Montana Outdoors

November 16, 2017

Clark’s Nutcracker

Filed under: Birds, Trees — Tags: , , — montucky @ 4:30 pm

These birds are large, about the size of Blue Jays, and inhabit the higher mountain areas of the west. They pull out seeds from the cones of pine trees, especially White Pines, stash them in a pouch under their tongue and then bury them in a cache for the winter. Each bird will bury tens of thousands of seeds during the summer and will remember the locations of most of them: the ones they can’t find plant more trees. It is said that some birds will plant trees but the Clark’s Nutcracker will plant forests.

I had always read that the seeds of the White Pine were a large part of a Grizzly Bear’s diet, but I could never figure out how such a huge bear was able to get the seeds from the cones. I later read that they will sniff out the large caches of seeds buried by the Nutcrackers and feed on those.

Clark's Nutcracker

Clark’s Nutcracker ~ Nucifraga columbiana

Clark's Nutcracker

Clark's Nutcracker

February 2, 2017

Cold again

Filed under: Trees, Winter — Tags: — montucky @ 1:38 pm

Today we are experiencing the seventh or eighth influx of cold Arctic air of this winter into western Montana, the most that I can recall ever seeing. This morning the beauty of it seemed greatest in the trees. These photos were taken at -6º (F).

-6º (F)

-6º (F)

-6º (F)

-6º (F)

January 6, 2017


Filed under: Trees — Tags: , — montucky @ 12:25 pm

As a counterbalance to arrogance, in yourself or in others, just look up at the trees.


This tall pine is easily more than two hundred years older than we are.

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

December 21, 2015

Did you ever wonder…

Filed under: Trees, Winter — Tags: , , — montucky @ 11:08 pm

Nearly 10PM, snowing heavily, no moon, four inches of new snow on the ground and trees… can you get a photo? Well, worth a try!

At night in the snow

– Ambient light except for a ray from the yard light on the far right side of the tree

– Tripod, parka, umbrella, boots

– 1.6 second exposure

– f/3.5

– ISO6400

December 26, 2014

Large and small

Filed under: Trees, Winter — Tags: , , , , , — montucky @ 9:11 pm

Baby fir

Very young fir

Adult Douglas Fir

Mature Douglas Fir

Baby pine

Young Ponderosa Pine

Adult Larch

Mature Larch, sleeping through the winter

(Thought I’d get these out of my system before the real snow comes later in the week.)

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