Montana Outdoors

July 28, 2013

’tis the season for huckleberries

About this time in late summer one of the delicacies of the northwest begins to ripen and nearly everyone in these parts take to the mountains to harvest a few huckleberries. Black Huckleberry, Vaccinium membranaceum, is perhaps the most common in this area but I read somewhere that the native Indians were able to recognize 21 different species of them . I can recognize only three, but what the heck… they’re all good! I did a brief search and found an advertised price of $69 for a gallon (about 5 pounds).

Today I ventured out to pick a few and succeeded in getting enough for my wife to make one of the most delicious pies that anyone has ever tasted. And, at today’s going price, the berries I brought back at least paid for my gas.

The location:

Today I chose a section of USFS trail 404 (the CC Divide trail) just inside the southern border of the Patrick’s Knob – North Cutoff roadless area south of the town of Plains Montana. Trail 404 proceeds for many miles along the crest of a high ridge that roughly separates the Lower Clark Fork River from the St Regis River

From Trail 404

From Trail 404

The trail:

Trail 404

Trail 404

Trail 404

Trail 404

The star of the show:

Huckleberries

Huckleberry

The competition: 

When attempting to acquire about anything that is desirable, there will be competition. Today the largest competitor was probably back in a thicket somewhere sleeping, but others were out and about.

Dusky grouse

Adult male Dusky grouse, Dendragapus obscurus.

Dusky grouse

Dusky grouse, this summer’s chick.

Dusky grouse

And always there are flowers:

Fireweed

Fireweed

Harebell, Bluebell of Scotland

Harebell, Bluebell of Scotland

Fireweed

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July 27, 2012

Pear Lake, Blossom Lakes ~ Evan’s Gulch Roadless Area (3)

Flowers of the Evan’s Gulch Roadless Area

For a short time I thought about posting photos of all of the wildflowers I encountered on the trail to Pear Lake, but upon counting them and finding that there were 35 different species, I decided instead to just post two sets, leaving out many whose photos I have posted before including Glacier Lilies and Springbeauties which bloomed at the lower elevations months ago but are now in full bloom among the snowbanks that remain on the high ridge just before the trail drops down to Pear Lake.

Harebells, Bluebells of Scotland, Campanula rotundifolia

Harebells, Bluebells of Scotland, Campanula rotundifolia

Clustered Thistle, Cirsium brevistylum

Clustered Thistle, Cirsium brevistylum

Poison Hemlock, Conium maculatum

Poison Hemlock, Conium maculatum

Pearly Everlasting, Anaphalis margaritacea

Pearly Everlasting, Anaphalis margaritacea

Pipsissewa, Prince's Pine, Chimaphila umbellata

Pipsissewa, Prince's Pine, Chimaphila umbellata

Pipsissewa, Prince’s Pine, Chimaphila umbellata

Ocean Spray, Holodiscus discolor

Ocean Spray, Holodiscus discolor (These are blossoming shrubs and their large clusters of blooms decorate many hillsides this time of summer)

One-leaved Foamflower, Tiarella unifoliata

One-leaved Foamflower, Tiarella unifoliata

Pink Wintergreen, Pyrola asarifolia

Pink Wintergreen, Pyrola asarifolia

June 21, 2008

The longest three mile trail in Montana (Part 2)

Here are some of the flowers which grow along the lower part of trail 205. (Yes, I do favor the Harebells: I see so few of them and those only in this general area of the Coeur d’Alene Mountains.)

Harebells, campanula rotundifolia
Harebells, Bluebells of Scotland

Harebells, Bluebells of Scotland

Harebells, Bluebells of Scotland

Unknown
Unknown

Unknown
Unknown

Orange Honeysuckle, lonicera ciliosa
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