Montana Outdoors

June 7, 2007

Three photos (well, four)

On Tuesday the 5th I was finally able to get into the Cherry Peak roadless area for a few hours. I will write a longer post about that later, but for now I hope it will suffice if I show a couple of photos that I really liked and a new plant that shouldn’t exist in Montana.

First, the new plant. I had never seen anything even similar to this, so was very surprised when I came upon it along the trail. It’s called White Lady’s Slipper Cypripedium candidum Muhl and is in the Orchid family. The USDA web site does not show it growing West of the Dakotas. In a stretch along the trail about 30 feet long there were six plants growing, and I could find them nowhere else, although I only covered about two miles that day.

White Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium candidum Muhl)

White Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium candidum Muhl)

One more visit to the Tolmie: I can’t seem to leave them alone, and they were just about everywhere in this area at about 5,500 feet. I just love this view of this one!

Tolmie star-tulip! (Calochortus tolmiei)

The Bear grass blossoms are pretty well filled out in this area now and provided the opportunity for this photo of what I think is a pleasing combination of Bear grass and fir needles.

Bear grass and fir needles

I will post more about this trip and plan to spend more time in the Cherry Peak area; several days at least. There is a huge assortment of plants and the views from that elevation are really beautiful. From the top it’s possible to look across the Clark Fork river into the Teepee-Spring Creek roadless area to the North, into the Baldy Mountain roadless area to the North-east, and the Patrick’s Knob roadless area to the East. From the peak itself I will be able to see the Bitterroot Mountain range along the Montana-Idaho border about 50 miles to the South. I’m sure looking forward to that!

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