Montana Outdoors

June 6, 2007

Wildflowers of Munson Creek, higher elevations

In the higher elevations along Munson Creek I expected to see different types of flowers, and did see some, but many varieties seem to be able to adapt to many different conditions.

It was a little surprising to see the Calypso Orchid above 4,000 feet. I had thought it to grow only in the lower elevations. It was in a rather dense area along the creek however, where it had more protection from the elements.

Calypso Orchid
Calypso Orchid

The paint brushes were blooming and quite plentiful all the way to the top.

Indian Paint Brush
Indian Paint Brush

Beginning at about the 6,000 foot level Bear Grass began to appear. Their blossoms were just beginning to open, starting at the bottom of the flower.

Bear grass
Bear Grass

Bear grass
Bear Grass

At the top, the 6,900 foot level, it was still early spring and the early flowers were in bloom: Shooting Star, Glacier Lily, Bluebells, Arrowleaf, Oregon Grape, Serviceberry, and many others that I photographed in early May.

Incidentally, this is what the country above 6,000 feet looks like. The peak itself is out of view to the right of this photo. The nearest road at this point is about 6 miles and a thousand years away. All is at peace up here.

Teepee-Spring Creek roadless area

As I descended from the peak, along the trail was a flower I completely missed during the ascent. In seemingly the most unlikely place, a sunny, open stretch of hillside, was the Waterleaf, which I recognized after seeing a beautiful photo of it on aullori’s site. I was both surprised and delighted!



Note: These were photographed on May 29, 2007 at Munson Creek in the Teepee-Spring Creek roadless area, Cabinet Mountains, Western Montana.


  1. Your Indian paintbrush is completely exquisite! I have fallen in love with it! And I have to say you captured that waterleaf perfectly! (And that isn’t an easy shot or at least I didn’t think so!) I love how you caught that second shot with the focus being behind the grasses. Breathtaking! I adored that flower because walking up to it – it as just as lovely on the hike as on the camera. The beargrass shots are also amazing! These shots are really great (okay…okay I’ve ranted enough) just letting you know I think this is a beautiful post.


    Comment by aullori — June 7, 2007 @ 10:15 am

  2. Well, thanks, aullori!

    I like that little waterleaf as much as you do. I was elated when it appeared after I had looked all over for it! I had been thinking it would be at a lower elevation, near the creek, and it was at about 6,000 feet in the open (sheltered by a few taller bushes). I think somehow the light was just right for photographing it.

    The Bear grass is just starting and I hope to catch as much of it as I can this year. Right now the weather is lousy here, but maybe in a few days I can get up into the high country again.


    Comment by montucky — June 7, 2007 @ 6:09 pm

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