Fall in the Mountains near Ovando, MT, 2005

Click on any image for a bigger view
As usual, contact me if you want the really high definition image

The days are getting shorter and colder and there is a light dusting of snow up in the high country. Life is a bit topsy-turvy right now and I needed to get out and clear my head and think. So I went for a ride across the river to check out the fall colors. There's still at least a month of riding weather left, until the snow starts piling up as it did last year. Montana doesn't get the outrageous colors of the deciduous forests back east, but it's not just one unending sea of green. We have cottonwoods and aspens that turn yellow, sumac that turns red, and after all that is done the larches make a wonderful encore.

Flowers Scapegoat Mountains Big Meadow
At home...
still Flowers
Scapegoat Mountains
from Hawksnest
The "Big Meadow"

I took what I call the "High Road," a combination of old logging roads and a fire break cut out in 1988. It snugs up to Ovando Mountain, high on the foothills where the steep slope of the mountain eases off.

Kleinschmidt Flat Kleinschmidt Flat Kleinschmidt Flat
View from the
High Road
Brown's Lake and
Anaconda Pintlars

I got to a place where there was a wide view of the Flat. Way too wide for my simple camera, so I decided to try my hand at making a panorama. The photo below is actually two shots, joined using the GIMP, a free image manipulation program.

Panorama of Kleinschmidt Flat
Why Kleinschmidt Flat is so named...
Backlit Maple Ground Cover Ground Cover Kleinschmidt Flat
Backlit Maple Ground Cover Thru the Trees
Hillside Color
Hillside Color

The larches aren't completely yellow yet, but they are getting there.

Larch and Sumac Larches
Larch and Sumac larches

One morning when I went out to get the horses, there was a heavy frost not yet melted by the brilliant sunshine. The rough fescue held rainbows hard to imagine.

Rough Fescue Rainbows Rough Fescue Rainbows Rough Fescue Rainbows
Rough Fescue Rainbows

A few days later I rode up higher for a look to the northeast. The snow had melted low down, but was still hugging the peaks.

Mineral Hill Mineral Hill North Fork Blackfoot Divide View North Fork Blackfoot Divide View
Mineral Hill North Fork Blackfoot Divide View

The short drive to town is always a treat.

Mineral Hill
Misty Hills

Gary's home page