Friday, September 30, 2011

Walk in the River

Stepping away from the grindstone on what is likely one of the last really warm days of the year.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

What passes for yard art

I haven't met these neighbors yet, but I need to.  They live about six miles down the East Fork Road From me and are the same ones that display the large inflatable Grinch around Christmastime.  In the summer they set out two small rabbits, sometimes put in rather compromising positions.  You gotta love an irreverent approach to yard art.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

Foggy Bloggy

This post is a suggestion box of sorts.  I know I haven't been posting much lately.  That's mostly because I've been focusing my creative efforts on that other project, but at least partly because I haven't seen much of anything that made me think "Hey, that would make a good blog post."  It has been over two years since I moved to this cabin, and though I still love it here, things are not so new as before, so they don't often catch my eye.  And most of the things that do catch my eye, I've already put up here at least a few times.  So if anybody has any suggestions of something you'd like to see or hear more about, please let me know in the comments or at (or any other e-mail address you might have).  Otherwise, I'll just keep posting at my usual glacial pace.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sula Autumn

A cool front has brought frosty mornings, crisp afternoons and a good rain to put a damper on the fires.

Leaving a clear blue sky.

Warm afternoon sun.

Changing leaves.

And falling leaves.

And the river keeps on flowing.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Quick Trip Through Yellowstone

We got there early, but the wildlife was still scarce, perhaps because the unseasonably warm weather is keeping them at higher elevations.  The tourists, however, were plentiful.  The ranger at the park entrance said "As long as it stays warm, they don't leave."

Morning clouds settled in the valley of the Yellowstone River near Tower.

I love this pic. Mari was fully in the moment and didn't know I was taking it.  

Tower Fall.

Lone Bison in the lower Lamar Valley.

The upper Lamar Valley with smoke from some nearby fires.

A very distant bald eagle.

The old bridge at the Pebble Creek campground is gone.  The campground host said, as far as he knows, they don't plan to rebuild it.

Here's a pic I took of the old bridge in May 2010.

Looking across Yellowstone Lake at smoke from the Point Fire.

Lake Hotel through the haze.

Colorful steam along the boardwalk to Grand Prismatic Spring.

The thick steam prevented a really good picture of Grand Prismatic Spring. One of these years we're going to hike up the ridgeline in the background and get an "aerial" pic.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Smoked Out

All the thick smoke at my place was making it difficult for me to get any work done, so I've gone to Bozeman where the air is much clearer.  Mari and I are planning a one-day trip to Yellowstone on Monday, so let's hope the bears are feeling photogenic.

From the Missoulian (9/11/2011):  No matter which way the wind blows this week, most of western Montana will be under a blanket of wildfire smoke.  "Unfortunately, the Bitterroot Valley isn't going to see any help from rain for a while, and because it is surrounded by multiple wildfires, it will continue to have heavy smoke," said Trent Smith, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Missoula.  "The only thing that will really help is if we get a really wet precipitation event, which is not forecast in the near future - not for at least seven days." With seasonally high temperatures, wildfires could actually grow this week, Smith said.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Smoke on the water, and fire in the sky

The smoke has added a reddish tint to all the light around here.


 Moon (waxing gibbous)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

The Copper Mountain Fire to the east of my cabin is now up to 673 acres, but so far it poses no serious danger other than smoke.

It gets going during the heat and low humidity of the afternoons.

Then it calms down over night and looks like this in the morning.

The winds were blowing most of the smoke to the east, but now they've calmed, letting it settle in the valley.  This is late afternoon.

Actually it doesn't matter anymore what the wind does because there are big fires all around.  Yesterday the Health Department declared the air quality in the entire Bitterroot Valley is unhealthy, so we're all supposed to stay inside and keep working on whatever books we are trying to finish (I'm paraphrasing here).

Temperatures are higher and the humidity is lower than normal due to a high pressure ridge, so the smoke is expected to stick around for at least another week.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Winter Forecast: Unseasonably Seasonal

According to the Farmers' Almanac we're supposed to have an average winter in western Montana.  I can't wait to see what that looks like.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Signs of fall

The cold front has passed through, and the highs are now back in the low 80s.  But there are still plenty of signs of fall.

The ground squirrels have gone underground.  Actually, they disappeared a few weeks ago.  Though it is still warm, they go into hibernation in late summer when the vegetation dries out and it's harder for them to put on more weight.

Cooler temps linger into late morning.

The gray jays are back after being scarce all summer.

The river is low.

And the grass matches the deer.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Need to borrow a few degrees from Texas

That little cool front has us down to 27° this morning.  

I'm not quite ready for it to be THAT cool yet.  Luckily, it's supposed to warm back up over the next few days.