Montana Outdoors

January 15, 2009

January at Spring Creek

All in all, it wasn’t a bad day; not too cold, a little sun, and frozen snow that you could almost walk on.

Animal sightings: two Mule deer (grazing in the sun on the high bare ridge in the background of the second photo), two White-tails (in the brushy canyon bottom where White-tails usually lurk during the day), one grouse (flying just behind the nearest brush immediately after it startled the heck out of me by launching itself past my ear), one coyote (who was wearing a very attractive winter jacket!), and two doofuses (who were trying, unsuccessfully, to extricate their truck from a snowbank about two miles from where I thought it prudent to leave my Jeep and proceed on foot). A fairly good day for the animals (except for the doofuses, who, I’m quite sure, have had better ones).

It was three miles of bad road to the trail head at Spring Creek

Spring Creek trail head

where I found it would be best to wait a week or so for more snow before hiking up the trail (too much crusted snow for hiking but not quite enough to be comfortable on snowshoes).

Besides the invigorating walk in/on the snow and the winter beauty of the forest, when I arrived at this turn in the road just before the trail head

Spring Creek road

I enjoyed the memory of that sunny day in mid-June on the steep hillside at the left side of the photo, when these Tolmie Tulips were in bloom.

Tolmie Tulip

Tolmie Tulip


  1. The doofuses made me laugh out loud. 😀 Thanks! 😀

    And wow, such beauty, both in the snow and winter skies (so *blue*!) and in the tulips that will be back in the spring.

    It looks like you had a *gorgeous* walk over/in/through the snow.


    Comment by gradschoolsara — January 15, 2009 @ 12:51 pm

  2. Terry:

    Unfortunately, doofuses are not an endangered species. We have them here in Washington, too. They are recognized by their driving past “Road Closed to Due Flooding” signs wherein they are either washed away or need rescuing. Such persons are likely candidates for a “Darwin Award.”

    Chad 🙂


    Comment by Chad — January 15, 2009 @ 1:16 pm

  3. ha ha! I have seen my share of doofuses too! guess they are everywhere!

    what a walk you had!!


    Comment by silken — January 15, 2009 @ 3:01 pm

  4. We have doofuses here in the northeast as well. A special variety of Hard Headed Short Sighted Adirondack Doofus. Usually found axel deep in spring mud. Also sighted in ditches. The tulips give me heart that spring will come …..eventually!


    Comment by Cedar — January 15, 2009 @ 3:18 pm

  5. Sara,

    I think you’ll enjoy that area next June when you see the mosses along the stream and the wildflowers on the hillsides.


    Comment by montucky — January 15, 2009 @ 5:41 pm

  6. Chad,

    I think quite a few actually do get a “Darwin Award”. They fail the “survival of the fittest” test. These were just young guys who hadn’t established their level of good judgement yet. Hopefully they learned something in a situation that wasn’t really serious.


    Comment by montucky — January 15, 2009 @ 5:44 pm

  7. Silken, the species “Doofus” has a lot of members around the world. Easy to spot, too!


    Comment by montucky — January 15, 2009 @ 5:45 pm

  8. Cedar,

    I remember doofuses in Arizona too; pulled about a hundred of them out of the sand. These were young guys though and may evolve out of it with time. Remember the old adage, “good judgement comes from experience which also involves bad judgement”.


    Comment by montucky — January 15, 2009 @ 5:49 pm

  9. One can dream. Still, the crystalline snow is absolutely wonderful.


    Comment by scienceguy288 — January 16, 2009 @ 9:53 am

  10. Yes, a clear day in winter is very beautiful here!


    Comment by montucky — January 16, 2009 @ 8:28 pm

  11. Your comment about the grouse made me chuckle. I’m not sure I’ve ever NOT been startled by one!


    Comment by Adam R. Paul — January 19, 2009 @ 12:46 pm

  12. You know, Adam, I think that’s a big part of their survival strategy!


    Comment by montucky — January 19, 2009 @ 4:57 pm

  13. terrible website


    Comment by Anonymous — April 2, 2009 @ 5:38 pm

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