Montana Outdoors

June 18, 2011

High ridge butterfly

Filed under: Butterflies, Cabinet Mountains — Tags: , — montucky @ 10:14 pm

Last fall while hunting not far from here my son and I caught just a glimpse of a very large mule deer buck. Now that he is growing his new set of antlers we thought that perhaps we might be able to find the ones he shed in about January and so we hiked up to the high ridge where he makes his home. No luck finding the antlers, but just being on that steep and beautiful ridge that is covered with tall grass and flowers was worth all of the effort it took to get up there; and this butterfly was making it his home too:

High ridge butterfly

Johnson’s Hairstreak ~ Callophrys johnsoni

June 17, 2011

Almost summer?

Filed under: Outdoors — montucky @ 11:26 pm

With just a few days left before summer the snow is gone from the valleys of western Montana, but some still remains on the mountains. Yesterday despite some rain in the air I tested one of my favorite trails that leads to the old lookout on the top of Big Hole peak. At the trail head the ground was bare but the breeze was quite cold. A mile up the trail and about 700 feet higher in elevation the sky was spitting a little snow along with the light drizzle and the remaining snowbanks started to make hiking difficult. I turned around there, knowing that the snow would only get deeper farther up the trail and it was still a mile and a half to the top. Another week, perhaps…

Clark Fork from trail 368

The Clark Fork Valley through the clouds, photo taken from near the start of the trail.

Trail 368

Winter was a little unkind to trail 368.

Trail 368

At the 6,200 foot level the snowbanks began to block the trail and the weather was closing in.

Wildflower species that finished their bloom over a month ago at the valley level (Glacier Lilies and Spring Beauties) are beginning their springtime bloom now just below the snow line. For the visitor from the valley it is a step back one season, while at TeePee Creek, where the road to the trail head starts its climb out of the valley, Queen’s Cup is beginning to bloom.

Queen's Cup

Queen’s Cup ~ Clintonia uniflora

June 15, 2011

Wildflowers of spring (12)


Unknown (Possibly a species of Primrose?) 6/10

Red Osier Dogwood

Red Osier Dogwood ~ Cornus stolonifera 6/11

Hookedspur Violet, Early Blue Violet

Hookedspur Violet, Early Blue Violet ~ Viola adunca 6/12 (Couldn’t resist posting another photos of this one!)

Common Red Paintbrush, Scarlet Indian Paintbrush

Common Red Paintbrush, Scarlet Indian Paintbrush ~ Castilleja miniaata 6/12 (These seem to be early this year, and maybe a little brighter than usual too.)

High Mountain Cinquefoil

High Mountain Cinquefoil ~ Potentilla flabellifolia 6/12

Hound's Tongue, Gypsy Flower

Hound’s Tongue, Gypsy Flower ~ Cynoglossum officinale 6/12

June 14, 2011


Filed under: Wildflowers — Tags: , — montucky @ 10:41 pm

Mountain Ladyslipper

Mountain Ladyslipper

Mountain Ladyslipper

Mountain Ladyslipper

Mountain Ladyslipper ~ Cypripedium montanum

Many years ago the Okanagan people of British Columbia called these “moccasins” but personally I prefer their present common name. I’ve seen them rather infrequently in some years, but this year they seem to be very plentiful and so even in places where I’ve not seen them before. Must be they liked the deep winter snow. For me, seeing them in bloom is a real highlight of late spring.

June 13, 2011

Wildflowers of spring (11)

White Campion, Bladder Campion

White Campion, Bladder Campion ~ Silene latifolia 6/2

Henbit Deadnettle, Common Dead-nettle, Giraffehead

Henbit Deadnettle, Common Dead-nettle, Giraffehead ~ Lamium amplexicaule 6/2

Tolmie's star-tulip, Tolmie's mariposa-lily, Cat's-ears

Tolmie’s star-tulip, Tolmie’s mariposa-lily, Cat’s-ears ~ Calochortus tolmiei 6/2

Thread-leaved Phacelia, Thread-leaf Scorpion-weed

Thread-leaved Phacelia, Thread-leaf Scorpion-weed ~ Phacelia linearis 6/3

Largeflower triteleia

Largeflower triteleia ~ Triteleia grandiflora, Brodiaea douglasii 6/3

Utah honeysuckle, Rocky Mountain honeysuckle

Utah honeysuckle, Rocky Mountain honeysuckle ~ Lonicera utahensis 6/5

Sticky Currant, Mountains Currant

Sticky Currant, Mountains Currant ~ Ribes viscosissimum 6/5

June 12, 2011

High water, river fog and spring greenery.

Filed under: Spring — montucky @ 10:27 pm

Clark Fork River scene

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