11 March 2011

Skwatch Friday: Still Winter!

Though I have days when I'm ready to be rid of snow (see No Snow Hike), the cross country skiing is the best it's been all season on the trails just a few miles north from my home in Walkerville, Montana. The views are also great, as shown by two morning shots looking west from a favorite spot where a rocky outcrop frames the clouds and Pintler Mountain Range:


Although it's been comparatively warm (c. 20 deg F in the morning), the sky to the north still shows that deep, clear blue of a below-zero winter day (seen here over the abandoned horse barn near Moulton Reservoir):

With the waning crescent moon (small prey moves around less on bright nights) and firm snow surface, the Mouse People have been very active at night. Growing up, I always heard that March marked the beginning of mouse mating season when the "bull mice" travel long distances to find a mate (or, as in this case, a morsel of food):

But Death Comes From Above:

Sometimes with a bit of a round-and-around struggle:

I'll take spring when it comes, but for now, I'll just keep skiing.

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The Moulton: Montana's finest classic cross country ski trails, just 5 miles north of Butte.

13 comments:

sandy said...

Don't those clouds look like flying saucers?
It is so pretty up there, I can see why it is a favorite spot.

Sylvia K said...

Fantastic captures for the day! The cloud formations are awesome, the color of the sky in the third pic is incredible! The last shots in the snow are sad, but part of life for the Mouse People! Great post for the day! Hope you have a great weekend!

Sylvia

Al said...

Beautiful photos. My favorite is the second, I love the sky and the mountains in it.

secret agent woman said...

The record of the struggle in the snow is pretty amazing.

Frostbite and Sunburn said...

Fantastic prints in the snow - what a find - and I'm loving that blue sky in the third photo.

Should Fish More said...

Hey Pat, have you started fishing on the J. yet? I was thinking of going out to that place we went last year.
Mike

troutbirder said...

Those prints are so neat. Death from the sky (well probably not so neat for the mouse). A few years back we had a major irruption in the north country of Canadian Great Gray Owls. There were lots of pictures then of these beautiful birds diving right into the snow.

Janie said...

Ski conditions look good around there, and the scenery is gorgeous.
Great capture of the snowprints of hawk and mouse struggle.

Merri said...

beautiful artwork in the snow!
- The Equestrian Vagabond

Raine said...

The cloud photos appeared to show the sky's varying moods.
The snow imprint photos were fascinating to look at. Bits of the story of what transpired the night before was 'recorded' on the snow.

Serline said...

Is it true about bull mice? So sad, but I suppose it is the way of Mother Nature...

tsduff said...

Your interpretive notes with your photos are wonderful. Thank you for lifting me out of my chair.

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