Montana Outdoors

September 29, 2009

Just a touch of Fall

Clark Fork Valley

Today I took a brief hike, just a few miles, to check the status of the autumn leaves. They are very late compared to the last few years, just a few isolated trees turning color so far, but the cold front that is now moving in should serve to accelerate their progress. That makes a great excuse for returning in a couple of weeks.

This photo was taken from a few miles past the gate on the old road that leads to Mexican Saddle and Penrose Peak in the Coeur d’Alene Mountains. The deep canyon cutting into the Cabinet Mountains across the Clark Fork River is the Munson Creek canyon and the Eddy Creek canyon is in the foreground.



  1. This is still beautiful. It’s like I am standing right next to you. Thank you for bringing us along!


    Comment by Scott Thomas Photography — September 30, 2009 @ 4:47 am

    • I love the high ridges and peaks. The place from which the photo was taken is a little less than three thousand feet above river level, but when the weather is clear, you can see for a long ways.


      Comment by montucky — September 30, 2009 @ 7:02 pm

  2. Great shot Montucky! I’ve been so busy with two jobs lately that I’ve not visited as often,.. things will ease up in another month or so. Leaves aren’t bright here either, and now I think the rain, which we needed, will take some of them down. Happy trails….


    Comment by Cedar — September 30, 2009 @ 7:10 am

    • Two jobs will do that! I’ve been a little slow with blogging too, spending a lot of time on some projects that had to be done before winter.

      I’m looking forward to the colors. We are expecting a little rain too and today we saw new snow on the mountain tops, several inches in some places. Interesting because we also have forest fires in some areas that are very active.


      Comment by montucky — September 30, 2009 @ 7:06 pm

  3. “Just a few mile” I wish that was a short hike for me.


    Comment by rvewong — September 30, 2009 @ 12:13 pm

    • I feel very fortunate that I can still hike and I spend a lot of effort to be able to keep doing it, on average at least an hour a day. It’s something I sure don’t take for granted!


      Comment by montucky — September 30, 2009 @ 7:09 pm

  4. I have never seen country such as this. Sure is beautiful.


    Comment by Preston Surface — September 30, 2009 @ 1:11 pm

    • I wish you and Anna could see this part of the country, Preston. I know you’d take back a thousand photos! I was born and raised here and have spent a lot of time in the high mountains all of my life. I never get tired of seeing them.


      Comment by montucky — September 30, 2009 @ 7:11 pm

  5. We are at that crossroads, the cusp, between summer and fall. I feel as if we are beginning to make that turn.


    Comment by scienceguy288 — September 30, 2009 @ 6:11 pm

    • Here we are making the turn right now. Tonight’s temperature is forecast to be in the 20’s and the daily highs in the 40’s and 50’s for at least the next week. Two days ago it was 80 and that was the last we will see of that temperature for about 8 months.


      Comment by montucky — September 30, 2009 @ 7:12 pm

  6. Beautiful. I wish the leaves had turned sooner in the midwest, too. Now I’ll miss it unless I can head up to northern AZ and catch theirs in a few weeks.

    Haha, a hike of just a few miles is a brief one?


    Comment by Candace — September 30, 2009 @ 7:16 pm

    • I remember northern Arizona had some beautiful leaves in the fall (and deep snow in the winter). We loved the area between Zane Grey’s Cabin and Strawberry.


      Comment by montucky — September 30, 2009 @ 7:40 pm

  7. I miss the feel of literally being on top of a mountain and looking down and being amazed at all of what God gives us…


    Comment by Stacey — September 30, 2009 @ 7:47 pm

    • There is no feeling like it, is there Stacey! Gives a person a big dose of humility and a large portion of perspective.


      Comment by montucky — September 30, 2009 @ 9:28 pm

  8. Wishing you two a warm safe winter. (From your previous blog looks like you’ll have plenty of firewood!).


    Comment by Maureen — September 30, 2009 @ 8:02 pm

    • Thanks Maureen, and we wish the same for you and Eric! We’ve supposed to have a hard freeze tonight, but there’s now 5 cords of wood in our woodpile already.


      Comment by montucky — September 30, 2009 @ 9:29 pm

  9. Nice looking line of clouds. I haven’t seen anything about the progress of the leaves in north Georgia and the Carolinas, but it certainly has gotten cooler here in the last several days. More and more wood smoke in the air as people start using fireplaces and wood stoves.



    Comment by knightofswords — September 30, 2009 @ 8:32 pm

    • That line of clouds is from a big cold front that was moving in and arrived last night. There was pretty widespread snow about 5,000 feet this morning and more likely tonight. We haven’t fired up the wood stove yet, but probably will tomorrow night. Personally, I like the change to cooler weather, but don’t look forward to the icy roads and the fool things people do on them!


      Comment by montucky — September 30, 2009 @ 9:33 pm

  10. As I scrolled down the page your spider photo gave me a big fright. I’m really, really scared of spiders!

    But this photo was made up for it. It’s beautiful. I envy you your beautiful surroundings!


    Comment by Deva — October 1, 2009 @ 11:39 am

    • I’ve gotten the impression that spiders aren’t all that popular! Yes, it’s a beautiful part of the country. I prefer to view it from the top.


      Comment by montucky — October 1, 2009 @ 9:12 pm

  11. How very lovely… rugged and vast, and those clouds are awesome! Yes, Preston and I would love to visit that part of Montana, and we would take thousands upon thousands of photographs. So gorgeous there! Truthfully, I would love to smell the mountains… it has been a long time since I’ve been in the mountains (Colorado) and smelled them.


    Comment by Anna Surface — October 1, 2009 @ 2:55 pm

    • I like the smells too as well as the sounds and the feel of the wind. In many of the canyons there are nice stands of cedars which have their own great smell. Now we’re starting to enjoy the cold mornings ( there was frost on the windshields this morning). Temps in the 20’s are ideal for hiking!


      Comment by montucky — October 1, 2009 @ 9:15 pm

  12. What a gorgeous serene scene. Wonderful capture !


    Comment by myphotoscout — October 1, 2009 @ 11:06 pm

    • It’s a scene I especially like and I hike up there several times each year. A little later there will be much more fall color.


      Comment by montucky — October 2, 2009 @ 6:09 pm

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