Montana Outdoors

January 5, 2011

Winter and spring

Yesterday I walked a mile or so of the Munson Creek trail on a fresh blanket of pure white powder. I walked in a winter world.

Munson Creek trail in winter

Munson Creek trail

The day was pleasant, with a little snow in the crisp cool air, yet I couldn’t stop thinking about hiking that trail soon in the spring world of mid-April when in the high country, some two miles from the trail head, the Trilliums will be in bloom again.

Western white trillium

Pacific trillium, Western White Trillium, Trillium ovatum

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44 Comments »

  1. Those images are so pretty Terry! Look forward to the warmth I know will be there when the Trillium bloom again. Thanks, by the way, for the info on Bo’s blog!

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    Comment by Stacey Dawn — January 5, 2011 @ 11:17 pm

    • Sometimes I would be willing to trade about three months of winter for an extra month in the other seasons, but we need the cold and especially the snow for the right balance here. This is a wonderful winter; the first since ’96/’97 that we have been getting higher than average snowfall. It will be a great summer!

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      Comment by montucky — January 6, 2011 @ 12:01 am

  2. Did you say onetime that you are in God’s country? lol!

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    Comment by Roberta Gould — January 5, 2011 @ 11:18 pm

    • It is that, Roberta! The world is a wonderful place when it’s relatively undisturbed.

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      Comment by montucky — January 6, 2011 @ 12:03 am

  3. Trillium time? Not yet, but soon…time passes so quickly these years! πŸ™‚

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    Comment by Bo Mackison — January 5, 2011 @ 11:23 pm

    • Too quickly at this point Bo! I sure plan to take it slow and relish every day of the coming spring.

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      Comment by montucky — January 6, 2011 @ 12:05 am

  4. Oh that trillium is spectacular. The yellow is just gorgeous!

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    Comment by Roberta Warshaw — January 6, 2011 @ 7:36 am

    • That is my favorite trillium photo. Isn’t it a gorgeous blossom!

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      Comment by montucky — January 7, 2011 @ 12:02 am

  5. Surprise — the contrast in your post of the snowy trail hike and the trillium. The cycle of seasons will continue, won’t they? Vivid contrast.

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    Comment by Jack Matthews — January 6, 2011 @ 7:39 am

    • Yes, the continual cycle. We lived for over 20 years in Arizona and although we dearly loved the desert, we missed the four distinct seasons. Now I would trade two or three months of winter for milder weather, but enjoy looking forward to the coming season, the anticipation made sweet by the memories from other years.

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      Comment by montucky — January 7, 2011 @ 12:14 am

  6. The trillium is beautiful. The light was perfect for showing off the gold center.

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    Comment by kateri — January 6, 2011 @ 8:39 am

    • Yes, the light was perfect. I will return to that place again on April 18th and be there at the same time as when that picture was taken. I can hope…

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      Comment by montucky — January 7, 2011 @ 12:15 am

  7. Hi Montucky, Nifty post! I enjoy seeing the contrast between the seasons. Nicely done. Have a super day & stay warm. Our brief snow is melting but we have a forecast possibility for snow next 4 days.

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    Comment by wildlifewatcher — January 6, 2011 @ 9:18 am

    • It’s quite a contrast, isn’t it! We are also anticipating more snow and a few more days of sub-zero temps. I will put out extra food for the birds.

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      Comment by montucky — January 7, 2011 @ 12:18 am

  8. The winter scene could not be more lovely, but I too, would be thinking of the flowers.

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    Comment by sandy — January 6, 2011 @ 3:56 pm

    • The long cold winter serves to make the flowers in their seasons all that much sweeter, don’t you think?

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      Comment by montucky — January 7, 2011 @ 12:21 am

  9. It’s difficult to keep your mind from jumping ahead isn’t it? Yet the secret to enjoying each season is to absorb it into every fiber of your soul.

    You are a superb photographer, I love the composition of you images. Thank you. Very, very nice.

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    Comment by Bill — January 6, 2011 @ 5:25 pm

    • Yes, it takes patience, especially in winter when the weather and especially the snow and ice are somewhat confining, but I do spend every possible moment outside participating in the events of the season. There is always something of beauty and wonder to be encountered.

      Thank you for your kind words about my photos. There is an abundance of beauty in the wild country and I try to capture images of that beauty as I encounter it. One of the things that I have found so encouraging about keeping up a blog and interacting with others who do also is that I have found so many folks who see and appreciate beauty in the same scenes that I do. So many folks in the busy and tense world of today have lost that ability.

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      Comment by montucky — January 7, 2011 @ 12:30 am

  10. while I love looking at your winter wonderland on my computer screen, I think I’d prefer the hike in Mid April!

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    Comment by silken — January 6, 2011 @ 5:35 pm

    • I think you would also, Stacey. That particular trail is very harsh in winter. After the first mile it becomes very steep and icy and I always put on my Yak-Tracks just to stay on it.

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      Comment by montucky — January 7, 2011 @ 12:32 am

  11. Great photos. We have LOTS more snow here in Idaho. But spring time with the promice of flowers and new born wildlife sure makes it all worthwhile. Is there still a good sign to get a picture of at the trailhead ?I’d like to see that if possible.
    Frances from Clark Fork, Idaho

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    Comment by Frances (Jacks) Schenck — January 6, 2011 @ 8:32 pm

    • The Forest Service in this district received quite a bit of stimulus money this past year and they used much of it to repair, restore and improve many of the area’s trails, including the Munson Creek trail. They have also replaced most of the older signs including the one at the Munson Creek trail head. I happened to take a picture of it the other day, although I kind of messed it up by hanging my pack on it for the picture. You can see it here. I will take a better one for you the next time I get back into that area.

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      Comment by montucky — January 7, 2011 @ 12:41 am

  12. We all agree that the snow is beautiful but you’re living it! Good that you appreciate it, I don’t think I developed that appreciation when I lived in the midwest.

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    Comment by Candace — January 6, 2011 @ 10:38 pm

    • I think I appreciate it here because of the mountains and the wild country around. It clearly would not hold its value to me were I in a city.

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      Comment by montucky — January 7, 2011 @ 12:45 am

  13. Beautiful photos. I love it that You presented two seasons to us. Winter and Spring, both are beautiful in their own ways.

    Munson Creek seems to be very beautiful, but not so much snow this time as I expected in Your photo. That’s great photo You took.

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    Comment by sartenada — January 6, 2011 @ 11:07 pm

    • Thank you Sartenada! The snows that we have had this winter have fallen largely in “bands”, that is, at a given time there would be heavy snow in one area and just a few miles away, very little. At the lower end of the trail (at 2,400 feet of elevation) there is about a foot. I suspect that 7 miles up the trail (at 7,000 feet elevation) there is over ten feet. The snow now in our high country is well over average for this time of year, something we are very happy about!

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      Comment by montucky — January 7, 2011 @ 12:49 am

  14. Oh my… the wintry wonderland images are wonderful… and I love that you included the trillium as a promise of spring to come… the trillium photo is gorgeous too!

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    Comment by Victoria — January 7, 2011 @ 5:42 pm

    • April 18th has become one of my favorite days of the whole year because that is usually the best part of the bloom of trilliums in area along that trail. I wouldn’t ever want to miss it!

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      Comment by montucky — January 7, 2011 @ 11:11 pm

  15. Great contrasting photos. I am so ready for spring. Love your trillium shot. Beautiful!

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    Comment by Robin — January 8, 2011 @ 6:54 am

    • I’m ready for spring too, and am looking forward to visiting that wild garden of trilliums!

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      Comment by montucky — January 11, 2011 @ 12:47 am

  16. Glacier Lilies and Trillium are among my favorites. I like the snow picture. Georgia is expecting potentially eight inches of snow over the weekend. After our first white Christmas in a century, we’re all getting very worried about these signs of global warming.

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    Comment by knightofswords — January 8, 2011 @ 8:41 am

    • Yes, I’ve seen reports of your weather in the media. Global warming is tearing you up this year! I’m happy for a rather cold snowy winter this year, although I am really looking forward to spring. This winter will be a very good one for the forests!

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      Comment by montucky — January 11, 2011 @ 12:49 am

  17. Love that trail in which sugar frosted coated. Gorgeous snow. The trillium is gorgeous and a very nice contrast to the winter snowy trail. πŸ™‚

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    Comment by Anna — January 8, 2011 @ 4:41 pm

    • The trails are beautiful in winter, although the hiking is not as easy as in summer. The trail that day was exhausting; too much snow for comfortable hiking with just boots and too little for snowshoes.

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      Comment by montucky — January 11, 2011 @ 12:50 am

  18. I swear the path through the trees in the top photo leads through a wardrobe and into Narnia.

    That flower is beautiful… the petals are an astonishing texture.
    πŸ™‚

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    Comment by Val Erde — January 8, 2011 @ 5:53 pm

    • I find that snowy trails can really stimulate the imagination. I find it very relaxing to walk through a white world of soft and delicate shapes.

      Trilliums rank near the top of my favorite wildflowers. Part of that is because of where they bloom I’m sure.

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      Comment by montucky — January 11, 2011 @ 12:58 am

  19. I love how the Trillium appears lit from within. Wonderful to dream of spring right now!

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    Comment by farmhouse stories — January 9, 2011 @ 12:02 pm

    • I felt so fortunate to catch exactly that light on the blossom!

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      Comment by montucky — January 11, 2011 @ 12:59 am

  20. What a contrast in seasons. Absolutely love that winter image. Beautiful!!!

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    Comment by Marcie — January 9, 2011 @ 3:57 pm

    • Yes, there is a dramatic contrast between seasons here. I always enjoy the current one while looking forward to the one coming up!

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      Comment by montucky — January 11, 2011 @ 1:01 am

  21. gorgeous images…trillium..how I love them..we have a bit of a wait for them here`

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    Comment by theresa/t does wool — January 10, 2011 @ 6:07 pm

    • We have a wait as well. There is always a large bloom of them in a place several miles up this trail in mid April. I make sure to go there each year and look forward to it far in advance!

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      Comment by montucky — January 11, 2011 @ 1:03 am

  22. Both nice shots – I would think that by the time spring rolls around the blooms would be reminding me of those clean crisp days of wintry white – although in mid April there may still be a few piles around in the shade.

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    Comment by Daveabirding — January 11, 2011 @ 9:51 am

    • You’re right Dave: when I visit the trillium garden in April I do find patches of snow. And higher up the same trail I find snow banks in July, along with Spring beauties in bloom.

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      Comment by montucky — January 11, 2011 @ 8:57 pm


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