Montana Outdoors

November 5, 2015

And soon we’ll hear… old Winter’s song…

Filed under: Cabinet Mountains, Stony Lake, Winter — Tags: , , , — montucky @ 7:36 pm

The sky began spitting snow soon after we left the house. As we started up the final few steep miles to the lake it grew heavier, and when we arrived at the lake, we found that winter had been there first.

Stony Lake road// Lake//

Stony Lake// Lake//

Stony Lake// Lake//

Stony Lake// Lake//

Stony Lake// Lake road//

Stony Lake sits at about 6000 feet in the Cabinet Mountains of western Montana. It is the first of the cirque lakes that I have visited that has a road right up to it. By the looks of the weather we may have been the last ones to visit the lake before next summer.


  1. A true winter wonderland!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by de Wets Wild — November 5, 2015 @ 7:42 pm

  2. It’s true, isn’t it? A dusting of snow lets a bit of autumn still show through, and it is beautiful. How neat that you made it up in time to see it before the snow gets too deep. I like your title, too. Here’s one of my favorite versions of the song that it recalled.


    Comment by shoreacres — November 5, 2015 @ 8:24 pm

    • It might have been prettier had the sun come out and the sky been blue, but I was just happy that the snow storm that was sweeping down over the peaks hadn’t covered the whole scene. I thought for a few moments that the photos would be black and white but then was pleased to see that the lemon-colored lichens on the cliff faces did show up in color.

      With the breeze that was blowing it was very cold, especially since I have not become used to the cold yet this fall. It was a surprise to see that about three quarters of the lake was already frozen over even though the ice is not yet very thick.

      I like that version of the song too; thanks!


      Comment by montucky — November 5, 2015 @ 9:19 pm

  3. I’ve always thought the rock formations in Montana were especially interesting and to see them outlined by the levels of snow is a new look (for me). It accents the design of the rocks. And yes, I agree, it’s great to see the bits of colour still coming through even though the snow has covered much of the land.


    Comment by wordsfromanneli — November 5, 2015 @ 11:07 pm

    • It was a wonderland up there today and I especially enjoyed seeing that the only tracks besides ours were those of a pack of coyotes who were hunting along the lake.

      I do love the colors of the forests, but the white was nice to see as well. It was also nice to see that the lake was full and the stream coming from it was flowing freely too.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — November 5, 2015 @ 11:27 pm

      • Yes, after such a dry summer it’s a relief to see that the water systems have recovered.


        Comment by wordsfromanneli — November 6, 2015 @ 8:20 am

  4. Looks wonderful to me. Do you need chains on your car tyres for this light snow on the road, or are all the roads cleared ?
    I like the contrast between the spiky tree branches and lines of the rock formations tinged with snow.

    The last photo looks just like Christmas trees. I like the light dusting of snow. Gives more depth and interest to the images – especially with the yellow lichen and the reddish tinge of the trees lower down.

    Last time I was up the snow in my state was about 30+ years ago now. I drove my car up to the ski resort with 3 friends, had a bad fall skiing on the last day (of the week) and my girlfriend had to drive my car back down the mountains. We had chains on the car tyres, but I suspect my friend was scared stiff on the section where the mountain fell away steeply on both sides of the road along a ridge.

    (oh to be young and carefree again 🙂 )


    Comment by Vicki — November 5, 2015 @ 11:57 pm

    • I do carry chains for the Jeep, but need them only on very heavy ice on the back roads. The roads in that area are never cleared. The nearest road to there that gets cleared was about 40 miles away. Soon there will be no more travel on that road. In fact, it will be closed to even snowmobile use in about a month for the protection of the wildlife that prefers to live in such a high snowy region.

      It will soon be the start of winter here I think. The snow that is now on the ground at the higher elevations will be there all winter now and hopefully there will be many feet more of it by spring. I plan to get out more this winter than in the last few. It’s beautiful in these mountains in winter too!

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — November 6, 2015 @ 12:12 am

      • I’ll look forward to those winter photos. Strange but I like rugged cold landscapes more than hot humid rain forests or even the temperate climate of Melbourne. I think I must have been an Arctic explorer in a previous life. (Alaska and the Himalayas are my 2 favourite areas).


        Comment by Vicki — November 7, 2015 @ 5:27 pm

        • I like winter a lot too. Not as much as the other seasons though because in this area it really limits access into the back country. It is beautiful though and even more so because of what all that snow does for the forests and rivers. Water is probably the single most important thing for the existence of life on Earth and much of it is available only through the forest watersheds which depend on a big snow pack each winter. I love to see it piled deep up high!

          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by montucky — November 7, 2015 @ 10:05 pm

  5. Just a dusting but I’m sure there’s a lot more on the way!
    We had a few flurries last month and now we’re seeing temps in the high 60s. Winter is nowhere in sight here right now.


    Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — November 6, 2015 @ 3:56 am

    • I’m still hoping that we get your snow this winter and you get a mild one!


      Comment by montucky — November 6, 2015 @ 8:22 pm

  6. Beautiful!! What is the earliest you have found snow – rather, snow has found you? Thanks for sharing!! hugs


    Comment by Beth — November 6, 2015 @ 8:31 am

    • Over the years I’ve seen snow here in every month. Not always a lot, but it can happen in these mountains any time. Usually we have a snow in October at least but this year it has come late.


      Comment by montucky — November 6, 2015 @ 8:24 pm

  7. Beautiful captures. I love that first dusting of snow, although I’m not sure I’m ready yet this year. Apparently, our area had a dusting the weekend we were down south visiting our kids, so I missed it. And unbelievably, we have had temps in the mid 70’s this week! Kind of pleasant though.


    Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — November 6, 2015 @ 10:36 am

    • The normal day time highs here right now are in the 50’s, and next week we are supposed to be there. In the higher elevations though, all bets are off. My son and I went hunting this morning and encountered 4 inches of snow about ten miles away from the house, then ice, then about 10 miles through a mud bog.


      Comment by montucky — November 6, 2015 @ 8:27 pm

      • I know from deer hunters here that snow makes it easier to drag your kill out of the woods. Doe season is in now, buck won’t start til Nov 30. Our weather seems so unpredictable lately, who knows if there will be snow or 70 degree temps.


        Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — November 7, 2015 @ 11:14 am

        • Yes, snow is a big help for hunters, at least until it gets too deep. It sure does make it easier getting an animal out, but here it also pushes them down from the high elevations where they are more easily accessible.


          Comment by montucky — November 7, 2015 @ 10:01 pm

  8. Hi Montucky, Nice refreshing look. It is 83 degrees F. here in my area of Florida at the moment. Not that I am complaining. Your photographs are wonderful. Have a fabulous weekend!


    Comment by wildlifewatcher — November 6, 2015 @ 3:50 pm

    • Yes, I know you have those warm temperatures this time of year. Having been long used to this area though, that would be much too hot for me this time of year. Have a good weekend too!


      Comment by montucky — November 6, 2015 @ 8:28 pm

  9. Such magnificent scenery! Those rock formations are amazing. You live in such a beautiful part of the world, in all the seasons! I must visit one day! Excellent photographs. 🙂


    Comment by Jane — November 7, 2015 @ 4:29 am

    • For some reason I had never been to that lake before. The lens just doesn’t do it justice, it’s such a huge stage. It would appear even more impressive if the water had been open. The light snow on top of the ice seemed to make the lake itself disappear.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — November 7, 2015 @ 7:53 am

  10. Breathtaking! Love the effect of the snow on those bare rock faces, with the details just picked out in hints of green. Superb.


    Comment by Jo Woolf — November 8, 2015 @ 8:53 am

    • It was an awesome sight as I reached the top of the trail leading to the lake and those views just seemed to explode over the landscape ahead of me.


      Comment by montucky — November 8, 2015 @ 9:21 pm

  11. Make me feel cold just looking at them – snow………. love the stuff.
    With luck it will snow on Jebel shams (10,000ft) as it looks like Oman may get one of its cold winters this year (happens about every 11 years) hope I don’t miss it as I am in UK for the winter holidays. Although I may have seen enough if the UK forecast is anything to go by 🙂

    You live in a beautiful part of the world.



    Comment by David A Lockwood — November 8, 2015 @ 9:08 am

    • I would think that snow in Oman would be something awesome to see and photograph. I hope you get to see it this year!


      Comment by montucky — November 8, 2015 @ 9:22 pm

  12. I always thought that first dusting of snow was pretty when I lived in IN. After that, not so much, so I guess I moved to the right place. It’s lovely to look at, though.


    Comment by Candace — November 9, 2015 @ 8:20 am

    • Down there you have the advantage of being able to drive to the snow and return to the warm valley when you wish. Once the snow settles in here you must deal with it for the season, which is hard on some folks. Others get out and enjoy the snow and ice.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — November 9, 2015 @ 8:36 am

  13. Wow. Lovely “pre winter” photos.


    Comment by Sartenada — November 11, 2015 @ 6:30 am

    • Now a week after these photos were taken, there is over a foot of snow up there and access would not be possible except by snowmobile.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — November 11, 2015 @ 9:32 am

      • Very nice. Here in our northernmost part of Finland, which called Lapland, there is more or less one feet snow already. We stay now in Oulu and the weather is cold and rainy, but no snow.


        Comment by Sartenada — November 12, 2015 @ 1:55 am

        • I did walk in the snow today, about 4 inches where I was, but it appears that there is much more a few thousand feet higher. I hintk Lapland is much colder than here though.

          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by montucky — November 12, 2015 @ 7:00 pm

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