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

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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

November 6, 2017

Early touch of winter

Filed under: Montana — Tags: , — montucky @ 4:40 pm

After about a week, the snow has finally stopped and a couple cold nights are coming up (temps in the low teens (F) so today I went on a short hike on a favorite forest road. The snow was deep enough to make hiking a little unpleasant, but the trees are nicely decorated.

Spring Creek road

Spring Creek area

Spring Creek area

Spring Creek area

October 30, 2017

Autumn colors

Filed under: Autumn — Tags: , , , — montucky @ 11:07 am

The last of our trees to turn color are the Black Cottonwoods and the Western Larch. I hope they hold their color for another week so I can get a few more photos before all of the color here is white.

Black Cottonwood

Western Larch

Western Larch

Western Larch

Western Larch

Western Larch

Western Larch

Western Larch

Western Larch

Western Larch

Western Larch

Western Larch

Black Cottonwood

Black Cottonwood

October 19, 2017

Morning mist and Autumn colors

Filed under: Autumn — Tags: , — montucky @ 3:50 pm

Many of our trees are showing nice Autumn colors in the misty mornings, but the needles of the Western Larch are just beginning to turn gold.

Autumn colors

Mistly morning

Autumn colors

October 13, 2017

Odds and ends

Filed under: Autumn — Tags: , — montucky @ 2:16 pm

Some fall colors are showing in this part of western Montana as it quickly turns toward winter. It is surprising that any flowers still remain and that so many leaves are still green after many frosts and freezes. Perhaps it is because of the many rainy days in the past several weeks. The fires here are finally out: I will post some photos of the fire area when I get a chance to visit the burned areas.

Maple leaves just turning color

Fall colrs

Maple

Black Hawthorn

Aster

Spotted Knapweed

Fall colors

Aster

Lichen

Box Elder

Fall colors

Rural Nursery

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