12 January 2012

Skywatch Friday: Blue Sky, Snow Squalls

The weather has been crazy thus far this winter with many days in the 40s deg F, about 15 degrees above our average. But then we'll have a cold snap, like this 0 deg F weekend morning with Mrs Rover, MollyTheDog and I on our habitual walk along the hill behind our home in Walkerville, Montana (I like the occasional excuse to don that boilerplate-heavy Woolrich coat I've had for 30+ years!):

The bright sun quickly reclaimed the frost laid down by the night air, and the shadow of a fence provides only fleeting protection as the sun arcs across the morning sky:

A full moon rising over the East Ridge of the Continental Divide called us out for a moonlight ski:

The following day our clear skies turned gray, and you could feel the coming change in the weather (skies seen here with a scenic outhouse at a nearby abandoned mine site):

Sure enough, snow squalls moved across the valley, and in minutes bright sun and clear blue sky could turn to stormy dark:

Here's a photo of another squall moving up the valley behind the Anaconda Smelter stack:

During a ski tour along trails near the Continental Divide at Mill Creek Pass, MollyTheDog and I were caught in a squall that dropped several inches of snow in just an hour. We ducked into the thick cover of some Douglass fir trees for a snack before heading back down the trails:

On a night when we aren't skiing by the light of the moon, we dropped by "Sparky's Garage"--a restaurant decorated with automotive memorabilia.  I like the "Kendall" signs because I once worked at that oil refinery back in my hometown of Bradford, Pennsylvania:


Live music is another way to fill the long winter nights. The Hummingbird Cafe recently hosted my professorial colleague and musician friend Chad Okrusch:

Along with Tom Catmull, a musician from the downriver town of Missoula:

Outdoors or in, there's never a lack of enjoyable activities here in Butte America.

15 comments:

Genie said...

From the looks of this photos, your days were filled with exciting and enjoyable experiences, beautiful scenery, and lots of good eats. You put together a nice series for us this week. genie

Saun said...

Awesome series love the shadow shot they're all beautiful.

Merri said...

Same weather here - I think Alaska stole all our snow!! I drove up into the mountains the other day and couldn't get anywhere near snow. : (
- The Equestrian Vagabond

Barb said...

Hi EcoRover, Same here in CO - we could really use more snow. Got about 5" yesterday. We've been moonlight skiing, too.

Lea's Menagerie said...

I enjoyed the views of your changing skies!
Happy Sky Watch Friday!
Lea

Flora said...

Loved looking at your pictures! We love Montana!! It is alot like Alberta. We pass thru a couple times a year and often holiday there in the summer.

Spare Parts and Pics said...

Looks like you have a really great local music scene. I'm also intrigued with moonlight skiing and the abandoned mine. Very cool!

ladyfi said...

The shot of the squall moving in is just gorgeous! And what a great coat - like an old faithful friend!

Sanna said...

Interesting photos and blogpost. Thank you for sharing.

Have a nice weekend =)

troutbirder said...

The snow slowly moved east from the Big Sky and we got our first real dumping two day ago. The temps dropped about 50 degrees as well. My limited experience in mountain weather always amazed how quickly big changes could occur with little forwarning... Of course, that was before all the handheld communication devices!

Judy said...

That last photo of the snow looks a lot more like winter than the earlier photos! We just had our first real storm of the winter, and then the temperatures dropped way down. It might look pretty, but Jake says it is way too cold for him...

secret agent woman said...

I like the mine photo. I live within walking distance of an abandoned mine and find it fascinating.

eyesonme2world said...

Next time I should capture the sky in the night.. hehehe...

Janie said...

Between the moonlight skiing and the indoor music fests, you seem to have plenty to do.

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