Montana Outdoors

February 28, 2012

Yellow is showing up now on Buttercup ridge.

Filed under: Wildflowers, Winter — Tags: , , — montucky @ 8:52 pm

After so many days and even weeks of cloudy gray skies, there was a little sun today. Our thermometer recorded a low reading of 13°F last night though and even with the sun it didn’t become a warm day. Still, the appearance of the sun warranted another visit to Buttercup ridge, and that resulted in a look at the first wildflower blossoms of 2012! Apparently even temperatures in the teens don’t discourage the hardy little Sagebrush Buttercups: four were in full bloom.

Sagebrush Buttercup

Sagebrush Buttercup

Sagebrush Buttercup

Sagebrush Buttercup

In a shady place on a cliff just down off the ridge top, Nature had arranged a different kind of display too, an icy one, as a reminder that winter hasn’t yet totally surrendered to spring:

Icicles

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February 16, 2012

The icicles of Buffalo Bill Canyon

Filed under: ice art, Winter — Tags: , , , , — montucky @ 10:15 pm

Buffalo Bill Canyon icicles

Although this may look something like a series of fountains, it is really a display of naturally formed ice on the side of a cliff about three hundred feet above the bottom of a small canyon. They are formed by water from small seeps through the rock, aided to some extent by snow-melt, which drip and trickle down, freezing over months of cold nights into icicles. I would estimate that the taller ones are six to ten feet tall.

December 29, 2010

The icicles in Buffalo Bill canyon (2)

Filed under: ice art, Winter — Tags: , , — montucky @ 11:32 pm

Cliff icicles

Cliff icicles

Cliff icicles

Cliff icicles

Perhaps the art that hangs on the cliff walls of this lonely little canyon in winter is one of nature’s ways of providing a metaphysical balance between the reality of our planet and the artificial world that men have superimposed upon it.

January 19, 2009

The icicles in Buffalo Bill Canyon (1)

Filed under: Cabinet Mountains, Montana, Nature, Outdoors, Photography, Photos, Pictures, Winter — Tags: , — montucky @ 5:26 pm

Every January I like to hike a ways up Buffalo Bill Creek to see the icicles that appear on the cliffs: they are like snowflakes, in that no two are quite alike, and they change often. The weather patterns that created last year’s were not the same this year.

Before you reach the canyon that has the cliff walls where the icicles grow, this pleasant scene greets you: I always look forward to it.

Along Buffalo Bill Creek

Icicles at Buffalo Bill Creek

Icicles at Buffalo Bill Creek

Icicles at Buffalo Bill Creek

Icicles at Buffalo Bill Creek

February 8, 2008

Icicle art

Filed under: Montana, Nature, Outdoors, Photography, Photos, Pictures — Tags: — montucky @ 10:41 am

Last night my computer was, shall I say, not a whole lot of fun to work with. While taking a break after I finished reducing to writing a special curse I had eloquently and meticulously prepared for the 136th through the 270th generations of the descendents of Bill Gates (the first 135 generations having been treated lavishly in the previous night’s literary masterpiece), and wondering exactly what would constitute the crime in strangling every individual who was ever even remotely involved with the coding of FireFox (especially those who were instrumental in writing the error message about proxy servers), I began to wonder also what an icicle would look like in a middle-of-the-night close-up photograph. I’m sure we have all had similar late night mental meanderings, although I swear this particular one was not even slightly alcohol related; nope, not a drop.

Here’s how that thought turned out:

Icicle art

Since I shot it from outside in the dark looking in toward the house, the ice picked up the flash-illuminated green of the painted fascia board and the orange of the cedar siding in what I would call, for lack of understanding exactly why it put the colors where it did, a random pattern; nothing profound, but mildly pleasing, to my eye at least.

Well now, fair is fair. Despite a very distinguished lack of success in that effort, shooting from outside in, it still remained to give equal time to the opposition, and so I shot another one, from inside out. Well, not from inside the house exactly, but from jammed up against the wall looking out toward a pitch black night. After all, you don’t do stuff like this before midnight, now do you?

And here’s how that effort turned out:

Icicle art

I suppose, after the right amount of very expensive therapy (and yes, I do mean The Famous Grouse this time), that shot might be awarded an “interesting” ribbon, and while I think even that might be too generous, I would take it. However, it did lead to a photo I really like. It’s a much closer look at a very small section of the previous photo.

Icicle art

It gives me cause to begin the formation of an opinion that jewelry doesn’t always have to be expensive. Personally, I prefer this kind.

(Even though the computer is running slightly better at the moment, I plan to leave the curses in effect.)

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