Fire and Ice

On a recent visit to Glacier National Park, it was truly a vision of contrast.  All the fire activity had me curious but the weather had closed in and snow caused the Going to the Sun Road to close temporarily.  This is quite common in late summer/early fall and often makes the visit to the park more interesting.  Luckily the road opened on day 2 of the trip.  However, the weather on those high peaks just wasn’t going to cooperate and kept the Logan Pass area fogged in as you can see and a balmy 38 degrees.

Fog at Logan Pass

As always, one tries to make the best of things especially when it comes to photography.  Fog rolling through offered up some nice views of the valley below and using a long lens, taking close ups of the frosty peaks was great fun.

An Opening in the Fog at Big Drift

An Opening in the Fog at Big Drift

Snow on Glacier's High Peaks as Weather Moves Through

Snow on Glacier’s High Peaks as Weather Moves Through

Snow and Frost on the High Peaks Above Big Bend

Snow and Frost on the High Peaks Above Big Bend

Hoarfrost had Coated the Rock Face

Hoarfrost had Coated the Rock Face

But now, the real contrast.  The Reynolds Fire had moved through parts of the park and burned right across the road in some areas near Rising Sun.  While it was heart breaking to see the damage, nature was already starting the healing process.

Burned Areas Along The Sun Road

Burned Areas Along The Sun Road

Badly Burned but Signs of Life, Little Green Shoots Already Emerging

Badly Burned but Signs of Life, Little Green Shoots Already Emerging

One would think these once large shrubs would be cooked to the core, but as with many of nature’s surprises, in just a few weeks, new shoots begin to emerge.

New Shoots of Twinberry and Maple

New Shoots of Twinberry and Maple

Fire and ice seemed a fitting title for this little adventure.  10 inches of snow graced the high elevation areas of the park but left the nearby valleys damp with rainfall.  Fall is definitely on it’s way and luckily the snow and rain gave firefighters a long overdue reprieve.  And, as the journey was coming to a close, a couple of mountain goats were spotted grazing on the steep hillside near Siyeh Bend.

Mountain Goat Near Siyeh Bend

Mountain Goat Near Siyeh Bend

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