This morning before the temperature climbed too far toward its eventual high in the 90’s I hiked a ways (about two and a half miles) up the Munson Creek trail (USFS trail # 372) toward Big Hole Peak. Almost at the start I noticed that the array of wildflower species there was remarkably different from the ones on the Spring Creek trail on which I hiked just two days ago and which is only about 9 miles to the east. Interesting, and not entirely explainable by a steeper trail and a slightly higher elevation.
Today’s post will feature the purples.
Western Mountain Aster ~ Symphyotrichum spathulatum
As the name “Nodding Onion ~ Allium cernuum” implies, these could be detected by smell before their appearance.
Wild Bergamot ~ Monarda fistulosa, well known for its pleasant smell.
It’s hard to resist a picture of the “Bluebell-of-Scotland, Harebell ~ Campanula rotundifolia” when they pose so nicely.
Pinkfairy, Deerhorn, Ragged Robin ~ Clarkia pulchella
Today I hiked the first couple of miles of the Munson Creek trail (from about 2,400 ft elevation to about 3,400 ft elevation) to see how the winter treated it. It was in very good condition, with a sprinkling of wildflowers all along, but only of some of the early blooming species were blooming. It is a steep and rather rough trail that is well worth hiking later in the summer when the valley is hot and the trail is cool and when there are dozens of species of wildflowers in bloom (and I will return later to see them). Here are a few photos of the trail and the flower species now in bloom along that stretch.
Our unseasonably warm temperatures lately prompted me to make a quick visit to Munson Creek today and I found that all of the ice along the stream has melted, an extremely unusual condition for this time of year. Today’s high temperature was 53ºF while last year at this time the nights were down to -23ºF; quite a difference year to year! The stream water is only a little higher than usual though.