Montana Outdoors

May 6, 2013

Today’s flora & fauna

On today’s walk with the canine member of the family:

Prairie Smoke, Old Man's Whiskers, Purple Avens

Prairie Smoke, Old Man’s Whiskers, Purple Avens, Geum triflorum

Field Chickweed

Field Chickweed, Cerastium arvense

Early blue violet

Early blue violet, Viola adunca

Small Bluebells, Long-flower Bluebells

Long-flower Bluebells, Mertensia longiflora

Bighorn Sheep

Bighorn Sheep, Ovis canadensis

Bighorn Sheep

Bighorn Sheep

Bighorn Sheep


  1. How neat!!


    Comment by Homestead Ramblings — May 6, 2013 @ 8:21 pm

    • There is nearly always a treat to be found out there and I love the pleasant surprises.


      Comment by montucky — May 6, 2013 @ 10:46 pm

  2. Love the prairie smoke, but that big horn is spectacular! You must be very quiet to get all of those great shots. My new camera makes so much noise it even scares me sometimes.


    Comment by kcjewel — May 6, 2013 @ 8:32 pm

    • I’m not sure how far the sound of the camera carries, but I don’t think it is a particularly threatening sound. I’ve never seen what I thought was a response to it.


      Comment by montucky — May 6, 2013 @ 10:48 pm

  3. I was just toddling along, looking at the nice flowers when – WHAM! That sheep came out of nowhere! What a magnificent creature, and what splendid photos. I like the third photo the best – it’s that eye contact that does it. And I do love seeing the violets. I just was mentioning to some folks recently that violets were a primary flower in the May baskets we shared when I was a kid. They appeared early, there were enough to make nice bouquets, and they tended to last several days after picking.


    Comment by shoreacres — May 6, 2013 @ 8:37 pm

    • I love encountering sheep. We seem to understand each other and usually I am able to approach them close enough for a picture or two even, as these did, they are completely aware of me. Perhaps they know how much I love them.

      The violets are just beginning to bloom and they will be plentiful. I’m looking forward to the yellow ones and finding a few white ones later in the summer.


      Comment by montucky — May 6, 2013 @ 10:52 pm

  4. I have always loved your bighorn shots. These did not disappoint.


    Comment by jomegat — May 6, 2013 @ 8:50 pm

    • They are very photogenic animals and there are still enough of them around here that I can get to encounter them often.


      Comment by montucky — May 6, 2013 @ 10:52 pm

  5. And the sheep didn’t mind the dog being there?
    Your flower pictures are so clear and precises. The sheep looks like he’s had a rough winter. Not too much fat on him. Looks like it’s time for shedding coats too.


    Comment by wordsfromanneli — May 6, 2013 @ 9:41 pm

    • Actually, I noticed the sheep from the Jeep when we were nearly home and went back to get a few photos. They were well off the road but I was able to stalk close enough to get the pictures. I doubt that they would tolerate the presence of my dog if they saw her. They nearly always are very tolerant of me though and usually let me get pretty close even after they have clearly seen me.

      They do look a bit thin, although it has been an easy winter for them. They will be shedding a lot of that winter coat very soon and until they do they will really start looking ratty. They look their best always just before winter.


      Comment by montucky — May 6, 2013 @ 10:56 pm

  6. These are all just so gorgeous!! Whatever camera you’re using, I want one!


    Comment by zannyro — May 6, 2013 @ 10:27 pm

  7. Lovely flowers. Your Geum are similar to ours, but not the same. And of course, no bighorns here… 😉


    Comment by bentehaarstad — May 7, 2013 @ 4:06 am

    • Interesting that you have a similar flower, and of course you have the reindeer!


      Comment by montucky — May 7, 2013 @ 8:26 pm

  8. I love the bluebells and the bighorn sheep shots are excellent. I’ll probably never see either one in New Hampshire.


    Comment by New Hampshire Gardener — May 7, 2013 @ 4:21 am

    • I doubt that the bighorns will ever make it that far east. They are exciting to see though and I’m very happy that there are many living so close to me. A few times we have had some come into our yard.


      Comment by montucky — May 7, 2013 @ 8:29 pm

  9. Oh, I do love Prairie Smoke – so evocative. ANd thank you so much for the bit of poetry you left in a comment on my blog about Leaving Arizona. Soooooo appreciated!


    Comment by Bo Mackison (@bo_mackison) — May 7, 2013 @ 6:50 am

    • The poetry was the refrain from one of my favorite songs by Dolan Ellis, the official Arizona Balladeer. When my oldest daughter was a child I sang that song myself one night by our campfire and she cried at the thought of leaving Arizona.


      Comment by montucky — May 7, 2013 @ 8:31 pm

  10. The early violets are my favorite — we call them johnny jump ups here. And that bighorn! He’s pretty magnificent!


    Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — May 7, 2013 @ 9:11 am

    • I love the violets too. I found a Woods violet today too, the first of the season. I love the bighorns! There are bands of them living both to the east and to the west of us and I see them often. Awesome animals!


      Comment by montucky — May 7, 2013 @ 8:32 pm

  11. The floral photos are amazing…I feel like I can reach into the screen and touch them!!! what a treat to have the bighorns that close. You live in a wonderful place in this world!!!


    Comment by dhphotosite — May 7, 2013 @ 9:13 am

    • Thanks! Yes the bighorns are special. I wish everyone could have the experience of getting to know them.


      Comment by montucky — May 7, 2013 @ 8:34 pm

  12. what a find! great looking wildflowers and bighorn sheep to boot!


    Comment by Sue — May 7, 2013 @ 10:57 am

    • Wildflower season is finally here again! It is very dry here though and it will not be a good year for them.
      The sheep are also starting their summer. The adults have a lot of wool and hair to lose and a new summer coat to grow and then there will be the lambs, hopefully very many.


      Comment by montucky — May 7, 2013 @ 8:36 pm

  13. We have the first three plants that you have shown here.

    The bighorn sheep are dazzling! Such magnificent animals!


    Comment by WildBill — May 7, 2013 @ 11:54 am

  14. Hi Montucky, Wow! Amazing photographs of both the flowers and those beautiful sheep! Terrific shots! Have a great Wed. tomorrow!


    Comment by wildlifewatcher — May 7, 2013 @ 5:58 pm

  15. The bighorn sheep shots are awesome! And I love the first photo of the prairie smoke, such a delicate color and the sharpness of the one that shows the inside is great.


    Comment by Candace — May 7, 2013 @ 8:11 pm

    • I can’t resist taking pictures of the sheep. I have so many photos now, but another dozen or two won’t hurt!
      That was an unusual pose for the Prairie Smoke. Usually all of their heads are turned down and you don’t see the inside.


      Comment by montucky — May 7, 2013 @ 8:40 pm

  16. I love this…! Looking at the flowers, and then suddenly, a gorgeous sheep! What a magnificent creature. Those horns!


    Comment by FeyGirl — May 7, 2013 @ 8:45 pm

    • Among all of the other things that I love about these mountains, you never know what you will encounter. Seeing the bighorns always makes my day.


      Comment by montucky — May 7, 2013 @ 9:03 pm

  17. Good to see the flowers. Hope you find that one in its prime – that was past its prime last summer.


    Comment by badwalker — May 7, 2013 @ 8:55 pm

    • Wildflower season has begun, but I’m afraid it will be a poor year for many of the flowers because of the dry conditions. Later perhaps when the mountain snow melts a bit the blooms up there should be normal. I’m anxious!


      Comment by montucky — May 7, 2013 @ 9:06 pm

  18. Oh, wow, that looks like one fine day… from the tiny wildflowers to those beautiful sheep… stunning images


    Comment by Teresa Evangeline — May 7, 2013 @ 9:50 pm

    • A few hours in these forests can make anyone’s day I think. I wish everyone could experience it. I remember years ago talking to some of the inner city people in Philly: some had never seen anything outside the city.


      Comment by montucky — May 7, 2013 @ 10:41 pm

  19. What an amazing walk … and the dog was with you? The sheep looks like it was actually being a cooperative / posing for you like a good model should – maybe it wanted to be a star 😉
    I know better … these photos are great because of your skills and being in the right place at the right time. Congratulations on some terrific pictures.


    Comment by bearyweather — May 8, 2013 @ 4:37 pm

    • Bighorns are interesting critters. They have a tendency when they are curious to climb on something higher and that’s what one of these did. It was just a rocky hump, but he climbed it and it certainly looked like he struck a pose. If they are nervous though they will always keep something between them and what they are concerned about.


      Comment by montucky — May 8, 2013 @ 7:48 pm

  20. These wildflowers are very beautiful, the bluebells are superb ! I’m going to start noticing the flowers next time I take a walk in the woods 🙂
    The photos of the sheep are A-MA-ZING !!!!


    Comment by Inspired and pretty — May 8, 2013 @ 7:53 pm

    • I have developed a real passion for wildflowers. They are so varied and delicate and colorful. I have found over 230 different species in this area.

      There are still quite a few bighorns in this region and I’m very happy to live close to them. Fascinating animals!


      Comment by montucky — May 8, 2013 @ 8:13 pm

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  22. Stunning photos. Bighorn is so lifelike in Your photos. I have never seen it. I also enjoyed flower photos. Only Cerastium arvense in here in Finland. The first flower was familiar-looking although Wikipedia says that it is not found in Finland.


    Comment by Sartenada — May 9, 2013 @ 12:42 am

    • The bighorns had a bad year last year, their numbers in one area declined. I hope the groups will rebound but I don’t know. They get killed on the highways and catch pneumonia from domestic sheep (they have no natural resistance to it).


      Comment by montucky — May 9, 2013 @ 9:09 pm

  23. Stunning photos of the sheep, Terry. We have some “mountain goats” in our area that I hope to see this year…after a bit (lot) of climbing.


    Comment by seekraz — May 12, 2013 @ 11:10 am

    • There are still a few goats remaining in this area too (besides the ones in Glacier). A few years I encountered one on a hike about 25 miles from here. I hope you can get some photos of them!


      Comment by montucky — May 12, 2013 @ 3:03 pm

      • I’ve heard and read that they’re around here, mostly up, up, up in the mountains…so I’ll be heading that way as more of the snow melts.


        Comment by seekraz — May 12, 2013 @ 3:29 pm

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