08 January 2010

Skywatch Friday: Mountain Town in Winter

Nighttime temperatures have been around -20 deg F (-30 deg C) in the small Rocky Mountain city of Butte, Montana. After the first cold spell one is used to it. Typically, the colder it is, the more clear & sunny (and windless) it is, so even -20 can feel downright pleasant. And beautiful, as the sun rises above the East Ridge in a cold, clear sky:

Lighting up the frost crystals on a pane of glass:

The morning light makes a study in contrast as it falls on the peaks of the Pintler Wilderness west of town:

Mountain skies are endlessly changing, deeply fascinating. The next morning dawns with a thin cloud cover, a colorful sunrise:

And yet another study in contrast looking west:

Walking down the hill from Walkerville to my workplace, I approach the lovely Immaculate Conception Catholic church:

And find that the cold weather has brought some mule deer down from the hills during the night to feed upon the lush shrubs of the townsfolk:

Before the light of day is on them, the deer return to their hiding place on Big Butte, the landmark hill that stands over my little city in the Rockies:


Maria said...

Good Evening!
Oh I do hope visitors here are enlarging the photos! They are wonderful... I especially love the ice crystals on the window and the one just below~ the morning sunlight.

~A wonderful post~

I hope your leg is recovering well~

ps. Stop by and see my husband's photos of snowshoeing in the Adirondack Mts. :D

mountain.mama said...

Great shots, especially the ice crystals. The deer come into my yard every night and eat the bird seed. I've had to resort to portion control in the feeders.

Arija said...

Such wonderful winter shots. I love the sun just topping th ridge, and footsteps in the snow...

Janie said...

We've been down to -20 at night, and as high as 15 in the daytime for the last week. As you say, though, it doesn't feel too cold as long as the sun in shining.
Beautiful photos of your mountain town.

secret agent woman said...

I love those crystals.

Richard Gibson said...

Great photos, Pat.

troutbirder said...

Beautiful cold scenery. I love those golden crystals. Really neat!

Judy said...

Great photos! I am not sure if the ice crystals on the window is my favourite, or the sunset over the hills.