Montana Outdoors

April 21, 2013

Interesting day

After a heavy rain during the night there was a very light rain this morning and I found several more flowers blooming near the river.

Holboell's rockcress

Holboell’s rockcress, Boechera pendulocarpa ~ Arabis holboellii

Narrow-leaved Desert Parsley

Narrow-leaved Desert Parsley, Lomatium triternatum

And a member of the Saxifrage family that I have seen before but just now identified.

Peak Saxifrage

Peak Saxifrage

Peak Saxifrage, Micranthes nidifica

Soon after these photos were take it began to snow…. hard! Five hours later and after about five inches of heavy, wet snow it looked like this:

April snow

After taking the previous photo I headed back to the house, then instead of going in, decided to hike down near the river and perhaps get an interesting photo in the storm. On the way, about a quarter of a mile from the house I heard a loud crack and looked toward the sound just in time to see a large dead pine tree fall across the highway. I headed straight for it to stop and direct traffic and perhaps remove enough of the tree to permit traffic flow. There was too much tree on the road, but a pickup stopped and two men got out to help, leaving their truck with flashers on to block the lane that was completely blocked by the tree. I jogged back to the house for my chain saw while they directed traffic. When I returned it took just a few minutes for the three of us to cut enough of the tree to clear the roadway and get traffic moving again. I’m glad the tree didn’t wait until dark to fall!

Down tree

An interesting day!


  1. Interesting day is putting it mildly! First I was “oh”ing about the flowers you found, and then a big OH for the snow. Finally a really big OH!!!! for the tree across the road. What a day you’ve had!


    Comment by wordsfromanneli — April 21, 2013 @ 8:23 pm

    • Actually, a very good one. We needed the precipitation very badly and the rain during the night was excellent as well as the snow with a very high water content. It was a beautiful day too (if you like extremes in the weather). Those guys who stopped to help really made my day though. They didn’t hesitate to do what should have been done and did it efficiently too. Those are the kind of people I like to have around!


      Comment by montucky — April 21, 2013 @ 10:13 pm

  2. Montucky, you saved the day! Quite a hazard, that tree in that visibility. Glad you were in an exploring mood. Amazing diversity of plant life in your area.


    Comment by C.C. — April 21, 2013 @ 9:37 pm

    • It was just lucky that I was there to see the tree right away before anyone got hurt, and then that two guys came along very soon and helped. Also lucky the tree fell during daylight: at night it may have been tragic.

      Yes, we do have a lot of diversity here. A lot of the reason I think is that there is quite a bit of roadless area around containing old growth forest. That is the home of natural biodiversity that no longer exists in areas where exploitation has changed the order of things.


      Comment by montucky — April 21, 2013 @ 10:17 pm

      • Love live those few places, Montucky. Glad you are bringing attention to the situation.


        Comment by C.C. — April 22, 2013 @ 8:11 am

  3. I find that going out is always a grand adventure. Got to love Montana.


    Comment by MT Outdoor Quest — April 21, 2013 @ 10:50 pm

    • It sure is. There’s always something! I’ve been poking around this state for a lot of years and I’m still encountering new things almost daily.


      Comment by montucky — April 21, 2013 @ 11:04 pm

  4. Reblogged this on Montana Outdoor Quest and commented:
    A nice spring snow storm occurred today, two inches this morning in Kalispell. The following story is a little South of Kalispell down the Swan.


    Comment by MT Outdoor Quest — April 21, 2013 @ 11:00 pm

  5. Thanks for your kind words Terry.
    I keep hoping to get back to blogging – the past couple years have been nuts with health issues for family and self.
    Hope you and your family are doing well.
    Love that snowy road – we didn’t get that kind of snow this year…. maybe next!! ;o)


    Comment by Stacey — April 21, 2013 @ 11:52 pm

    • I’d like to see you blog again too, Stacey. I know how time consuming it can be though.


      Comment by montucky — April 22, 2013 @ 11:10 am

  6. Wow! It’s a good thing you were there. That kind of thing happens here fairly regularly, and trees have landed on cars. It makes driving seem like a crap shoot, at times.
    I don’t think I know any of those flowers. It will be interesting to see what the snow did to them.


    Comment by New Hampshire Gardener — April 22, 2013 @ 4:25 am

    • It was lucky to get there immediately after that tree fell. I’d hate to see a small car hit it at 70mph! I’m sure the wildflowers will be OK, but the daffodils look like they were stomped pretty good.


      Comment by montucky — April 22, 2013 @ 11:13 am

  7. Incredible! You’ve done well to show the extreme weather change in your pictures – wow! And what a great example of community shown by you and others to clear the road. Great post!


    Comment by Debby — April 22, 2013 @ 5:55 am

    • I criticize a lot of the people in Montana, but when there is a problem like that fallen tree, most will stop and pitch right in to take care of the problem. We have to in these rural areas.


      Comment by montucky — April 22, 2013 @ 11:15 am

  8. Incredible weather…and photos…and nice that you were close enough to the house to get your saw…..


    Comment by seekraz — April 22, 2013 @ 6:56 am

    • Yes, and the chain was sharp and the saw was all gassed up. I was a little surprised that the guys who stopped didn’t have a saw in their truck. Many do around these parts.


      Comment by montucky — April 22, 2013 @ 11:17 am

      • When I saw the photo and read where your narrative was going, I thought you were going to say that they had one in their truck…seems to have worked out well…safely and timely.


        Comment by seekraz — April 23, 2013 @ 6:29 am

  9. Fascinating weather conditions! And beautiful photos.


    Comment by Kjersti — April 22, 2013 @ 2:52 pm

    • Thanks Kjersti! Yes, a big weather change in a few hours.


      Comment by montucky — April 22, 2013 @ 8:22 pm

  10. Good heavens! It looks like Narnia suddenly hit!


    Comment by Val — April 23, 2013 @ 3:30 pm

    • It was the kind of day that can get someone who is not prepared for it into a lot of trouble. There were several severe accidents during the snowstorm, but not close to us here.


      Comment by montucky — April 23, 2013 @ 8:46 pm

      • Is that sort of sudden weather usual there?


        Comment by Val — April 24, 2013 @ 5:51 am

        • It is very common in Spring but occurs in Summer too sometimes, and in Autumn a lot, especially at higher elevations. It can be very dangerous for anyone not prepared for it.


          Comment by montucky — April 24, 2013 @ 9:11 pm

  11. One would never guess those last photos were taken in April and such a good thing that you all were able to get the tree cleared. If that happened around here, I’m sure we would all just stand around and gawk at it.


    Comment by Candace — April 23, 2013 @ 11:09 pm

    • That little storm was awesome. 5 inches of snow in 5 hours and 24 hours late it was all gone.

      In these very rural areas, everyone knows they have to take care of problems like that, and most people are pretty capable of doing it. Official help could have been a long time coming.


      Comment by montucky — April 24, 2013 @ 9:00 pm

  12. Beautiful images of the wild flowers, and the snow is just incredible! Well done for helping clear the road – it looks like very difficult driving conditions to say the least.


    Comment by Jo Woolf — April 24, 2013 @ 1:03 am

    • I really love this kind of diversity in Spring. It makes things interesting. The driving wasn’t that bad for local folks who are used to it, but very hard on visitors. There were several very bad accidents during that storm in other areas.


      Comment by montucky — April 24, 2013 @ 9:03 pm

  13. I’d say interesting day! Flowers to snow to Terry and crew save the day!!


    Comment by kcjewel — April 24, 2013 @ 9:00 pm

    • Those swings of weather sometimes get folks a little sideways. It’s always good to be ready fro about anything. I enjoyed the day!


      Comment by montucky — April 24, 2013 @ 9:06 pm

  14. Such interesting flowers, and snow…wow! Life in the mountains 🙂


    Comment by Watching Seasons — April 25, 2013 @ 8:17 pm

    • I really enjoy the variety of weather in the spring here. Today was warm and sunny for a change.


      Comment by montucky — April 25, 2013 @ 9:45 pm

  15. Interesting day – yes indeed. Great story from real life. Flowers photos are again wonderful and unknown to me. Saxifrage is known here, but which specimen, I am not sure.


    Comment by Sartenada — April 25, 2013 @ 11:38 pm

    • There are quite a few species of saxifrage here. This one took me a long time to identify. I was surprised that it was a saxifrage.


      Comment by montucky — April 26, 2013 @ 8:48 pm

  16. wow! what a day!! the pictures are amazing. so glad you all were able to take care of that tree!


    Comment by skouba — April 27, 2013 @ 9:49 pm

    • See what you are missing, living down there in a warm climate!


      Comment by montucky — April 27, 2013 @ 10:55 pm

  17. Oh – I missed leaving a comment. I guess I got too excited by the desert parsley. I recognized it as a parsley because of it’s resemblance to our prairie parsley. They’re such pretty plants. As for the snow – your story of you, the other fellows and the chainsaw reminded me of my first trip south from Tyler to Nacogdoches after Hurricane Ike. It came in Saturday, and Sunday morning I headed down the back way. The roads already were completely clear, with neat piles of wood along the side. All of the people had gotten out and taken care of that so the power trucks could get through. I don’t even believe they asked permission of the government. 😉


    Comment by shoreacres — April 28, 2013 @ 6:14 pm

    • We have two species of parsley here and they bloom at a time when not too many other plants are blooming, so they get a lot of attention. I really like them!

      I’m glad that people who have the equipment and skills will pitch in when necessary, particularly in sparsely populated areas. The county in which I live is over a hundred miles long from east to west, and at times even law enforcement response time is over an hour. It’s interesting what these people will come up with in a time of crisis. At one accident scene to which I responded with Rural Fire, an SUV was balanced precariously on a guard rail above a rapids in the river with the driver pinned inside. A rancher about a mile from the scene got there quickly and brought his back hoe which he chained to the SUV to keep it from going into the river, saving the life of the driver. It took us over half an hour to cut the driver out of the SUV and without the chain on it I’m sure it would not have stayed in place.


      Comment by montucky — April 28, 2013 @ 10:38 pm

  18. I missed this post last year, so I’m glad you pointed back to it. That’s a lovely snowfall picture.


    Comment by Steve Schwartzman — April 19, 2014 @ 6:54 am

    • Until I read the post again yesterday I had forgotten about that late snowfall.


      Comment by montucky — April 19, 2014 @ 7:34 am

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