Montana Outdoors

February 18, 2008

A favorite winter place

There’s a place close by on the river that’s a favorite place.

To the east you can see the Deemer Peak area like this:

Deemer Peak

or this:

Deemer Peak

and to the west, the peaks of the Cherry Peak roadless area.

Cherry Peak area

In winter, I can only admire the peaks from below: in summer, after a few hours of hard work, I can look down from them.

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February 16, 2008

A new friend

Filed under: Animals, Montana, Outdoors, Photography, Photos, Pictures — Tags: — montucky @ 7:51 pm

Intermingled with the joys of life there are also times of sadness. In May of last year, our family entered into one of those sad times when our Labrador Retriever friend of ten years succumbed to an incurable problem with his immune system. His name was Colonel, and few have ever had more loyal, forgiving and loving companions than he was all of his life. Colonel will always be fondly remembered as a rare friend who chose to love us through all of our faults and failings, good times and bad, and as the constant companion who made home life, hikes and hunting trips ever so much more enjoyable.

Colonel

It has taken some time to get beyond the feeling of not wanting to ever go through that much heart-break again, but we finally did get past it because we realized that, in a shelter somewhere, there might be a new friend who would not otherwise even have a chance to enjoy life, and for whom any time being cared for in a good home would be immeasurably better than none at all.

Last week in a shelter operated by the Humane Society of Western Montana we encountered just such a new friend. Her age made it difficult for them to place her in a home, but it was impossible for us to resist the look in her eyes, the only way she had to ask for a chance. Her name is Molly, and she is an English Pointer who has not had a very good life for the past seven years. She has never had a friend before and is just starting to learn how wonderful it feels to have someone love her. She is quickly responding to us with love of her own and with a little time and patience she will do just fine!

Molly

February 15, 2008

So typical

Filed under: Animals, Montana, Nature, Outdoors, Photography, Photos, Pictures, White-tail deer — Tags: — montucky @ 8:06 pm

In the future, when I’m asked what a typical whitetail deer looks like, I will refer to this photo that I captured today: it is so typical.

Typical white tail pose

The brush in which she is lying and through which she is peeking is also typical of her habitat with which she is perfectly in tune. It is a species of greasewood, and without it many, if not most of the deer in this vicinity would starve to death during a hard winter that has very heavy snow. Every time I hiked through the foothills and lower mountains slopes around here this winter I observed the tracks of whitetails in deep snow visiting and browsing on the tips of this very common plant, and nearly every plant showed obvious signs of having been trimmed.

February 14, 2008

Winter moss, 3

Filed under: Montana, Nature, Outdoors, Photography, Photos, Pictures, Winter — montucky @ 11:16 pm

This is just a continuation of my previous post and that post can serve as an introduction to these beautiful little plants. In these brief glimpses into their tiny world, I’ve become quite¬† addicted to them.

Winter moss

Winter moss

Winter moss

Winter moss

Winter moss

Winter moss

Winter moss

Winter moss

February 13, 2008

Winter moss, 2

Filed under: Montana, Nature, Outdoors, Photography, Photos, Pictures, Winter — montucky @ 8:33 pm

Along an old road upon which I walk frequently are some of the remains of a low rock wall that was built there by men in the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) program in the mid 1930’s, and on the rocks live many small varieties of moss. Yesterday I spent some time photographing some of these tiny moss gardens. Nearly all of the plants in these photos are smaller than a golf ball and are overlooked by anyone who doesn’t get right down and look very, very closely, but I think overlooking them is a sad thing indeed because, in my mind at least, there is much beauty to be found in these small living things quietly living out their lives in complete obscurity.

Winter moss
Winter moss
Winter moss
Moss and lichens
Winter moss
Winter moss

(To be continued)

February 12, 2008

Winter moss, 1

Filed under: Montana, Nature, Outdoors, Photography, Photos, Pictures, Winter — montucky @ 11:27 pm

This time of year, weather changes are dramatic here. Four days ago, it was a very white world. The first thing that morning heavy snow was still coming down and this little pine (one of my favorites) in the front yard was collecting its share of it.

Snow day

By yesterday, much of the snow had melted in the lower areas of the valley bottom and where there was exposure to the south, and as a change from the white, and perhaps the first promise of spring, the mosses down by the river were especially bright as they caught a few thin rays of cloud-filtered sun.

A cascade.

Winter moss

A solar array.

Winter moss

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