Montana Outdoors

December 12, 2017

Islands in a sea of clouds ~ Another visit to Corona Divide

Filed under: Cabinet Mountains, Winter — Tags: , , , — montucky @ 11:36 pm

Today a friend and I visited the Corona Divide one last time before the weather conditions that create these scenes subsides and found that today there were islands in the sea of clouds.

Corona Divide

"Corona

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Wolf track in the snow

Ice crystals formed in the track of a wolf.

Corona Divide

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December 10, 2017

A visit to Corona Divide

Filed under: Cabinet Mountains, Winter — Tags: , , — montucky @ 11:38 pm

High pressure has been in place over western Montana for what has seemed like an eternity, trapping low stratus clouds and freezing fog over the Clark Fork River. Viewed from the valley, the clouds dim the light and obscure the mountain tops (and sometimes the mountains themselves) that surround it. Sometimes however, that can bring an opportunity for seeing some very pretty scenery if you can get above the clouds. On a hunch today I took a forest road for fifteen miles to the Corona Divide about three thousand feet above the valley and it turned out to be just above the low dense clouds. The following are some of the ninety photos I brought back from the Divide today.

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

November 16, 2017

Clark’s Nutcracker

Filed under: Birds, Trees — Tags: , , — montucky @ 4:30 pm

These birds are large, about the size of Blue Jays, and inhabit the higher mountain areas of the west. They pull out seeds from the cones of pine trees, especially White Pines, stash them in a pouch under their tongue and then bury them in a cache for the winter. Each bird will bury tens of thousands of seeds during the summer and will remember the locations of most of them: the ones they can’t find plant more trees. It is said that some birds will plant trees but the Clark’s Nutcracker will plant forests.

I had always read that the seeds of the White Pine were a large part of a Grizzly Bear’s diet, but I could never figure out how such a huge bear was able to get the seeds from the cones. I later read that they will sniff out the large caches of seeds buried by the Nutcrackers and feed on those.

Clark's Nutcracker

Clark’s Nutcracker ~ Nucifraga columbiana

Clark's Nutcracker

Clark's Nutcracker

November 12, 2017

From a winter past

Filed under: Baldy Mountain roadless area, Winter — Tags: , — montucky @ 11:30 pm

Today the trail to Baldy Mountain called to me but heavy snow has already closed the road to the trail head. So because I couldn’t take photos today, here from the archives, are a few photos taken in September of 2008 on a cold day at the top of the mountain. Most of the trees are stunted and twisted from the blistering hot summer sun, the bitterly cold winters and the incessant winds across the top. The trees had been decorated during a storm during the night before my visit.

Winter frost on trees

Baldy Mtn trees

Baldy Mtn trees

Baldy Mtn trees

Baldy Mtn trees

Baldy Mtn trees

Baldy Mtn trees

Baldy Mtn trees

Baldy Mtn trees

Baldy Mtn trees

November 6, 2017

Early touch of winter

Filed under: Montana — Tags: , — montucky @ 4:40 pm

After about a week, the snow has finally stopped and a couple cold nights are coming up (temps in the low teens (F) so today I went on a short hike on a favorite forest road. The snow was deep enough to make hiking a little unpleasant, but the trees are nicely decorated.

Spring Creek road

Spring Creek area

Spring Creek area

Spring Creek area

November 2, 2017

November Marigold

Filed under: Autumn, Flowers — Tags: — montucky @ 11:38 am

November Marigold

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