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Glacier Park Highs and Lows

by CHRIS PETERSON
Editor | December 1, 2021 7:05 AM

It was both a miserable and beautiful week in Glacier Park.

Tuesday saw a dense, wet, heavy snow.

Typical for this time of year. But then it warmed up and rained.

This may be a La Nina winter, but like last year, might end up being warmer rather than colder. It’s certainly starting out that way, with see-saws of snow and rain which generally makes things a mess.

The snow that fell earlier in the week was nearly completely gone by Sunday. Streams, which are normally low this time of year are the highest I’ve seen them since early May (obviously they get higher during run off), but with our brutally dry summer, the same streams were the lowest I’ve ever seen them just a couple months ago and I thought for awhile there that poor Apgar Creek was going to dry up completely.

Seeing Apgar Creek that dry was really sad, because I can remember years ago photographing an American dipper happily feeding in the creek.

But now there’s almost too much water for this time of year and instead being snow in the hills, it’s running off, which isn’t great, for a variety of reasons.

But the lows have also been met with highs. Saturday morning turned out to be unusually pleasant with deep blue skies and big puffy clouds with steam and fog.

The nice thing about November light is that even at noon, it has a soft, gold glow.

There really is no bad light in November and December as we’re only three weeks from the shortest day of the year. The sun never gets that high in the sky. In Hungry Horse, where the mountains crowd the town, it barely gets above Columbia before it goes back down again. The December full moon is one of my favorites. If you’re lucky enough to get a clear night, it’s one of the few months where it rises over the high peaks above Lake McDonald.

Most months, it’s to the south, rising over the Belton Hills. Mark your calendar for Dec. 18. The full moon should rise at about 4:15 p.m.

Let’s hope that, for just a few minutes, the clouds break.

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