Montana Outdoors

August 20, 2008

Left and right

How many times does it happen that nature sets a stage. On a trail yesterday, to the left, and at my feet she placed this scene of small and pretty and delicate things:

Butterfly and Pearly Everlasting

and to the right of the trail and above, this one of rugged beauty; two small pieces that help make up the whole of the wild country.

The sentinel of Spring Creek

These seem more attractive than brick and mortar, asphalt and concrete, but this kind of stage is disappearing now across much of the west.

(In the upper reaches of the Spring Creek canyon just below Bighole Peak in the Cabinet Mountains of western Montana.)


  1. beautiful contrasting images! ๐Ÿ™‚ That butterfly is drop-dead gorgeous! ๐Ÿ™‚


    Comment by Sumedh — August 20, 2008 @ 11:06 am

  2. I would love to climb that outcropping. It’s in a beautiful setting, that’s for sure.


    Comment by wolf — August 20, 2008 @ 3:10 pm

  3. Sumedh,

    That’s another reason why I would never want to use a mechanized means of travel through the back country: I wouldn’t have the time to notice many of the detail things. I miss too many as it is.


    Comment by montucky — August 20, 2008 @ 6:21 pm

  4. I guess I can understand the urge to climb that, but I still would not present any competition in that area.


    Comment by montucky — August 20, 2008 @ 6:24 pm

  5. I’d rather just leave the outcropping unstressed and undamaged by my need to conquer it. Nature does love to dot its “i”s


    Comment by Tabbie — August 20, 2008 @ 6:41 pm

  6. I keep trying to visualize exactly how that formed over the millennia.


    Comment by montucky — August 20, 2008 @ 7:46 pm

  7. What a lovely flower. Do you know its name? And, is that strata I see in the rocks? I always believe that if it’s strata, that it’s been underwater at one time. Do you know the geological history of that area? Great shots, and it’s a hike I’d like to take!


    Comment by Cedar — August 21, 2008 @ 6:16 am

  8. The flower is Pearly Everlasting, (em>Anaphalis margaritacea.

    My understanding of the way these mountains were formed, that probably was part of an ancient seabed that was thrust up to create these rocky mountains.

    10,000 to 15,000 years ago this part of the country was part of Lake Missoula which was caused by the melting of the glaciers being held back by a 2,500 foot deep ice dam, which created a lake the size of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario combined. The high water point was 4,200 feet though, so this area was above that at 5,500 feet.


    Comment by montucky — August 21, 2008 @ 8:59 am

  9. I always liked the name of that flower. I’ve always been fascinated in how my favorite places were formed by glaciers and the work of water and wind over time. From time to time, one can find ripple marks in the rock and bits of shells and bone. That brings the geology information in the books out into my reality very quickly.



    Comment by knightofswords — August 21, 2008 @ 9:52 am

  10. Since childhood, I too have been fascinated by the landscape here, especially in the higher places. There have been so many different forces molding them over the years. There are some really dramatic and enormous sized formations in the high peaks of the Cherry Peak area.

    I’m about to head out to another 7,000 foot high trail in the Coeur d’Alenes where there are also some interesting formations.


    Comment by montucky — August 21, 2008 @ 10:05 am

  11. What is the first flower (the one the butterfly is sitting on) called? It has an interesting shape.


    Comment by scienceguy288 — August 21, 2008 @ 7:15 pm

  12. It’s called “Pearly Everlasting” and it’s a flower of later summer and fall, much liked by butterflies and lots of other insects too.


    Comment by montucky — August 21, 2008 @ 7:35 pm

  13. The butterfly looks like it’s sitting on a plate of hors d’oeuvres.


    Comment by Pinhole — August 22, 2008 @ 8:12 am

  14. Now that would be a party!


    Comment by montucky — August 22, 2008 @ 9:03 am

  15. Pinhole, those “hor d’oeuvres” tastes like Chicken McNuggets.

    Col. Sanders


    Comment by knightofswords — August 23, 2008 @ 12:35 pm

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