Peacock

Peacock
Peacock

Sunday, July 13, 2014

An Orgy of Wildflowrs

Steve and Cheri, my fellow volunteers got a day off last Tuesday to go on a Wildflower Tour in the Gravelly Mountains. They loved finding an amazing quantity of wildflowers but were frustrated in not having enough time to photograph as many as they wanted to.  I was frustrated because the Ecology Project International kids were supposed to sort bugs that day and I was in charge of making sure the labels were correct and all was going according to protocol.

We solved all our problems with the tour by going out last Thursday.  Since I had already worked about forty hours, I could take that day off.  So we set off on what was to be about a twelve hour tour.


View shortly after we turned east from Dillon, Montana


The algae made this a pretty spot

It took us several hours of traveling with lots of picture stops to reach the area where the tour had been so we didn't even reach it until late in the day.  We stopped along a pretty creek for lunch that had beautiful views in every direction.


Lunch along a creek


Lunch stop view downstream


Boulder in creek by lunch stop


Rock formation behind out lunch stop


A root cellar


Acres of dense wildflowers


My favorite - larkspur

Opal enjoyed them too - she was grazing on them

Aster

Doubtful Reservoir - not dependable after snow melt


Prairie Smoke


Nature's Rock Garden 

Dead whitebark pines 

White-tail buck

Finally we got to the beginning of the wildflowers.  There were only a few species of wildflowers, including larkspur, lupines, sticky geraniums, dandelions, false dandelions, phlox and a few other species, but the quantities of them were mind-blowing. And the scent  made be want to just roll in the meadows.  We had Opal, Steve and Cheri's dog with us and she enjoyed eating the flowers. I didn't try that.

We had only one minor frustration - Steve and Cheri had been shown miniature bitterworts and took me to the site to show them to me, only to find NONE.  We think they had already gone to bed since this was just at sunset.

Another great day having a wonderful adventure.

On the personal front, I'm having to count the weekends until I leave. This one is being spent at my Texas/Montana friend Kathy's condo in Bozeman, Montana.  We had a wonderful adventure today and will have another tomorrow before I go shopping to prepare for next weekend when my friend, Natalie, comes to visit. The following weekend, I'll take four days and go visit my friend, Carol, who volunteers in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. Then another volunteer friend and avid birder, Teri, will come visit me and we'll help with the Centennial Valley Raptor Count on August 3rd.

The following weekend, I'll move to National Bison Range and then fly out to Ottawa to visit my oldest daughter.  Then I'll be at National Bison Range until mid October.