11 February 2010

Skywatch Friday: Frost, Moose, Spiders, and more

Days have been exceptionally warm -- above freezing -- in Butte America, the great little city in the northern Rockies of Montana. This puts a lot of moisture into the atmosphere (in part from the Berkeley Pit, America's largest toxic lake). As the sun sets and temperatures plunge below zero (deg F), the moisture creates an ice fog that paints a lovely picture on the quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides):

The icy fog generally hangs just over Butte and the Silver Bow Creek  valley, only occasionally does it extend up the hill to Walkerville, my little town. And certainly by the time I reach The Moulton (Montana's finest classic cross country ski trails) 5 miles north of town, the skies are blue &  bright (I love the contrast with this beetle killed lodgepole pine, Pinus contorta):

The morning sun brings out a few spiders, their anti-freeze laden "blood" somehow protects them from the cold:

On this woody morning (nice old set of HeadT wooden laminate skis), the Snowshoe Hare (Lepus americanus) people have also been out and about. Those big feet make me smile every time:

Later that day, I told Mrs Rover I saw the Downey Moose. "Really?" she said. "And have they wings like a Downey Woodpecker?" Drole humor, that woman. The Downey family lives along the Moulton road, and most years a "pet" moose hangs around the yard (looks like it's waiting to load into the horse trailer):

Looks likeToyota country in the parking lot. As is common at The Moulton, I know the owner/skier that belongs to each. Small world, this Butte America:

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Betsy from Tennessee said...

Crazy winter we all are having, ER... The east has a blizzard and you all are exceptionally warm... What's up with that????? ha

Great pictures. Love the first one and the one with that incredibly blue sky. But--all of them are GREAT!!!

Have a great week/weekend.

Janie said...

Loooks like you're having some beautiful ski days. The Downey Moose is a funny critter, hanging around by the horse trailer.

Maria said...

I always enjoy your "frosty" photos... (remembering the great windshield pics of previous posts)

I've never seen a moose ... I had to enlarge that one :)

Our driveway looks like an antique Toyota parking lot ('96, '98) and when my son is here...('97)
They keep on going!

I also enjoyed the comment you left on Fishing Guy's Skywatch... about what vinyl siding will look like when it TRIES to "return to earth."
*great comment!
~Thank you for all your kind and thoughtful comments~
Have a Happy Weekend ~ Maria

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

ER: What a neat look at the sky in that first photo, great trees in ice. I enjoyed seeing those Moose and your wife was funny.

eileeninmd said...

Wonderful set of photos and pretty skies. I love the moose shot.

eileeninmd said...

Wonderful set of photos and pretty skies. I love the moose shot.

Stine in Ontario said...

I'll have to click on your link to the Berkeley Pit. I've never heard of it before.

How sad the lodgepole pines are suffering such devastation but your photo of one with the blue sky as a backdrop is lovely!

secret agent woman said...

The first one looks like a scene in a snow globe.

troutbirder said...

Lucky you Eco. The pine tree not so good though. Vast sections in the Black Hills are disappearing. It hurts when I see it.

Judy said...

That first shot is wonderful! I love the frost on the trees like that!

Maria said...

Bryon Wilson~ USA ski team from Butte! wow... just saw him in competition...currently second place~
excellent :)

Lisa Wilson said...

Great photos! Except for the spider. :)

Should Fish More said...

Is this the same moose that's been up there a few years? I got a picture two summers ago of her and a fairly new calf. It was about a mile from the parking area, the calf was nursing and wouldn't budge when mom wanted to move.

Glennis said...

You are having fun and seeing lots of things, even a moose, all the best for your events.