Montana Outdoors

August 27, 2007

Nature’s leaf garden

Across a canyon from the blackened mountain sides of the Chippy Creek fire scene, and four thousand feet up the other side this leaf garden is going through a normal season’s change of colors. Life goes on as usual in the wild country.

Nature's leaf garden

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Chippy Creek sleeps tonight

At one hundred thousand acres, it looks like this fire will not grow larger now, but inside the perimeter some of it will probably continue to burn until the snow comes.

The southwest corner from five miles away:

Chippy Creek fire

The northeast corner from twenty+ miles away:

Chippy Creek fire

These last two large plumes of smoke are over fifteen miles apart, and the forest that was between them has all burned.

I will spend tomorrow morning on a high trail five miles to the west of the fire where the country is still wild and green. On my list for later this summer was a hike through the high country in the middle of the area that has burned. I’m sad that the hike won’t happen now, and seeing that country as it was just a month ago won’t be possible now for another hundred years.

This area was a special place for me, and was the scene of a post I wrote some time ago, Howard.

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