Montana Outdoors

December 26, 2014

Large and small

Filed under: Trees, Winter — Tags: , , , , , — montucky @ 9:11 pm

Baby fir

Very young fir

Adult Douglas Fir

Mature Douglas Fir

Baby pine

Young Ponderosa Pine

Adult Larch

Mature Larch, sleeping through the winter

(Thought I’d get these out of my system before the real snow comes later in the week.)


  1. Brave little soul!


    Comment by Mary Strong-Spaid — December 26, 2014 @ 9:26 pm

    • Our most amazing life form, I think. The tiny fir in the first photo will probably be 500 years old before it gets to the size of the large one in the second photo. I always feel very humble in the presence of a large one.


      Comment by montucky — December 26, 2014 @ 10:10 pm

  2. Fun seeing what those seemingly fragile saplings turn into.


    Comment by Malcolm R. Campbell — December 26, 2014 @ 11:22 pm

    • It is, and that transformation and the time it takes them to do it says a lot about this planet and how it works. That little sapling could easily live for centuries after the extinction of our species.


      Comment by montucky — December 26, 2014 @ 11:48 pm

  3. Those snow clouds look ominous! Great pictures, as always.


    Comment by wordsfromanneli — December 27, 2014 @ 1:27 am

    • Thanks Anneli. Looks like we are finally going to get some snow tomorrow night, followed by three nights of sub-zero cold. Half a foot of snow on the roof will be very welcome when that cold gets here!

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — December 27, 2014 @ 2:06 am

  4. Amazing. Such a small sapling to survive through the harsh winter snows and grow into such a majestic tree.


    Comment by Vicki — December 27, 2014 @ 3:32 am

    • Yes, trees like that are awesome. We live for around 80 years, but those big Firs can make it to over a thousand years. Makes you wonder which is the more important species in the eyes of nature.


      Comment by montucky — December 27, 2014 @ 10:07 am

  5. And it takes so many years to become as big as its brother. This is why I hate to see forests being destroyed…. Gorgeous shots!


    Comment by Lucy — December 27, 2014 @ 4:18 am

    • I hate to see forests destroyed too. All of the politicians here are working for more and more logging of our forests because they say it creates jobs. They call the forests a “renewable resource”. It is, but they don’t mention that it takes over 200 years to re-establish a forest that has been severely logged. In terms of a human’s lifespan, that is 10 generations.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — December 27, 2014 @ 10:10 am

      • You are so right. I don’t know why not more people get over seeing only the financial part of the deal. We are losing resources at a faster rate than at which it can regenerate… such a pity.


        Comment by Lucy — December 27, 2014 @ 10:17 am

  6. Oh, those magnificent Douglas Firs – one of the very first things I noticed upon my first trip to Oregon to go house hunting was those massively tall trees. Moving there from Kansas City, I marveled at those trees the entire time we lived in the Pacific Northwest. I miss them and really enjoyed these photos, Montucky.


    Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — December 27, 2014 @ 7:33 am

    • As I visit the forests year after year I understand more and more about them and respect them more and more too.


      Comment by montucky — December 27, 2014 @ 10:12 am

  7. I’ll take this little bit of snow, Terry…and I love that second photo…the one of the mature Douglas Fir…it looks very much like a painting….


    Comment by seekraz — December 27, 2014 @ 8:05 am

  8. I love that second shot with the snow on the trees. It embodies the picture of winter that I carry in my mind.
    I’m surprised that young ponderosa pines look virtually identical to our white pines (Pinus strobus).


    Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — December 27, 2014 @ 10:23 am

  9. Gorgeous trees. That forest of Douglas firs is just beautiful!


    Comment by Jo Woolf — December 27, 2014 @ 10:54 am

    • They are very well adapted to this part of the country and some get to be just huge!


      Comment by montucky — December 27, 2014 @ 9:18 pm

  10. As you probably know most of our forests don’t look like this in Australia! Magnificent trees. Amazing isn’t it how something small and fragile becomes so tall and majestic. Those mature trees have had a few generations of people walking under them in their lifespan so far! Thanks for the lovely pics. 🙂


    Comment by Jane — December 27, 2014 @ 4:12 pm

    • I would not be as happy without our western forests and the places in which they thrive. The balance of the ecology here is fascinating and gratifying, but I worry very much about its future.


      Comment by montucky — December 27, 2014 @ 9:21 pm

  11. Baby trees are wonderful. It’s just amazing how they can survive — and yet, that’s what they’re created to do. I was interested in the comments about clear-cutting, reforestation and such. One of the things I’ve learned to recognize in the boats I work on is the difference between old-growth teak and mahogany, and wood taken from new trees. It is possible to farm trees, but the timetable has to be a little more extended than most people are happy with. Christmas tree farms are one thing — reforesting mountain sides is quite another.


    Comment by shoreacres — December 29, 2014 @ 10:41 am

    • Yes, there are places and reasons for tree farms, but not in these western mountains which have shallow, rocky soil and only around 15 inches of rain each year. I’ve see places where bad logging practices have permanently destroyed the ability of the forest to recover.


      Comment by montucky — December 29, 2014 @ 4:43 pm

  12. It’s awe inspiring that that little twig can survive for centuries and grow to that size. I hope it’s allowed to!


    Comment by Finn Holding — December 29, 2014 @ 11:14 am

    • I hope it will be able to Finn, but where that particular one is located, probably not. Fortunately there are a million more starting in better protected places.


      Comment by montucky — December 29, 2014 @ 4:44 pm

  13. Trees are amazing!


    Comment by Candace — December 30, 2014 @ 9:16 pm

  14. Nice idea indeed. I love the last photo.


    Comment by Sartenada — January 1, 2015 @ 1:12 am

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