26 May 2011

Skywatch Friday: Rocky Mountain Spring Skies

Spring is a distinct phase in our annual weather. It begins with the on-again (warm sunny days), off-again (blizzards) days of March and April. Come mid-May, most nights do not drop below freezing, the hills green up, and flowers bloom. And the skies, yes, the skies too show the transition (sunset view from my home in Walkerville, Montana):

On a little fishing trip on the other side of the Continental Divide (a half-hour away), the setting sun lit the sky over the Pintler Mountain Range:

By the time I got to the Opportunity/Wisdom turn-offs (my friend Chad Okrusch wrote this song about that strange place: Opportunity Blues ), the sky blazed behind the old Anaconda Copper Company smelter stack:

It's a busy time for wildlife. The pronghorn antelope herds move from winter to summer range (yes, they do occasionally leap fences!):

"Hey guys, wait for me!":

A busy beaver swam around a small dam just above where I fished, slapping his tail a few times and generally showing his impatience with my intrusion:

And the ants swarmed out for housecleaning party:

I have no idea what they were doing, but they were VERY active:

On the Butte Hill, Cutleaf Daisies (Erigeron compositus) are blooming:

Look closely to see the tiny, finger-like leaves:

But it's the skies that keep calling out for our attention:

Spring skies? You bet:

13 comments:

BLD in MT said...

Ah, that Montana sky....there is nothing quite like it. Of course, I AM biased. Great photos.

sandy said...

Love the sky shots, especially the last two.

Sylvia K said...

Nothing like Montana skies indeed and I'm somewhat biased as well! Terrific captures for the day! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Sylvia

J Bar said...

Great shots.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

John Bardsley said...

blogging as meditation

Tami Weingartner said...

We had 5 White Tail Deer jump in the pasture hang out for a couple minutes then jump back out. About 15 minutes later they came flying back through in the other direction jumped back in across the field and jumped out then headed into the woods. Something sure had them worked up. But I do love seeing them.

Love the orange clouds. Thanks for sharing.

Maria said...

Hi!
Your sunsets skies are the same peachy color as here in upstate, NY. The color reminds me of the way my sherbet used to look after I swirled all the colors together.

Ants... they do move with great purpose!

Glad spring is knocking on the door in Butte.
Have a Happy Weekend!
~Maria

Emma said...

absolutely gorgeous photos, EcoRover ... I wonder what you might have found had you followed the ants.

ladyfi said...

Wonderful shots of the skies - that last one is magical.

fjÀllripan said...

Beautiful photos, I like your nature. I have been out several nights looking for beaver, I have got to see it everytime, but I didnt get to take a phto of him...Have a nice weekend

snapperoni said...

The skies in the last two shots look almost like a painting. Wonderful! :)

But that swarm of ants really got to me! Ack~~ to see them that up close!

Janie said...

Skywatching is fun any time of year. Love those last 2 shots. Good captures of the antelopes and especially the beaver!

troutbirder said...

Ah! May skies in Big Sky Country is a new experience for me. Very nice...