Before I forget again, here are a couple of photos of some Indian paintbrush that I noticed along a trail at a high elevation on the first of October. They look much different than they do in the summer. I would hate to leave them out.
October 31, 2007
October 30, 2007
The drops on the leaves came from snow that had melted just minutes before.
A couple of miles up the trail (and a thousand feet higher), this mullein had a pretty coating of frost,
and this fungus peeked out from under a blanket of fresh snow.
(These are photos of a few of the small treasures along the trail on a hike into the Cherry Peak roadless area in the Coeur d’Alene Mountains of western Montana on October 4, 2007.)
October 28, 2007
Completely missing from the long list of my personal faults and deficiencies is a lack of love and respect for trees. This fir fell victim to one of our forest fires just a few years ago. I would ask those who don’t share this respect to count the number of rings and consider the fact that each ring represents one year in the life of the tree. I have lived a fairly long time already, and if my count is correct, I was born when one of the rings about a third of the way in towards the center was formed, or when this tree was already two feet in diameter and over a hundred and twenty years old. Somewhat of a humbling thought, isn’t it?
As I was hunting on Thursday, a splash of bright orange caught my eye, this time not in the air but on the ground. Atop a knoll in the high country, amid chips of bark from a logging venture of long ago, this little fungus was brightly attempting to compete with the colors of the larch, and doing so quite well in my opinion. It’s effort should not be overlooked! It’s about the size of a tennis ball cut in half and swung open. (Regarding the small split on the left side, no, I didn’t step on it; an elk did.)
October 26, 2007
Everything here seems to be pointing “up”.
This scene is behind the mountain in the background of the first photo. (Taken on two different hunting trips.)
The larch needles are dropping rapidly now and so their bright splashes of color will be soon be leaving the woods for this year.
October 24, 2007
At some point after I’m gone, someone will say: “Overall he was a fairly decent sort, but he just couldn’t stay away from the Larch”.
The scenes in these photos are between the North Siegel Creek and South Siegel Creek roadless areas and southwest of the Reservation Divide roadless area in the Coeur d’Alene Mountains of western Montana. The first photo actually shows part of the South Siegel area.
Water from this watershed flows into the Clark Fork of the Columbia River, and despite the fact that it looks like a vast area, the streams whose headwaters are within it are small. It takes huge tracts of wild country to produce the precious water we need for survival.
October 23, 2007
The colors are unusual for this time of year. Do you suppose the sky is competing with the leaves for attention?