Advice From A Ranger

Tim Rains is a Ranger in Glacier National Park.  He is also a talented writer and photographer who posts regularly on Glacier’s Facebook page.  I love sharing his prose and the way he absorbs his personal experience of being in the wild places.  You feel the love he shares with this wondrous environment… *if you’re not connected to the Glacier National Park page do it now, I know you’ll enjoy it!

Here’s one of Tim’s posts at the end of his season in Glacier (the photos are mine)…

Advice From A Ranger (tr)

remember to always wear your hat,

take a good honest look at your shoes,

they’ll be your friend for the next sixteen miles,

then repeat after me:

Rocks Under Water, Avalanche Creekwater is life, water is life, water is life,

take a drink even when you’re not thirsty,

and then look around you,

wherever you are,

you are no different,

Indian Paintbrush

than the alpine paintbrush or the grizzly bear,

than the aspen,

Aspen in Full Color, Blue Sky

or the mountain goat,A Goat Closeup

water is life, repeat after me, water is life,

and then take another drink,

pack a snack, and then pack another,

and then if you’re like me, pack one more,

and make it something nutritious,

something delicious, something to share,

like chocolate covered espresso beans,

or huckleberries, or honey jalapeno jerky,

or whatever makes you smile, makes you go,

one more mile, one step farther,

because you’ll need it here,

this is not a place for the mild at heart,

Bear Profilethis is a place for the wild,

say your “Hey Bears!”, respect their “Hey You’s!”,

their baaaa’s, and bleats, and albeit cute, tiny mews,

share the trail, share the lake, share the road,

and then find a place, wherever you can go,

close your eyes, put your hand to the stone,

take a much needed breath and pay respect,

to those who came before,

your ancients, your elders,

be they stone or cedar, or person,Rocks, Underwater, Running EagleForest Light, Trail of the Cedars

take another breath, and then one more,

and when you’re ready,

open your eyes, open your eyes, open your eyes,

for this is a place,

to look up,

to look out,

to look down,

and when you are done,

Rabbitt, Trail of the Cedarslooking up, and out, and down,

then look in, and listen,

and remember:

I’ve said this once,

and I’ll say it again,

this is not a place for the mild at heart,

this is a place for the wild,

look in,

and listen,

you, are no different.

Take another drink of water.

Heaven's Peak, Glacier, Fall Colors

Breath, Courage, The Soul

Spiritus – “breath, courage, the soul” in Latin.  Inspiration in English.

“Personal creativity is not about intelligence or information. It’s about inspiration, from the Latin spiritus, meaning “breath, courage, the soul.” Creativity is about being fully alive, living courageously, or as the painter Joan Miro´ says, “Expressing with precision all the gold sparks the soul gives off.” When is the last time you felt fully alive? What is it that calls forth your courage and trumps your fear of sharing your soul? Knowing this is the key to discovering the creativity that is waiting to be expressed through you.”

-Jan Phillips

Feel your creativity and all it means to be You!  Your breath, your soul and your courage are uniquely your own…

Raven Child Portrait


A Biography

“Animals are not just living things; they are beings with lives. Next time you are outside, notice the first bird you see. RavenYou are beholding a unique individual with personality traits, an emotional profile and a library of knowledge built on experience. What you are witnessing is not just biology… but a biography.”

(Jonathan Balcombe)
Charles Littleleaf Native Flutes

Deer Smacking Her Lips

Trail of the Cedars

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“for it is not so much to know the self

as to know it as it is known

by galaxy and cedar cone,

as if birth had never found it

and death could never end it.”

-Archie Randolph Ammons

There is certainly a timeless quality to this cedar forest.  A boardwalk traverses the ancient woods and in peacefulness and quiet you walk.  Beauty at every turn, at every angle, no matter where you look.  In every season, sweetness. Long breaths.  Shimmering sunshine splattered, trickling water, rushing big water, rocks of every color, rabbit, deer, bear… an full ecosystem breathing life in unison and thriving.  In that abundance and balance there is solace.

In many native cultures the cedar symbolizes healing, cleansing, prosperity and protection and those qualities are deeply felt here.

Cedar Leaves, Light, Trail of the Cedars


Running Eagle

“I care not what people say of me so long as I do right. I shall never be any man’s slave.”

-Pitamakan (Running Eagle)

Running Eagle Falls3

Running Eagle was a Piegan Blackfoot woman warrior.  The waterfall on this post was named in her honor as she holds a prestigious place in Blackfoot lore.  Brave, smart, beautiful, kind, master horsewoman and bow and arrow shot, she was a leader, ahead of her time as a renaissance woman.

Given the name Brown Weasel Woman, by the time she was fifteen she was hunting buffalo with the men.  While hunting, her Blackfeet were attached by the Flathead, and when her father went down, she went back for him, defended her position, took out a few of the attackers, and got her father home.  She had become Running Eagle and a Warrior.

Not wanting to effect her warrior status she never married instead taking a widow into her home to take care of household duties.  This freed her to continue the life she had chosen.  According to the Blackfoot stories she led dozens of raids against rival tribes including the Crow and Flathead.

As her status as Warrior and leader expanded she was allowed to do a vision quest (only men did vision quests at this time).

The falls were named after her as she did her vision quest at the top of them.  Energy around the falls is quite strong and magical.

There is medicine there.

Running Eagle Falls2


September Sunday

Maple Leaves“Outside the leaves on the trees constricted slightly; they were the deep done green of the beginning of autumn. It was a Sunday in September. There would only be four. The clouds were high and the swallows would be here for another month or so before they left for the south before they returned again next summer.”

-Ali Smith

Bowman Lake, Fall

“I love September, especially when we’re in it.”

-Willie Stargell


With a rich fullness the remains of Summer are moving into Fall.

Cool nights, a sense of completion, enriched saturated days are harbingers of  the upcoming changes.

There is a calm reverence for all that has grown, come to fruition, deepened, and been absorbed in all of these radiant long Summer days.

Change is in the air, but not quite yet.  We are balanced in this ripeness for a few more days.

There is such sweetness in this overflowing, saturated abundance.