Montana Outdoors

July 6, 2018

A new one for me

Filed under: Wildflowers — Tags: , — montucky @ 8:43 pm

This tiny flower is a new one for me. I know I must have seen it out of the corner of my eye hundreds of times but it’s so small that I just didn’t look really closely at it. The little cluster of blossoms could easily hide behind a small pea, and it seems to like to grow beneath taller plants. This is another “mustache in the dirt” shot.

Enchanter's Nightshade

Enchanter's Nightshade

Enchanter’s Nightshade ~ circaea alpina

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July 5, 2018

Still catching up – 3

Group 3 of additional 2018 wildflowers blooming in May & June:

large mountain monkey-flower

Large Mountain Monkey-flower ~ erythranthe tilingii

Grand Collomia, Large-flower Mountain-trumpet

Large-flower Mountain-trumpet ~ collomia grandiflora

Pyramid Spirea

Pyramid Spirea ~ spiraea pyramidata

Mock-orange

Mock-orange ~ philadelphus lewisii

Silky Lupine

Silky Lupine ~ lupinus sericeus

Birch-leaved Spirea

Birch-leaved Spirea ~ spiraea betulifolia

Bluebell of Scotland

Bluebell of Scotland ~ campanula rotundifolia

Orange Honeysuckle

Orange Honeysuckle ~ lonicera ciliosa

Kinnikinnik

Kinnikinnik ~ arctostaphylos uva-ursi

July 4, 2018

A hike with a climate change.

Yesterday morning I left early for a hike on USFS trail 340 to the top of Mount Baldy, determined to hike no matter what the weather might be (and was prepared for most anything). Near the trail head this Indian Paintbrush was bright with the color of full bloom:

Scarlet Indian Paintbrush

Scarlet Indian Paintbrush ~ castilleja miniata

By about 7:40 where the trail reached the first big switchback and cleared the heavy timber, I stopped to admire the first open view of the valley below. There were clouds overhead but the sky was open and bright blue over the valley and the valley floor was in full sun.

Clark Fork Valley from Mount Baldy

As I sat for a while enjoying the view of the valley and the Bitterroot Mountains about 50 miles to the south I could see heavy clouds rapidly moving in from the south and west and soon the expanse of blue sky was shrinking rapidly, the wind was picking up and the clouds overhead started dripping just a little on this Shrubby Penstemon beside the trail.

Shrubby Penstemon

Shrubby Penstemon ~ penstemon fruticosus

About an hour later as I reached the top, the sky was dark with heavy clouds, my fingers were getting numb from the cold wind and a light snow was falling.

Storm on Mount Baldy

It was time to go back down before the already slippery rocks on the top part of the trail got even more slippery and the clouds closed in completely over the trail. It was a good hike.

There is a moral to this story for those who hike on the higher mountain trails: always be prepared for all kinds of weather, even in summer, because you will probably encounter it. (Tomorrow’s forecast for the valley is a high of 92º.)

June 30, 2018

A rainy, cloudy, sunny day.

Filed under: Flathead river — Tags: , — montucky @ 8:58 am

Yesterday morning the weather didn’t look too promising and the forecast was even worse, so rather than going for a wet hike I chose to go for a drive instead and headed east along the lower Flathead river which can be very pretty under the right conditions. I encountered these scenes as the weather changed from rain to sun within about a half hour time period and over the course of 20 miles.

Lower Flathead River

Lower Flathead River

Lower Flathead River

June 29, 2018

Haying time

Filed under: Summer — Tags: , , — montucky @ 12:25 pm

Haying time

Clark Fork River Valley, western Montana

June 28, 2018

Corona Lake

Filed under: Baldy Mountain roadless area — Tags: , , — montucky @ 9:55 pm

With overcast skies today and a threat of rain, I was going to devote the day to doing things around the house, but in early afternoon I couldn’t keep from taking a little outing. It was a nice surprise that when I visited this small mountain lake up in the Cabinet Mountains there was a short break in the clouds, just long enough to take a few pictures.

Corona Lake

Corona Lake in the Cabinet Mountains of western Montana

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