Montana Outdoors

July 20, 2009

Just because it’s so pretty.

Filed under: Butterflies, Montana, Nature, Outdoors, Photography, Photos, Pictures — Tags: , — montucky @ 7:08 pm

Spring Azure

Spring Azure

Spring Azure

Spring Azure

Western Tailed-Blue,
Cupido amyntula

July 19, 2009

Evans Gulch roadless area; the flowers.

Perhaps these Subalpine Spirea which grow along its shore right up to the water had something to do with giving Blossom Lake its name.

Subalpine spirea, Rose meadowsweet

Subalpine Spirea, Rose Meadowsweet
Spiraea splendens

Two inches above the sand and about the same distance from the water, these tiny white violets were in full bloom.

Small white violet

Small White Violet
Viola macloskeyi

Along the trail, not far from the trail head, these Pink Wintergreens were blooming in large numbers.

Pink Wintergreen

Pink Wintergreen,
Pyrola asarifolia

Although they finished blooming at lower elevations over a month ago, the Springbeauties were in bloom along the trail.

Alpine Springbeauty

Alpine Springbeauty
Claytonia megarhiza

Another pretty flower, the Jacob’s Ladder, concluded its blooming season two months ago in the valleys, but was flowering in abundance along the trail near the lake.

Showy Jacob's Ladder

Showy Jacob’s Ladder,
Polemonium pulcherrimum

The tiny (1/8 inch) blossoms of the Foamflower which are suspended in big groups on its 6-inch stalks do present the look of ocean foam dancing on the sea of green in little patches of the hillside.

One-leaved foamflower

One-leaved foamflower

One-leaved foamflower,
Tiarella unifoliata

Come to think of it, maybe more than the Spirea had an influence on the naming of Blossom Lake.

(Evans Gulch roadless area is only about 8,000 acres and is located in the Coeur d’Alene Mountains of western Montana.)

July 18, 2009

Blossom Lake

Filed under: Coeur d'Alene Mountains, Hiking, Montana, Nature, Outdoors, Photography, Photos, Pictures — montucky @ 10:22 pm

Today was forecast to be the hottest day of the year so far and a good friend and I chose to hike into the Evans Gulch roadless area. It was a good decision.

After a hike of about 2.5 miles on USFS trail 404, which is a beautiful hiking and horse trail that runs along the border between Montana and Idaho, we reached Blossom Lake. The trail winds through an old growth forest of tall firs, larch and pines which shade the length of the trail.

Blossom Lake

Blossom Lake

Blossom Lake

While the elevation of the lake is not especially high at about 5,600 feet, those are snow banks just above the shoreline toward the right side of the photo.

Blossom Lake

This lake and its many sisters are a vital part of the great watershed provided by the roadless areas of the Rocky Mountains. The Evans Gulch roadless area is just one of the many roadless areas in our National Forests for which Montana’s single pathetic member of the United States House of Representatives, Denney Rehberg, ¬†continually fights to deny the protection of wilderness designation.

July 15, 2009

Munson Creek

I don’t know what’s more difficult, negotiating the snow and ice in the winter to get down to the creek or the lush foliage in the summer. I think I like the summer challenge better.

This isn’t exactly my favorite photo but it’s the only one I kept out of about 20 I shot this evening. Deep in the canyon where even the light couldn’t penetrate, it turned out that a slight whisper of a breeze could. It seemed like every time the shutter clicked for a 2 second exposure, those leaves that hang out over the water shoot would do a wild dance. It was an exercise in patience. I kept this photo because I rather liked the colors.

Munson Creek

(Munson Creek in the TeePee/Spring Creek roadless area of western Montana’s Cabinet Mountains.)

July 14, 2009

Last night it rained…

Last evening on the river at around half past eight I brought about a pound and a half of brightly colored Rainbow trout to my net and saved it for tonight’s dinner; such a thrill using an ultra-light fly rod and a fly I tied myself.

Then, during the night, it rained and an Evening Primrose chose to bloom.

Isn’t summer magnificent?

Yellow evening primrose

Yellow evening primrose

Yellow Evening Primrose
Oenothera villosa

July 13, 2009

Showy Aster

Filed under: Flowers, Montana, Nature, Outdoors, Photography, Photos, Pictures, Wildflowers — Tags: — montucky @ 9:46 pm

The star of the show.

Showy aster

The supporting cast.

Showy aster

All of the stages of an Aster.

Showy aster

Showy aster,
Aster conspicuus

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