Montana Outdoors

July 8, 2017

Avoiding the heat

There is a heat wave covering this part of Montana at present, with daytime temperatures up into the low 100’s, very hot for here, and so hiking has become an activity for early in the mornings. Today, my choice was the lower part of Munson Creek which is only a 10 mile drive from home and always a pleasant place to go.

Today Ocean Spray shrubbery lined the beginning of the trail, a pleasant way to enter the world of the forest above.

Munson Creek trail

Just up the hill a short distance from the creek crossing a stand of Wild Bergamot was in full bloom.

Wild Bergamot

Wild Bergamot ~ Monarda fistulosa

At intervals along the next mile of trail I found the three phases of life of the Brown-eyed Susan or Blanket flower.

Brown-eyed Susan, Blanket Flower

Brown-eyed Susan, Blanket Flower

Brown-eyed Susan, Blanket Flower

Brown-eyed Susan, Blanket Flower ~Gaillardia aristata

Near my chosen turn around point, a little side trail leading to the creek again welcomed me with a doorway of Ocean Spray.

Munson Creek trail

The creek was running cold and clear.

Munson Creek

Nearly always on a hike, near the turn around point the thought occurs to me, “Since I’m already here, I might as well go…”, which always ends up with seeing something interesting and nearly always with a lot of physical exertion. This time I followed an elk trail which led down to the stream and a pretty little cascade.

Munson Creek

The short side trip also provided a glimpse of a flower with which (to my surprise) I was not familiar, a Common Tarweed,

Common Tarweed

Common Tarweed ~ Madia gracilis

the seed head of another common summer plant, a Yellow Salsify,

Yellow Salisfy seed

and a pretty setting of the blossoms on a tall stalk of grass that I would not have seen had I not taken the short side trip.

Grass in bloom

All in all, a cool and pleasant morning walk before the heat of the day set in!

July 2, 2016

More from along the Munson Creek trail

Ocean-spray, Creambush

Near the start of the trail, where it first crosses the stream, the vegetation is heavy at the crossing. The flowering shrub to the right of the trail is called “Ocean Spray”.

Ocean-spray, Creambush

Ocean-spray, Creambush ~ Holodiscus discolor


Sometimes a tree will fall across the trail. This one is a couple miles up from the trail head. For perspective, I leaned my hiking staff on the tree: the staff is 62 inches long.

Brown-eyed Susan

Brown-eyed Susan ~ Gaillardia aristata

White Spirea, Shinyleaf Spirea

White Spirea, Shinyleaf Spirea ~ Spiraea lucida

Yellow Salsify seed head

Many flowers have already completed their summer and have already gone to seed. This one is from a Yellow Salsify.

Butterweed seed head

I think this one is from a species of Butterweed.

Common St. Johnswort, Klamath weed

Common St. Johnswort, Klamath weed ~ Hypericum perforatum


Thimbleberry ~ Rubus parviflorus

Scarlet Gillia, Sky Rocket

Scarlet Gillia, Sky Rocket

Scarlet Gillia, Sky Rocket ~ Ipomopsis aggregata

Liverleaf Wintergreen, Pink Pyrola

Liverleaf Wintergreen, Pink Pyrola

Liverleaf Wintergreen, Pink Pyrola

Liverleaf Wintergreen, Pink Pyrola ~ Pyrola asarifolia

Wood's Rose

Wood’s Rose ~ Rosa woodsii

August 15, 2011

Wildflowers of summer (10)

Northern Bedstraw

Northern Bedstraw ~ Galium boreale – Along Little Thompson River

Brown-eyed Susan

Brown-eyed Susan ~ Gaillardia aristata – Along Little Thompson River

Red Clover

Red Clover ~ Trifolium pratense – Along Little Thompson River


Fireweed ~ Epilobium angustifolium

Ocean Spray, Creambush

Ocean Spray, Creambush ~ Holodiscus discolor

Suksdorf's Indian paintbrush

Suksdorf’s Indian paintbrush ~ Castilleja suksdorfii – Near Vermilion Pass

July 3, 2010


Filed under: Wildflowers — Tags: , , — montucky @ 10:15 pm


July 1, 2010

An evening’s walk

Filed under: Wildflowers — Tags: , , , — montucky @ 10:59 pm

Sometimes on an evening’s walk in the forest there are many special things to see and other times there are few. Tonight, these were enough.

HarebellsAs the last rays of today’s sun touched the forest, Mother Nature seemed to tell me this scene was important to Her.

Brown-eyed SusanBrown-eyed Susan, Gaillardia aristata

July 5, 2009

If it hadn’t been for the milkweed…

Last night in the near darkness along the riverbank as I was returning home from fishing I could have gotten a photo of the most beautiful Showy Milkweed except for two things; (1) I had my fishing rod in my hand and (2) I didn’t have my camera in my hand.

This morning before the sun heated up and the light became too harsh, I went back for a photo and couldn’t find the flower. Well, it might have become part of something’s diet overnight. However, had I not gone back there I would not have seen these Toadflax,

Common Toadflax

Common Toadflax

(Common Toadflax, Butter & Eggs, Linaria vulgaris)

or this Western St. John’s-wort (the native one, not the invasive),

Western St. John's-wort

(Western St. John’s-wort
Hypericum scouleri)

or this clump of Scarlet Gilia,

Scarlet Gilia

(Scarlet Gilia,
Ipomopsis aggregata)

this Brown-eyed Susan,

Brown-eyed Susan

(Brown-eyed Susan,
Gaillardia aristata)

or get these photos of a Deptford Pink.

Deptford Pink

Deptford Pink

(Dianthus armeria,
Deptford pink)

I think I’ll go back tonight and look one more time for that Milkweed.

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