Montana Outdoors

June 2, 2017

East of Big Hole

Today a friend and I hiked several miles on an old road on the east slope of Big Hole looking for a trail that has been decommissioned by the Forest Service and abandoned for many years. We found it in pretty bad shape with a large number of trees down over it. It would be nice if we could convince the Forest Service to revive it because it would complete a nice loop that would be good for horse people as well as an occasional hiker.

I’ve included a few photos showing what the old road looks like, followed by some of the things that are in bloom at 5.600 feet. The road was cleaned up last year to allow some heavy equipment to get up to work on the Copper King fire so it will be in good shape for a few years before the Alders again close in over it.

Road 7578

SE slope Big Hole

Road 7578

These tiny flowers (about 1/8 inch across) caught my eye but I can’t positively identify them. I think they may be Western Wood Anemones (Anemone oregana) but I’m not positive.

Western Wood Anemone

Western Wood Anemone

Sitka Alder

Sitka Alder ~ Alnus viridis

Utah honeysuckle

Utah Honeysuckle ~ Lonicera utahensis


Huckleberry ~ Vaccinium membranaceum

Northern Black Currant

Northern Black Currant ~ Ribes hudsonianum

June 11, 2014

Beargrass and huckleberries

Filed under: Spring — Tags: , , , , — montucky @ 11:06 pm

Beargrass is beginning to bloom now in the western Montana high country,

Bear grass

Beargrass ~ Xerophyllum tenax

and then thinking of bears… As I sat eating my lunch along a trail the other day, enjoying the cool breeze that was sweeping up the mountain and the beauty of spring in the wild country, I watched dozens of bumble bees gathering nectar from and pollinating the huckleberry bushes that are now in bloom

Huckleberry blossoms

Huckleberry ~ Vaccinium membranaceum

and the thought occurred to me that in the spring of the year a bee which weighs about half a gram gets sustenance from the blossoms and at the same time pollinates the plants, then in the autumn of the year a bear which can weigh up to 1,700 pounds gets sustenance from the berries of those plants and spreads their seeds; what extremes in the annual cycle of a plant!

July 10, 2011

Wildflowers of summer (2)

Filed under: Wildflowers — Tags: , , , , — montucky @ 10:48 pm

The Pointer and I left for our evening walk a little late tonight, having waited until the coolness of evening set in and chose to go to a section of forest road in a shaded canyon where it would be cool. Just as I was about to park the Jeep, down the road came two absolutely gorgeous Black bears, I would guess a mother and her last summer’s cub. They were jet black and all signs of winter’s rubbing and matting was gone from their coats in which the hairs were very long and thick. As usual I was in awe at the size of their paws as they loped along, kicking up small puffs of dust from the old road.

Now, back to wildflowers…

White Lupines

White Lupine

White Lupines, the first I’ve encountered!

Nodding Onion

Nodding Onion ~ Allium cernuum

Arnica seed head

Arnica seed head

Nootka rose

Nootka (I think) Rose



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