Photography And Half-Thoughts By Mitchell Hegman

...because some of it is pretty and some of it is not.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Temperatures, Sunset, and Bobcat

Our valley is suffering a temperature inversion at present.  During these inversions, warm air slides overtop cold air in valleys and traps the cold air there.  Inversions can last for days, weeks.
Yesterday, growing somewhat fatigued from sub-zero temperatures, that girl and I drove to the top of MacDonald Pass for the express purpose of feeling a change in temperature.  We left our house at a temperature of -4°F.  A couple dozen miles later, rising in elevation as we climbed the mountains of the Continental Divide, we encountered 30°F.   That’s a 34 degree difference.  Most of the difference occurred in a 5-mile stretch as we ascended the pass.
We stopped at a pullout and climbed from the truck to twirl in the “warmth.”   Equivalent to lying of a summer beach in comparison to what we have been experiencing, I assure you.
I snapped a few photographs.    
Driving home, we found ourselves skirting Lake Helena at sunset.   The clouds in the sky quickly stained with vivid colors.  I stopped along the lake and snapped a few more photographs.
The temperatures there were back down below zero.
We diverted from the lake and drove toward home through the snowy hills.  As we neared the mailboxes at the end of our road, a dark shape caught my eye.  “There is something standing by the mailboxes,” I told that girl.
A bobcat detached from the space near the mailboxes, bounced across the road and briefly stopped to look back at us before slipping away in a stand of cattails.  A few weeks ago, I told that girl I thought I had seen a bobcat not far from our house, but I had only seen a wisp of a glimpse and could not be certain. 
That’s the first bobcat that girl has seen.  I have seen two others.  One of those, I spotted some 35 years ago in almost the exact same spot as where we saw the cat yesterday.
Posted today are the some of the photographs I captured yesterday. 
I am also posting a photograph of a bobcat which must be credited to John Seals.

--Mitchell Hegman