Montana Outdoors

June 12, 2011

High water, river fog and spring greenery.

Filed under: Spring — montucky @ 10:27 pm

Clark Fork River scene


  1. Now THAT’s a pretty picture!


    Comment by Kim — June 12, 2011 @ 10:28 pm

  2. I really like this…


    Comment by mitambien — June 12, 2011 @ 10:34 pm

    • I’m pleased that you do! This kind of scene is why I love living in western Montana.


      Comment by montucky — June 12, 2011 @ 11:37 pm

  3. That is sure a beautiful landscape. I always feel lucky when can record such a scene in the area that I live.


    Comment by Jim — June 12, 2011 @ 10:39 pm

  4. We had fog the other day, too, which was unusual for this time of year.
    That’s beautiful though… love low fog when you can see the blue sky above it…


    Comment by Stacey Dawn — June 12, 2011 @ 11:30 pm

    • River fog is a little unusual this time of year, but I love it whenever it happens.


      Comment by montucky — June 12, 2011 @ 11:40 pm

  5. PS: Thank you for your comments. You always say the most meaningful things.
    I appreciate you! Hope you and your family have a great week!


    Comment by Stacey Dawn — June 12, 2011 @ 11:31 pm

  6. From a cursory search, it seems the Clark Fork doesn’t feed into the Missouri watershed, but that’s still some high water. Is that typical for a spring rise? With the Mississippi receding it seems it’s the Missouri’s turn now, and apparently Montana’s going to contribute to the goings-on.


    Comment by shoreacres — June 12, 2011 @ 11:33 pm

    • This is the Clark Fork of the Columbia River: we are on the west side of the Continental Divide. This is pretty typical of spring runoff here. The river level is about 12 feet above winter lows.

      Yes, it looks like Montana will contribute a lot of water to the Missouri river this year. The Missouri watershed has had more snow this year than we have over here on a percentage basis. I wish we could spread out the flow a little though! We seem to be ending what has been a drought of over ten years.


      Comment by montucky — June 12, 2011 @ 11:58 pm

  7. Excellent photo. There are so many interesting elements in this photo that I studied it for long time. Was the high water just recently? Ours passed a month or more ago.


    Comment by sartenada — June 13, 2011 @ 3:38 am

    • Thanks Matti. High water is normal for this time of year here but this year it is a little higher than normal because of the heavy snow we had last winter. It will also last a little longer.


      Comment by montucky — June 13, 2011 @ 9:09 am

  8. oh my. so beautiful.


    Comment by Homestead Ramblings — June 13, 2011 @ 5:55 am

    • Sometimes a scene just seems to appear and I feel fortunate to be there at that time.


      Comment by montucky — June 13, 2011 @ 9:10 am

  9. Beautiful scene!

    When we flew into Portland last weekend we saw the mighty Columbia which is already flooding in some areas. Sometimes I try to imagine what these river systems were like before we dammed them. Their beauty and furry must have been a sight to behold during these spring months. Our Cascade and Sierra watershed is just starting to feed the Sacramento and San Joaquin this week as the temperatures rise and the snow begins it’s melt. We too are thankful for the end of the drought but also wary about the amount of snow melt that must make its way to the ocean via engineered channels. It will certainly be an interesting summer here in the flat lands. The good news is the wildflowers in the mountains should be spectacular.


    Comment by anniespickns — June 13, 2011 @ 7:17 am

    • There are no dams above us here on the Clark Fork and its only major tributary with dams if the Flathead which joins it a dozen miles upstream from here, so we pretty much see the natural river conditions. (The dams on the flathead are releasing all the water they possibly can anyway this time of year.

      The “engineered channels” that you mention would make me nervous: often they don’t work out all that well!

      I’m sure you are right about the wildflowers. A couple days ago I got into some pretty good snow banks in our high country and found it interesting that up there the flowers haven’t yet begun to bloom while they are in abundance in and near the valleys.


      Comment by montucky — June 13, 2011 @ 9:20 am

      • “There are no dams above us on the Clark Fork…” That wasn’t true until a few years ago, though, when the Milltown Dam was pulled out as part of the largest Superfund cleanup in history. The toxic sediments deposited (largely during the 1908 flood) behind the dam were getting in the groundwater and if the dam were to breach, the whole fishery could be wiped out downstream, at least temporarily. Now it’s gone and they’ve recreated a flood plain which is serving its purpose nicely as we speak. And fish have been migrating past the old dam site and up into historical spawning grounds up the Blackfoot and Clark Fork rivers. A win-win.


        Comment by Kim — June 13, 2011 @ 9:44 am

        • That’s great news Kim. I’m glad they were able to take down the dam and restore the flood plain. In many areas where this has happened it has turned out better for not only the fish and wildlife but the humans. A definite win-win.


          Comment by anniespickns — June 13, 2011 @ 9:56 pm

  10. Terry, this nearly looks like a painting! a wonderful capture! 🙂


    Comment by Barbara — June 13, 2011 @ 9:56 am

    • In different light and weather conditions, that particular bend in the river produces some really pretty scenes and I see it every day.


      Comment by montucky — June 13, 2011 @ 10:31 pm

  11. Hi Montucky, We get foggy days on occasion here on the lake. It is lovely and so is your picture today – quite serene in spite of high water. Is the river going to flood over its banks or is it just high as usual due to snowmelt? Have a fantastic day and enjoy your beautiful area (I know you do!).


    Comment by wildlifewatcher — June 13, 2011 @ 10:37 am

    • There has been a little flooding in various places along this river up stream and some minor flooding a few miles away. Where I live this is pretty normal and the canyon is deep: I live about 50 feet above the high water line anyway.


      Comment by montucky — June 13, 2011 @ 10:35 pm

  12. That looks so pretty… and quite a few degrees cooler than it is here.


    Comment by thedailyclick — June 13, 2011 @ 1:03 pm

    • We got into the low 60’s today; normal for this time of year is around 70, certainly cool by your standards! A couple of days ago I hiked up one of my favorite trails to where it was covered with deep snow. Now that’s where to be on hot days!


      Comment by montucky — June 13, 2011 @ 10:38 pm

  13. This makes me think of the river’s namesake, William Clark. When he and Meriwether came down the west side of the continental divide, they did so in canoes. The Clatsop people who lived in the area told them they were crazy to try that, as the rapids they were to navigate were pretty significant. The Clatsop gathered downstream so they could collect the expected flotsam, but none came. L&C and company paddled down the rapids with skill never witnessed by the Clatsop.


    Comment by jomegat — June 13, 2011 @ 5:24 pm

    • As I recall they did that at the right time of year too. It’s pretty treacherous at the moment.


      Comment by montucky — June 13, 2011 @ 10:40 pm

  14. I love how we get to see the Clark Fork so many different ways through your photos. This is so lush now, how pretty.


    Comment by Candace — June 14, 2011 @ 3:50 am

    • I like that about living here. The scenery changes with the seasons as well as the weather. I’m champing at the bit now waiting for the water to clear up so I can go fishing!


      Comment by montucky — June 14, 2011 @ 8:50 pm

  15. Oh, what a fantastic sight!


    Comment by Giiid — June 14, 2011 @ 4:44 am

  16. Gorgeous scene with the low lying fog.


    Comment by Anna — June 14, 2011 @ 7:59 am

    • THe river fog is a little unusual this time of year, but common in fall. I always enjoy seeing it.


      Comment by montucky — June 14, 2011 @ 8:55 pm

  17. Wow, is this beautiful!


    Comment by sandy — June 14, 2011 @ 3:18 pm

  18. That is a scary looking water level, but a heavenly scene!


    Comment by kcjewel — June 14, 2011 @ 8:36 pm

    • The river is awesome this time of year. The water is high and moving fast and one can get a feeling of the sheer power of it..


      Comment by montucky — June 14, 2011 @ 8:57 pm

  19. Magical!! A storybook picture!


    Comment by Sandra Wells — June 19, 2011 @ 7:08 pm

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