Montana Outdoors

January 13, 2013

Asleep beneath the snow

When I left home this morning the temperature was a balmy 15º and ten degrees lower than that in Weeksville canyon. Half a mile up the road to the trail head, as I walked past an area that I know well for its wildflowers which are sleeping now beneath the warm blanket of snow it occurred to me to match a few scenes with the flower species that are found in each.

Road to Spring Creek trail head

Scarlet Gilia, Skyrocket

Scarlet Gilia, Skyrocket ~ Ipomopsis aggregate

Road to Spring Creek trail head

Sulphur Penstemons

Sulphur Penstemons ~ Penstemon attenuatus

Road to Spring Creek trail head

Lance-leaved Stonecrop

Lance-leaved Stonecrop ~ Sedum Lanceolatum

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55 Comments »

  1. What a great idea! There’s hope for spring yet, if we keep these flowers in mind.

    Comment by wordsfromanneli — January 13, 2013 @ 8:04 pm

    • What a world we live in, huh?

      Comment by montucky — January 13, 2013 @ 8:08 pm

      • A very cold one right now. Starting to feel how long it has been cold and gray here. At least you get a lot of blue skies in that cold winter.

        Comment by wordsfromanneli — January 13, 2013 @ 8:24 pm

        • We have been fortunate so far to have a few clear days, or parts of days. It sure makes a difference!

          Comment by montucky — January 13, 2013 @ 9:00 pm

  2. And aren’t they all grateful they have all that snow to water them in spring

    Comment by Carol — January 13, 2013 @ 8:07 pm

    • Exactly, Carol. Snow is one of the many miracles that make our planet live.

      Comment by montucky — January 13, 2013 @ 8:10 pm

  3. That was a great way of doing it, Montucky! :) I sometimes think about the nature sleeping behind the snow, and now you really made me remember. Different flowers, but also lovely.

    Comment by bentehaarstad — January 13, 2013 @ 8:10 pm

    • Thanks Bente! I think about it too. The way our planet works is always amazing to me.

      Comment by montucky — January 13, 2013 @ 9:02 pm

  4. Great to know an area and do this kind of match. I’m waiting for that one unidentifiable one you found late in the season – and see if we can get it this year.

    Comment by badwalker — January 13, 2013 @ 8:43 pm

    • Yes it’s a big advantage to get to know specific areas intimately. You start to understand what all goes on and how it all fits. Then I get terrified when I see the changes made in the name of progress by folks who know so little what the effects of all those changes are.

      Comment by montucky — January 13, 2013 @ 9:05 pm

  5. What a great idea! Hope for the flowers…..

    Comment by twoscamps — January 13, 2013 @ 8:44 pm

    • The flowers that I chose all bloom in June, so it will be awhile. Others though will start in April and May.

      Comment by montucky — January 13, 2013 @ 9:07 pm

  6. The nice thing about this presentation is that it reminds us that when we start to mourn the loss of the snow, there is another beauty to follow.

    Comment by jomegat — January 13, 2013 @ 9:01 pm

    • That’s the nice thing about having distinct seasons, Isn’t it! You start to tire of one about the time you start looking forward to the next.

      Comment by montucky — January 13, 2013 @ 9:08 pm

  7. Amazing contrast, but you’re giving me spring fever and I’m not totally into the winter mode yet! Hang on. Spring will come!

    Comment by WildBill — January 13, 2013 @ 9:24 pm

    • I’m really just getting into winter mode now too. We still have at least a month and a half of real winter left and I intend to make the most of it! I’m really looking forward to a snowshoe trip in Glacier when the snow build up a bit more and if I can pick a time with clear weather.

      Comment by montucky — January 13, 2013 @ 11:11 pm

  8. It’s nice to think of them safely tucked away and sleeping, doing what they’re supposed to be doing.

    Comment by Candace — January 13, 2013 @ 11:51 pm

    • It is rather comforting. Now, if the rest of us…

      Comment by montucky — January 14, 2013 @ 12:01 am

  9. It’s hard to believe, seeing the snow-covered landscape and those beautiful flowers. Makes you realise that nature is absolutely amazing!

    Comment by Jo Woolf — January 14, 2013 @ 4:02 am

    • Amazing it sure is! I’m also amazed at how the small birds are able to cope with harsh winter conditions.

      Comment by montucky — January 15, 2013 @ 10:30 am

  10. There is great beauty worth seeing in all seasons and I too like visiting certain places in all 4 of them. The changes are sometimes pretty amazing.

    Comment by New Hampshire Gardener — January 14, 2013 @ 5:20 am

    • I also love the four seasons. There are such different things in each.

      Comment by montucky — January 15, 2013 @ 10:31 am

  11. Yes, an absolutely beautiful idea. The sulphur penstemons are now my screensaver, a reminder that life works in perfect harmony left to its own perfect unfoldment.

    Comment by Teresa Evangeline — January 14, 2013 @ 6:06 am

    • I’m glad that you are using the penstemons. They are such beautiful little flowers! I know that in June I will get to see all of those flowers again in those places. I find that comforting.

      Comment by montucky — January 15, 2013 @ 10:32 am

  12. Thank you! What a treat…

    Comment by Roberta — January 14, 2013 @ 12:21 pm

  13. Wonderful idea! That’s what is so neat about the changes of seasons and why I appreciate them so much.

    Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — January 14, 2013 @ 1:57 pm

    • I feel the same way. I missed a lot of that when I lived in Arizona, but we often drove up to the northern part of the state and were able to get in on the season changes.

      Comment by montucky — January 15, 2013 @ 10:34 am

  14. Tremendous snow scenes! Does look cold though. :-)

    Comment by Phil Lanoue — January 14, 2013 @ 6:46 pm

    • Yes, it was cold, even after the sun came out, but that’s part of a Montana winter. I like the attitude of many of the folks who live here: when the weather gets really cold and nasty, they go outside and play in it.

      Comment by montucky — January 15, 2013 @ 10:37 am

      • That does sound like a great attitude.
        Here along the South Carolina coast we tend to get cold when the temps drop down to the 40s.
        No problem currently however, it’s going to be 75 here today and I’ll be out on the motorcycle wearing a T shirt.
        We have had the occasional snow dusting though, everyone goes nuts for a few hours. :-)

        Comment by Phil Lanoue — January 15, 2013 @ 11:28 am

        • We don’t even keep the house as high as 75! I spent three years a few hundred miles north of you at Cherry Point North Carolina and for the most part, enjoyed the winters. I remember a few very cold times though. That bike ride sure sounds appealing right now!

          Comment by montucky — January 15, 2013 @ 5:53 pm

  15. There’s a reason we talk about a “blanket” of snow! And this is another example of how easy it can be to misunderstand nature – when I see birds in winter, I get cold thinking about them “out there” in such tough conditions, but they’re suited for it. Likewise, the flowers. They’re perfectly willing and able to wait patiently for their own new season. It’s wonderful.

    Comment by shoreacres — January 15, 2013 @ 7:23 am

    • I’ve seen these things for many years, and still have the feeling of amazement. The grouse here even use the deep snow to their advantage when the temperature drops to well below zero. They burrow down under the snow where the temperature is just a few degrees below freezing and they can stay warm there during the cold nights. The invented the “snow cave” for survival long before we did!

      Comment by montucky — January 15, 2013 @ 10:40 am

  16. Love the contrast in the pics Terry…I am counting down the days till the wildflower season starts here.

    Comment by Bernie Kasper — January 15, 2013 @ 11:05 am

    • There is a place about a dozen miles from here that nearly always has the first wildflowers of the year, some buttercups that start to bud at the end of January. All other flowers wait until April.

      Comment by montucky — January 15, 2013 @ 5:41 pm

  17. We have your Skyrockets and Penstemons down here, too, Terry…and your 15 degrees! Wonderful winter images…so pretty.

    Comment by seekraz — January 15, 2013 @ 11:34 am

    • I thought you must have those wildflowers there too after seeing your photos of the mountains.

      Comment by montucky — January 15, 2013 @ 5:42 pm

      • Yessir…you might remember my posts earlier in the year where I shared photos of 22 or 23 different wildflowers that I spotted on one hike…. I was amazed to find so many when I intentionally looked for them.

        Comment by seekraz — January 16, 2013 @ 9:52 pm

  18. Hi Montucky, If it makes you feel better, it was only 35 here so far today. Icy rain all day long with lots of ice in the trees in town. Not anything bad here at the house though. I love your cheerful flower pictures. Have a great day and stay warm.

    Comment by wildlifewatcher — January 15, 2013 @ 2:21 pm

    • That’s quite a cold snap for you, isn’t it! It has been cold even in California the past few days. We had a little sun today and the temperature reached 33. It will be in the single digits tonight though as a result of the clear sky.

      Comment by montucky — January 15, 2013 @ 5:44 pm

  19. Love the snow on the pines…I hope the flowers plants are warm and cozy bedded down under the snow. looking forward to seeing your photos of them again come spring and summer.

    Comment by kateri — January 15, 2013 @ 9:02 pm

    • I’ve watched the flowers in these areas over the years. They will be up and blooming again come June.

      Comment by montucky — January 15, 2013 @ 10:39 pm

  20. So amazing… 15?!? And yet, just below the surface, all that brightness!

    Comment by FeyGirl — January 15, 2013 @ 9:31 pm

  21. Love this!

    And you won;t be lamenting the warmer climes in Arizona, Montucky! I’m at 3,000 in elevation, and i woke up to 13 degrees yesterday morning and frozen pipes. Ouch!

    Comment by Bo Mackison — January 16, 2013 @ 9:54 am

    • Wow, that’s very cold for there, Bo! I’ve seen it that cold before at around 6000 feet on Mount Lemon, but not lower around Tucson. It makes me concerned about all of the citrus groves!

      Comment by montucky — January 16, 2013 @ 9:38 pm

  22. Another beautiful post, I so love your landscapes photos !

    Comment by Inspired and pretty — January 17, 2013 @ 10:17 am

    • Thank you Jocelyn! It always makes my happy to know that someone likes to see some of the scenes that I love so miuch!

      Comment by montucky — January 17, 2013 @ 9:41 pm

  23. Great post with beautiful photos – so is also Your text. I enjoyed again seeing road photos from Your trip. They feed my imagination!

    Comment by Sartenada — January 18, 2013 @ 4:08 am

    • Thanks Matti! I’m glad you enjoyed the photos!

      Comment by montucky — January 18, 2013 @ 8:17 pm

  24. Your wild flower photographs are always magnificent and this is a great way to present them. Lovely post Terry, I really enjoyed the comparison between winter and warmer seasons.

    Comment by Finn Holding — January 20, 2013 @ 2:17 am

    • Thanks Finn! I thought it might be an interesting contrast. Many times in winter I think about a scene the way it was in another season.

      Comment by montucky — January 20, 2013 @ 10:22 pm


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