Montana Outdoors

July 12, 2017

In search of a flower

A flower has been on my mind a lot lately, one that I encountered on a hike in June of 2008 into the mountains along the Clark Fork River here in western Montana. The USDA “Plants” website tells me that it grows only in Washington and California, which might explain why I haven’t encountered it in any of my ramblings since 2008.

At the end of June this year, despite the heat, I again hiked the Donlan Saddle trail (USFS trail 205) up to the area where I first encountered the flower. Trail 205 is an aggressive little trail that seems much longer than its 3 mile length because it starts at an elevation of about 2,600 feet along the river and ends at an elevation of 5,000 feet where it meets the start of the CC Divide trail and also the road that proceeds from there on up to the Patrick’s Knob fire lookout.

The trail is pretty and there are a few good views to be had toward the top, the rest of the trail being in the forest.

Trail 205

Trail 205

Trail 205

Trail 205

Despite the extremely hot and dry conditions this year, there were several species of flower still in bloom:

Grand Collomia, Large-flower Mountain-trumpet

Grand Collomia, Large-flower Mountain-trumpet ~ Collomia grandiflora

Menzies' Campion

Menzies’ Campion ~ Silene menziesii

Woodland Pinedrops

Woodland Pinedrops ~ Pterospora andromedea

Giant Mountain Aster

Giant Mountain Aster ~ Canadanthus modestus

Nodding Onion

Nodding Onion, Allium cernuum

Though I did reach the area in which I found the flower in 2008 I did not find it in bloom this time, probably because I was a week or so too late and because of the dry conditions, but here is a photo of it taken on June 20, 2008:

Tricolor Monkeyflower

Tricolor Monkeyflower ~ Mimulus tricolor

I hope to try again next year, but a little earlier, and it will be worth the hike.

June 28, 2016

Along a mile of trail

Yesterday after completing several things that have kept me from the trails lately (and pretty much away from the blog), I leisurely hiked the first mile of the Spring Creek trail (USFS trail #370), retreating from things that had been pressing and enjoying the deep shade of the canyon which was much cooler than the rather high temperatures in the valley. It was wonderful to see the wildflowers and gratifying to see so many species still in bloom.

Oxeye Daisy

Oxeye Daisy ~ Leucanthemum vulgare

herbal speedwell, Paul's betony

Water Speedwell, Blue Speedwell ~ Veronica anagallis-aquatica

Pointedtip Mariposa Lily, Three-spot Mariposa lily, Baker's Mariposa

Pointedtip Mariposa Lily, Three-spot Mariposa Lily, Baker’s Mariposa ~ Calochortus apiculatus

Woodland Pinedrops

Woodland Pinedrops ~ Pterospora andromedea

Alaska rein orchid, slender-spire orchid

Alaska rein orchid, slender-spire orchid ~ Piperia unalascensis

Grand Collomia, Large-flower Mountain-trumpet, Large-flowered Collomia

Grand Collomia, Large-flower Mountain-trumpet, Large-flowered Collomia ~ Collomia grandiflora

Lanceleaved Stonecrop

Lanceleaved Stonecrop ~ Sedum lanceolatum

Sticky Currant

Sticky Currant berries ~ Ribes viscosissimum

Harebell, Bluebell-of-Scotland

Harebell, Bluebell-of-Scotland ~ Campanula rotundifolia

Pipsissewa, Common Prince's-pine

Pipsissewa, Common Prince's-pine

Pipsissewa, Common Prince’s-pine, ~ Chimaphila umbellata

American twinflower

American Twinflower ~ Linnaea borealis

High Mountain Cinquefoil

High Mountain Cinquefoil ~ Potentilla flabellifolia

July 28, 2011

Wildflowers of summer (7)

Mock Orange buds

Mock Orange buds ~ Philadelphus lewisii

Herbal Speedwell, Paul's Betony

Herbal Speedwell, Paul's Betony

Herbal Speedwell, Paul’s Betony ~ Veronica officinalis

White Clarkia

White Clarkia ~ Clarkia pulchella

Unidentified, but pretty!

Grand Collomia, Large-flower Mountain-trumpet, Large-flowered Collomia ~ Collomia grandiflora

Snowbrush

Snowbrush ~ Ceanothus velutinus

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