14 February 2011

Biathlon (ski/shoot) Begins

The weather has been cold most nights and I welcome those first few rays of morning sun on the ski trails:

The cold weather makes for slow skiing, even with green or polar wax. I laid out a little Biathlon course with 1.5" black center targets--as you look through the rear peep sight, the target size is designed to fill the circular front sight of a .22 target rifle at 50 feet:

I don't mind skiing a little slowly while carrying an 8 and 1/2 pound rifle slung over my shoulders:

Skiing a bit slow makes for better breath control and better offhand shooting (though it's a bit chilly for the ungloved trigger hand!):

MollyTheDog waits patiently behind the firing line:

We've also had unusually strong winds this winter (the air in the Butte area is usually remarkably still). It makes for lovely cornices on the lee side of west-facing slopes (the deep drift to the right of the tree):

And beautiful beach-like sculpted patterns on the snow:

While skiing or hiking over snow I watch for tracks, whether the usual squirrel, snowshoe hare, fox, etc or the graceful wings of a hawk etched in the snow where the bird of prey stooped to take a hapless mouse:

The Moulton: Montana's finest classic cross country ski trails, and just 15 minutes from Butte America.


Judy said...

i know what you mean about the ungloved trigger hand, and i am only using my camera!!
i love the wind and hawk patterns in the snow!
and now i have another question for you - what is the trigger for bucks to lose their antlers in winter? is it like permanent teeth which cause the baby tooth roots to dissolve and fall out?
thank you!!!

secret agent woman said...

I like that second-to-last photo - it really does look much like the beach.

Anonymous said...

That is just too cold. I love the snow photos with the blue shadows and the wind tracks. The dog looks like she is having fun. Does she ever get stuck?

Arija said...

A lovely post and sunken dog.

Janie said...

Definitely a little chilly for ungloved hands. MTD seems perfectly comfortable lying down in the snow, but she's wearing a nice fur coat...