Montana Outdoors

April 20, 2011

A couple of the tiny ones

I would naively suppose that in unstable weather that includes nights with temperatures in the low twenties and late season snow, one would expect only the larger, more robust-appearing plants to thrive. These tiny ones however, seem to be doing just fine. (The blossom in the first photo measures just 1/8 inch across, and the second only 3/16 inch, and each sits on a stem less than two inches tall.)

Spring Whitlow-grass, (Draba verna)Spring Whitlow-grass, Draba verna

Maiden Blue Eyed Mary, (Collinsia parviflora)Maiden Blue Eyed Mary, Collinsia parviflora

April 18, 2011

April showers…

Filed under: Spring — montucky @ 8:29 pm

snow showers that is. All day today the temperature stayed in the 30’s and off and on there were periods of very heavy snow showers. Spring is very indecisive this year.

Snowstorm on the pond

Puzzled whitetail

Johnny Jump-ups


April 17, 2011

Two sets of tracks

The trail I hiked upon today spends nearly all of its time at the dark bottom of a very deep canyon, but as it nears the end of its first mile it climbs up the east mountainside for a short distance to avoid some really nasty terrain and there a few rays of sun can penetrate to warm a small place of a hundred or so feet and provide a comfortable bed for a sprinkling of early wildflowers; today, Yellow Glacier Lilies.

Glacier LilyYellow Glacier Lily, Avalanche Lily, Dogtooth Violet, Erythronium grandiflorum

After hiking just a few hundred yards past the lilies I could see snow banks covering the trail and I knew that not far beyond that point the trail would be buried under deep piles of snow as it again settles into the canyon bottom and I decided to go back down.

Spring Creek trail

As I turned around I began to wonder about the tracks that I could see in the snow and, because they were quite large and up to that point my tracks were the only ones on the trail, I thought they were probably those of a bear, and ventured up to the snow to see if there might be tracks of a new cub as well. But they were not bear tracks.

Track of the wolf(For perspective, from the front of the pistol barrel to the rear sight is 6 inches.)

I was careful to leave a clear set my own tracks right beside those big paw prints to let their maker know that he is not the only lobo who roams this part of the forest.

April 15, 2011

Pacific Trillium

Filed under: Wildflowers — Tags: , , , — montucky @ 10:07 pm

Pacific TrilliumPacific Trillium, Western White Trillium, Wakerobin, Trillium ovatum

The Trilliums have just begun to bloom at the lower end of Munson Creek here in western Montana and despite the cold, wet spring they are just about on their usual schedule. There were only several in full bloom today, so the choice of subjects to photograph in the light rain was limited. In a few days to a week they should be blooming a few miles further up the canyon and I’m hoping for at least a little sun when I make the hike up there for some better photos.

The creek has a good flow of water and there is plenty of snowpack far up the drainage to keep the stream well fed all summer.

Munson CreekMunson Creek

April 14, 2011

Rocky Mountain Bighorn

Filed under: Bighorn sheep — Tags: , — montucky @ 9:50 pm

Rocky Mountain Bighorn SheepOvis canadensis

He’s still a little thin from winter and his winter coat looks rather scruffy and will soon be replaced, but he’s doing just fine!

April 13, 2011

Hi… my friend…

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — montucky @ 9:09 pm

Black-capped ChickadeeBlack-capped Chickadee, Parus atricapillus

At least that’s my take on its three note call, with the last two notes being a full tone lower than the first. It took a long time for me to match that call to the bird: its other call, the chickadee-dee-dee was of course easily recognizable.

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