Montana Outdoors

March 27, 2008

A contrast in Spring

Filed under: Montana, Nature, Outdoors, Photography, Photos, Pictures, Spring — montucky @ 5:41 pm

Here in western Montana, the plant life is quite sensitive to altitude differences, especially during a change of seasons. It was very noticeable this week in a couple of the places I visited.

At the altitude of the Clark Fork river (2,500 feet at this location), wildflowers are starting to bloom, the few poplars that grow here are starting to bud out

Poplar buds

and their leaves are nearly ready to emerge.

Poplar buds

The mosses growing on a huge boulder next to the water are bright colored and luxuriant.

Spring moss

But just a thousand feet higher, even though it’s only about two miles as the crow flies, this little fir tree is still huddled in its snow cave where it spent most of the winter. (The cave is still about 3 feet deep and the snow is quite icy, and so for it, winter will last at least another month).

Winter fir

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