Montana Outdoors

October 23, 2015

Along the trail

Filed under: Autumn, Bitterroot Mountains, Hiking — Tags: , , , — montucky @ 7:20 am

Along the Heart Lake trail 171

Sometimes a scene just jumps out and begs to be photographed. On the way up the trail I completely missed this group of trees which seem completely out of place in that area, but on the way back the scene appeared like a window into the forest.


  1. Looks like a group of aspen that have lost their leaves already…. It’s amazing what we don’t see sometimes. 🙂


    Comment by seekraz — October 23, 2015 @ 7:30 am

    • This is in the Bitterroot mountains and I’m not familiar with that area yet. Parts of the trail were frozen (at around 5500 feet) so maybe it was a little colder there than here. The Aspens in my yard are just turning color now. I usually make it a practice to look back often as I hike to see a different angle on the terrain, but I sure missed this one (or the light was completely different) on the way up.


      Comment by montucky — October 23, 2015 @ 7:39 am

      • Looks like a great place to hike….and I love the thought of a frozen trail right now! I also utilize that habit of looking back often, especially on a new trail…and yes, I too, have found that the light being different can make a difference in what we see. It’s nice to see that you’re out there, Terry…..


        Comment by seekraz — October 23, 2015 @ 7:43 am

        • I’m going to try to use the remaining trail time this year wisely. Once winter really hits, the access to nearly all of our trails will be lost for the season.


          Comment by montucky — October 23, 2015 @ 7:58 am

  2. Beautiful, I love how checking our back trail offers an entirely different view.


    Comment by Teresa Evangeline — October 23, 2015 @ 9:56 am

    • It does. We have to remember too, that conditions keep changing and it doesn’t usually work to wait for the return trip down the trail to take the picture!


      Comment by montucky — October 23, 2015 @ 10:12 am

  3. Aspens grow in clones. Each clone is genetically distinct and they respond differently to the seasons. This clone may have decided to lose its leaves early. They are working hard to hold that slope in place! —-Jessica


    Comment by jpostol — October 23, 2015 @ 10:00 am

    • I would have liked to see that group when the leaves were still on!


      Comment by montucky — October 23, 2015 @ 10:13 am

  4. I am always surprised what I see and don’t see on the way up the trail, and then on my way back down the trail…Gorgeous photo, it does beg to be photographed.


    Comment by Charlie@Seattle Trekker — October 23, 2015 @ 12:04 pm

    • Yes, I am too! Had I seen this on the way up though it wouldn’t have been good for a photo because of the light.


      Comment by montucky — October 23, 2015 @ 12:21 pm

  5. They look much like many of our maples do right now, though I’m sure they must be some other species.


    Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — October 23, 2015 @ 2:54 pm

    • THey are Aspens. Up there their leaves are gone while the ones in my yard are still gold with traces of green. Of course there is about 3500 ft difference in altitude.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — October 23, 2015 @ 3:01 pm

  6. Hi Montucky, Oh what a pretty scene with those white trunks and what is left of the golden leaves on the branches. Beautiful! Glad you photographed that woodland vista! Have an excellent weekend!


    Comment by wildlifewatcher — October 23, 2015 @ 5:25 pm

    • Thanks wildlifewatcher. Have a great weekend yourself!


      Comment by montucky — October 23, 2015 @ 7:05 pm

  7. Plenty of times I’ve had the experience of hiking out a certain distance along a trail, heading back along the same route, and seeing things I’d failed to notice on the outbound segment. In some cases they’ve been conspicuous things right at the edge of the path, and still I’d missed them on the way out.


    Comment by Steve Schwartzman — October 23, 2015 @ 7:25 pm

    • I had that experience so many times! Especially with wildflowers along a forested trail.


      Comment by montucky — October 24, 2015 @ 8:12 am

  8. I love that light open patch with the leafless trees amidst the darker thicker foliage. Nice shot Terry.


    Comment by Vicki — October 24, 2015 @ 12:12 am

    • The scene was already composed for me when I got there!


      Comment by montucky — October 24, 2015 @ 8:13 am

  9. I wondered if they were aspen, and so it was nice to read that they are! So elegant – lovely how the light is catching them.


    Comment by Jo Woolf — October 24, 2015 @ 6:49 am

    • Yes, I think “elegant” is a good way to describe that scene. So very simple.


      Comment by montucky — October 24, 2015 @ 8:15 am

  10. Since I’ve started going out more regularly with a camera in hand, I’ve found myself developing the habit of looking at one side of the path going in, and the other side coming out. The only problem, of course, is that changes in the light and perspective often reveal new things on the side I’ve already looked at. Sometimes I feel like my head’s on a swivel! As for these trees: they’re a wonderful reminder that the vibrant colors of fall aren’t the only treat available to us!


    Comment by shoreacres — October 24, 2015 @ 4:10 pm

    • Having a camera along makes a big difference, doesn’t it. Maybe that’s what makes my hikes slower; (I had thought perhaps it was old age).
      I love all of the different species of trees too. I don’t think life would be worth living were it not for trees.


      Comment by montucky — October 24, 2015 @ 5:04 pm

  11. They lit up just for you!


    Comment by Candace — October 27, 2015 @ 10:02 am

  12. It’s as if they have a big spotlight shining on them. Very nice.


    Comment by wordsfromanneli — October 27, 2015 @ 4:03 pm

    • That’s what it seemed like. Nature does some amazing things if you happen to be there at the right time!


      Comment by montucky — October 27, 2015 @ 9:41 pm

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