{this moment} buddies

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. via soulemama

Permalink 07/01/11 12:44:00 am, by Mel Email , 32 words, Categories: {this moment} ,

River study

Since it's been all about the river lately, the boys and I decided to do a little river study.

We started out by photographing the magnificent beast. We picked a spot we could remember (the corner of a bench) so we can take more photos in the future and compare them.

Anders's photo.

Finn's photo.

Since we were watching branches and trees float downstream, we decided to time them. Using a very unscientific method, we eyeballed when a branch passed a riverside tree, and then counted until the branch got to a specific bush. We recorded six times, just to be sciency. Despite the lack of rigor, we can use this data later to see if the river is slowing down or speeding up.

Our next task was to draw the Yellowstone. We talked about what we saw in front of us and what we wanted to have on our paper. Interestingly, both of them chose blue to draw the river until I asked them what color it was.


Drawing the river.

After we finished recording and coloring, we pulled out a map and looked at the headwaters of the Yellowstone River. We traced the blue line from high in Yellowstone National Park's mountains to the Paradise Valley. Since the map stopped there, we imagined it rushing through the valley to Livingston. If I had thought to bring an atlas, we could have traced it all the way to confluence with the Missouri River at the North Dakota border.

Checking out the map.

I could see doing this sort of observation and recording activity in anyone's neighborhood. You might not have a big river, but you could observe your backyard, a tree, a place in the park or anywhere nearby.

Permalink 06/30/11 12:06:39 am, by Mel Email , 291 words, Categories: Montana, Anders, Finn ,


For the last three years I have been writing at two blogs--this one and YourWildChild. The idea was to have personal stuff here (and lots of photos of the kids) for friends and family.

YourWildChild was meant to be activities and inspiration for connecting kids and nature. As you can imagine, there was a lot of crossover. I found myself debating whether a particular post went on this blog or that one. I sometimes posted about the same thing on both blogs, even though there are some readers who follow both.

As of today, I am shutting down YourWildChild. It's been fun and I have made a lot of friends through it, but I'm having a hard time keeping a regular posting schedule. And so much of our personal life is about connecting with nature.

As TravelingMel readers, you'll still see the ridiculous number of kid, wildflower, dog and river pictures. But, now you'll also see gear reviews and environmental education activities.

If you look up at the top, I've added a tab for reviews and another for activities. I imagine, however, that most of our activities will end up on the main page. Slowly, I'll be moving the 300+ YourWildChild posts over here. That should be a blast.

My three year anniversary at YourWildChild would be July 7. I'm kind of sad to see it go, but just as we are getting rid of things we don't use or want in our house, it's time to clean up my Internet stuff. It feels good to have a tidy online presence.

Permalink 06/29/11 10:48:11 am, by Mel Email , 259 words, Categories: Announcements [A] ,

Father's Day

On Father's Day, Henry and Big Henry went on a photography excursion in Yellowstone. I'm sure H will be posting photos of that soon ;)

We went to the Wilsall parade and rodeo.

But first, the boys made this.

Don't worry, I had it laminated so Henry can keep it forever. I got the idea here.

Permalink 06/28/11 12:21:01 am, by Mel Email , 55 words, Categories: Anders, Family, Finn ,

More Yellowstone River coverage

Oh yes, I am posting about the river, again. I can't tell you how many requests I get for more river posts. I could tell you, but I am not going to.

You may be thinking, "Doesn't Mel have anything to do other than watch the river rise and fall?"

Not really.

It's not just me. Over on Facebook another river watcher posted a bunch of photos of the rising Shields River and the Yellowstone.

The USGS has been watching this river for years. And NOAA even made a little chart about it using USGS observations.

The river peaked on Friday at 9.85 feet--that's moderate flood stage. It looks like they are predicting another crest on Wed.

The boys and I did a little river study of our own last week. More on that later, but this is what the river looked like two days before it peaked.

Finn takes his eyes off the water for just a moment. (6.22.11)

Anders insisted on a photo of him standing on the same corner of the bench as Finn did. (6.22.11)

Big river, little people. (6.22.11)

(Tangent: A professional photographer friend forwarded me a story about how photos with people in them are more memorable than scenic photos. As you'll see later this week (and later in this post), I am still taking lots of people-free photos, but I hope these ones with the boys in them are memorable.)

I spent the weekend in Jackson and took a few more shots of the river on the drive down. Even though I was driving south, I was moving upriver. The Yellowstone is funny that way, flowing south to north through here. Obviously, south is always downhill in this hemisphere, so I don't know how that works.

From the Highway 89 rest stop south of Emigrant. I call it "The prettiest rest stop in America." It's worth drinking a bunch of water just to have an excuse to stop here. (6.24.11)

Also from the rest stop. (6.24.11)

Yankee Jim Canyon (6.24.11)

I didn't take photos through Yellowstone (what, that old place again?), but there was a ton of water. Lakes were huge, rivers were flooding their banks, ponds stood where only meadows grew before.

In the Lamar Valley, rushing waters at the confluence between the Lamar River and Soda Butte Creek undercut a 30-foot section of the eastbound lane of the road. They had to close the road until it could be repaired. The Lamar flows into the Yellowstone adding to our rising river.

And the saga continues!

Permalink 06/27/11 09:03:44 am, by Mel Email , 428 words, Categories: News, Montana, Yellowstone, Anders, Finn ,

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