, to get rid of. This was the left overs from clearing our land for our driveway and house. The reason you need to burn them – to prevent forest fire. The method – FIRE! Our carbon footprint got a lot larger this past week. Here’s a shot of our local expert, Dale. I asked Dale to come and help make sure I wasn’t going to burn down my neighborhood shown in the back ground. To give some perspective, to his left is a 8 foot tall slash pile soon to be burned, and to his right is a burn in action. In the middle is the wood we were able to salvage and donate to another gentleman in church who will heat his house with next winter.

slash piles

This makes marshmallow bonfires look like child’s play. Dale’s pitch fork handle started melting from the heat and it was stuck in the ground about 10 feet away from the fire you see.  I can’t imagine what a real forest fire must be like.

But here, slash piles are relatively common. You simply head down to the local fire district office and ask for a free permit to burn stuff. They give you a 1 minute lecture, a sheet of paper and send you on your merry way to burn the fires of hell in our back yard. Note however, that even with Dale’s help, a fancy permit, and all my preperation, I have a lot to learn. After these piles were long gone, with the help of other folks from church we’d built up two more piles. Knowing that I wanted to get these started as early as possible I stuffed all kinds of newspaper in strategic positions throughout the piles so that I could get up, light the paper, go make coffee, and watch fire.

To my amazement, dew had formed on all the paper the next morning and it took an extra hour just to get that cup of coffee. Arg!

Signs of Spring

Monday, May 5th, 2008

On May 5th, our 18th wedding anniversary came and went but not without a rainbow out our front window. Though technically not possible, because we’re looking down into a valley, the angles give the illusion that we’re looking down at the rainbow.


Yard work has begun as we attempt to conjure up a lawn. What outdoor activity would be complete without some effort to justify the cost of my ATV. Here’s a shot of “The Beast” with it’s new dump truck attachment as I fill in the trenches I’d created to install drain tubes to prevent erosion on the hill.

ATV with dump truck
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