Montana Outdoors

September 29, 2008

Surprise fall colors

Filed under: Montana, Nature, Outdoors, Photography, Photos, Pictures, Wildflowers — montucky @ 9:22 pm

Today’s hike was an exploratory one to see if the fall colors had started. Well yes, colors were there, but not the ones I expected.

Indian Paintbrush

Indian Paint brush



St. John’s Wort

St. John's Wort

Knapweed (Nasty weed, but pretty blossoms and heavily visited by bees)




Pearly Everlasting

Pearly Everlasting

Almosta Flower (Well, as close as I could come to fall leaves!)

Almosta flower

The Fall leaves haven’t turned color yet, but the flowers are still pretty and with the Clark Fork River as a background three thousand feet below, it was a great hike!

Clark Fork River

September 26, 2008

A white day (3)

At first it seemed that an artist had simply painted pictures in white.

Snow art

Snow art

Then, as I looked closer, it became clear that the painter was also a sculptor,

Snow art

Snow art

and carved the essence of those pieces into Her larger pieces of art.

Snow art

Snow art

Snow art

September 25, 2008

A white day (2)

Along with the white at the top, there were also splashes of color along the way.

The snow-dusted bushes along the lower trail,

Baldy Mountain trail

the rockslides a little farther up,

Baldy Mountain trail

some of the autumn reds with ermine trim,

Along Baldy Mountain trail

the partially decorated firs near the top,

Partially decorated firs

and Baldy Lake on the other side of the peak which, for the occasion, borrowed a little blue from the sky.

Baldy Lake

September 23, 2008

A white day

Today was a typical fall day… except at 7,000 feet.

Baldy Mountain

Baldy Mountain

Baldy Mountain

Baldy Mountain

Baldy Mountain

Baldy Mountain

Baldy Mountain

(Today was a very rare opportunity to visit the peak after a snowfall. These are a few of about 80 photos I brought back today from the top of 7,464 foot tall Baldy Mountain.)

The Dry Creek/Wilkes Divide trail 578

Filed under: Montana, Nature, Outdoors, Photography, Photos, Pictures — Tags: — montucky @ 10:31 am

Yesterday we covered the first three miles or so of this gorgeous trail. In its entirety it’s quite long, about eleven miles, starting at an elevation of about 2,600 feet where it leaves the Dry Creek road and ending at 6,000 feet at the CC Divide.

At about the three mile point the trail crosses a corner of an isolated section of State land which was logged quite some time ago, leaving a mostly bare ridge and a web of old logging roads (which provides what looks like great feeding grounds for elk).

Open ridge along trail 578

From the ridge looking north, the small town of Thompson Falls is visible beside the Clark Fork River.

Thompson Falls

At the skyline to the south the high ridge line of the CC Divide can be seen about eight miles away.

CC Divide from trail 578

The bad news is that trail 578 is now open to motor vehicles, in this case dirt bikes, and with the trail erosion already beginning to take place because of their careless use on the very steep sections of the trail, this trail will not exist for very long. Its upkeep and repair will be too expensive for the agency already facing budget deficits due to tremendously high fire fighting costs.

Trail 578

September 20, 2008

Wood cutting day

Filed under: Montana, Nature, Outdoors, Photography, Photos, Pictures, Wood cutting — montucky @ 9:21 pm

Eleven hours of hard work, 50 miles of driving on beautiful high-country roads yields 1 cord of dry, seasoned lodgepole pine; a ton and a half of firewood.


I’d be willing to bet there are lots of folks across this country who would love to work a day like this for a month’s worth of winter heat! Total cost including Forest Service firewood permit, diesel for the truck, chain saw gas and shampoo to get chain and bar oil out of mustache, about $15.

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