Montana Outdoors

May 28, 2017

A few more

A short hike as a retreat from a hot afternoon revealed a few more wildflowers in bloom, and a few drops of rain helped provide a cool break.

Pointedtip Mariposa Lily

Pointedtip Mariposa Lily ~ Calochortus apiculatus. About the size of a 50 cent piece.

Early Blue Violet

Early Blue Violet ~ Viola adunca

Feathery False Lily of the Valley

Feathery False Lily of the Valley ~ Maianthemum racemosum. The blossom is about 4 inches tall.

Silvery Lupine

Silvery Lupine ~ Lupinus argenteus. This one is about a foot tall.

Starry False Lily-of-the-valley

Starry False Lily-of-the-valley ~ Maianthemum stellatum. This blossom is about 3 inches tall.

Blue Speedwell

Blue Speedwell ~ Veronica anagallis-aquatica. Quite a name for a blossom only 1/8 inch wide!

May 15, 2017

Violets along the trail

Violets have appeared along the Spring Creek Trail (USFS trail 370 into the TeePee/Spring Creek roadless area).

Early Blue Violet

Early Blue Violet

Early Blue Violet ~ Viola adunca

May 17, 2016

Almost missed the violets

Filed under: Wildflowers — Tags: , , , , — montucky @ 8:38 pm

Early Blue Violet

These have been blooming for quite some time already, but this one was growing in the deep shade of the Spring Creek canyon. I think I broke all of the usual rules of correct exposure, but it worked and the photo is what I wanted.

May 4, 2015

And don’t forget the Fairyslippers…

More wildflowers are showing up just about every day now. It’s just a matter of getting out where they are!

Lemonweed

Lemonweed ~ Lithospermum ruderale

Wild Strawberry

Wild Strawberry ~ Fragaria virginiana

Heart-leaved Arnica

Heart-leaved Arnica ~ Arnica cordifolia

Early Blue Violet

Early Blue Violet ~ Viola adunca

Fairyslipper, Calypso Orchid

Fairyslipper, Calypso Orchid

Fairyslipper, Calypso Orchid

Fairyslipper, Calypso Orchid ~ Calypso bulbosa

April 4, 2015

Fading away

A couple of days ago a friend and I hiked part of an old trail, probably for the last time; the Ashley Creek trail 454. It was created sometime in the 1930s, probably by the Civilian Conservation Corps by the looks of its construction, but apparently hasn’t been tended to for several years and although the Forest Service still shows it on their maps, it is going back to its earlier natural state. I am fearful that it is but one of many that the Forest Service will keep alive only on paper, probably in an attempt to show a larger than actual trail inventory as their department steadily morphs into another hopelessly incompetent and ineffectual bureaucracy. Following are some photos from along the trail.

Ashley Creek trail 454

The old trail sign still exists as it nears the century mark.

Ashley Creek trail 454

Ashley Creek trail 454

Ashley Creek trail 454

Ashley Creek is the water supply for a small Montana town.

Ashley Creek trail 454

Ashley Creek trail 454

Ashley Creek trail 454

Ashley Creek trail 454

Ashley Creek trail 454

It was a very pleasant surprise to see two species of wildflowers in bloom in a sunny spot on the mountainside along the trail, a thousand feet above the trail head. Upon perusing my photo library, I found that this is the earliest bloom for either of them that I’ve encountered by about two weeks. Who’d-a-thunk-it!

Small Bluebells, Long-flowered Lungwort, Trumpet Bluebells ~ Mertensia longiflora

Small Bluebells, Long-flowered Lungwort, Trumpet Bluebells ~ Mertensia longiflora

Small Bluebells, Long-flowered Lungwort, Trumpet Bluebells ~ Mertensia longiflora

Early blue violet, Viola adunca

Early blue violet ~ Viola adunca

Ashley Creek trail 454

Ashley Creek trail 454

Ashley Creek trail 454

It’s sad to lose another such treasure from our early days.

May 3, 2014

A strange spring for western Montana wildflowers

After a winter with large amounts of snowfall (the high country around here still has 140% of normal snowpack) and lots of cloudy/rainy days this spring, the forests are very dry. The rain we’ve had has been mostly light showers with not much water volume, and the flowers which depend on April rain are doing poorly, at least in this specific area. These were taken on a couple of short hikes recently and the selection was not very good.

Round-leaved Violet

Round-leaved Violet ~ Viola orbiculata

In an area that usually abounds with violets, this and the following one were found only on a small hillside where water from snow melting at a higher elevation was trickling out of the ground.

Canadian White violet

Canadian White violet ~ Viola canadensis

Woodland Strawberry

Woodland Strawberry ~ Fragaria vesca

Mule Deer

Mule Deer ~ Odocoileus hemionus: (A fellow wild plant aficionado)

Heart-leaf Arnica

Heart-leaf Arnica

Heart-leaf Arnica ~ Arnica cordifolia

Pacific Trillium

Pacific Trillium

Pacific Trillium

Pacific Trillium ~ Trillium ovatum

These are Pacific or Western White trilliums that are in the final stages of their boom, when they turn pink. It took me awhile initially to realize that the pink onesĀ are not from a different species.

Western Blue Clematis

Western Blue Clematis ~ Clematis occidentalis

Early Blue Violet

Early Blue Violet ~ Viola adunca

Arrowleaf Balsamroot

Arrowleaf Balsamroot ~ Balsamorhiza sagittata

Grand Fir

Grand Fir ~ Abies grandis

Pioneer Violet

Pioneer Violet ~ Viola glabella

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