Montana Outdoors

February 23, 2011

Still winter

Filed under: Winter — Tags: — montucky @ 8:53 pm

The overnight snow was not heavy, but in some places on the driveway enough accumulated over the past few nights to keep the snow blower busy for awhile. By noon the temperature made it above freezing, the sun appeared briefly, and most of the light snow in the valley melted. An hour later, the mercury began a rapid retreat into that little bulb at the bottom of the thermometer where it will hide from the sub-zero temperature tonight, the wind started coming up and the snow started coming down. I put a light pack containing my camera gear into the Jeep along with our dog (who told me she really, really, really, really wanted to go {be careful what you wish for}) and turned up the road toward higher country in the Lolo National Forest.

Ten miles up the road, a thousand feet higher in elevation and several hundred years back in time we stopped for a short hike and I snapped a few photos for the first time in a week. The world was different there.

Old county road

Jones Ranch Road

Tracks in the snow


After a few miles on snowshoes, I will sleep well tonight.


  1. I’ll say, our worlds sure are different this time of year. I’m afraid once that mercury started to drop, I would have climbed into bed with a bunch of covers instead of climbing into a jeep to head to a higher altitude. But you were rewarded with gorgeous scenery and photos. I hope your dog sleeps well tonight, too.


    Comment by Candace — February 23, 2011 @ 9:08 pm

    • The reward was well worth the trip, Candace! I really needed that trip today.


      Comment by montucky — February 23, 2011 @ 10:01 pm

  2. Terry:

    Surely, Molly is more photogenic than a pair of fine looking snowshoes? Assuming of course, she’d pose for the camera.



    Comment by Chad — February 23, 2011 @ 9:46 pm

    • She is, Chad, but against the snow we couldn’t see her, even if she could stay on top of it and pose, neither of which would happen. By the way, It’s 9PM here now and we have received 5 inches of snow in the last three hours. It’s snowing now like it means it! I may need those ‘shoes yet tonight!


      Comment by montucky — February 23, 2011 @ 10:04 pm

  3. You really have to be well-equipped to venture out with that kind of weather, don’t you? A really beautiful set of photos that say it is still Winter. It’s great to have the dog with you.


    Comment by Jack Matthews — February 24, 2011 @ 5:33 am

    • Yes, we have to be prepared for winter weather, especially in rural areas like this. Around here most everyone either has to work out in the elements, is a hunter, or enjoys winter outdoor sports. For over twenty years now I haven’t had a vehicle that wasn’t four wheel drive.

      Our dog in a Pointer that we got several years ago from a Humane Society shelter. he was part of a “puppy mill” and never had a chance to be a dog. Now she is, and she just loves to get out and run, and many times I take her for a hike when I don’t really want to myself, but when she loves it so much it seems like a small thing to do for her.

      I actually prefer the other three seasons over winter, but when the snow is here, might as well go out and play in it!


      Comment by montucky — February 24, 2011 @ 11:02 am

  4. I am looking forward to seeing your summer photos!


    Comment by Roberta Warshaw — February 24, 2011 @ 7:13 am

    • And I’m looking forward to taking them! This has been a long and cold winter. Spring will just explode when it starts, and with all of the snow higher up, there will be plenty of water for the country this summer.


      Comment by montucky — February 24, 2011 @ 11:04 am

  5. The quiet of the earth covered in it’s winter blanket is so serene, so beautiful. Thanks for going out for a drive today and for sharing your beautiful world.


    Comment by anniespickns — February 24, 2011 @ 7:44 am

    • It is indeed quiet. The only sounds I heard out there yesterday were made by snow falling off the tree branches (and only once did it find its way down my neck). I love the blanket of snow. We had about 7 inches of new snow on the roof last night before the temperature really dropped and it was just like an extra blanket of insulation to keep the house warm.


      Comment by montucky — February 24, 2011 @ 11:07 am

  6. WOW! Looks like you’re still in the thick of winter. What gorgeous winter scenes and images!


    Comment by Marcie — February 24, 2011 @ 8:03 am

    • We are in winter again, Marcie. Whatever else it is, it really is pretty. I’m about to go out and plow us out with the snowblower, which is a way of removing it from the driveway and redepositing it on my hat.


      Comment by montucky — February 24, 2011 @ 11:11 am

  7. Hi Montucky, We are at 1,800 ft. elevation here on the Cumberland Plateau. Today we are having a rainy fairly warm day. I think Old Man Winter has fled the state! I love your pictures today. I have never snowshoed an imagine that is a fun thing to do. It beats sinking into a deep pile of snow, that’s for sure! Have a wonderful day and stay warm.


    Comment by wildlifewatcher — February 24, 2011 @ 8:45 am

    • I noticed in your post this morning that you have much higher temperatures. Our low last night was 9 and we are promised -8 for tonight. I’m glad for the heavy snow on our roof this morning!


      Comment by montucky — February 24, 2011 @ 11:12 am

  8. So glad I’m finally stopping by today… what a marvelous series of images in your snow-covered winter wonderland!


    Comment by Victoria — February 24, 2011 @ 11:19 am

    • I haven’t had a chance to get back up there today. We had 7 inches of snow last night here and probably much more up there. It’s really pretty, but at 14 degrees now we’re probably at today’s high.


      Comment by montucky — February 24, 2011 @ 2:56 pm

  9. Wow! A lot of snow there! I’m glad your dog gets a chance to get out and run– it’s good for her!


    Comment by Barbara — February 24, 2011 @ 11:34 am

    • She is 10 years old now and yet still runs like a young dog. I may hike 5 miles with her and she will cover at least twice that, most on the run. It’s a pleasure to watch her.


      Comment by montucky — February 24, 2011 @ 2:57 pm

  10. Yikes! That’s some serious snow!

    And oh – I hope to learn to snowshoe one day – well – actually get out and do it!!! Looks fun – and like great exercise!


    Comment by Stacey Dawn — February 24, 2011 @ 1:46 pm

    • It is very good exercise, for both the body and the soul.
      The last few years I haven’t had a chance to do much of it, but this year I want to take advantage of the chance.


      Comment by montucky — February 24, 2011 @ 2:59 pm

  11. It is simply beautiful. I am glad you got out for some photos. Doesn’t it feel strange not to use the camera for a week?

    We are due to have a mixed storm tomorrow. Here along the coast, rain and sleet, but in the mountains, up to 15 inches.


    Comment by sandy — February 24, 2011 @ 2:43 pm

    • Yes, it feels very strange not to use the camera. I has been so dark and gray lately though. It’s much prettier now, but very cold and not much access off the main roads.I also find it useful to carry an extra battery for the Nikon. The cold really drains them quickly.

      I don’t know what the total snow has been higher up, but we now have plenty here. It’s is supposed to be -8 tonight and tomorrow night, then ironically by mid next week it should hit 40. I’ll get out the oars.


      Comment by montucky — February 24, 2011 @ 3:03 pm

  12. Wow… we got a little bit this evening but NOTHING like that. It’s tough not taking any photos… these are snow beautiful. ; )


    Comment by kcjewel — February 24, 2011 @ 8:21 pm

    • This is the most snow we’ve had since the winter of ’96 / ’97. It’s so good to see it! Now I’m looking forward to seeing those 20 ft drifts that will remain near the peaks in July!


      Comment by montucky — February 24, 2011 @ 10:17 pm

  13. Montana was beautiful, I am so glad I got to visit, but our 72 degrees this afternoon made for a wonderful walk for me,(though scenery was not as pretty)


    Comment by silken — February 25, 2011 @ 2:17 pm

    • I would have liked that 72° today. For my hike it was 15°.


      Comment by montucky — February 25, 2011 @ 8:28 pm

  14. Looks like a nice spot, and not too windy either.


    Comment by Daveabirding — February 25, 2011 @ 3:33 pm

    • It’s just as well that we didn’t get the wind. My son lives about 80 miles away and they got quite a bit of drifting there, as well as a rather harsh chill factor.


      Comment by montucky — February 25, 2011 @ 8:29 pm

  15. Whoa! Hello? And I thought we received mounds of snow in this last blast. I really like the 2nd photo!


    Comment by Anna — February 26, 2011 @ 12:15 pm

    • I enjoyed walking around there wherever I pleased on the snowshoes. This area was still about four thousand feet below the top of the mountain. I bet the snow up there was close to 40 feet deep.


      Comment by montucky — February 26, 2011 @ 10:03 pm

  16. Awesome photos. To me it was very interesting to see snow in other parts of world then here where I live. Your snowshoes are very stylish! To use snowshoes is not so general yet here. My wife has used them once and she praised them very much, but I am not used them.

    Thank You showing this interesting set of photos.


    Comment by sartenada — February 27, 2011 @ 12:52 am

    • I really enjoy using the snowshoes. The ones that I have are new design and are light and very efficient. They were a gift from my Son and I like them very much. There used to be a very old set in our family that I liked very much but they have somehow disappeared. After a drought here that has lasted over twelve years it is wonderful to have this volume of snow now!


      Comment by montucky — February 27, 2011 @ 1:23 am

  17. I can certainly believe you had a goooood rest that night!!! =)

    We don’t see that much snow around here total in a decade… probably 2 decades… too too much for meee!!! =)

    It does make for gorgeous photos, though


    Comment by Tricia — February 28, 2011 @ 8:50 am

    • This is what our average snowfall looks like, and there will be much more to come in March. Out rivers will be in good shape next summer.


      Comment by montucky — February 28, 2011 @ 7:47 pm

  18. I was looking for Molly in the photos. Am I to assume she’s under all the snow? Is she as happy with snow drifts as she is with mountains? brrrrr…


    Comment by Juls — March 1, 2011 @ 12:41 pm

    • Keeping track of here has become a real problem. She seems to enjoy the snow very much. If everyone enjoyed just being outside and running around as much as she does we could have a lot simpler society.


      Comment by montucky — March 1, 2011 @ 9:04 pm

  19. The snow is beautiful! Not sure I would want that much! Makes for great pics!


    Comment by Everyday Cowgirl — March 1, 2011 @ 6:53 pm

    • I’m so happy to have the snow after about ten years with much less than normal. Of course, I’m a trout fisherman too, thinking of the nice stream flows next summer! Thanks for stopping by!


      Comment by montucky — March 1, 2011 @ 9:05 pm

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