20b gypsum further up trail

Winter Wayfaring at -12 Degrees

It dropped to -22° last night, but with the crystal-clear blue sky this morning, the sun is warming up the landscape. At -12° and not a breath of wind, it’s time for a winter wayfaring experience near home. It is just so beautiful. The sparkling snow clings to everything it fell on over the last 24 hours. Be sure to dress warm though, it is still very cold outside and we don’t want any frostbite on fingers, toes, or nose. It is so nice to still have farmland within our city limits. Wintertime aspens, long piles of hay, and the Bridger Mountains that define our eastern edge, all covered in sparkling white.

Bridgers frame aspens

Wayfaring with me . . .

20b gypsum further up trail

SNAP*Shot: Eared Grebes

eard grebe2-7504

What a surprise! On my morning walk around Cattail Lake there were six pair of Eared Grebes. I have only ever seen them in Yellowstone but here they are. I know they nest in colonies, so maybe six pair could be a colony? I’m so excited that we may have baby Grebes close to home this year! The young ride on their parent’s back for the first two weeks of their lives. What a sight that would be! Let’s see what a little research turns up.

Continue . . .

20b gypsum further up trail

Walking the Wilds of Bozeman

What to do? Because of the wildfires in Washington, Oregon, and northwest Montana, the smoke hangs in the air like a hazy veil with air quality warnings made visible by fine ash wafting across the landscape. It is 42° with a slight breeze, conditions that make the air quality a bit better first thing in the morning. So grab your jacket and let’s head out the front door for a walk to 12-acre Cattail Lake to see the wilds of Bozeman at sunrise.

wild Bozeman

 

Continue our walk

20b gypsum further up trail

Plain Brown Wrapper

Winter in Montana. Many things come to mind: snow; sledding; skiing; snowshoeing; cold to frigid temperatures; large animals donning their thick, beautiful winter coats; bright sunshine reflecting off the sparkling white landscape. So far 2015 is living up to only one of those expectations. The poor animals in their beautiful, heavy winter coats thinking of heading to higher elevations to cool down.

fence

Here in the valleys we are wondering what happened to our snow, although I think Massachusetts got it by mistake, and are looking at a landscape far from white or sparkling. What isn’t brown is gray and the sun is filtered through stratus or cirrus clouds. Our cold temps have mellowed into mid-40s during the day and mid-20s at night. It feels more like the spring of April than the winter of February. However, even dull and drab takes on life when we walk along a river, and  the Missouri Headwater State Park is the point of joining (confluence) for three rivers to become the mighty Missouri River.

Continue walking …