Montana Outdoors

February 6, 2015

February day at Munson Creek

Filed under: Munson Creek, Winter — Tags: , — montucky @ 8:21 pm

Our unseasonably warm temperatures lately prompted me to make a quick visit to Munson Creek today and I found that all of the ice along the stream has melted, an extremely unusual condition for this time of year. Today’s high temperature was 53ºF while last year at this time the nights were down to -23ºF; quite a difference year to year! The stream water is only a little higher than usual though.

Munson Creek in Februrary

Munson Creek in Februrary


  1. The various curves in the first photo — the trees across the creek, the branches, and so on — seem to give it an almost “fish-eye” effect. Or, if not that (since I don’t really know anything about fish-eye lenses — that might not be the right word) it certainly does give me the sense that the image is curved, and not rectangular. It does look awfully springy for this time of year. Should we begin a snow chant for you?


    Comment by shoreacres — February 6, 2015 @ 8:54 pm

    • We could use a snow chant! There’s still two months of winter left here though, but no snow in sight. In the next few days we are expected to get some heavy rain, which will be OK if it rains in the valleys and snows up higher.

      I see what you mentioned about the curve look to the photo. I don’t have a “fish-eye” lens, that’s actually the shape of the creek bottom there. The sides of the canyon are very steep: it was difficult to get down there and back out, although it was only about a hundred feet deep. Fortunately a couple of rather sketchy elk trails and some deep-rooted bushes made it possible. Still, it took about an hour to get pictures of the only two cascades in the immediate area that weren’t covered completely with the brush. There are cascades all along about five miles of the stream as it descends about 3000 feet in that distance, but not too many are accessible.


      Comment by montucky — February 6, 2015 @ 9:09 pm

  2. Looks like spring with all that green…which I guess is not a good thing for early February there.


    Comment by Candace — February 6, 2015 @ 8:57 pm

    • The overhead green is cedars and most of the ground green is moss, both quite normal this time of year, but in normal years the stream would be all ice covered and the ground would be deep under the snow.


      Comment by montucky — February 6, 2015 @ 9:12 pm

  3. Beautiful, Terry, regardless of the season….in that second photo, is the water coming out of the ground, or through a pipe from another part of the stream to the left of the image? I’ve seen water coming out of the ground in the mountains of Utah, but not with such a flow as this one appears to have….


    Comment by seekraz — February 6, 2015 @ 9:06 pm

    • That’s just a sharp turn in the stream through the boulders. The stream there and on up to its source is very wild and uncontrolled, but beautiful if you can fight through the brush to get to it. There’s one section a couple miles up where it falls pretty rapidly and I’ve been thinking it would be worth a day or so to try to bust my up through it and see all of the cascades.

      I’ve visited Mamoth Springs in southern Utah. Amazing to see simply a huge spring with a sizable stream issuing from it! Used to be good fishing below it a ways too.


      Comment by montucky — February 6, 2015 @ 9:22 pm

      • Well I’d love to see some photos of those cascades if you can make it up there. I really admire seeing living water like that. I never made it to Mammoth Springs in Utah, but was fascinated at finding a nice stream issuing from a mountainside in the canyons where I used to hike.


        Comment by seekraz — February 7, 2015 @ 8:28 am

        • The start of this stream is also a spring, but at that point it is very small and about 6 miles above where this photo was taken, all in a roadless area, so the water is very pure.


          Comment by montucky — February 7, 2015 @ 9:38 am

  4. Lovely photos,bit cold..


    Comment by Boeta — February 6, 2015 @ 9:10 pm

    • Yes the canyon felt cold. The temp was in the low 30’s(F) but the humidity was high. Still, much warmer than usual for this time of year.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — February 6, 2015 @ 9:25 pm

      • Yes, relatives I guess, we hit 30 C at moment.


        Comment by Boeta — February 6, 2015 @ 9:26 pm

  5. That first photo had me looking for the elves and fairies that might be hidden in the woods. Beautiful!


    Comment by wordsfromanneli — February 6, 2015 @ 9:40 pm

  6. It’s 1:15 a.m. and looking at the great picture of that sleep makes me think of the soothing sound of such creeks. Now I’m twice as sleepy.


    Comment by Malcolm R. Campbell — February 7, 2015 @ 12:22 am

    • It’s a wonderful sound, and in those remote stretches it’s the only sound you hear.


      Comment by montucky — February 7, 2015 @ 12:29 am

  7. It is such a different winter from last year. There is almost no snow here in Minnesota, just a light covering here and there, and only a couple of cold spells that were short-lived. But, your photos are beautiful and the mildness must make your hiking very pleasant.


    Comment by Teresa Evangeline — February 7, 2015 @ 7:10 am

    • And yet some places have had extreme winter weather. Somewhere our “weather traffic control” has gone awry!
      While our weather is now mild, the roads that access the mountain trail heads are still covered with ice and snow so I can’t even get to them, much as I’d love to. The elevation of the valley in which I live is about 2400 feet and the mountains on either side are around 7000 feet, so there is a lot of steepness involved and deep canyons that seldom see any sun, so ice accumulates and stays.


      Comment by montucky — February 7, 2015 @ 9:43 am

  8. What strange weather! Here we’re seeing below zero nights one right after another and it’s been like that for two weeks. That’s unusually cold for us.
    That’s a beautiful little stream and worth the effort it must have taken to get to it. We won’t be seeing any scenes like that here for a while yet so I’m glad I can see them here.


    Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — February 7, 2015 @ 8:48 am

    • I like winter, but not really the sub-zero cold. The area where I live is sometimes called the “banana belt” of Montana because it is usually warmer than the rest of the area, but this year it has been setting lots of “daily high” records. A cold front moving down from up north though can change that quickly though when it happens. It rained all night last night, quite heavily, and the clouds are in today. I would like to see the mountain tops (above 6000 feet): they probably received a couple of feet of badly needed snow last night.


      Comment by montucky — February 7, 2015 @ 9:48 am

  9. What a difference from one year to the next. I’m thankful for less cold weather this year, but we have had no new snow since before Christmas. The photos are just beautiful.


    Comment by Sue — February 7, 2015 @ 9:44 am

    • Thanks, Sue! Yes, I’ve seen that your weather has followed about the same pattern as ours this year. I’m still hoping for a return to winter in the next 3 months. We really need that deep mountain snow!


      Comment by montucky — February 7, 2015 @ 9:51 am

  10. Wow, you ARE having a warm spell! Not us. Quite cold and still plenty of snow on the ground. I did enjoy the photos…it’s kind of nice to see some ‘green’ this time of year.


    Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — February 7, 2015 @ 1:53 pm

    • Good to see that you at least are having normal weather! Way back when we would see warm spells this time of year, caused by chinook winds, but they were short periods and completely different than this unseasonal weather.


      Comment by montucky — February 7, 2015 @ 4:51 pm

  11. A really nice photo of a worrying situation. Lets hope it gets cold again soon.


    Comment by Giiid — February 7, 2015 @ 2:52 pm

    • It’s entirely possible here that the situation will change in a matter of days and go to very cold. What I know for sure is that I can’t change it, so I’ll just enjoy the enjoyable parts!


      Comment by montucky — February 7, 2015 @ 4:52 pm

  12. Happy Spring! Skunk cabbage is on the way.


    Comment by Kinzel, Chad — February 7, 2015 @ 8:36 pm

    • All ready! Despite the warmth, I have a feeling that winter is still hiding in the shadows. We are seeing a few flower sprouts in the flower beds, but not or the wild variety yet. First will be pussy willows and a few buttercups.


      Comment by montucky — February 7, 2015 @ 9:13 pm

  13. Just a small comment. Beautiful and as always thanks for sharing.


    Comment by Ron Mangels — February 8, 2015 @ 8:52 am

  14. Those colours are gorgeous, and the effect is so intense – it’s almost like being there! So refreshing. A welcome hint of spring!


    Comment by Jo Woolf — February 8, 2015 @ 1:56 pm

    • The moss is incredible. Until recently it was under snow and ice and now bright green!

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — February 8, 2015 @ 8:10 pm

  15. wow, no snow or ice
    we still have both, but 45F and things are melting, snow turning to ice
    your photos are lovely
    and much easier to walk there than in my woods
    yes UNUSUAL!


    Comment by Tammie — February 8, 2015 @ 2:15 pm

    • I’m still betting that there will be some winter weather yet to come! Sure hope so!


      Comment by montucky — February 8, 2015 @ 8:13 pm

  16. I was surprised to see a picture without ice! That does sound like unusual weather for you. These are lovely pictures though. I can never seem to get my pictures of streams looking as good as real life but yours are lovely. The colours are so intense. I can almost hear the sounds of the stream when I look at your pictures. I love the frozen waterfalls but these are beautiful too.


    Comment by Jane — February 9, 2015 @ 1:12 am

    • Small streams like this one, flowing through wild country hold a place of reverence for me. I believe that the extinction of our species will come about because we will have destroyed the ability of the earth to regenerate and renew the natural cycle of water. Fresh, pure springs and streams are vanishing and those that remain are precious.


      Comment by montucky — February 9, 2015 @ 9:20 am

  17. Hi Montucky, Beautiful stream and pretty picture! Have a pleasant day tomorrow!


    Comment by wildlifewatcher — February 11, 2015 @ 8:39 pm

  18. Nice photos although winter has vanished.


    Comment by Sartenada — February 13, 2015 @ 12:55 am

    • Thanks! I think that there will be more winter to come in the next two months.


      Comment by montucky — February 13, 2015 @ 9:43 am

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