A few days ago while moseying along the river bank in early afternoon I passed a small spring-fed pond that was above the river and nearly hidden by willows, and as I did a small patch of white caught my eye. Upon investigation of the place, I saw that the white came from the three dime-sized petals of a blossom that I somehow had not encountered before, Arumleaf Arrowhead (Sagittaria cuneata), and for a time I enjoyed the process of getting quite wet and muddy photographing another small aquatic plant. Pleased with my discovery and photographs, I then returned home.
Yesterday upon a visit to the same vicinity, the light that was filtered through the morning clouds displayed a whole scene at the pond that I had missed before by focussing only on the small white blossoms of the new plant (which can be barely seen at the water’s edge at the bottom of the photo).
Spring Creek begins where a small cold spring bubbles out of a mountain side in the TeePee – Spring Creek roadless area just below 6,900 foot tall Big Hole Peak. It flows for five to six miles through a beautiful wild canyon among tall firs, pines and cedars and disappears into the ground to supply clear pure water to the aquifer about three miles before where it would otherwise reach the Clark Fork river here in western Montana. Today, water wars are being waged in the courts and legislatures all across the country and still so many people don’t fully understand the critical importance of streams like this one and the natural forested areas that make them possible.