Spring in Northwest Montana
Spring 2020, my first full Spring in Kalispell, has just ended. As much as I am looking forward to spending a full Summer here, I’m a bit disappointed that the Spring went so quickly. It was amazing!
Why did I love it so much? Because of the animals, plants, weather, sunshine, and well, everything!
As soon as Spring started, the increase in bird activity was amazing. I tried a few times to get a good audio clip of the singing, but wasn’t successful. It would have been great to share the mournful cry of the red tailed hawk soaring above our home, the rat-a-tat of multiple types of woodpeckers, the hooting of owls and the songs of nutcrackers, finches, cardinals, and all the other birds that live in my area. We have at least one hummingbird that has been seen flitting around the house, as well as geese and herons down near the creek.
The birds were only part of the animal activity we’ve seen this Spring. We almost always have at least a handful of deer in sight, although there are times where it’s been more than double that amount. We spotted a coyote bounding across the land one morning, followed very shortly by the sound of the nearby turkeys in distress. A few days ago, I saw a black bear cub in a field while out hiking. I didn’t see mom, but I’m sure she was nearby. We saw a snake in the meadow. Our neighbors saw a herd of elk, but all we saw was a bunch of elk sign.
If living in an area full of wildlife interests you, northwestern Montana is the place to be!
The Kalispell area is a beautiful and lush place to be in the Spring. I’ve already shared my excitement about finding morel mushrooms, Rocky Mountain Maples, and cowboy toilet paper on our land, but there were so many other plants that we watched grow. We found some noxious weeds as well as beautiful flowers which we haven’t yet identified. I previously shared information about the larch (tamarack) trees. The needles turn a brilliant orange/yellow color in the Fall, and the trees lose their needles. Then in the Spring, the needles grow back but when they do, they are so soft. It’s really an amazing feeling. Anyway, here are only a small sampling of some of the plant growth we observed this Spring. The photo on the right is the tamarack. I wish you could feel it!
By mid-April, the sky was already light at 6am and it didn’t get dark until 9. Now, the sky is light when I arise at 5am, and when I go to bed at 10pm, it’s still not dark. Kalispell, MT is on the western edge of the mountain timezone, so the sun comes up later than I expected, and goes down a lot later in the evening. The first time we were here on vacation for the 4th of July, the fireworks were not scheduled to start until 10:30 because it doesn’t get dark until then. Wow, how cool.
In terms of weather, April and May had some absolutely amazing days. Sunshine and warm dry air. Of course, there were also a few days with surprise snow. But in general, the Spring came in with gusto. In June, we’ve had quite a few days with rain, although it comes and goes and is often intermingled with sun. But the rain is welcome because…
I’ve never been a gardener and don’t consider myself a truly successful one yet. But I took some vegetable gardening classes in the winter. My husband built a vegetable garden for me, with four raised beds. A photo is attached- it sort of looks like it was made by vikings with big heavy tree logs. But what else could we have in Montana?
This year I planted lettuce, tomatoes, butternut squash, zucchini, sweet potatoes, cilantro, basil, garlic, scallions and carrots. The sweet potatoes look a little sick so they might not make it, but everything else has started to grow. Which is lucky really because I’ve never been good with plants.
Of note, here in northwestern Montana, we can’t plant anything until somewhere around Memorial day. That’s because the temperature swing between day and night can be significant. Even though daytime temps could be in the 70s, at night they go down to the 30s on occasion until late May. But by that time, the sky is light for about 16 hours a day. So we have a short growing season here, but very long days. Apparently it doesn’t take too long for things to grow.
Of course, one thing you have to do with seeds and seedlings is to keep the ground damp, which is why I was so happy to have rain in June. Less work for me to do!
I loved the Spring in Northwest Montana! If you want to live in a place that is not only beautiful, but warm, sunny, dry, and full of plants, birds, animals, and both peace and excitement, this is the place to be. I don’t see how I could possibly enjoy Summer more than Spring, but stay tuned!
If you want information about Kalispell, Bigfork or Lakeside, feel free to check out my community pages. And of course, if you need help selling or buying a home, give me a call at 406-270-3667 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about Kalispell, click here.