Montana Outdoors

April 2, 2008

April 2, Trail 223, flora

The forecast for today was for snow showers in the morning, brief periods of sun and possible rain in the afternoon. As it turned out, there were no showers of either kind and the temperature while I was on the trail stayed in the 20’s. A great day for hiking!

Tomorrow I will post a few photos of the trail, but for now just a few of some interesting flora, including a type of lichen I have never seen before.

Near the beginning of US Forest Service trail 223 after it heads into the South Siegel – South Cutoff roadless area there is a nice stand of cedars, extending quite a distance along the Clark Fork river and up into the side canyons that trickle down from the high country. I rested my staff against the trunk of this one when I photographed it to provide some size perspective. The staff is 56 inches long.


Along the trail there are many of these common but rather bright colored fungi. It is about 4 inches across.

Tree fungus

This lichen appeared to be part of the winter food supply for the plentiful white-tail deer in the area. What looks like leaves are 2 to 3 inches wide. There is a lot of it growing in the area and in fairly large patches. If I’m right that it is food for the deer, they are well supplied.


I have not seen this particular lichen before today. The individual strands are about 2 inches long.



  1. Interesting that the two lichen almost look like underwater plants you would find on or around a coral reef.


    Comment by wolf — April 3, 2008 @ 9:23 am

  2. I was just looking at some “sea greens” in a Nature Conservancy magazine last night, so my thoughts on seeing these lichens were just about the same as wolf’s.



    Comment by knightofswords — April 3, 2008 @ 10:42 am

  3. Wolf and Malcolm,

    I had the same thoughts, especially about the last one. In my scuba diving days I saw many sights very similar, although I don’t remember seeing exactly that color.


    Comment by montucky — April 3, 2008 @ 3:08 pm

  4. The only time I’ve seen the shot last lichen it was on my mom’s basement floor. (sincere – but don’t you dare tell her I let you in on it!) I was as perplexed seeing it then as I am now. I wish I knew what it was. I love the shots Terry. The lichen are interesting. Fascinating theory on the “leaf” lichen & the deer.


    Comment by aullori — April 4, 2008 @ 1:36 am

  5. As time permits I want to track down that lichen. It’s interesting. I’m beginning to understand that lichens are probably much more important than we think they are.


    Comment by montucky — April 4, 2008 @ 8:04 am

  6. I’ve been civilization bound for so long, looking at these photos it’s almost as though we’re living on different planets.


    Comment by Pinhole — April 4, 2008 @ 8:05 am

  7. I know exactly how you feel, Pinhole! When I lived in the Phoenix area, working 60 hours a week and not always able to get out of the metro area for a day I felt trapped. I think we need the wild country as a place to recharge our batteries!


    Comment by montucky — April 4, 2008 @ 8:12 am

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