08 March 2009

The Snow Goes on Forever (and the skiing never ends)

I love March in Butte Montana: America's finest St Paddy's day celebration is just around the corner; there's lots of snow in the mountains; and troutfishing on the Big Hole River and elsewhere is good.

We are into this great weather cycle. The sun goes down, temperatures drop from the 30s deg F to near zero, it clouds up, a little powder snow falls, and the sun shines brightly the next day. Thsi weather also makes for a great local phenomenon called "Pit Fog." Here is a major cloud rising up as the dawning sun heats the valley; silhouetted against the fog is a mining head frame, aka "gallows frame" [view east from my house]:

The fog comes from the relatively warm water of the Berkeley Pit Superfund Site, an abandoned mile-across/1,000+ foot deep open-pit mine that has filled with water to become America's largest toxic lake [this pic is from Vulgare]:

As morning spreads over the Silver Bow Valley, Pit Fog creeps upon the lower Butte area known as The Flats:

By the time breakfast is over, the sun is bright and it's time to ski. View here is looking West to the Pintler Wilderness:

RTD (RolyTheDog) is waiting on me for a change, first tracks!

And away we go:

Daughter Emily is home on spring break from college this week--maybe we'll go fish the river some afternoon. Quork out! [this pic from "LED"]:


Cynthia Wenslow said...

Beautiful photos! We're moving up to a house just under the Mountain Con in April. Can't wait for the increased views!

CountryDreaming said...

The first three panoramic views look decidedly and enticingly surreal.

tsduff said...

That deep mine pit with its color of horrifying shades is shocking.

And just as shocking (but in a fabulously great way) is that young raven mug - love it. I'm not sure how well I would do in a snowy environment, but the pictures you have of the scenery are gorgeous.

troutbirder said...

Its also near zero here this morning and that toxic pit is what gives me the chills. Unfortunately there is a superfund site a few miles from here as well.

EcoRover said...

Thanks for dropping by, neighbor Cynthia--I look forward to seeing more of your stunning Butte city & sky photos on your blog.

CD, this is beautiful place, and my little snapshots hardly do it justice.

TSD, well, the Pit is horrifying, but in a weirdly & deeply aesthetic kind of way. Something like Yeats talks about with his phrase, "A terrible beauty is born." (Easter 1916)

TB, don't you love a crisp morning that freezes your nose hairs? think I read on an EPA site that something like 50 million Americans live within a few miles of a Superfund site. The good news is that oftentimes, with good local public participation, we can find remedies.

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