07 May 2009

Skywatch Friday: May Showers

In Butte America, as the saying goes, "If you don't like the weather, wait 15 minutes." Very true, especially in the spring, as bands of sun and showers sweep over the mountains that ring the Silver Bow Creek valley.

Sunrise dawns mostly clear but with a "Red skies in morning, sailors take warning" message. Who sails through these mountains?

Afternoon, a band of showers creeps up the valley, obscuring the bright blue sky:

Settles in for awhile over the old mining town (the tall structures are mining head frames, aka "gallows frames"):

Probably to the chagrin of this mountain bluebird (lower right):

But to the joy of bitterroot rosettes (aka "rock roses," Montana's state flower) storing moisture for blooms that come in the droughty heat of July:

We drove across the Continental Divide to the Big Hole side, hoping to see elk back on their calving range. Alas, it's a bit early--still winter in the Big Hole, though we did see (and hear) several pairs of sandhill cranes and a white-tailed kite (a rather uncommon "vagrant" bird in Montana). Here's a view of the Pintler mountains behind the Mule Ranch (where the Anaconda Copper Mining company once raised mules for the mines of Butte):

Back home in sundown Butte, what weather do you want? Looking east:

Looking west:

Like the weather in Butte, Montana? Wait 15 minutes.

18 comments:

Guy D said...

Greats shots around Montana, we get the same kinda unpredictable weather up here across the border.

Have a great weekend
Guy
Regina In Pictures

Janie said...

Beautiful photos of your ever-changing skies. I see the bluebird! Interesting to see the old mining operation.

Martha said...

Looks like a good day for sky watching.

fishing guy said...

ER: You always show such neat shots from big sky country.

Kendris said...

They don't call it Big Sky for nothing. Great shots!

mountain.mama said...

We only wait five minutes for the weather to change in these here parts!

Max said...

Wow, a WTKI is a great find, even here where they regularly nest! We could have used one on Saturday.

Judy said...

Had a great time browsing through your blog - I am going to bookmark it!!
Thanks!!

Lisa Wilson said...

Wait 15 minutes, LOL. Great photos!! I just love old mining sites, too.

Carol said...

Nice shots...beautiful sunrise..I love the mountains...

Linda said...

Same changes of weather here! These shots are a striking combination of scenery and history.

Arija said...

Wwhat wonderful weather conditions, so well captured as well.

Mary said...

Lovely!

CountryDreaming said...

Send in the clouds! In all their Montana moods, these floating sky ornaments are just gorgeous.

citizen of the world said...

In spite of a very different topography, we have the same saying here. (I think it has to do with being situated between two mountain ranges.)

Tammie Lee said...

Such a wonderful series of photos!
I have never seen the Bitteroot flower or plant (in person), some day. Same with the Pintler mountains, some day. Again, wonderful images!

EcoRover said...

Thanks, Guy D, Martha, Fishing Guy, Kendris, Carol, Linda, Arija, and Mary--after 20 years, I still find our mountain weather endlessly fascinating.

Janie, my bird photos are almost a "Where's Waldo?" kind of thing. Thanks for searching!

MountainMama, I love it: 5 minutes.

Lisa, Butte was one large integrated mining operation. Mostly, just the individual gallows frames and some waste/tailings piles remain.

Thanks, Country Dreaming--"moods" describes it pretty well.

That must be it, CitizenOTW, Butte has mountain ranges on three sides plus several more close by and a large weather funnel of a valley extending down the Clark Fork to Missoula.


Tammie Lee, if you're like many of us, you'll never want to leave. Especially if you sample Butte hospitality.

Cynthia said...

The vessel have stopped trying too hard, so she took a 3 weeks holiday in the land of the LOTR, and talked to God while walking around the waterfront.