Montana Outdoors

March 16, 2011

Sun and clouds, snow and flowers

Filed under: Spring — Tags: , , — montucky @ 7:30 pm

Today the short hike up the Munson Creek trail was on bare ground. Boots on the trail: what a wonderful feeling after all of the snow and ice we have had this winter! After the first mile it became winter again, but that’s OK: it’s a start!

These photos were all taken within about an hour this afternoon. The first two were taken from the Munson Creek trail head looking south toward the Coeur d’Alene Mountains in the Cherry Peak roadless area. The buttercup blossom was found a few miles further east just above the river: the buttercups are now blooming in some of the valley locations where there has been a little sun.

Coeur d'Alene Mountains

Eddy Mountain




  1. What a difference in the first 2! I’m sure that did feel good to have bare ground under your boots instead of crunch, crunch.


    Comment by Candace — March 16, 2011 @ 11:06 pm

    • The weather here in spring changes quickly and dramatically. Yes, that trail sure did feel good! In only a month the Trilliums will be blooming there.


      Comment by montucky — March 16, 2011 @ 11:27 pm

  2. I love the first one and the third one! HA! So sick of snow now I can’t even look at it!


    Comment by Roberta Warshaw — March 17, 2011 @ 6:41 am

    • That little buttercup is covered with snow this morning. I rather like it in spring though: it will melt today and the grasses will be even greener.


      Comment by montucky — March 17, 2011 @ 9:10 am

  3. Terry:

    Is that Eddy Pk LO in the background?



    Comment by Chad — March 17, 2011 @ 7:38 am

    • It is! Wish I could get up there right now! Sure is nice to see the trails clearing, although there was new snow on the ground this morning.


      Comment by montucky — March 17, 2011 @ 9:09 am

  4. Great pictures!! I love mountains..I don’t know what it would be like to not be surrounded by them. I don’t think I have seen buttercups before. Pretty little thing!


    Comment by mitambien — March 17, 2011 @ 11:08 am

    • Buttercups are the first wildflowers to bloom in spring here. They are pretty hardy despite their small size.


      Comment by montucky — March 17, 2011 @ 9:28 pm

  5. Buttercups must be the crocus of the wilderness. That must have been a fine outing. There is nothing like the first time out in the spring.

    We still don’t have anything blooming in our yard, but 3/4 of it is still under snow. I did see an owl in flight today, no photo. It was headed for the woods, and by the time I went around by way of the road, it had disappeared.


    Comment by sandy — March 17, 2011 @ 1:11 pm

    • Yes they are the crocus of the wildflowers. I’m hoping for a longer outing tomorrow. I went out today to see if the Falcons have come back yet, but saw none.


      Comment by montucky — March 17, 2011 @ 9:30 pm

  6. I went looking for signs of Spring today, too. Very little color though the trees have spring growth. I just figured since you have flowers in the mountains, I could find some here. Maybe this weekend.

    Your photos are always an inspiration to me, Terry. Thank you.


    Comment by Scott Thomas Photography — March 17, 2011 @ 1:18 pm

    • I’m seeing a lot of buds on the trees now too. Our lilacs had buds and the aspen are showing their catkins. We had new snow last night though.


      Comment by montucky — March 17, 2011 @ 9:34 pm

  7. Hi Montucky, Simply wonderful! The flower is beautiful as is the fantastic scenery. Have a truly fine rest of the day and an excellent Friday. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


    Comment by wildlifewatcher — March 17, 2011 @ 2:23 pm

    • Happy St. Pat’s Day to you too! Isn’t it nice to have spring so close at hand!


      Comment by montucky — March 17, 2011 @ 9:35 pm

  8. Your ahead of us over here on the east side although I did see a gopher today so flowers can’t be that far away!


    Comment by Jim — March 17, 2011 @ 6:48 pm

    • The bluebirds have started to arrive now too: I saw both Mountain and Western ones today.


      Comment by montucky — March 17, 2011 @ 9:36 pm

  9. Love that little buttercup!


    Comment by kateri — March 17, 2011 @ 7:13 pm

    • Yes, it’s so good to see those little splashes of color. Soon other species will be out too. That will pick my spirits up!


      Comment by montucky — March 17, 2011 @ 9:39 pm

  10. Nice to walk on soil and earth rather than ice and snow.


    Comment by knightofswords — March 17, 2011 @ 8:23 pm

    • Sure is! I walked the same trail a little over a week ago in about a foot of snow and the difference was dramatic!


      Comment by montucky — March 17, 2011 @ 9:40 pm

  11. Beautiful photos. Two first are awesome in my eyes, because we do not have mountains, only arctic fells. I admired and love the second photo very much.

    How nice buttercup.


    Comment by sartenada — March 18, 2011 @ 12:11 am

    • Those mountains are in a roadless area of about 60 square miles. The lookout is right on the edge of the area and there is a road up to it.


      Comment by montucky — March 18, 2011 @ 8:34 pm

  12. looks like a nice start!


    Comment by silken — March 18, 2011 @ 3:15 pm

    • The bare ground area is increasing in size in the valley now. Soon more of the trails will be available. Yes, it’s a start!


      Comment by montucky — March 18, 2011 @ 8:35 pm

  13. That you live where there are two climates simultaneously is wonderful to see through the eye of your camera and to read about through your words. Isn’t spring grand? Thank you.


    Comment by Wild_Bill — March 18, 2011 @ 4:26 pm

    • I think this is a wonderful place to be in summer because of the simultaneous climates. The wildflowers that bloom in the valley can be found much later in the summer at the higher elevations. July down low can get very hot, but on the mountain tops there are still snow banks. As I get older the climbs are more difficult, but still worth the extra time it takes to get up into the high country.


      Comment by montucky — March 18, 2011 @ 8:39 pm

  14. Beautiful Terry!


    Comment by Stacey Dawn — March 18, 2011 @ 10:18 pm

  15. Such a delight to see Spring again, small and bright buttercups are such a lovely sight ! Beautiful pictures of your mountains and slopes.


    Comment by isathreadsoflife — March 19, 2011 @ 7:28 am

    • Winter has not given up yet here. Today is dark and bleak: I shall have to go look at those buttercups today.


      Comment by montucky — March 19, 2011 @ 8:32 am

  16. What a fantastic view you have. In my country, I will be just 170 meter over the sea, if I climb the highest “mountain”. In other words, we have no mountains…but Buttercups have appeared in great numbers, even we had a bit of snow yesterday.
    How far are you usually hiking in one day? Is it for the sport, or do you have work to do?


    Comment by Giiid — March 19, 2011 @ 11:07 am

    • Those mountain are 1,524 meters above the valley. It is still very much winter up there now.

      I hike an average of about 3.5 miles a day, every day (about 1,300 miles a year). When enough snow and ice is off the trails to make them usable, I try to hike on the trails about twice a week, just because out there in the wild country is where I love to be. Those hikes vary from about 6 miles to as much as 18 miles, but 6 to 8 is probably average. For next summer I have planned several that will take at least two days, maybe three.


      Comment by montucky — March 19, 2011 @ 9:28 pm

      • I´d like to give you a link to Reggie from South Africa´s blog, -she likes to hike too and write -among other things – about interesting tours around her country. (Perhaps you know this blog already?)


        Comment by Giiid — March 20, 2011 @ 6:46 am

        • Thank you for the link! I have added her blog to those that I follow.


          Comment by montucky — March 20, 2011 @ 9:22 pm

  17. Beautiful photography and a wonderful contrast in terms of what you see on your walks, montucky. The buttercups are definitely a good sign!


    Comment by farmhouse stories — March 19, 2011 @ 12:29 pm

    • Yes, when there are a lot of buttercups blooming spring is very near! The contrasts are among the wonderful sights in the outdoors I think. In spring the contrasts are very distinct, but in summer they can be also. In June I have encountered sudden snowfalls and even as late as July in the high country. I always am prepared for that, even though my pack is often heavier than I would like.


      Comment by montucky — March 19, 2011 @ 9:32 pm

  18. Is the building up top in the middle photo the building we’ve seen in some of your other photos? I like the ominous feel of the middle photo too! The butter cup is a sure sign of spring isn’t it?


    Comment by kcjewel — March 19, 2011 @ 6:45 pm

    • The building is the fire lookout atop Eddy Peak. Yes, I posted photos of it last fall from a trip up to it. It is so prominent, that I have photos of it also from other mountains as far as 15 miles away and from different directions.


      Comment by montucky — March 19, 2011 @ 9:34 pm

  19. Thanks for posting the flower pic together with the other two. It does give me hope for spring.


    Comment by Tammy McLeod — March 20, 2011 @ 9:55 am

    • Around the end of this month or the beginning of April we shall start to see the beginning of our wildflower season. I’m looking forward to it very much!


      Comment by montucky — March 20, 2011 @ 9:20 pm

  20. Great to see these first signs of new spring!


    Comment by Marcie — March 20, 2011 @ 11:29 am

    • It is good, Marcie. Things are a little late this year but when the wildflowers start they will really take off!


      Comment by montucky — March 20, 2011 @ 9:21 pm

  21. Boots on the trail, just before Spring. Must be great to live where you are and experience the seasons so vividly. The buttercup is an excellent prelude to the change of seasons. We’ve got verbena coming out. Just great photographs. I always love the detail.


    Comment by Jack Matthews — March 20, 2011 @ 5:40 pm

    • In the many years we lived in Arizona I missed the distinct seasons and was so happy to experience them again when we moved back to Montana. I love each one for the different experiences it holds.

      This time of year I’m so thankful that it has been arranged so that the wildflowers bloom right after a cold and rather bleak winter. Soon, the wild country will begin its big celebration of spring and the promise of summer. It will be a wonderful place to be!


      Comment by montucky — March 20, 2011 @ 9:26 pm

  22. We too are having a mix of winter (cold temperatures at night) and spring (sunshine and warming during the day)… nothing as dramatic as your two climates though! I’m amazed that the buttercups are blooming already… didn’t remember that they are an early blooming flower! Gorgeous images… all of them! My favorite by a very slim margin is the first image… such a wonderful composition and a so typically Montana sky! The second, with the lookout on the horizon, is also lovely and of course, the buttercup is so cheery that it makes me smile!


    Comment by Victoria — March 20, 2011 @ 10:15 pm

    • It is about to become a very beautiful time of year: the country’s celebration of spring. Outside of the buttercups, our other spring wildflowers seem to be a couple of weeks late, which isn’t surprising this year. Soon!


      Comment by montucky — March 20, 2011 @ 11:16 pm

  23. Wow! What contrasts with the mountain scenes and sunny buttercup. Beautiful all three and I especially the deep hued first photo.


    Comment by Anna — March 21, 2011 @ 9:54 am

    • Yes, I like the contrasts and seeing some color in the landscape again!


      Comment by montucky — March 21, 2011 @ 11:21 am

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