Montana Outdoors

January 31, 2016

Decorated glass

Either I have not seen lichens growing on glass before or just not noticed them, but today an old bottle caught my eye. It not only is nicely decorated with lichen, but there are two different kinds of them on it. I wonder if perhaps there may be a little greenhouse heating effect inside the bottle, making the glass a little warmer than the surrounding air because the lichens seem to be extraordinarily robust. (The decorated bottle was so pretty that I wanted to take it home, but I certainly couldn’t destroy their little world.)

lichen on bottle

lichen on bottle

lichen on bottle

Nearby there frost crystals on some barberry leaves, but I saw no frost on the bottle.

frost crystal

January 26, 2016

“Flowers” in January

Filed under: Lichens, Winter — Tags: , , — montucky @ 9:59 pm

The brightest things in the forest today were cup lichens ~ Cladonia pleurota. They are tiny but their fruit is bright red.

Cladonia pleurota ~ lichen

Cladonia pleurota ~ lichen

Cladonia pleurota

Cladonia pleurota ~ lichen

Cladonia pleurota

Cladonia pleurota

January 15, 2016

Brief snow shoe trip

Filed under: Snowshoeing, Winter — Tags: , , — montucky @ 10:42 pm

Today a friend and I found that the road was open to Loneman Divide, about 15 miles from home and made a short “tune up” snowshoe hike from there up to the ridge above the pass and found it very refreshing. Another half dozen of those short hikes and we will be ready for something more serious.

Start of the Todd Creek trail

We took “the trail less traveled”.

Snow capped stump

Snow-capped stump

Spare tire

The stump must have been hollow because the top looked like a doughnut.

Baldy Mountain in the clouds

To the east side of the divide.

West of the divide

To the west side.

Frosty trees on the divide

Frost covered trees along the top.

Frosty trees

Frosty trees

Frosty trees//

January 8, 2016

Mule deer

Filed under: Animals, Mule deer, Winter — Tags: , , — montucky @ 8:17 pm

Behind the local Ranger Station there is a half-section of land that rises for a mile up a fairly open south-facing slope that is used as a summer pasture for the Forest Service pack horses and mules and also as a protected winter range for a sizable herd of mule deer. Yesterday A friend called to tell me that she had recently hiked through the area and found that the deer spending the winter there were fairly mellow and could be approached to within camera range, and so today we went back to get a few photos. Here are some that I brought back, all taken with a 70-300mm lens.

Mule deer doe

Mule deer doe feeding



There's a sound in the wind

There’s a sound in the wind

Ears above he grass

Ears above the grass

Sounds coming from two places

Sounds coming from two places

Let's talk this over

Let’s talk this over

Don't get up

Don’t bother to get up

Aware but unconcerned

Aware but not concerned

Should I jump, or...

Should I jump, or…







The herd

Part of the herd

January 7, 2016

White on white

Filed under: Trees, Winter — Tags: , , , — montucky @ 10:12 pm

Today on a trip to get supplies, I encountered a section on the hills to the south of Flathead Lake where the trees were covered with a combination of snow and hoarfrost. The trees were white, the ground was white and the sky was white so there wasn’t much contrast, but the trees were beautiful and so I tried a few photos along a little road that left the highway and headed back into the reservation. I couldn’t drive the road today so I just hiked back in a ways. The road is very inviting and so on a sunny day I’ll go back in further with the Jeep and perhaps do better.

Snowy tree

Snowy trees

Snowy tree

Snowy tree

Snowy trees

Snowy tree

Snowy tree

Snowy tree

January 5, 2016

Whatever it takes

Filed under: Weeksville Creek, Winter — Tags: , , — montucky @ 2:20 pm


My son had my Jeep so…

Weeksville Road

Beyond here there were 4 X 4 tracks, snowmobile tracks, deer tracks, elk tracks and one set of boot tracks.

Weeksville Road

Weeksville Road.

Snowy Firs

Snow on the firs.

Weeksville Creek

Weeksville Creek.

Snow shower from the trees

With the slightest breeze the trees were shedding snow.

The star of the show

The tiny Fir was the star of the show.

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