Montana Outdoors

July 19, 2016

An afternoon of Indian Pipes

Filed under: Wildflowers — Tags: , — montucky @ 10:40 pm

On a short hike this afternoon I encountered several dozen groups of Indian Pipes. They are not rare, but live in forested areas in deep shade and can be easily overlooked. It was unusual to see so many along a short (perhaps half a mile) piece of trail. They usually grow in groups and have many attractive poses. And so I got carried away with photos.

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Indian Pipe

Indian Pipes

Indian Pipes

Indian Pipes

Indian Pipes

Indian Pipes

Indian Pipes

Indian Pipes

Indian Pipes

Indian Pipes

Indian Pipes

Indian Pipes

The common name ‘Indian Pipe’ refers to the pipe-like flowering stalks. It is also called ‘Ghost Flower’ and is in a leafless, saprophytic subfamily of Monotropae. They do not have chlorophyll or green leaves and do not manufacture their own food, obtaining food instead from decaying material in the tree litter and humus. They do not depend on the sun and are usually found in the deep shade of coniferous forests. While their pretty little faces always point straight down (and therefore are very difficult to photograph), the fruit eventually points straight up!

July 7, 2016

“In the pink”…

Filed under: Wildflowers — Tags: , — montucky @ 10:32 pm

Deptford pink

Deptford Pink, that is ~ Dianthus armeria

July 5, 2016

A pretty wild orchid… a very short hike

Filed under: Wildflowers — Tags: , — montucky @ 10:34 pm

Most often the photos in my posts are taken in the course of a hike, typically eight to ten miles or so, but this one was taken on a hike of less than fifty yards; in my own back yard.

Many years ago when we first moved to this place we decided that we would leave nearly all of the property in its original natural state, and so it has been, with a few minor exceptions. Down below the house there is an area one could call a “thicket”, mostly full of hawthorn trees and other shrubs and with all of the sharp spines, a rather inhospitable place. Over the years I have created and maintained a couple small paths (about 18 inches wide and six feet tall) through it as a courtesy to the deer, giving them a hidden route to follow and a friendly place to hang out, where they can be out of sight and out of danger. I periodically clip out the dead branches that infringe on the trail and in doing so the other day I discovered some plants that I had never seen there before; White Bog-orchids. I suspect that it was Nature’s way of rewarding me for my kindness to Her deer.

White Bog-orchid

White Bog-orchid ~ Platanthera dilatata

July 3, 2016

A brief visit to Trail 345

Today I briefly visited a favorite old trail even though the day was a little warmer than I like for hiking. But a trail that had no visitors on a holiday weekend was still a good place to be.

Trail 345

USFS trail 345 on a bright summer day.

White Spirea, Shinyleaf Spirea

White Spirea, Shinyleaf Spirea ~ Spiraea lucida

Alaska rein orchid, slender-spire orchid

Alaska rein orchid, slender-spire orchid ~ Piperia unalascensis

Sickletop Lousewort

Sickletop Lousewort ~ Pedicularis racemosa

Scarlet Indian Paintbrush

Scarlet Indian Paintbrush

Scarlet Indian Paintbrush ~ Castilleja miniata

Pointedtip Mariposa lily, Three-spot Mariposa lily, Baker's mariposa

Pointedtip Mariposa lily, Three-spot Mariposa lily, Baker’s mariposa, ~ Calochortus apiculatus

July 2, 2016

More from along the Munson Creek trail

Ocean-spray, Creambush

Near the start of the trail, where it first crosses the stream, the vegetation is heavy at the crossing. The flowering shrub to the right of the trail is called “Ocean Spray”.

Ocean-spray, Creambush

Ocean-spray, Creambush ~ Holodiscus discolor

Untitled

Sometimes a tree will fall across the trail. This one is a couple miles up from the trail head. For perspective, I leaned my hiking staff on the tree: the staff is 62 inches long.

Brown-eyed Susan

Brown-eyed Susan ~ Gaillardia aristata

White Spirea, Shinyleaf Spirea

White Spirea, Shinyleaf Spirea ~ Spiraea lucida

Yellow Salsify seed head

Many flowers have already completed their summer and have already gone to seed. This one is from a Yellow Salsify.

Butterweed seed head

I think this one is from a species of Butterweed.

Common St. Johnswort, Klamath weed

Common St. Johnswort, Klamath weed ~ Hypericum perforatum

Thimbleberry

Thimbleberry ~ Rubus parviflorus

Scarlet Gillia, Sky Rocket

Scarlet Gillia, Sky Rocket

Scarlet Gillia, Sky Rocket ~ Ipomopsis aggregata

Liverleaf Wintergreen, Pink Pyrola

Liverleaf Wintergreen, Pink Pyrola

Liverleaf Wintergreen, Pink Pyrola

Liverleaf Wintergreen, Pink Pyrola ~ Pyrola asarifolia

Wood's Rose

Wood’s Rose ~ Rosa woodsii

June 29, 2016

First, the purples

This morning before the temperature climbed too far toward its eventual high in the 90’s I hiked a ways (about two and a half miles) up the Munson Creek trail (USFS trail # 372) toward Big Hole Peak. Almost at the start I noticed that the array of wildflower species there was remarkably different from the ones on the Spring Creek trail on which I hiked just two days ago and which is only about 9 miles to the east. Interesting, and not entirely explainable by a steeper trail and a slightly higher elevation.

Today’s post will feature the purples.

Western Mountain Aster

Western Mountain Aster

Western Mountain Aster

Western Mountain Aster ~ Symphyotrichum spathulatum

Nodding Onion

Nodding Onion

As the name “Nodding Onion ~ Allium cernuum” implies, these could be detected by smell before their appearance.

Wild Bergamot

Wild Bergamot ~ Monarda fistulosa, well known for its pleasant smell.

Bluebell-of-Scotland, Harebell

Bluebell-of-Scotland, Harebell

It’s hard to resist a picture of the “Bluebell-of-Scotland, Harebell ~ Campanula rotundifolia” when they pose so nicely.

Pinkfairy, Deerhorn, Ragged Robin

Pinkfairy, Deerhorn, Ragged Robin ~ Clarkia pulchella

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