Montana Outdoors

June 13, 2008


Finally, we had a day with no rain: that called for a leisurely stroll up towards the Cherry Peak area. The trail there is on what was an old road from the trail head and so it’s quite wide for a trail and has a rather regular incline to it making it pretty easy hiking and the entire area is closed to motor vehicles. I’ve hiked it many times now and still have not met another person on the trail. Seems like no one ever goes there, maybe because it’s a long way to the top and all up hill. The surrounding scenery though, in my opinion, is really hard to beat. Like this:

Cherry Peak roadless area

After spending a day in that country it’s difficult to decide which photos I’d like to post (I brought back 40 and some are really pretty). I’ll likely post more from today’s hike later, but for now would you like to see…

Bear Grass, Xerophyllum tenax
Bear Grass

(this was the first I’ve seen this year and the blossom is just starting to fill out)


a Black bear,
Black bear

( I was lucky to come up behind this big guy today as he foraged along the trail, turning over large rocks looking for ants and grubs. I stalked him for about 15 minutes and got to within about 50 yards, taking the photo just as he was about to enter the thick brush. It was an experience I will remember for a long time: he’s a very large and representative Black Bear!)

or maybe

A Tolmie star-tulip.
Tolmie star-tulip

You decide.


  1. Nice day for stalking, bears as well as flowers.



    Comment by knightofswords — June 14, 2008 @ 10:21 am

  2. Wow, bears and lilies in one walk – nice!


    Comment by Adam R. Paul — June 14, 2008 @ 10:24 am

  3. Tough choice between the bear grass and the bear. The flower seems a little safer for us chickens out here. Cluck, cluck.


    Comment by Bo — June 14, 2008 @ 12:32 pm

  4. I’ve seen many a bear but never the bear grass…my vote is for bear grass now, bear later. 🙂


    Comment by Tabbie — June 14, 2008 @ 1:33 pm

  5. Malcolm,

    Yes, it’s a great day when you can run into both. I’ve seen lots of bear sign in that area before but not until now did I catch up with one. I saw another on the way back but couldn’t get a picture. He was a cinnamon – honey color; beautiful!


    Comment by montucky — June 14, 2008 @ 7:20 pm

  6. Adam,

    Yup, it’s a great treat to see the critters too and these bears are in such great condition already. The rub patches in their fur from their winter dens has already grown out.


    Comment by montucky — June 14, 2008 @ 7:22 pm

  7. Well, Bo, there are usually lots more bear grass than there are bears anyway but this year the flowers have gotten a late start. Black bears are actually pretty laid back although very shy. Over all the years I’ve only really tangled with one of them.


    Comment by montucky — June 14, 2008 @ 7:25 pm

  8. Tabbie,

    I’m sure I’ll be posting lots more photos of the bear grass later once it starts blooming. Today we cut firewood in an area that, last year this time, was just carpeted with bear grass and there’s not one up yet in that area. If I can’t find them, there’s lots of photos on the blog from a year ago.


    Comment by montucky — June 14, 2008 @ 7:27 pm

  9. bear grass, star tulips, and bears, oh my!! I was surprised to see the shot of the bear!! WOWEE!! I think I’d be scared to death!


    Comment by silken — June 14, 2008 @ 8:37 pm

  10. It’s a very rare thing, Silken, to get that close to a wild bear. They are very shy creatures and will usually detect your presence long before you can see them that close. I was delighted to have that chance!


    Comment by montucky — June 14, 2008 @ 10:15 pm

  11. Great shots Terry, I have seen many bears in the Smokies and yet have never got an image of one yet !

    go figure 🙂


    Comment by Bernie Kasper — June 16, 2008 @ 9:05 am

  12. The wilder the bear, the more difficult it is to get a photo op. This one really surprised me.


    Comment by montucky — June 16, 2008 @ 7:22 pm

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