Montana Outdoors

September 26, 2018

Determined individual

Determined individual

This little tree, dwarfed by the continual wind and the altitude, the deep snow and ice of winter and the blazing sun of summer, remains determined to live where its seed somehow fell on a tiny bit of soil in a field of rocks at the top of a mountain.


September 18, 2018

Sheep Gap fire; one year after

Filed under: wildfire — Tags: , , — montucky @ 9:58 pm

It has been a very hot and dry summer in these parts but now the weather has finally cooled off and it feels like the start of fall. After several months without a good hike because of the heat I decided yesterday to visit the area of the Sheep Gap fire which, during August and September of last year, consumed thirty eight square miles of heavy timber on steep mountainsides in the Coeur d’ Alene Mountains just south of here above the Clark Fork River. It was possible to drive on a Forest Service road for about four miles up into the burned area at which point it is closed to motorized vehicles. I then hiked for about four more miles past the barricade to get roughly into the center of the fire area to see what it looks like now. (This first picture was taken of that area last year when it was on fire:)

Sheep Gap Fire at night

The following pictures were taken yesterday during that hike and in them you can see the progress of the colonizing plants as they have begun to rejuvenate the land, the patches of grasses that somehow were able to survive, the sections of timber within the boundary of the fire that were relatively untouched, and wonderfully, the flowers that have been able to bloom already despite the devastation in the burn. The resilience of the forest is incredible!

Clark Fork Valley


Sheep Gap fire



Sheep Gap fire


Sheep Gap fire

Indian Paintgrush

Sheep Gap fire


Sheep Gap fire

September 7, 2018

Happy dog

Filed under: Animals — Tags: , — montucky @ 8:35 pm

Happy dog

At Corona Lake. Buster is loading up his feet with black mud so he can redecorate the Jeep.

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