Saturday, October 8, 2016


After 1030 posts over eight fun years; I promised myself I’d quit blogging after the April 30 Day Challenge.  First; because we’d be without internet and even decent phone service for our second season in the woods working as volunteers at a summer camp. And second; because publishing stuff on my blog just takes a lot of time. 

Then I discovered a comment from my neighbor, Feral Woman, a few days ago on my last blog post--
“Leenie of the Great Mountains, I challenge you to post up some photos of the last few months, and tell us what you have done!!!”

Okay, FINE. Here is our summer in 27 photos.

We moved our borrowed 26 foot travel trailer to camp in May.  We were soon joined by the other volunteer couples who would spend the whole summer there with us.

 We hoped we had moved in after winter was over.  We were wrong.

 Weather or not, we went to work preparing the camp.  Contractors and volunteers came and went as remodeling and repairs happened everywhere.

 The scenery, such as the Grand Teton Mountains to the east, was amazing.   But we had little time to stop and gaze as we prepared for our first campers.

One project was to drop a dead tree without damaging a nearby cabin or anything else.

 When the dust cleared the tree was down exactly where the guys wanted it; between two fence posts where they had removed the fence.

 The weather was still pretty cold when our first big bunch arrived.  That didn’t dampen their spirit and energy.  They put on their sweatshirts and danced.

 Mosquitos hatched by the billions.  Finally we were provided with a fogger to knock them down.
Every week another party of around 250 girls and their leaders arrived to enjoy life in the woods without benefit of electronic gadgets.

 There were much better things to do.

 Cooking and dining al fresco---

 Making quilts and other items to be sent to refugees and disaster victims---

 Doing service projects to help at camp, such as a bucket brigade to stock the woodshed--

 Spending spiritual time around the campfire---

And being very, very silly---

DH and I worked with the other couples there to help make the camping experience memorable.

 We taught beginning archery.

 We took them through some challenging obstacles.

 And we shared the wonders of life in the forest with the heat and the dirt and the critters.

Several times we turned out all the yard lights for a few hours of star gazing. We had a nice dark sky to view the Persied Meteor Shower in August.

 We DID NOT join the hardy groups who arose at dawn to jump in our unheated pool for bragging rights.

We warned them over and over about the very real danger of bears in the woods. There were several bear scares but we never saw any in camp.

 But we knew they were there.  This is one of the tracks I discovered in the mud just up the creek from camp. (that's my walking stick with a bear bell)

 The fun continued.  Here is a group of leaders reminding the girls that running a bra up the flagpole was not okay.

 Our resident frogs and snakes were part of a catch and release program.

 At the end of the week all the campers pitched in to clean the cabins and the restrooms.

 Then they packed up their gear and some of our dirt and bugs and left.

 When the last group disappeared down the road we set to work to winterize the camp.

We put away the benches and tables and emptied the pool.

Then when the temperatures dipped to freezing and aspen leaves turned to gold we hauled out our houses and went home.

You can till check out what I'm up to with my watercolor paintings here:

Saturday, April 30, 2016


A photo a day for thirty days, plus a poem a day on most occasions to celebrate the 20th anniversary of National Poetry Month.  So ends the challenge.  And now---

Into the woods without delay
Be careful not to lose the way.
Into the woods who knows what may
Be lurking on the journey?

 Into the woods, and down the dell,
The path is straight, I know it well.
Into the woods, and who can tell
What’s waiting on the journey?
Stephen Sondheim

 Leave the beaten track occasionally and dive into the woods.  Every time you do so, you will be certain to find something that you have never seen before.
Alexander Graham Bell

Friday, April 29, 2016


A photo a day for thirty days.

Cashing in on the investment I made last fall in tulip bulbs.

The May sun--whom 
all things imitate-- 
that glues small leaves to 
the wooden trees 
shone from the sky 
through bluegauze clouds 
upon the ground. 
Under the leafy trees 
where the suburban streets 
lay crossed, 
with houses on each corner, 
tangled shadows had begun 
to join 
the roadway and the lawns. 
With excellent precision 
the tulip bed 
inside the iron fence 
upreared its gaudy 
yellow, white and red, 
rimmed round with grass, 

William Carlos Williams

Thursday, April 28, 2016


A photo a day for thirty days.

View up Seventh South just before eight a.m. when all the traffic is students and professors on their way to campus.

 This tenor walked behind me for three blocks through campus quietly singing arias, probably on his way to vocal or choir class.  It was nice.

 Runners and walkers along the path in the park enjoying the spring weather.

By Billy Collins

If ever there were a spring day so perfect,
so uplifted by a warm intermittent breeze

that it made you want to throw
open all the windows in the house

and unlatch the door to the canary’s cage
indeed, rip the little door from its jamb,

a day when the cool brick paths
and the garden bursting with peonies

seemed so etched in sunlight
that you felt like taking

a hammer to the glass paperweight
on the living room end table,

releasing the inhabitants
from their snow-covered cottage

so they could walk out,
holding hands and squinting

into this larger dome of blue and white,
well, today is just that kind of day.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


I took this photo in the back yard of a neighbor.  I’m not positive, but I think it's an old freight wagon.  Those who drove these wagons and handled the horses were called, “teamsters.”

 This is a freight wagon hitched to a team ready to haul goods from Silver City, Idaho during the mining boom of the 1880’s.

 This is a photo of my grandfather, Jack Cooper, (on the left) and his future brother-in-law, Loal Hendricks.  They drove teams of six big horses which pulled the heavy wagons over the dirt roads for miles.  One job had them bringing freight to Twin Falls, Idaho from Shoshone where trains on the Union Pacific Railroad made a stop. 

Jack, Loal, and Loal’s brother Ace, drove wagons which were loaded at the train station in Shoshone, Idaho.  They traveled the twenty-seven miles south to Twin Falls which is built on the edge of the vertical canyon of the Snake River.
 The only way to cross the river at that time was by a single-lane track that switch-backed down the side of the canyon wall.  The road then crossed the canyon floor to a ferry waiting on the river.  When the teamsters and their wagons reached the bottom of the canyon they would race to see who could get to the ferry for the first ride across.  Once across the river they drove their wagons up a narrow dug-way that was built into the lava rock walls of the canyon’s south side.  At one point the road passed under the waterfall of the Perrine Coolie that dropped over the rim. 

It took them all day to go from Shoshone to the south side of the Snake River Canyon.  They usually camped that night and drove the last few miles into Twin Falls the next day.

Story related by Jack Cooper’s son, Lindell Cooper

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


Same moose, different day.

Guess who was standing in the path along the river AGAIN. And he didn't look like he'd had his coffee yet.

I could choose to try and slip by the big critter browsing on branches.

Nope, nope, nope. 
 I took the road less traveled and found my way through the brush and brambles and left Bullwinkle to his breakfast.


I shall be telling this with a sigh 
Somewhere ages and ages hence: 
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— 
I took the one less traveled by, 
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

Monday, April 25, 2016


A photo a day for 30 days

The Saver

Today I thought I'd clean out the trunk,
And throw away some of that worn-out junk,
 The little red overalls, worn at the knee,
The raggedy sweater, used by my three,

 The faded old jacket that Kenny wore
The first time he went with his Dad to the store,

 The myriad anklets, many unmatched,
And several wee shirts, patched and unpatched,
The dress that's too small for Betty to wear,
The ribbon that never would stay in her hair, 
Paul's baby cap his old woolen bunting, 
Small worn things for which I'd been hunting,
Oh, I sorted out lots of worn-out junk,
Then I tenderly packed it all back in the trunk.

By Kathleen Wastlund

 Our first baby wearing the Mini-Tonka moccasins.

All the kids wore the Mini-Tonka moccasins.

Sunday, April 24, 2016


A photo a day for thirty days

Who will help me plant the wheat?

And who, these Harvesters,
And who, these close-shorn fields,
Desolate in short-cut stubble,
That stand, stiff in silence,
That wear the heavy tracks,
That have endured the harvest,
That yielded up their dead,
That bristle through the falling snow,
That whistle wind-song low?

Don Bouchard

Saturday, April 23, 2016


A photo a day for 30 days

The Terrible Thing About Cindy

The terrible thing about Cindy
Is she packs a powerful punch.
I learned this yesterday at school
When I tried to take her lunch.

 I had only meant to tease her,
To make her squeal and twist.

The last thing I expected
Was her calculated fist.

 She socked me in the stomach;
She’s more than slightly deft.
And sent me stumbling to my knees
As she snatched her lunch and left.

 After that I was quite sorry
I had tussled with a pro –
I wish my friends had told me

 That she practiced tae kwon do.

~ Barbara Vance