15 April 2010

Spring Hike

It's been the usual spring mix of weather this week in Butte America, with one notable exception: the snowstorms are now dumping heavy, wet snow instead of our usual dry powder. Here's a view from along I-90 (near the Virginia City exit) after Mike & I were blown off the river last week:

This week's storm dumped six inches of the stuff on us Tuesday night, and drat the luck I had meetings the next morning and could not get out for even a few hours of skiing before it melted off under the warm sun and clear sky of the next day. Did I mention being blown off the river? We were on the Jefferson and had just hooked up with one trout each when the storm hit. The white that you see in this photo is water lifted from the surface by one of many such wind gusts:

Mrs Rover and I chose a better day for a walk with Dave & Gloria around Warm Springs Ponds at the headwaters of the Clark Fork River, with a good view toward Deer Lodge and Mount Powell:

The resident bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) female was on her nest in a big old cottonwood. There was a heron rookery here until the eagles moved in and killed off the young in the nests some years ago. Bubba was presumably off looking to kill a fish or duck:

The pussy willows (Salix sp) are in their glory:

And waterfowl and songbirds (like this yellow-headed blackbird (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus) are breeding & raising the next generation (lower right--click to enlarge):

For serious bird watchers, Warm Springs Ponds is a Mecca. For the rest of us, it's still a lovely place to enjoy a warm spring day along the Continental Divid of southwest Montana.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

What a glorius view at Warm Springs Pond!