22 November 2010

Winter is Here

Winter got off to a slow start in southwest Montana this year. But this week it made up for it--not much snow ( 6 or 8 inches in the valleys) but lots of wind & below-zero temperatures. Tomorrow's high temperature is predicted to be 0 deg F.

It's good weather for elk "hunting," which this year has consisted mainly of hiking around the hills, seeing cows & calves, and otherwise enjoying the scenery. The cold weather has the waterfowl migrating south, and as I lay before a hot fire on a bed of pine boughs I listened to the cackling music of snowgeese. Most were so high they appeared like tiny specks, but occasionally a low-flying flock passed over:

Sometimes hunting is about not shooting just as (sometimes) fishing can be about not catching. Despite having a white-tailed deer doe tag in my pocket, it just didn't seem right to kill this seemingly tame deer that was hanging out in the brush near my truck as I returned from elk hunting:

And this deer, seen on a Ruby River ranch where I hunted with Frank & AJ (Frank shot two does), was obviously a fawn (note the short face/nose in proportion to the head):

Driving home on the Mill Creek Highway near the old Anaconda Company "mule ranch," I saw an amazing sight. Two campers with Missoula license plates were pulled off along the road. My initial thought, "hmmm, strange place to camp, wonder if there's a break down?" Then I saw a bunch of college-aged kids in the field near the road, it looked like they were setting up several colorful tents. "Why would anyone camp along the road?" And they were carrying snowboards, but there are no steep slopes in this area. Then through the blowing snow I took this photo (forgetting to turn off the flash):

Ah, they're parasailing with snowboards:

How cool is that, in zero-degree weather with 30-mph winds? Might even be better than elk hunting!


Sylvia K said...

The para-sailing is so cool! Great shots! And your photos surely stirred up my Montana memories! We actually had about an inch of snow here in Seattle this morning and it is cold! Hope you have a great week!


secret agent woman said...

This hurts my bones, just thinking about it.

troutbirder said...

Cool indeed. Ah to be that young and adventerous again. Not any snow yet here in the southeast.... just plenty of sleet and icy roads. Not cool that.

Anonymous said...

Hey, that is the difference between us and kids!

My husband used to see when It was that cold, but he sure wouldn't now.

Sean E said...

They are kite skiing. They used to do that at Georgetown Lake quite a bit. Once again, great post Eco.

Here's a link to more kite skiing:

Judy said...

I like the flash shot of the snowflakes! I took a couple of shots of the snow this morning, on my way to work, but they are still in the camera!

Anonymous said...

Nice images. It must be hard having it so cold so early in the season.

Maria said...

Hi! I haven't stopped over in a few weeks and wow... looks like winter has made it here to the east coast too! This morning it was freezing and icy here in the hills ~ I prayed no cars were coming as my car slid through the stop sign... Kinda wish I had a "snowboard lift" to school today. It might have been safer than driving!
Tonight the wind is howling ~ my interior doors are rattling!

The snowy photos are very pretty ~ I like the spots and sparkles the snow makes in your shots.
You must be finishing up the semester. I can't believe it's December already!
Wishing you well ~ Maria

Merri said...

lordy that looks cold (not that I'm a wimp or anything), and that barbed wire fence looks awful close!
- The Equestrian Vagabond