Montana Outdoors

December 26, 2012

Long time ’til spring

Filed under: Animal tracks, Cabinet Mountains, Spring Creek, Winter — montucky @ 11:41 pm

Spring Creek trail Spring Creek trail

Spring Creek road Spring Creek road

Spring Creek trail Cougar tracks

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43 Comments »

  1. A cougar in the snow is a lovely image. I can almost feel the air….

    Comment by Teresa Evangeline — December 26, 2012 @ 11:52 pm

    • I love to see their tracks. These were made by a young pair who were just passing through this canyon, heading to the next canyon over, then up to some south-facing slopes to hunt mule deer. I missed them by a couple of hours this time; sooner or later I will get lucky.

      Comment by montucky — December 27, 2012 @ 12:09 am

  2. Here, kitty, kitty. Watch out for mama cat.

    Comment by wordsfromanneli — December 27, 2012 @ 1:21 am

    • Yes, there are some big mama cats around!

      Comment by montucky — December 27, 2012 @ 9:38 pm

      • They like to jump on people’s backs. Maybe you should get one of those face masks to wear on the back of your head so any cat that might be following you would think you were watching it. I love cats, but I don’t think I’d want to meet one close up in the woods.

        Comment by wordsfromanneli — December 27, 2012 @ 10:08 pm

        • I make a point of being aware of everything around me. One of the advantages of being old is that you don’t move very fast, giving plenty of time to observe and enjoy everything in all directions. I perceive it to be much more dangerous in a city where the danger is more frequent and the signs of its presence are much harder to read than in the wild country.

          Comment by montucky — December 27, 2012 @ 11:24 pm

          • I agree! And people are walking around with those things plugged into their ears to shut out the world, making them the perfect victims.

            One of the beautiful things about being out in nature is taking in so many small experiences. People who blab the whole time never see or hear these things.

            Comment by wordsfromanneli — December 28, 2012 @ 12:28 pm

  3. I enjoy seeing the different scenery you have. Brings a bit of winter into our tropical home.

    Comment by Debby — December 27, 2012 @ 7:42 am

  4. This morning here looks just like there. We had a few inches fall last night. I was going to guess bobcat-we don’t have cougars here.

    Comment by New Hampshire Gardener — December 27, 2012 @ 8:51 am

    • You are probably getting more snow than we are at the moment. There is a lot of snow “banding” going on here. Just a few miles away there are about 8 inches on the ground.

      We have bobcats and cougars both. The big cats have become much more numerous than they used to be. I see tracks every winter.

      Comment by montucky — December 27, 2012 @ 9:41 pm

  5. Looks a tad chilly:-). Hope you get to see the pair of lions (from a distance of course!). We saw a pair of bobcats right outside the oro valley, library window! Happy trails.

    Comment by twoscamps — December 27, 2012 @ 9:46 am

    • I hope to see them too. Sightings are pretty rare though, but I see tracks in many different areas. Haven’t seen a bobcat for several years. Used to see them regularly in the high desert when javelina hunting.

      Comment by montucky — December 27, 2012 @ 9:43 pm

  6. Thank you again for the beautiful images. It’s finally snowing here. We’ve got about four of the promised 12-18 inches so far. I must say I was pretty surprised and pleased to see the puma prints. I recognized them right away, even though I have never seen them in real life.

    Those trails look so inviting!

    Comment by jomegat — December 27, 2012 @ 9:57 am

    • Glad you’re finally getting some snow. Lion tracks are unmistakable, they are so large and with no nails showing there’s no doubt. There were two cats together and they were both about the same size, not really big.

      Comment by montucky — December 27, 2012 @ 9:47 pm

  7. So inviting, Terry…looks very much like home…and I have encountered those tracks here, too…some appeared to be moderately fresh, probably within hours, but have never seen one of the animals while out on the trail, either….

    Comment by seekraz — December 27, 2012 @ 10:12 am

    • They sure can stay out of sight when they want to! A few years ago I came within seconds of meeting a big cat face-to-face. I topped a ridge and saw his tracks where he came to a sliding stop and sprang off to the side and loped down into a thick canyon.

      Comment by montucky — December 27, 2012 @ 9:49 pm

  8. All of the photos are beautiful. I was exploring a nearby nature preserve a week or so ago and found lots of prints down by the water – raccoon and deer of course, but also cougar. I’ve since found out that one reason the little preserve is open only from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. is that they don’t want folks running into or disturbing the significant number of “critters” that are there. I really do like that photo of the snow-capped sign.

    Comment by shoreacres — December 27, 2012 @ 3:33 pm

    • I visit the Spring Creek area often. It is only a few miles from home and the area hold a lot of game; black bears, cougar, bobcat, whitetail and mule deer, moose, elk, coyotes and Big horn sheep. Always worth a stroll when time permits!

      Comment by montucky — December 27, 2012 @ 9:53 pm

  9. A winter wonderland for sure. Beautiful.

    Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — December 27, 2012 @ 5:46 pm

    • It just plain feels good to walk among those big trees and read the stories written in the snow.

      Comment by montucky — December 27, 2012 @ 9:54 pm

  10. How lovely… And such pristine tracks!

    Comment by FeyGirl — December 27, 2012 @ 11:37 pm

    • Yes, it’s fairly rare to see such clear tracks in snow. That was wet snow and the tracks were fresh.

      Comment by montucky — December 27, 2012 @ 11:51 pm

  11. Great post again Terry. I loved to see that wood where You went. Cougar tracks – great.

    Comment by Sartenada — December 28, 2012 @ 12:33 am

    • I return to that place many times. It is very comfortable there.

      Comment by montucky — December 28, 2012 @ 8:54 pm

  12. Ok, what made those tracks? Looks like a dog to me, but… =0

    Comment by Tricia — December 28, 2012 @ 8:42 am

    • The tracks are those of a cougar. That is part of the range of at least one; I see cougar tracks there every winter.

      Comment by montucky — December 28, 2012 @ 8:55 pm

  13. Yup, it sure looks like you’re in the thick of it. It’s beautiful but I’m freezing cold right here now and it’s 50!

    Comment by Candace — December 28, 2012 @ 10:14 pm

    • Yup, it’s getting along toward winter. I remember those winter temperatures in Phoenix! Well, it will be 50 here again too… next May.

      Comment by montucky — December 28, 2012 @ 11:04 pm

  14. oh boy! it’s like a winter postcard. hope you had a merry christmas and blessings in the new year

    Comment by skouba — December 29, 2012 @ 9:32 pm

    • Yes, it’s finally winter here. I hope your Christmas was wonderful too and that you have a great 2013!

      Comment by montucky — December 30, 2012 @ 11:06 pm

  15. Stunning photos, especially looking down the snowy track – I can imagine the deep silence of the forest.

    Comment by Jo Woolf — December 30, 2012 @ 1:54 am

    • The silence is one of the things that I deeply appreciate about the back country. It is a good place for those who are comfortable with themselves.

      Comment by montucky — December 30, 2012 @ 11:10 pm

  16. [...] I have shared with you my fellow walkers and explorers in Montana (Montana Outdoors), Florida (Serenity Spell) and the San Francisco Bay Area (Nature Mom) – all most worthy of a [...]

    Pingback by Blogs That I Follow « Walking in Sonoma County…mostly — December 30, 2012 @ 7:00 pm

  17. Makes my treks in the local Metro Parks look a bit tame by comparison…the only feline tracks here are house cats, I think it’s been a while since a Bobcat was sighted in my area!

    Comment by Watching Seasons — December 31, 2012 @ 5:20 pm

    • I like having snow because it tells who has been visiting. I haven’t seen a lot of bobcats here either, although I did see a set of their tracks yesterday.

      Comment by montucky — December 31, 2012 @ 8:32 pm


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