Montana Outdoors

June 11, 2014

Beargrass and huckleberries

Filed under: Spring — Tags: , , , , — montucky @ 11:06 pm

Beargrass is beginning to bloom now in the western Montana high country,

Bear grass

Beargrass ~ Xerophyllum tenax

and then thinking of bears… As I sat eating my lunch along a trail the other day, enjoying the cool breeze that was sweeping up the mountain and the beauty of spring in the wild country, I watched dozens of bumble bees gathering nectar from and pollinating the huckleberry bushes that are now in bloom

Huckleberry blossoms

Huckleberry ~ Vaccinium membranaceum

and the thought occurred to me that in the spring of the year a bee which weighs about half a gram gets sustenance from the blossoms and at the same time pollinates the plants, then in the autumn of the year a bear which can weigh up to 1,700 pounds gets sustenance from the berries of those plants and spreads their seeds; what extremes in the annual cycle of a plant!

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