Montana Outdoors

October 6, 2012

Subalpine Fir

Filed under: Baldy Mountain roadless area, Trees, Winter — Tags: , — montucky @ 11:28 pm

Subalpine Fir

Photo taken in the Baldy Mountain Roadless area

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61 Comments »

  1. Beautiful as usual. What altitude is this at. So far here in Niagara we haven’t had anything approaching a frost yet. Have a great Columbus day. For those of us in the peaceful part of North America it is thanksgiving today and a huge turkey dinner to look forward to. I just wish I could do more than look at it and smell it. Oh well home made turkey soup for later in the week.

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    Comment by Dave — October 7, 2012 @ 12:40 am

    • Thanks Dave. This was taken at about 6400 feet. Happy Thanksgiving!

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      Comment by montucky — October 7, 2012 @ 10:32 pm

  2. Wonderful. I love the beautiful fir trees…

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    Comment by Ellen Grace Olinger — October 7, 2012 @ 12:56 am

    • I also love the firs, and these are just beautiful in winter. I also like their cones!

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      Comment by montucky — October 7, 2012 @ 10:36 pm

  3. They are beautiful trees. I wnder if they have the same scent as the balsam firs that we all use for Christmas trees here.

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    Comment by New Hampshire Gardener — October 7, 2012 @ 5:22 am

    • They do have that scent; in fact they are erroneously called balsam. The indians in British Columbia used the boughs of these for bedding because of the smell.

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      Comment by montucky — October 7, 2012 @ 10:39 pm

  4. What an extraordinary tree! Well, trees, actually. They all have that reaching-for-the-sky look. I can almost imagine them waving their hands to the snow clouds saying, “Me first! Me! Give ME a dusting of snow!”

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    Comment by shoreacres — October 7, 2012 @ 5:50 am

    • They are very common trees in this part of the western forests from about 6000 feet up to timberline. They do very well through winters with heavy snow because they shed it readily.

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      Comment by montucky — October 7, 2012 @ 10:41 pm

  5. I can smell those pines from here. What a shot!

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    Comment by Roberta — October 7, 2012 @ 6:49 am

    • This tree adds a lot to the smell of a forest and their shape makes them unforgettable.

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      Comment by montucky — October 7, 2012 @ 10:44 pm

  6. What a tree…what a view….

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    Comment by seekraz — October 7, 2012 @ 12:52 pm

  7. Wow! Looks like a Christmas tree farm – well maybe a Christmas tree mountainside?

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    Comment by Bo Mackison — October 7, 2012 @ 1:02 pm

    • There are lots of fir trees here, many species. We always go into the forest and cut our Christmas tree. The Forest Service sells permits for $5 I think it is.

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      Comment by montucky — October 7, 2012 @ 11:06 pm

  8. What a gorgeous tree! A work of art unto itself. And – you have snow?!?!?

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    Comment by Marcie — October 7, 2012 @ 1:16 pm

    • Yes, that tree is an excellent specimen. This snow fell just one night and there hasn’t been any more. It snowed only above 4000 feet.

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      Comment by montucky — October 7, 2012 @ 11:08 pm

  9. What a lovely tree. If that’s a subalpine one, how much higher do you have to go to find the alpine ones?

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    Comment by Finn Holding — October 7, 2012 @ 1:26 pm

    • I think it is called that because it only lives from an elevation of about 6000 feet up to tree line, above which of course no trees grow and I think that is called the “alpine climate” region. Right at timber line, it grows as as a prostrate shrub.

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      Comment by montucky — October 7, 2012 @ 11:13 pm

  10. Those clouds look awesome against the snow! I refuse to feel Christmas-y, though 🙂 That would make a nice card, though.

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    Comment by Candace — October 7, 2012 @ 1:27 pm

    • Yes, that will be a candidate for our Christmas cards this year.

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      Comment by montucky — October 7, 2012 @ 11:14 pm

  11. Such gorgeous trees… And what a beautiful scene!!

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    Comment by FeyGirl — October 7, 2012 @ 1:47 pm

  12. Hi Montucky, Those spires sure remind me of the Sitka Spruce way up in Alaska. Similar shaped trees. Your shot is lovely. The trees are lovely. Makes me want to hike. I did exactly that a week ago but it was a quick short walk in the Smoky Mountains. Have an excellent coming week!

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    Comment by wildlifewatcher — October 7, 2012 @ 2:03 pm

    • There’s something about trees like this that do make you want to be among them. THey are comforting to me.

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      Comment by montucky — October 7, 2012 @ 11:22 pm

  13. Wonderful composition in a spectacular scene. I hope you told the snow to stay up there!

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    Comment by wordsfromanneli — October 7, 2012 @ 2:54 pm

    • Well, this snow won’t stay long, but there will be plenty more before spring.

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      Comment by montucky — October 7, 2012 @ 11:23 pm

  14. that is a tall christmas tree!!!

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    Comment by skouba — October 7, 2012 @ 4:25 pm

    • I’d guess around 90 feet tall, which is about their maximum height. Might be a little difficult to get the star on the top!

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      Comment by montucky — October 7, 2012 @ 11:24 pm

      • it’s gorgeous. I bet the stars twinkling around the top of it give it just the right effect!

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        Comment by skouba — October 8, 2012 @ 4:54 pm

  15. Such a majestic tree, so beautiful!

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    Comment by bayphotosbydonna — October 7, 2012 @ 6:38 pm

    • They are beauties, aren’t they! Certainly one of the nicest trees visually, and I love them because of where they grow, a climate region that is very pleasant to me.

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      Comment by montucky — October 7, 2012 @ 11:26 pm

  16. I don’t often see trees that are ten times taller than they are wide. It’s very different!

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    Comment by jomegat — October 7, 2012 @ 7:34 pm

    • That shape is a very successful survival strategy for where they live. It also does something not common among trees. Sometimes near timber line its lower branches will take root resulting in vegetative reproduction. I’ve seen some that are doing this further up the mountain. They look like they have huge skirts.

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      Comment by montucky — October 7, 2012 @ 11:30 pm

      • Hobblebush does that too – that is, its branches take root creating loops that could trip a horse (and thus the name). I didn’t know firs did it as well. When Hobblebush does it, it looks more like concertina wire than skirts.

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        Comment by jomegat — October 8, 2012 @ 5:09 am

        • As far as I know, this is the only fir that does it, and i’ve seen it only in the higher elevations near timber line. It’s very pretty to see though.

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          Comment by montucky — October 8, 2012 @ 8:41 pm

  17. I have never seen one before..beautiful!

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    Comment by Roberta — October 7, 2012 @ 10:30 pm

    • They do have a dramatic look to them. It is the most widespread true fir in western North America, partly because its shape gives it an advantage over other trees in heavy snow regions, and also because the climate areas where it grows and the terrain in those areas makes development and exploitation very difficult.

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      Comment by montucky — October 7, 2012 @ 11:35 pm

  18. One of my favorite trees, looking great here with the dusting of snow.

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    Comment by knightofswords — October 8, 2012 @ 11:49 am

    • One of my favorites too, partly because the areas in which it grows are moist with lots of vegetation and usually away from developed places..

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      Comment by montucky — October 8, 2012 @ 8:43 pm

  19. Gorgeous shot!

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    Comment by Maggie — October 8, 2012 @ 6:06 pm

  20. This photo immediately brought back the smell of these beautiful trees which live in harsh climates. Thank you!

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    Comment by Scott Thomas Photography — October 9, 2012 @ 10:49 am

    • Yes, the natural forest stimulates many of our senses.

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      Comment by montucky — October 9, 2012 @ 9:20 pm

  21. That is one beautiful picture. Can almost smell the pines!

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    Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — October 9, 2012 @ 3:29 pm

    • The smell of the trees and the feel of the cold wind. In enjoy the forest in each of the seasons.

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      Comment by montucky — October 9, 2012 @ 9:25 pm

  22. I love the tall pointy firs and spruces of the north! Reaching for sunlight and staying narrow to reduce snow load is part of their incredible adaptations for the northern climate. What a wonderful picture, shows how nature works and its absolute beauty!

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    Comment by Wild_Bill — October 9, 2012 @ 5:22 pm

    • Isn’t it wonderful how nature’s designs accomplish so much beauty and pleasantness as the living things go about the business of living.

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      Comment by montucky — October 9, 2012 @ 9:27 pm

      • Yes, and I love the notion of “nature’s designs accomplish so much beauty and pleasantness as the living things go about the business of living.” Well said, my friend, very well said!

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        Comment by Wild_Bill — October 10, 2012 @ 5:15 pm

  23. Majestic! The little ones look very pretty in their white coats too!

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    Comment by kcjewel — October 9, 2012 @ 6:35 pm

    • I think they do too. The amazing diversity of the natural forest.

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      Comment by montucky — October 9, 2012 @ 9:29 pm

  24. Cold and snow and tall fir trees: such a different world from Austin, where afternoon temperatures are still in the 80s. In no season do we have fir trees here, so I’m glad to see yours.

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    Comment by Steve Schwartzman — October 10, 2012 @ 10:39 am

    • We are closer together in mid-summer, aren’t we. In winter, poles apart. I do remember driving into Dallas one year, about 1973 I think it was, in the middle of a big ice storm though. Seemed strange to have the road all to myself!

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      Comment by montucky — October 10, 2012 @ 8:09 pm

  25. There’s nothing like this growing wild in Ohio, that’s for sure- great shot!

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    Comment by Watching Seasons — October 11, 2012 @ 7:28 am

    • This tree has an interesting distribution, only in the far west of the U.S. and Canada.

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      Comment by montucky — October 11, 2012 @ 8:22 pm

  26. Love the way the spire pokes through the only hole in the clouds.

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    Comment by Kim — October 12, 2012 @ 7:18 am

    • That particular tree seemed to fit so well with the sky and clouds, as though it was binding them together.

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      Comment by montucky — October 12, 2012 @ 8:41 pm

  27. Very freshening to see firs (I am surrounded by pines) also and this one is mighty. Sorry being so late to comment Your posts, but yesterday after publishing new post, we decided to leave to my late father’s cottage (one way 186 miles). The reason to that was simple: No rain, although “weather prophets” were predicting rain the previous day.

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    Comment by Sartenada — October 13, 2012 @ 4:43 am

    • It’s nice that you have a place to which you can retreat! We are finally getting some rain. Not a lot, but along with cooler temperatures it will be good for the land.

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      Comment by montucky — October 13, 2012 @ 9:15 pm

  28. Stunning! Though I can wait a bit for our first. We’ve had a couple of frosts–but I’m hoping that there will be no snow for a while.:)

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    Comment by kateri — October 17, 2012 @ 6:50 am

    • We’ve had many nights in the 20’s, but off and on. Tonight will be another one. This morning I could see fresh snow on the mountains above 6000 feet.

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      Comment by montucky — October 17, 2012 @ 9:21 pm


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