Montana Outdoors

June 2, 2007

Wildflowers of Munson Creek, lower elevation

One of the many places I have chosen to explore this summer is the 13,902 acre Teepee-Spring Creek roadless area near my home in Western Montana. Last Wednesday I enjoyed a ten hour hike through the East side of it along Munson Creek which begins its life just below the summit of Big Hole Peak and flows nearly due South before entering into the Clark Fork River.

The hike began just off Montana Highway 200 at the mouth of Munson Creek at an elevation of 2,400 feet, continued for 6 miles to the 6,900 foot top of Big Hole Peak and then back down again. (I’ll not do that again! Next trip I’ll stay for one night at the top before heading back!)

The lavish display of wildflowers in the spring is awesome, but nowhere more so than in the wilderness areas. I have posted photos of several dozen different wildflowers over the past month, and they all had representatives along Munson Creek. Included here are new photos of some of those, but also some of flowers I have not seen elsewhere. The following were found in about the first 3 miles, up to about 4,000 feet and, as usual for me, there are a few I can’t identify.

Feathery False Lily of the Valley
Maianthemum racemosum

Feathery False Lily of the Valley

Displaying a strikingly similar type of leaf as the False Lily is this one which must be a close relative, but it has a different blossom design.

Unknown white wildflower

This one was nearly overlooked. At a casual glance, it looks something like a dried stem of grass about six inches tall. Closer inspection shows that stem is really blossoms of about 1/8 inch diameter, all in one long straight line. No clusters for this little guy!

Unknown white wildflower

Here is the first Violet that I’ve seen so far, and there were many of these along the creek where they were well shaded by the tall cedars. Nice little flecks of yellow to contrast with the green.

Violet

I have no idea what this little blue flower is, but it certainly has a pleasing color scheme! I saw only this one plant.

Unknown blue wildflower

I had photographed the Clematis earlier, on a mountain about 20 miles away, but I can’t resist showing these blooms which appear to be flying.

Clematis

In my next post will be photos of the blossoms of the higher elevations.

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