Montana Outdoors

January 12, 2011

Flathead River in January

Filed under: Flathead river, Winter — Tags: , — montucky @ 12:41 am

Lower Flathead River

Lower Flathead River

Lower Flathead River

Lower Flathead River

(Photos were taken along the lower Flathead River just a few miles above its confluence with the Clark Fork.)

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51 Comments »

  1. Even as beautiful as the combination of the iced river and the snowy earth are it’s the sky, that open blue sky, that sings out to me; clean and clear intense with sunlight.

    Thanks, it’s been so foggy here these brightened my day.

    Like

    Comment by anniespickns — January 12, 2011 @ 8:34 am

    • That (Monday) was the last sun we’ve seen here too and now it is supposed to snow or rain for over a week. I always try to take advantage of the clear cold days in winter.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — January 13, 2011 @ 12:05 am

  2. GOODNESS GRACIOUS… I think I’m speechless… that’s sooo very very gorgeous! Montana sure has an advantage over other states where beauty is concerned! WoW! =)

    Like

    Comment by Tricia — January 12, 2011 @ 10:23 am

    • It’s always seems to be pretty along the Flathead. I was surprised to see so much open water in that area. Usually this time of year it is piled high with ice cakes.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — January 13, 2011 @ 12:07 am

  3. I need a boat with a 3-hp motor. And a camera. And maybe an extra sweater.

    Malcolm

    Like

    Comment by knightofswords — January 12, 2011 @ 11:48 am

    • Or a parka. It was just above zero in that canyon when I got hose shots. In summer it’s a good river for a canoe.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — January 13, 2011 @ 12:08 am

  4. WOWWWW!!! These are beautiful photos! Wow!

    Like

    Comment by Barbara — January 12, 2011 @ 12:46 pm

    • Thanks Barbara. I was a little disappointed with them because the sun was already going down in the canyon, making them look a little dark but I couldn’t resist the sky.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — January 13, 2011 @ 12:09 am

  5. Hi Montucky, You are lucky to live in such a magnificent place! Have a super day!

    Like

    Comment by wildlifewatcher — January 12, 2011 @ 2:43 pm

    • I know it wildlifewatcher! I love it here even on days that are usually called “bad weather”. Today I walked for a couple of hours during a heavy snow. It was wonderful!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — January 13, 2011 @ 12:11 am

  6. So majestic! So big and glorious! Thank you for sharing this.

    Like

    Comment by Bill:www.wildramblings.com — January 12, 2011 @ 3:15 pm

    • I sure love it Bill. The elevation of the river here is around 2,500 feet. In the last photo the mountains in the distance are just over 7,000 feet. I enjoy seeing the scene from river level, but love it much more when viewed from those mountain tops which are in a roadless area.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — January 13, 2011 @ 12:17 am

  7. The ice is so clear. I have never seen it like that here. It looks like the water is high.

    Like

    Comment by sandy — January 12, 2011 @ 5:22 pm

    • The water level is about normal for winter. There is a little skim of ice in some places on the river and quite a bit of open water. That’s very unusual for this time of year and I was surprised to see so much open water because it has been quite sold for the past month. We’ve had about a dozen sub-zero nights.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — January 13, 2011 @ 12:20 am

  8. Beautiful shots. I would have thought the water would be frozen solid. Maybe it is and just doesn’t look like it?

    Like

    Comment by kcjewel — January 12, 2011 @ 7:35 pm

    • Usually this time of year this area would have ice cakes all stacked up several feet thick as the current tries to push the through a narrower area below. This year it’s still open for some reason.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — January 13, 2011 @ 12:22 am

  9. The light is absolutely perfect in the first photo. What a beautiful place!

    Like

    Comment by kateri — January 12, 2011 @ 7:43 pm

    • These photos were taken at about 3:30 in the afternoon. The mountains just behind the camera are very tall and had already shut the sun out of the canyon. It was lucky that the sky was reflected in the water which brightened up the scene. On clear days there is a stretch of about 20 miles of river there that is very photogenic. The far side is part of an Indian reservation and when we have periods of sunny weather I like to hike down that side from a bridge about six miles up from there. It’s remote and protected and beautiful.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — January 13, 2011 @ 12:27 am

  10. Man Oh Man! What a winter you’re having there!

    Like

    Comment by Jeff Lynch — January 12, 2011 @ 8:12 pm

    • It’s a good one, Jeff. We have had a drought for over ten years and this year it has broken up. We are under a La Nina weather pattern now which create very cold and wet conditions in this region. We have heavy snow in the higher mountains and quite a bit in the low valleys. All in all a wonderful winter!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — January 13, 2011 @ 12:30 am

  11. WOW is that water blue! It’s stunning there… but I bet cold!

    Like

    Comment by Stacey Dawn — January 13, 2011 @ 4:10 am

    • Very cold! The sun had set in that canyon, but the water still reflected the blue in the sky.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — January 14, 2011 @ 8:32 pm

  12. Gorgeous and ahhhh-some winter Flathead River scenes.I especially love the first and last photos with the colors, shapes, and expansiveness.

    Like

    Comment by Anna — January 13, 2011 @ 8:30 am

    • I love that river. It’s always appears to be different.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — January 14, 2011 @ 8:32 pm

  13. more striking beauty! we’ve been having some of our own cold temps around here, though nothing quite so pretty to look at to go along w/ it

    Like

    Comment by silken — January 13, 2011 @ 1:50 pm

    • I’ve seen on the news that you have had some cold this year. Did your Montana trip get you ready for it?

      Like

      Comment by montucky — January 14, 2011 @ 8:33 pm

      • never ready for it down here…at least in Montana I was expecting such cold! 🙂 I went through all my warm clothes in just a few days. I don’t have many “decent” clothes that are warm. even wore one of my fleece lined running shirts to church! hey, I was warm! 🙂

        Like

        Comment by silken — January 16, 2011 @ 5:08 pm

        • A fleece shirt in church is not unusual here. Ot jeans at a wedding.

          Like

          Comment by montucky — January 16, 2011 @ 10:29 pm

  14. Every time you shoot that river, it’s beautiful in a different way. Glorious.

    Like

    Comment by Candace — January 13, 2011 @ 9:13 pm

    • The river constantly changes with the light. Usually morning is best there, but these were in the afternoon.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — January 14, 2011 @ 8:35 pm

  15. OMG, how beautiful photos.

    When seeing the first photo, I felt that my soul could fly free over the river and mountains.

    I like those “ice rafts” floating in the river; so beautiful.

    Like

    Comment by sartenada — January 13, 2011 @ 11:51 pm

    • I have had that feeling when there too, Sartenada. The river flows through the Flathead Indian Reservation, and I hike there quite often. On both sides it is still rather wild country and that plus knowing the Indian beliefs leads me to thinking of a kind of wild freedom.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — January 14, 2011 @ 8:39 pm

  16. I still can’t believe you live in such a place. Or that it even exists anymore.
    Spectacular…..

    Like

    Comment by Roberta Warshaw — January 14, 2011 @ 8:31 am

    • I sincerely hope that we can preserve places like this for those who will come after us Roberta. It would be unbearably sad to think that they would never know such places!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — January 14, 2011 @ 8:41 pm

  17. The landscape is out of this world and the skies as so crisp. I can almost feel the cold from the freezing water.

    Like

    Comment by Preston — January 14, 2011 @ 12:22 pm

    • It was very crisp that day and just as cold as it looks. By this time of winter those of us here who get outdoors are used to the cold and it feels so good!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — January 14, 2011 @ 8:43 pm

  18. Stunning color and light. An absolutely majestic landscape. Beautiful images!

    Like

    Comment by Marcie — January 14, 2011 @ 5:46 pm

    • That is a favorite place to visit in winter, one of many I guess. There is a lot of wildlife there, especially waterfowl, but also deer, elk and Big Horn sheep. I tend to visit there when the access to higher places is closed by winter.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — January 14, 2011 @ 8:46 pm

  19. Pristine. Wild. I see no power lines or evidence of a footprint (don’t point it out to me if I missed it). The last photo is my favorite, but they are all so beautiful. I like the last photo because it’s dark along the river, but the sun and blue sky remain. It’s my taste to enjoy the contrasts.

    I’ve been working with my horses to sell them the last ten days and have not had the time to come on and enjoy your work. Now, I’m back and really think it outstanding. You are lucky to be there in Montana, but also you have the skill to capture the essence that you share with us.

    Like

    Comment by Jack Matthews — January 15, 2011 @ 1:45 pm

  20. There is a state highway that runs through the valley not far from the river, but the hills and mountains on both side are still quite wild. The first photo looks into the Flathead Indian Reservation and much of the mountain areas are still wild country.

    I saw your latest post about selling your horses. I know how hard that must have been to do and yet it’s so good that they will have good care in good homes!

    I also like the last photo best. The tall mountains at the skyline are the southern end of the Coeur d’Alene range and those peaks are in the Cherry Peak roadless area. It is wild country and can be visited only on foot or horseback I hike up there quite often. I an at once very happy that such places still exist and sad knowing that there are still many who will do anything they can to exploit those areas for profit.

    Like

    Comment by montucky — January 15, 2011 @ 10:00 pm

  21. My favorite of this series is the first one… I love the way the river is curving around the landscape… leading me on to explore further! They are all lovely but if I could have just one… the first one would be my choice!

    Like

    Comment by Victoria — January 16, 2011 @ 4:55 pm

    • I like it too, but because I know what’s up river and I have some good memories there.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — January 16, 2011 @ 10:27 pm

  22. Marvelous photos! Congratulations on a job well done. It’s staggeringly beautiful country and I would love to see it in person some day. That would be a privilege.

    Like

    Comment by Phil Vaughn — January 18, 2011 @ 2:07 am

    • Thank you Phil. I hope one day you will have the opportunity to see Montana for yourself. I’m sure you would enjoy it. Thank you for visiting!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — January 18, 2011 @ 9:28 pm

  23. Lovely photos! Montana is one of my favorite places. I’d consider living there if I could take the cold. So close to Mexico, Spring is about to arrive here, I can just feel it. So, I’ll enjoy the snow through your photos instead. Stop back by anytime you need a break from Winter!

    Like

    Comment by flowerweaver — January 18, 2011 @ 9:44 am

    • Yes, I suppose it will start acting like spring that far south. You know, it was at the end of January that I saw the first buttercup beginning to bloom here last year. It will be much later this year I’m sure, and spring here won’t really start until well into March. I will continue to stop by your site and enjoy your spring.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — January 18, 2011 @ 9:34 pm

  24. Beautiful shots! They are breathtaking!

    Like

    Comment by Krista — January 18, 2011 @ 5:55 pm

  25. Hi,

    I have seen your name in a couple of blogs and decided it was about time for me to pay a visit to your blog and these photos are amazing. So beautiful and well composed. These are like some kind of dream. Excellent work!

    Like

    Comment by Staffan H — January 23, 2011 @ 3:46 am

    • Thank you for visiting and the kind comment, Steffan! There is a lot of pretty scenery here to photograph when the light is right.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — January 23, 2011 @ 11:20 pm


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