Montana Outdoors

April 17, 2015

A little of the Munson Creek trail (USFS Tr 372)

Today I hiked the first couple of miles of the Munson Creek trail (from about 2,400 ft elevation to about 3,400 ft elevation) to see how the winter treated it. It was in very good condition, with a sprinkling of wildflowers all along, but only of some of the early blooming species were blooming. It is a steep and rather rough trail that is well worth hiking later in the summer when the valley is hot and the trail is cool and when there are dozens of species of wildflowers in bloom (and I will return later to see them). Here are a few photos of the trail and the flower species now in bloom along that stretch.

Munson Creek trail

Munson Creek trail

Arrowleaf Balsamroot

Arrowleaf Balsamroot ~ Balsamorhiza sagittata

Munson Creek trail

Oblongleaf Bluebells, Sagebrush Bluebells

Oblongleaf Bluebells, Sagebrush Bluebells

Oblongleaf Bluebells, Sagebrush Bluebells ~ Mertensia oblongifolia

Hooker's Fairy Bells

Hooker’s Fairy Bells ~ Disporum hookeri

Blue Clematis

Blue Clematis ~ Clematis occidentalis

Munson Creek trail

Yellow Glacier Lily

Yellow Glacier Lily, Erythronium grandiflorum

Western White Trillium

Western White Trillium ~ Trillium Ovatum

Munson Creek trail

Munson Creek trail

Munson Creek trail

Advertisements

April 5, 2015

A Lily for Easter

Filed under: Spring, Wildflowers — Tags: , — montucky @ 7:07 pm

This was in full bloom today (after a night time temperature of 20°F), a week earlier than I’ve ever seen before, but just in time for Easter. Happy Easter, everyone!

Yellow Glacier Lily

Yellow Glacier Lily ~ Erythronium grandiflorum

April 27, 2014

A short hike today on Spring Creek trail

Spring Creek trail

Glacier Lily, Yellow Glacier Lily, Yellow Avalanche Lily

Glacier Lily, Yellow Glacier Lily, Yellow Avalanche Lily ~ Erythronium grandiflorum

Spring Creek trail

Small Bluebells

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

Mixed lichens and moss

It was still quite cold in the Spring Creek canyon today with patches of snow remaining in the heavier brush off to the sides of the trail and the wildflowers this year are blooming two to three weeks later than most years, but it was so nice to be hiking on a back-country trail again. Although I can’t hike all of this trail today, I will later and it leads into the TeePee/Spring Creek roadless area where the headwaters of the creek form on the southern slope of Big Hole Peak.

April 17, 2011

Two sets of tracks

The trail I hiked upon today spends nearly all of its time at the dark bottom of a very deep canyon, but as it nears the end of its first mile it climbs up the east mountainside for a short distance to avoid some really nasty terrain and there a few rays of sun can penetrate to warm a small place of a hundred or so feet and provide a comfortable bed for a sprinkling of early wildflowers; today, Yellow Glacier Lilies.

Glacier LilyYellow Glacier Lily, Avalanche Lily, Dogtooth Violet, Erythronium grandiflorum

After hiking just a few hundred yards past the lilies I could see snow banks covering the trail and I knew that not far beyond that point the trail would be buried under deep piles of snow as it again settles into the canyon bottom and I decided to go back down.

Spring Creek trail

As I turned around I began to wonder about the tracks that I could see in the snow and, because they were quite large and up to that point my tracks were the only ones on the trail, I thought they were probably those of a bear, and ventured up to the snow to see if there might be tracks of a new cub as well. But they were not bear tracks.

Track of the wolf(For perspective, from the front of the pistol barrel to the rear sight is 6 inches.)

I was careful to leave a clear set my own tracks right beside those big paw prints to let their maker know that he is not the only lobo who roams this part of the forest.

April 13, 2010

Yellow Glacier Lily

Bears are rather fond of the bulbs of these plants and if one doesn’t come by, dig up and eat its bulb, the bud in my previous post will in a few days look like the flowers in the following photos.

While walking up a Forest Service road yesterday I came across the bud standing all alone on the hillside above the road. Another mile and a half up the canyon on the point of a small ridge that had a good southern exposure and therefore access to all of the available sun, these were in full early bloom. Later, Glacier Lilies will be very numerous in many areas of the forests of western Montana.

Yellow Glacier Lily

Yellow Glacier Lily

Yellow Glacier Lily

Yellow Glacier Lily

This particular species is native to nine of the far western states, but I see that they have relatives living in nearly all of the rest of the US as well. It seems that giving this plant its common name is a popular pastime and they have a number of common names including Glacier Lily, Yellow Glacier Lily, and Yellow Avalanche Lily; species name, Erythronium grandiflorum. For over sixty years I have heard them locally called “Dogtoothed Violets” which is not the correct name for this species, but is the name for the species Erythronium americanum which is native to the eastern half of the US.

Blog at WordPress.com.