Montana Outdoors

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.)

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May 23, 2018

Indian Paintbrush

Filed under: Wildflowers — Tags: , , — montucky @ 9:52 am

Indian Paintbrush

Indian Paintbrush

Common Red Paintbrush, also called Scarlet Indian Paintbrush ~ Castilleja miniata

It seems a little early for these to bloom here, but they are at a low elevation on a sunny hillside in a sheltered canyon and seem to be in full bloom. The species name miniata refers to the scarlet red color “minium”, an oxide of lead.

May 19, 2017

Indian Paintbrush appreciation…

Filed under: Wildflowers — Tags: , — montucky @ 8:57 pm

Scarlet Indian Paintbrush

Scarlet Indian Paintbrush

Scarlet Indian Paintbrush

Scarlet Indian Paintbrush

Scarlet Indian Paintbrush

Scarlet Indian Paintbrush

Scarlet Indian Paintbrush

Scarlet Indian Paintbrush ~ Castilleja miniata

July 3, 2016

A brief visit to Trail 345

Today I briefly visited a favorite old trail even though the day was a little warmer than I like for hiking. But a trail that had no visitors on a holiday weekend was still a good place to be.

Trail 345

USFS trail 345 on a bright summer day.

White Spirea, Shinyleaf Spirea

White Spirea, Shinyleaf Spirea ~ Spiraea lucida

Alaska rein orchid, slender-spire orchid

Alaska rein orchid, slender-spire orchid ~ Piperia unalascensis

Sickletop Lousewort

Sickletop Lousewort ~ Pedicularis racemosa

Scarlet Indian Paintbrush

Scarlet Indian Paintbrush

Scarlet Indian Paintbrush ~ Castilleja miniata

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

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

May 19, 2013

An hour on the Spring Creek trail

A little spare time in the late afternoon, a short drive, cool green shade and flowers.

Scarlet Indian Paintbrush

Scarlet Indian Paintbrush, Castilleja miniata

Kinnikinnik

Kinnikinnik, Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Howell's pussytoes

Howell’s pussytoes, Antennaria howellii

Woodland Strawberry

Woodland Strawberry, Fragaria vesca

Yellow Coralroot

Yellow Coralroot, Corallorhiza trifida

This encounter made my day! It was the first time that I’ve encountered this saprophytic orchid. Its greenish tinge suggests that it may be capable of manufacturing at least a part of its food to supplement its normal diet of decaying organic material.

Smallflower Miterwort

Smallflower Miterwort, Mitella stauropetala

Heart-leaf Arnica

Heart-leaf Arnica, Arnica cordifolia

Early Blue Violet

Early Blue Violet, Viola adunca

Star-flowered Solomon's-seal

Star-flowered Solomon’s-seal, Maianthemum stellatum

Feathery False Lily-of-the-valley

Feathery False Lily-of-the-valley, maianthemum racemosum

Western Gromwell

Western Gromwell, Lithospermum ruderale

June 11, 2012

The other red wildflower

Filed under: Wildflowers — Tags: , , — montucky @ 11:10 pm

Scarlet Indian Paintbrush, Common Red Paintbrush

Scarlet Indian Paintbrush, Common Red Paintbrush

Scarlet Indian Paintbrush, Common Red Paintbrush

Scarlet Indian Paintbrush, Common Red Paintbrush

Scarlet Indian Paintbrush, Common Red Paintbrush, Castilleja miniata

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