My Montana

My Montana
My Montana

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

This Golden Summer

I am so in love with the wildflowers here.  New species are coming into bloom as the earlier ones go to seed.  The landscape is getting every more golden.  The grasses are also contributing to the color change as the early grasses are finishing their life cycle and going dormant - usually in a gold to reddish color.

And I think golden is also the way I feel about this summer.  I'm getting to spend most of my work time out of doors and get to see into the lives of many different animals.  And I have had  wonderful relationships with several of the other volunteers as we worked together on various jobs. Dick, a volunteer that  just leaving, even started me on fly fishing.  And Jim is teaching me to put up and repair all kinds of fences.

Spring was just starting when I got here.  Dandelions were about all I saw blooming, except for the willows which bloom ahead of new leaf production.

Dandelions are usually the first plants bumblebees have for food and form fields of yellow

Willow blooms  are very enticing to bees and other pollinators

Spring seems to have flowers of easter egg colors.  But the iris, sticky geraniums, and lupines are finishing up now and more and more of the flowers are yellow.

A late spring wildflower view

Now most of the blooming flowers are yellow

Not sure what this is

Lanceleaf stonecrop occurs in patches in rocky soils 

A closer view of the stonecrop flowers

False dandelion, or flatweed, I think. It comes in as dandelion goes out and is also edible

Not sure what this is 

Although there are still lots of sticky geraniums about but these yellow
composites are dominating the landscape

Cinquefoil - think this is the non-native sulfur cinquefoil

This plant family is named for their five petals

Brown-eyed Susan?


A closer look

It seems strange to me that I'm seeing yellow paintbrush bloom at the same time that goldenrod is starting to flower. I'm used to seeing paintbrush in the spring and goldenrod in the fall.  I didn't get around to taking pictures of the yellow paintbrush and then it rained and I can't get back to it until the roads dry. 


On the personal front, I'm kind of tired both from working several long days and having two party evenings, for which I had to bring food. I also had a friend visit who camped out, but came and ate meals with me. I also took him on a tour of part of the refuge.  

I plan to work all this week, as well as Saturday and then take off four days to go to Yellowstone.  I may be quite spotty on blogs since I have two groups of friends coming.  But I'll have lots of fun stuff to share with you, starting with a cattle drive to the Refuge this Friday that will come straight down our road, through town,  until they get to the meadow they will be grazing on. Jim and I spent about an hour "proofing" one of the fences.  We cut too tall grass and whacked down the willows and other shrubs that were touching it so it would carry a current. We also made sure the fence was fastened to each post correctly.