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Showing posts from April, 2014

Fly Like A ...... Bighorn?

You run into some pretty neat stuff while heading to the field.  Sometimes it's the high point of the day.  Take this image for instance.  It was recorded on film.  Ah, the good old (if not less convenient) days of photography.  I was driving through the Gallatin Canyon.  A bunch of bighorn sheep were milling along the side of the road.  I found a nearby turnout and pulled over.  Sheep were busy grazing, some were in the river. Eventually, it looked like they wanted to cross the road.   One ewe, then another.  Up and over the barrier.  Maybe the grass was greener.  Maybe they just wanted to live dangerously and dodge traffic.  It's a tough way to make a living.

West Fork

Let's go for a nice walk, shall we?  An hour or two, all day if you like.  Feeling ambitious?  Well, how about grabbing the big pack and throwing in a tent too?
Jo and I got away for a few days of backpacking early last August.  We'd originally planned a longer trip.  But, as the departure date neared, we decided on a "tamer" venture.   So, off to the Red Lodge side of Beartooths we went. 
A big burn swept through the area in 2008, leaving a ghostly forest of standing dead timber. Interested in fire ecology and plant succession?  Well, this is a good place to observe the process. Dead trees are being replaced by lots of little ones.  Then there's  the namesake fireweed that blooms profusely after a fire.  Farther up the drainage, the forest is unburned, wildflower aficionados will be pleased by the riot of color that awaits in the meadows.
There's a nice trail.   It's quite popular with day hikers and backpackers alike.  You won't be wanting for comp…

A Bag Full of Memories

Hunger motivated a trip to the garage this afternoon. While rummaging around in the freezer I found a bag.   I unzipped it, and out wafted the aroma of early autumn.  Damp and earthy.  A heavenly paradox, considering that we're barely one hundred eighty degrees seasonally from that other equinox.
Flashback to last autumn.  It was late afternoon, we were bumping our way out of the mountains on a dirt and gravel road.  I despise road hunting.  That day I made an exception.  Jo drove slowly, we scanned the road edge for our quarry.
A ha!  There!  And then, a couple more. White.  Egg shaped.   Shaggy mane mushrooms. Finding them is almost like finding presents under the tree at Christmas.
In our neck of the woods they usually appear in early fall, usually after the first rainy or snowy cold snap in September.  Years ago I found some along the Cassiar Highway in Northern British Columbia in late July.  But then, that's cooler, wetter country.
These mushrooms don't last long, e…


While driving along the Missouri River early last June, I spied this lone angler at work. It was late afternoon.  The PMD's were just starting to hatch.  Fish were rising.
Angling nirvana.
So, I drove up the road, found an open spot.  Slipping into the water, I became part of a similar dreamy scene for passing anglers.  The fish, so close, agreeably sipped the PMD presented barely at arms length. 
Nirvana for me.