Montana Outdoors

April 14, 2015

Any day is a good day if there’s a Trillium in it.

The Trilliums are starting to bloom now at the footbridge over Munson Creek. (And a couple of friends joined in.)

Western White Trillium

Western White Trillium

Western White Trillium

Western White Trillium ~ Trillium Ovatum

Blue Clematis

Blue Clematis ~ Clematis occidentalis

Rough-fruited Fairybells

Rough-fruited Fairybells ~ Disporum trachycarpum

April 12, 2015

Recent wildflower blooms

Despite the foibles of spring weather, our wildflowers are bound to begin their spring and summer cycle. Here are some of the newest:

Shooting Star

Shooting Star ~ Dodecatheon pulchellum

Arrow-leaved Balsamroot

Arrow-leaved Balsamroot ~ Balsamorhiza sagittata

Pear

Pear blossom

Nineleaf Biscuitroot

Nineleaf Biscuitroot ~ Lomatium triternatum

Serviceberry, Saskatoon

Serviceberry, Saskatoon

Serviceberry, Saskatoon

Serviceberry, Saskatoon

Serviceberry, Saskatoon ~ Amelanchier ainifolia

Kinnikinnik

Kinnikinnik ~ Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Oregon Grape

Oregon Grape ~ Mahonia aquifolium ~ Berberis aqufolium

April 7, 2015

The Missions

Filed under: Mission Mountains — Tags: , — montucky @ 9:22 am

My effort to reach the trail head for Big Hole Peak Sunday was stopped by a couple of feet of snow on the road at about 6000 feet, but en route, this view of the Mission Mountains made the attempt worthwhile. I like the perspective of seeing that range from a high elevation at a distance of about 55 miles.

Mission Mountains

April 5, 2015

A Lily for Easter

Filed under: Spring, Wildflowers — Tags: , — montucky @ 7:07 pm

This was in full bloom today (after a night time temperature of 20°F), a week earlier than I’ve ever seen before, but just in time for Easter. Happy Easter, everyone!

Yellow Glacier Lily

Yellow Glacier Lily ~ Erythronium grandiflorum

April 4, 2015

Fading away

A couple of days ago a friend and I hiked part of an old trail, probably for the last time; the Ashley Creek trail 454. It was created sometime in the 1930s, probably by the Civilian Conservation Corps by the looks of its construction, but apparently hasn’t been tended to for several years and although the Forest Service still shows it on their maps, it is going back to its earlier natural state. I am fearful that it is but one of many that the Forest Service will keep alive only on paper, probably in an attempt to show a larger than actual trail inventory as their department steadily morphs into another hopelessly incompetent and ineffectual bureaucracy. Following are some photos from along the trail.

Ashley Creek trail 454

The old trail sign still exists as it nears the century mark.

Ashley Creek trail 454

Ashley Creek trail 454

Ashley Creek trail 454

Ashley Creek is the water supply for a small Montana town.

Ashley Creek trail 454

Ashley Creek trail 454

Ashley Creek trail 454

Ashley Creek trail 454

Ashley Creek trail 454

It was a very pleasant surprise to see two species of wildflowers in bloom in a sunny spot on the mountainside along the trail, a thousand feet above the trail head. Upon perusing my photo library, I found that this is the earliest bloom for either of them that I’ve encountered by about two weeks. Who’d-a-thunk-it!

Small Bluebells, Long-flowered Lungwort, Trumpet Bluebells ~ Mertensia longiflora

Small Bluebells, Long-flowered Lungwort, Trumpet Bluebells ~ Mertensia longiflora

Small Bluebells, Long-flowered Lungwort, Trumpet Bluebells ~ Mertensia longiflora

Early blue violet, Viola adunca

Early blue violet ~ Viola adunca

Ashley Creek trail 454

Ashley Creek trail 454

Ashley Creek trail 454

It’s sad to lose another such treasure from our early days.

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