Montana Outdoors

December 31, 2017

New Year’s Moon

Filed under: Winter — Tags: — montucky @ 11:56 pm

New Year's Moon

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December 30, 2017

Winter White Tail & Winter moon

Filed under: Animals, Moonrise, White-tail deer, Winter — Tags: , — montucky @ 9:49 pm

White tail deer

Winter moon

December 12, 2017

Islands in a sea of clouds ~ Another visit to Corona Divide

Filed under: Cabinet Mountains, Winter — Tags: , , , — montucky @ 11:36 pm

Today a friend and I visited the Corona Divide one last time before the weather conditions that create these scenes subsides and found that today there were islands in the sea of clouds.

Corona Divide

"Corona

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Wolf track in the snow

Ice crystals formed in the track of a wolf.

Corona Divide

December 10, 2017

A visit to Corona Divide

Filed under: Cabinet Mountains, Winter — Tags: , , — montucky @ 11:38 pm

High pressure has been in place over western Montana for what has seemed like an eternity, trapping low stratus clouds and freezing fog over the Clark Fork River. Viewed from the valley, the clouds dim the light and obscure the mountain tops (and sometimes the mountains themselves) that surround it. Sometimes however, that can bring an opportunity for seeing some very pretty scenery if you can get above the clouds. On a hunch today I took a forest road for fifteen miles to the Corona Divide about three thousand feet above the valley and it turned out to be just above the low dense clouds. The following are some of the ninety photos I brought back from the Divide today.

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

Corona Divide

November 12, 2017

From a winter past

Filed under: Baldy Mountain roadless area, Winter — Tags: , — montucky @ 11:30 pm

Today the trail to Baldy Mountain called to me but heavy snow has already closed the road to the trail head. So because I couldn’t take photos today, here from the archives, are a few photos taken in September of 2008 on a cold day at the top of the mountain. Most of the trees are stunted and twisted from the blistering hot summer sun, the bitterly cold winters and the incessant winds across the top. The trees had been decorated during a storm during the night before my visit.

Winter frost on trees

Baldy Mtn trees

Baldy Mtn trees

Baldy Mtn trees

Baldy Mtn trees

Baldy Mtn trees

Baldy Mtn trees

Baldy Mtn trees

Baldy Mtn trees

Baldy Mtn trees

August 15, 2017

Firewood season

Filed under: Winter, Wood cutting — Tags: , , , , — montucky @ 3:35 pm

Yesterday for the fourth time I received delivery of a full logging truck of logs to provide wood for my winter fires. For anyone who ever wondered what 30 tons of firewood looks like, here are a few pictures:

Firewood logs

Firewood logs

Firewood logs

"Firewood

And here are the tools used to turn the logs into firewood:

Chain saw

This saw has cut three loads like this in the past decade. I take very good care of it! It will take somewhere around 2,000 cuts to turn these logs into 16 inch blocks (called “rounds”) which will then have to be split.

7 pound splitting axe

This seven pound splitting axe has been in use since about 1975. I take good care of it too. I replaced the hickory handle several years ago and after it was carefully fitted to the axe and sanded smooth, it has received 20 hand-rubbed coats of Linseed oil. It slides like fine silk through my hands.

Gloves

It will take about 6 pair of these, but that’s still cheaper than all of the bandaids and other medical supplies that would otherwise be needed.

The eventual results will be:

…..Three Montana winters enjoying a nice, warm house, independent of electricity (which is especially nice when there is a mid-winter power outage), and there will be plenty on hand if someone else needs it in the midst of a cold winter…..

…..All of my muscles will be firm, my hands hard…..

…..I will sleep very well at night…..

…..The heating cost for the whole house will be $400 a year…..

…..And most of all, the consummate satisfaction of having done the work myself!…..

Notes:

The trees are Lodgepole Pine harvested during a logging operation in a cutting area about 100 miles west of my house, about 17 miles off the highway in the area of Gem Peak at an elevation of about 6,000 feet. They are all dead and dry trees, no good for turning into lumber. Eventually they would burn in a wildfire anyway and that would actually create far more more smoke and particulates than in my wood stove which uses a catalytic combuster and burns very clean.

The longer logs are 50 feet in length, weigh around 1,000 pounds (454KG) and are 18 inches (4.6 decimeters) in diameter at the base.

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