Montana Outdoors

January 23, 2015

Cliff ice along the Flathead River

Montana Highway 200 follows the Flathead River for the last 20 miles of the river before it flows into the Clark Fork River and in that 20 miles there is a stretch of about a half mile where a cliff used to run right up to the river. When I was a kid the old highway in that area had been constructed over a steep and winding path that went up, over and around the cliff. Later, the cliff was blasted out to allow the road to be rebuilt flat and straight, right along the bank of the river. The new cliff face now has numerous seeps from it which freeze in winter, making some attractive ice formations. The vertical lines visible in the ice in these photos are the old drill holes that were filled with explosive charges to blast the rock away. Ice has decorated the holes and in many places, water flows down through the holes and behind the ice.

Cliff ice along the Flathead River

Cliff ice along the Flathead River

Cliff ice along the Flathead River

Cliff ice along the Flathead River

Cliff ice along the Flathead River

Cliff ice along the Flathead River

Cliff ice along the Flathead River

Cliff ice along the Flathead River

Cliff ice along the Flathead River

Cliff ice along the Flathead River

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36 Comments »

  1. Neat to see the minerals leeching out and coloring the ice just slightly in those last photos. And thanks for the close ups — I finally spotted some of the drill marks, filled with ice. It was what passes for cold here today, but certainly not cold enough for ice. It’s always such a delight to see how things are in your part of the world, even if I end up rummaging around for a sweater after I’ve looked at the photos for a while.

    Like

    Comment by shoreacres — January 23, 2015 @ 9:23 pm

    • Ironically, it isn’t all that cold here for the time being (by our standards), and I think that the melt and freeze cycles add to the size and variety of the ice formations.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — January 23, 2015 @ 9:47 pm

  2. Ice sure has beautiful patterns and designs. No two examples are ever the same.

    Like

    Comment by wordsfromanneli — January 23, 2015 @ 9:47 pm

    • Yes, there must be an infinite variety. I always have to stop and examine ice formations.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — January 23, 2015 @ 9:49 pm

  3. Ice on rock artwork..Beautiful capture!

    Like

    Comment by Mother Hen — January 23, 2015 @ 10:03 pm

  4. You know how to feed my ice art desires. What stunning and interesting images! Thank you. 🙂

    Like

    Comment by Jane — January 24, 2015 @ 12:06 am

    • It’s good to see the ice displays back again. Very few showed up during several drought years because the seeps that supply them were not flowing. Now that our precipitation is back to normal they have returned.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — January 24, 2015 @ 12:14 am

  5. Spectacular! I love the geometric patterns it has created.

    Like

    Comment by Jo Woolf — January 24, 2015 @ 5:50 am

    • The creations with the light and thin icicles is something rather new to me. I like them too!

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — January 24, 2015 @ 9:34 pm

  6. Beautiful!

    Like

    Comment by derrycats — January 24, 2015 @ 6:57 am

  7. That’s more than a little pretty…. 🙂

    Like

    Comment by seekraz — January 24, 2015 @ 7:47 am

  8. Those are some big ice formations! It’s amazing what a little groundwater can do. In the summer you probably hardly even notice that it’s there.

    Like

    Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — January 24, 2015 @ 9:00 am

    • I’ve begun to wonder now. I suppose the thick “falls” are from groundwater, but perhaps the light icicles may be from snow melt?

      Like

      Comment by montucky — January 24, 2015 @ 9:36 pm

  9. Awesome! I do like seeing cliff ice. We get some here too but not as spectacular as yours.

    Like

    Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — January 24, 2015 @ 10:15 am

  10. That’s really amazing. I’d like to see something like that.

    Like

    Comment by Candace — January 24, 2015 @ 3:03 pm

    • It’s Mother Nature’s way of keeping us amused in winter! I sure like seeing them though!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — January 24, 2015 @ 9:38 pm

  11. absolutely gorgeous! water in one of it’s amazing stances.

    Like

    Comment by Tammie — January 24, 2015 @ 3:09 pm

    • Water does some amazing things, doesn’t it! Besides being vital for our very existence, it can be beautiful too!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — January 24, 2015 @ 9:39 pm

  12. What a beautiful sight. Lovely photos of it too. The second last image is my favourite – I like the contrast of the reddish rock colour. I always find ice falls like this so amazing as I try to imagine exactly how they formed in the first place. It’s that seemingly magical frozen in mid-air effect that does it.

    Like

    Comment by Vicki — January 24, 2015 @ 6:29 pm

    • I have to admit, I spend a bit of time imagining the physics of those formations. I’ve seen them form around real water falls and some that form from very small seeps look quite similar. Some grow seemingly from nowhere on high, steep mountainsides. Always though I enjoy the decorations!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — January 24, 2015 @ 9:41 pm

  13. What fascinating and beautiful formations, created out of our human doings….

    Like

    Comment by FeyGirl — January 24, 2015 @ 9:46 pm

    • Sometimes our world can be beautiful in spite of us!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — January 24, 2015 @ 9:51 pm

  14. These are all beautiful shots. I like the rust stained one–saw one like that the other day running out of the iron-rich basalt on the North Shore of Lake Superior.

    Like

    Comment by Sue — January 25, 2015 @ 8:07 am

    • I don’t see very many like that here in the local area, most have a blue or green tint, but I don’t do a lot of traveling in winter.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — January 25, 2015 @ 9:57 am

  15. Your photography is spectacular, but then again, so is your subject matter.

    Like

    Comment by orples — January 25, 2015 @ 2:44 pm

    • Thank you! Yes, a lot of beautiful things occur here, in all seasons.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — January 25, 2015 @ 8:17 pm

  16. I like icicles a lot! I used to see several on hillsides around Crossville, TN where I once lived a few years ago. You did a wonderful job showing how the ice flows. Nice pictures! Have a terrific coming week!

    Like

    Comment by wildlifewatcher — January 25, 2015 @ 4:09 pm

    • Thank you! I hope you will have a great week as well!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — January 25, 2015 @ 8:18 pm

  17. Wow. I am speechless when seeing Your stunning photos!

    Like

    Comment by Sartenada — January 29, 2015 @ 12:44 am

    • Living in a sparsely inhabited region, we don’t see many lights, but Nature decorates nicely in winter.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — January 29, 2015 @ 10:33 am

  18. What a masterpiece made by nature!

    Like

    Comment by Dana S. Hugh — February 10, 2015 @ 6:33 am

    • Nature decorates so well, doesn’t she! Makes me want to be everywhere at once.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — February 10, 2015 @ 9:30 am


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