Montana Outdoors

December 13, 2016

Mount Baldy on a cold, clear day

Mount Baldy

We are having an influx of cold Arctic air which brings very cold but very clear air into western Montana.

September 16, 2016

A new Fall wardrobe…

Even though Fall isn’t officially here yet, the south-facing hillsides of Baldy Mountain are beginning to show off the new season’s colors, making a hike on one of my favorite trails (USFS trail 340 in the Baldy Mountain Roadless Area) an especially pleasant way to spend an afternoon.

Baldy Mountain trail 340

Baldy Mountain trail 340

Baldy Mountain trail 340

Baldy Mountain trail 340

Baldy Mountain trail 340

Baldy Mountain trail 340

Fir tree resin/sap

A few drops of sap from a Fir next to the trail.

Baldy Mountain trail 340

Baldy Mountain trail 340

October 29, 2015

Looking forward to winter

From USFS trail 340

Photo taken from inside the clouds on USFS trail 340 on October 9, 2013

October 9, 2015

Clouds in the valleys

Filed under: Baldy Mountain roadless area, Clouds — Tags: — montucky @ 9:22 pm

Clouds in the valleys

Clouds in the valleys

Clouds in the valleys

Today we watched a small plane flying far below us.

April 30, 2015

Four days later

Filed under: Baldy Mountain roadless area, Spring — montucky @ 8:48 pm

Today I returned to the trail that was in snow four days ago. I hiked only the first mile of it though because most of it looked like this, with several dozen blow-downs over the trail in just a mile:

Mt Baldy trail

and it was cold (the wind chill made it feel like about 15ºF), but it got me high enough for a few views to the south.

From the Baldy trail From the Baldy trail From the Baldy trail

August 18, 2014

A very pleasant surprise

Last week on very pleasant hike with a new friend I had just commented that there was practically no animal life on the rocky top of the mountain because of the deep winter snow there (at 7,400 feet) when his sharp eyes spotted this little fellow.

Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel

Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel, Callospermophilus lateralis

This fairly large ground squirrel gets up to 12 inches in length and weighs as much as 13 ounces. It is an omnivore and can reside on that rocky mountain top because it will hibernate from some time between August and November (depending on altitude) until it again emerges any time from late March to May. (That’s a long sleep!)

It’s geographical range is from southeast British Colombia and southwest Alberta in Canada, south into the western United States as far east as western Colorado and as far south as northwestern New Mexico and southern California at elevations from 3,900 feet to 13,000 feet and it is very common in that range. Its life span is about 7 years. I can’t believe that I had never before encountered one!

For those who are interested, there is a wealth of information on them available at Encyclopedia of Life.

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