Montana Outdoors

April 13, 2013

Darkthroat Shooting Star

Filed under: Spring, Wildflowers — Tags: , — montucky @ 10:56 pm

Darkthroat Shootingstar

Dodecatheon pulchellum

There isn’t a white balance setting on my camera for “snow flurries”, but if this little plant can bloom in a driving snow, I am willing to be there to photograph it. Seems the least I can do. And besides, spring-time snowflakes feel oh, so good going down the back of my neck.

The genus name for this flower comes from the Greek dodeka (twelve) and theos (god) and means ‘the plant protected by twelve gods’. I like the thought.


April 11, 2013

Despite the weather

Although the weather has been rather cool, wet and with snow forecast again for this weekend, the wildflowers are managing to bloom pretty much on schedule. At the bottom end of Munson Creek near the footbridge a few Trilliums are blooming today. A little further up the trail some Glacier Lilies have emerged.

Western White Trillium

Western White Trillium, Trillium Ovatum

Glacier Lily

Glacier Lily, Erythronium grandiflorum

Western White Trillium

Another mile up the trail and no flowers have appeared yet, but the lichen are doing well after a cold winter in the canyon.

Frosted Rocktripe

Frosted Rocktripe, Umbilicaria vellea

April 8, 2013

Monday morning surprise

Filed under: Flowers, Spring — Tags: — montucky @ 10:54 am




Grape Hyacinth

White Cricus


April 1, 2013

An April visit to Thompson Pass

Filed under: Spring — Tags: , , , — montucky @ 11:09 pm

Off and on for several months I have been working pretty hard on a project. Last week I finished it and the reward I gave myself was a trip to Thompson Pass today. Thought I’d post a few photos.

A minor but beautiful little highway called 471 winds around and up for 24 miles from Thompson Falls Montana west to the Montana – Idaho border where it turns into Idaho Highway 9 and thirty or so miles later meets the concrete and asphalt disaster known as Interstate 90. It is closed during the winter because of heavy snow and not enough traffic to justify trying to plow it all winter and usually in April gets plowed out and opened again as it did last week.

Road to Thompson Pass

Start of the snow level at about 3600 feet.

At the Pass there is a large parking lot and a favorite trail head that leads to Blossom Lake, Upper Blossom Lake and Pear Lake, all along USFS trail 404. I have left a lot of tracks on that trail. There is also a USFS road that leads from there a mile up the Idaho side to the trail head for Lake Revett. I hiked that road today on snowshoes, which, by the way uses a lot more calories than simply hiking on a dirt or rock trail.

Near Thompson Pass

This road didn’t get plowed

Thompson Pass

The parking lot at the Pass

Thompson Pass

Thompson Pass

Entering the Idaho Panhandle National Forest

Blossom Lake trail head

The start of the Blossom Lake trail. The sign means what it says.

From Thompson Pass

Peeking over the edge into Idaho.

The hike itself was very pleasant but not as scenic as I would have liked:  I’ll post a few more photos later.

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