Montana Outdoors

January 30, 2018

Stream side moss and lichen

Filed under: Munson Creek, Winter — montucky @ 8:44 pm

Moss and some lichens seem to thrive during winter conditions. These were beside Munson Creek the other day when a little sun peeked through the clouds.

Winter moss at Munson Creek

Lichen and moss

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January 29, 2018

Coeur d’Alene Mountains

Filed under: Montana — Tags: — montucky @ 3:32 pm

Coeur d'Alene Mountains in Western Montana

Coeur d'Alene Mountans in Wetern Montana

Photos were taken from the Munson Creek trail head.

January 24, 2018

Family portraits

Filed under: Lichens, Winter — Tags: , — montucky @ 8:18 pm

On a walk today I noticed some Pixie-cup lichens that were making their homes on a small stack of rocks. They were growing in small groups spread well apart and reminded me of families that might have gathered to have family portraits taken.

Pixie-cup lichen

Pixie-cup lichen

Pixie-cup lichen

Pixie-cup lichen

Pixie-cup lichen

Pixie-cup lichen

Pixie-cup lichen

January 22, 2018

Precocious

For about a week now the weather here has been mild for this time of year (nights in the upper 20’s and days just above freezing) and on a hunch because there was a brief period of sunshine today, I made the short but difficult hike up to a favorite winter place I call Buttercup Ridge; a little earlier than in previous years.

The snow was knee deep in places on the climb up to the ridge, but when I reached the ridge top I caught a slight glimpse of yellow in a place between snow drifts and sure enough the first wild flower of 2018 was in full bloom.

Sagebrush buttercup

Sagebrush buttercup ~ Ranunculus glaberrimus

It had a couple friends quite close too, lichens already in their fruiting stage:

Cup lichen

Cup lichen ~ Cladonia pleurota

Lichen

The next two photos show the ridge top itself. The first shows the view to the south across the Clark Fork River and in the second the little flower is barely visible in the lower left.

Buttercup Ridge

Buttercup Ridge

My timing was good. On the return I caught a shot of Baldy Mountain and the deep snow at its summit

Baldy Mountain

and one of a snow storm sweeping in across some foot hills from the Coeur d’Alene Mountains to the southwest.

January snow storm approaching

The incredibly hardy little flower will be covered in several inches of new snow by morning.

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