By Alkali Springs Correspondent
What a difference a week makes! You, gentle readers, were just reading last week about all our troubles with flies and things of that ilk due to a fall freeze that seemed never to come.
Now, this week, out our way it was a race to get storm windows washed and put on to keep out drafts that felt more like Many Glacier than this part of Montana.
And the flies have all disappeared! We rejoice about all the small but important things that make our life better.
This is the second year of a very poor fall foliage season. It used to be that we gave fall foliage tours through the Bear Paws and Little Rockies and we had a terrible time getting the time right to see the maximum amount of foliage. We thought that if we had to generalize, it would be that the maximum fall foliage in this part of the country could be seen around the first week of October.
The last two years, with the lack of moisture, that has all changed. There were just pockets of foliage this year. Take Beaver Creek Park, for instance, below the Taylor Road. One day the leaves were on the aspens and just turning golden, and the next day there were no leaves on aspen at all. All crinkled and on the ground. Yet, up in the higher reaches of the mountains, the golds and golden-green hues were beautiful as usual. And the brush foliage seen in lower areas was just spectacular and in some cases still is.
But for the most part, we have had two seasons without much of any fall colors to admire in the beautiful Bear Paws. Conditions are a little better in our sister range, the Little Rockies, because they have had more moisture right along. What a bummer. Hope it is better next fall.
Want to see fall foliage right now? Best bet is to scoot up to Glacier National Park this weekend where the tamarack trees should be turning a glorious golden color. Whole mountainsides in the areas around Lake McDonald, on the North Fork, and on the west side of Marias Pass will be alive with those colors. Glorious tamarack colors will stretch far down Flathead Lake to Polson and up U.S. Highway 2 to the Idaho border.
These trees and their spectacular foliage displays are especially great to see by us flatlanders because we have nothing to compare them to in our island mountain ranges.
As for us, old-timers always used to say that the best fall foliage is yet to come. That is particularly true this year.