Local Hikes and Beyond

Updated: Mar 31, 2021

Spring will look very different to me this year. Never before will the change of season be so drastic as what I feel I am about to witness. At least not when I will be paying so close attention to every small detail. It is those details that I am planning to embark on my first photo project since moving here. It is those details, the little things that over the last year of quarantine, no hugs, and no visible smiles that I miss the most.

The terrain here in Billings is not what some might realize. It is not Glacier National Park. It is not the Great Plains. It is a tiny bit of both yet uniquely it's own. As a new transplant to the area I am under no illusion I see things differently. My previous environment was much different. Billings sits south of a rimrock formation and north of the Yellowstone River. To the west begins the elevation climb and to the east the elevation drop. The city itself is mostly flat but from within the view of the Beartooth Mountains and five others make it feel like you are up among them.

Arriving as the last leaves fell from the trees under the cover of the first snow I am beginning to see small glimpses of rebirth as spring arrives. Tiny little buds on the ends of tree branches, bushes beginning to gain color on their extremities, and ground once covered by leaves or snow emerge with full detail. Walking around Norm Schoenthal Island south of the city will soon shift from sparse to lush. The Yellowstone River will flow with more volume and birds returning home will dot the watery horizon. Small numbers have already returned and perhaps they never really left, choosing to just be lazy and hang out through the mild winter.

The plan for spring is to venture locally as well as take some overnight trips around the state to explore, take photos, and write about the world around me. Spring will also bring large animals moving about so proceeding with caution and local advice is a must. Being able to photograph the wildlife is an exciting prospect but I plan to do so with equipment capable of keeping me at a safe distance. Witnessing the blooming of spring is sure to be quite dramatic and I cannot wait to marvel and see what all the blank canvasses look like once they are painted.

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