Overcoming Bloglessness


Peeking Raven

Weekly Photo Challenge: Eye Spy


I spy this guy.


Raven, checking for treats.



After caching his muffin somewhere in the trees, Raven returned, looking for more. I showed him my empty hands. All gone! He fluffed up his feathers and bowed his head, as birds do to invite preening. I moved my hand toward him and dared to touch the only part I could reach; his beak. I petted with one finger and he nudged his head closer before he took off!

I touched his beak!  I touched a wild raven’s powerful beak and he didn’t take my fool finger off!

I’ve been visiting this pair for several years and had never touched one until today.

I’m still all giddy inside.


Source: Eye Spy




Weekly Photo Challenge- Transition


Transition on Karin’s shelf.


For this week’s challenge, share an image that depicts transition. Let life itself be your muse.
Source: Transition

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Shot from the car as I was transitioning by at 60 mph.  I kind of like how it came out after I bumped up the color.



Daily Prompt: Climate Control

Inversions bring a monotonous, murky grey to the valley.  The dreary sky hangs low and thick overhead, holding down the arctic air.  It looks like  morning all day long.  No beam of sunlight has broken through for days.  At night, no stars, no moon.

Inversions bring a monotonous, murky grey to my head.  My dreary thoughts hang low and thick overhead, holding me down.  I feel like morning all day long.  No beam of sunlight has broken through for days.  At night, no stars, no moon.

I up my meds, take naps and start drinking early.


Long stretches of grey days just make me feel like cocooning.  I might wear my cozy “house pants” all day and fluffy slipper socks.  I might not wash my hair or make my bed.  (Why make the bed if I’m not going to open the curtains and why open the curtains if it’s just grey out?)  I know I should go for a walk, but I only venture as far as the mailbox and the henhouse where the biddies are snuggled under the orange glow of a heat lamp.

A little snow brightened the landscape today and the low clouds lifted, finally revealing the mountain tops.  You can see that it was warmer at higher elevations. The inversion is breaking up.  Tomorrow’s temps may be above freezing!


No sunbeams yet, no moon nor stars out. That’s why we need them inside this time of year.













Still Mad?

I saw the back of his shiny head for the first time in two years. It was at the elementary school, in the music room where third graders were performing. He was seated with his wife in the front row, so my husband and I took seats in the back, near the exit, planning slip out quickly when it was over.

The children, dressed up like pioneers, trappers, cowboys and Indians, played zithers and sang Polly-wolly-doodle all the day! I waved to the pioneer girl with her hair in a bun.

I wondered if he was uncomfortable up there, knowing we were present. Did he feel a hot stare burning a hole in the back of his head? Could he not wait for it to be over?

Or was he thinking, This would be a good time to make amends? Maybe he’d approach and greet us, just for show.  Maybe a courtesy nod?

What if I approached, hugged his wife and acknowledged him?

No. I could not, would not. The back of his head was tolerable, but not the front.

The children sang the official state song.

Montana, Montana, Glory of the West
Of all the states from coast to coast, You’re easily the best
Montana, Montana, Where skies are always blue
Montana, Montana I love you!

When the performance was over we bolted, as planned.  No stopping to admire the little chairs or the artwork in the hall;  we were out the front door, first in the parking lot.  When we got to the minivan I looked back and saw one guy at the far end, head down, hurrying to his car.

He’d slipped out the side door.

His wife and the pioneer girl stood there with no one.

At least she knew I’d been there.


Daily Prompt: I Can’t Stay Mad at You

Do you hold grudges or do you believe in forgive and forget?


Hunting Talk

If you’re likely to be angry or traumatized at the thought of eating meat or deer hunting or guns or the sight of a dead buck or at the sight of me, please avert your eyes now.


You can’t talk about hunting at all with city folks. They think you’re a bloodthirsty, gun-lovin’ redneck. It’s different here, in Montana. My hairstylist shot a bull moose last fall. My doctor hunts archery season. My neighbors hunt. It’s not shocking.

Last Thursday I shot a four point whitetail over by Cripple Horse. It’s the biggest buck I’ve bagged in ages.  Mr. Raven spotted it uphill as we rounded a switchback.

“Deer!” he said. Then, with a tad more urgency, “That’s a shooter buck! Get your gun.”

My 30-30 was right by my side. I stepped out of the rig as soon as it stopped and jacked a shell in.

“Where is it?” I hadn’t yet seen the deer, but I followed the pointy finger of fate up the slope and spied it standing maybe 80 yards up. Steadied on the hood of the truck, I found the buck in my scope; crosshairs right there. Squeeze …

The buck crumbled and slid about ten feet downhill to a tree, perfectly dead.

“Good shooting!” Mr. Raven took his fingers out of his ears. “Perfect shot!”  I didn’t whoop and holler. The kill is the worst part of harvesting meat. I was glad it was done and relieved that I’d hit it good. No tracking it down.

Now the work begins. We picked our angle up the treacherous slope, staying clear of ice and scree and the eroded drop off, stopping often to catch our breath. We (mostly he)gutted the buck on the hill, keeping an eye out for bear. Ravens were already onto us, circling above the treetops.  They’d be on the gut sack as soon as we left.

Together we dragged the hollowed out buck by the antlers, a few steps at a time, down slope to the rig.

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It was all we could do to wrestle that whitetail up, into the truck bed. I’m not sure how much it weighed, but it felt like 200 pounds when I was pulling. Two vehicles passed by, stopping to congratulate and wisecrack, but no one asked if we needed a hand. That’s okay. You shoot ’em, you scoot ’em; I guess that’s a rule. We did it ourselves.

Mr. Raven skinned it that evening on the tailgate in the garage, then let it cool outside overnight. The next day he boned it out.  Then a full day of cut and bag.

We each got a deer this year so the freezer is full of venison steaks, back-strap, stew meat and meat to grind up with Grandma’s old grinder. I made meatballs from scrap meat and froze them for the crow.  I gave the heart and liver to the raptors in rehab.  Big bones go to a wolf-dog-friend.  Swap the hide for leather gloves.  Antlers go up in the garage this year.

We haven’t purchased beef since the Mad Cow days. We harvest our red meat fresh from the forest and process it the old fashioned way.  It’s lean and clean, no added hormones or antibiotics.

The season is over, the rifle is locked up and I shan’t see it again until next fall.  I fired it once this year and once last year.  Box of ammo lasts a long time that way.



Daily Prompt: Non-Regional Diction
Write about whatever you’d like, but write using regional slang, your dialect, or in your accent.


Big Brother Buck

Mr. Raven and I were flabbergasted to see such a fine buck just standing there.  The big ones usually high-tail it, but this guy let us have a good look.   I got out the camera.  It was dusk; too dark really, but I got a couple of not too fuzzy shots.


The buck stood perfectly still; no twitch of tail, no stomp of hoof.   We waited to see him to take a step, but he didn’t.    We were getting suspicious when finally, he moved.


He turned his head toward us and after a good long stare he turned his head to the right, cocked as though he were looking up at a birdie in a tree.  Then back toward us.  Then left to position one.  Then toward us again.  Then, birdie position.  His movements were jerky and obviously mechanical.    Orange spray paint on trees indicated a no hunting area.  This was a set-up.  A sting operation.

After all these years scouting the woods and back roads we’d finally spotted the rare and elusive Po-Po Robo-buck!   “They can probably hear us,”  Mr. Raven said.

We were laughing at being (momentarily) duped, guffawing at the buck’s spastic, repetitive movements when the game warden materialized at the driver’s window.  Where had he been hiding? 

He asked for our identification, asked where we’d been and where we live, which prickled my hide a little bit, since there is no law against taking a picture, but I let it slide. The warden just wanted us to move on so he could bust somebody dumb enough or drunk enough to shoot that robot.

We were compliant and polite, except for the laughing.   I almost felt bad about the laughing.  I know Fish and Game can’t afford modern Japanese robotics.

The warden asked me not to post the pictures and location on Facebook, so I won’t. Not until after hunting season.