Montana Outdoors

February 28, 2016

What a difference altitude makes!

Filed under: Nature, Wildflowers, Winter — Tags: , , — montucky @ 11:16 am

At 2400 feet Buttercups are blooming (Sagebrush Buttercups (Ranunculus glaberrimus)

Sagebrush Buttercup

Sagebrush Buttercup

Sagebrush Buttercup

Sagebrush Buttercup

Sagebrush Buttercup

At 5000 feet there is still four feet of snow on the road. (The tracks on the road were made by snowmobiles.)

Road 1027

Road 1027

Road 1027

February 24, 2016

Trial run

Filed under: Winter — Tags: , , — montucky @ 9:22 pm

Recently I acquired an ATV to allow access into the high country beyond where the Jeep can go during winter. It will never be ridden on the trails, but it will give me access to the trail heads at the higher elevations under just about all conditions. I took it out for the first run today on the access road to the Big Hole peak trail head and finally turned around about two miles beyond where the Jeep could have gone. Those last two miles I rode right on the top of a dense snow pack about two feet deep. Besides enjoying complete all-around visibility and the feel of the cold mountain air I was pleased to find out that it will indeed do what I wanted it to.

Big Hole Peak road

Big Hole Peak road

February 21, 2016

This willow thinks it’s spring

Filed under: Spring — Tags: — montucky @ 11:35 am

Pussywillow

February 11, 2016

First wildflower of 2016

Every year about this time the first wildflowers in this part of western Montana begin to bloom, months ahead of the rest. They are Sagebrush Buttercups (Ranunculus glaberrimus) and on a thin ridge that juts out from some cliffs a dozen miles upriver the first of blossom opened today. There was just one today, but in a few sunny days there will be many more. For whatever reason their success strategy tells them to open so early, it works.

Sagebrush Buttercup

Sagebrush Buttercup

Sagebrush Buttercup

The tiny cup lichen are also still doing well and displaying their bright red fruit.

Cup lichen

Cup lichen

Cup lichen

Cup lichen

Cup lichen

February 3, 2016

Ice on Juniper leaves

Filed under: Winter — Tags: , — montucky @ 9:18 pm

Night photo

Ice on juniper leaves

Just foolin’ around.

February 2, 2016

Winter visit to Dog Lake and the waterfall on the stream that feeds it

Filed under: Waterfall, Winter — Tags: , , , , — montucky @ 3:08 pm

At least once every winter I try to visit the waterfall on the stream that feeds Rainbow Lake (AKA Dog Lake) about twenty miles from here on the Flathead Indian Reservation, and I chose today for this winter’s visit. I included snowshoes with my equipment, but found them to be unnecessary this time: it was one of the areas that received very little of last night’s snow. To my surprise I found instead a brief period of sun and some blue sky!

Dog Lake

Dog Lake

Waterfall

Waterfall

Waterfall

Moss & icicles

Winter road

Winter road

Dog Lake

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