A little spare time in the late afternoon, a short drive, cool green shade and flowers.
Scarlet Indian Paintbrush, Castilleja miniata
Kinnikinnik, Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
Howell’s pussytoes, Antennaria howellii
Woodland Strawberry, Fragaria vesca
Yellow Coralroot, Corallorhiza trifida
This encounter made my day! It was the first time that I’ve encountered this saprophytic orchid. Its greenish tinge suggests that it may be capable of manufacturing at least a part of its food to supplement its normal diet of decaying organic material.
Nearly all of my photos result from my frequent wanderings in the mountains and forests of western Montana. The wildflowers in my previous post were encountered on the way to a hike to view the peaks of the Cherry Peak roadless area, something I choose to do at least once every year. After a ten mile drive from the valley to a starting point at 5000 feet and a two mile hike from there up an old road to 6000 feet I arrive at my preferred viewing spot with an open view of the north side of the peaks. Mountains are always viewed best from high places.
The road at 6000 feet
Wood violets (Viola glabella) in bloom just below the snow level.
View to the northwest over the Clark Fork River.
View of Koo-Koo Sint Ridge north of the river from the access road.
A few days ago I mentioned that I had feared that I might have missed seeing Springbeauties this year. I also had that feeling about Fairy Slippers, having seen only two so far. Today as I returned from a hike up beyond Sheep Gap on the old road just north of Sunset Peak, just about a mile above the new trail head for the Sacajawea Peak Trail I found dozens of these beautiful little wildflowers in full bloom alongside Forest Service Road 7581; a cause for celebration. (Calypso, the goddess daughter of Atlas, was a beautiful sea nymph who was hidden in the woods.)