Monday, May 11, 2009

Black Leaf Canyon

Lacey patterns of snow grace the cliff bottom.
Herd of mule deer next to the road on the way to the canyon.
These twin spires gaurd the entrance to the canyon.
Someone had walked into the canyon a few days before I was there. Some of their tracks remained.
Snow was falling and landing on my camera lens. You can see the white dots in this photo.
The colors in these rock cliffs are amazing. My grandma could paint these walls so they looked so beautiful! She lived under a reef like this, and knew it's moods each day.
The sounds of the creek were magical inside the canyon walls. I wish I could get Robert to walk with me, so he could have heard this also. He sits in the car and waits for me. He misses a lot. On the other hand, that allows me time alone in the mountains, which I love. It's hard to describe what it's like to be inside a canyon like this, alone, to hear the sounds, smell the smells, and feel the wilderness...
This is looking down country from inside the canyon. I walked a ways back into the canyon, but chickened out when I ran into bear scat.
This is the trail going back into the Bob Marshall, made me wish I was on my my horse, headed in...
This is the road heading toward the trail head at the canyon.
And here was a star fish on the mountain!
These crocus were fresh and their color was rich. They hadn't opened up yet.

To see more of our photos from this trip. I've uploaded a few hundred to flikr! There are many more photos of the avocets, the horses and mules, and the scenery.

Hope you enjoyed the trip!
Donna Ridgway

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More on the Black Leaf Cut Off Road

The crocuses are blooming right now. These little guys were my grandma's favorite flowers. When she and my grandpa had the ranch, she was so excited each spring, when the crocuses bloomed. Some people call these Pasque Flowers, I believe.
The sun played hide and seek with us all day long. It was either sunshine, for a second or two, then it was rain, wind or snow.
I've never seen a cow with a face like this! She was humped up from the wind and sleet, making her look even more humorous!

I had Robert drive fast to get ahead of the herd, so I could jump out and take a photo of them following us. They acted so happy to have company...:)
When we drove away from the herd, the mules followed the car, look at the wistful look on this guy's face. It almost broke our hearts to leave them!

Next post, I'll show the Black Leaf Canyon...
Trip to be continued!

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Black Leaf Cut Off Road to Campbell Cut Off Road

Robert asked me what I wanted to do most of all, to celebrate Mother's Day. Of course, I said I wanted to go up Black Leaf Canyon. We've been all around that area, but not into the canyon itself. I've been waiting for him to mention another photo shoot, so we could go there. For once, I had a definite destination in mind!

We left Vaughn, and before we got to Choteau, we'd seen avocets, geese, several varieties of ducks, an osprey and it's mate, antelope, elk, and some awesome Montana scenery!

An entire herd of antelope ran across the highway in front of us, when we crossed the Fairfield bench. We stopped to watch them go, and took photos of them as they ran. They didn't know we had no evil intentions where they were concerned.

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This was the view, west of Choteau. I guess it's easy to see why we're called the "Big Sky Country". This is one big sky!
Snow clouds hung over Ear Mountain, and before the day was over, we had snow, rain, sleet, wind...the normal gamut of weather. It isn't quite summertime yet on the Rocky Mountain Front!
Nostalgia took hold of us. Both of us went to school in one room school houses, with home made playground equipment. We couldn't resist one more ride on the merry go round.

Sand Hill Cranes were in the meadow opposite the old school house. These huge birds make the most interesting sounds. I like listening to them.

This is one herd of horses and mules that we've dubbed "ours". When we saw them in the distance, I yelled, "Hey, are you coming to see us today?" They were a quarter mile away, but their heads came up, their ears came forward, and their hooves began to move! It wasn't long until we were surrounded by these old friends. I don't know who they really belong to, I think it must be an outfitter in the area, for these animals are very used to people, and they love visiting. They're very mannerly, and don't push and shove each other around a whole lot while we pet them. One mule took the camera strap and tried to pull it away from Robert, the mule wanted to take some photos of us!

The magpies were out, in full force, squawking around, trying to stay out of my "shooting" range. These birds are so wary, it's hard to get them close to my camera. I think they believe I have another kind of apparatus in my hands. :)
Mule slobbers on the car. They smelled and felt of every inch of this car.
Last fall, I took a photo of this mule, as he stuck his tongue out at me.
Feet the size of platters! This horse could be a pmu rescue. He's so huge, makes me feel like a midget when he comes to see me.
The mules loved the car. They slobbered over every inch of it. They also stuck their heads in the open windows, looking for treats! You do have to watch these critters, they will scrape the paint off your car with their teeth.

My one shot of the day where the sun shone perfectly.

I'll continue this post, it's getting difficult to keep track of the new photos each time I upload some more. I wish blogger would add them to the bottom of a post, in the order they're selected, instead of placing them at the top. Takes so much cutting and pasting!


Monday, April 13, 2009

Elk Creek Road

On Easter Sunday, we decided to head for the hills and see what we could find. We turned to the left when we drove out of our driveway and decided we'd see what the country looked like west of Augusta, Mt.
You might not expect to see Yak, but we did! If you leave Augusta, heading south west, toward Bean Lake, you drive by this herd.
These white tails watched us as we crossed the creek, the buck is growing his antlers for next season, you can see the velvety nubbins on his head.
We drove by the sign to Smith Creek Road, but when we saw a sign to Elk Creek, we had to turn off the highway and see what this road was like.
This is Hay Stack Butte. I liked the way the snow laid in the coulees and draws.
Here's Sawtooth in the distance. Most of the time, we drive to the base of Sawtooth, in the Sun River Game Range. On this day, the snow blocked the road on a lot of our old trails.
A road like this, beckons you onward! You can't wait to see what's around the next corner.

This is another view of Hay Stack Butte, we're now on the south side of the butte.
A forest fire raged through this area, you can see the burnt forest every where you look.
We stopped to visit the ranchers who live in this area, while we were talking, this bay horse herded wayward calves through the fence, back toward their mothers. He was free lancing!
I didn't think I got very many pretty photos while we were here, but when I looked through my selection, I had a hard time choosing. This is a beautiful area, and I'm sure glad we found it!
I don't know the name of this peak, but it's shape was so interesting. It's a large mountain.
Robert noticed this pond as we were driving along, it was on his side of the road. We had to stop and take photos as the patterns, colors, and reflections were awesome.

There were some fish in the pond, they got into a fight and stirred up the mud before we left.

The road goes on beyond this cabin, but we had to turn back at this place. The snow blocked us from going further.

When we left home, we threw some shrimp and lettuce into a cooler, along with some salad dressing. So this made a good place to eat lunch!

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