16 June 2009

A Rainy Day Hike in the Hills

June in Butte, Montana. Continental Divide in the Northern Rockies. It rains. Still, you go hiking. You don't necessarily want to, but you have to.

Many of our plants, like this lupine, evolved to capture the precious spring rains to store water for the endless blue-sky days of July and August. I love the way the water drops refract the leaves:

All things rejoice in the spring rains: these two Globeflowers (Trollius laxus) hold hands, turn their faces to the sky, and dance with joy:

No hike is complete without a mystery flower. Here, some species from the mustard/cress family, I think, given the four cross-like petals and tubular flowers:

Spirerock is a landmark near an old development from the Anaconda Mining Company days c. 1880 - 1910:

A logging camp with a half dozen or so cabins:

And a flume that was used to collect and float timber 15 miles or so across the Divide to feed the smelter in Anaconda and mines of Butte:

Look close and you might find a treasure like this 44 WCF (Winchester Center Fire) cartridge stuck into a log:

MollyTheDog: faster than a speeding bullet. Someday, perhaps when she is 4 or 5 years old, I'll get her to slow down and pose for a photo:

Quick! She's stopped on that snowdrift:

MTD is a pretty good dog, though--at least she didn't chase this gangly, yearling moose that we saw on another hike just north of town:

Watching the weather--we'd like to get and camp a night with the elk cows & calves before they move from the willow bottoms up into the hills.


The Hunter's Wife said...

Looks like an amazing place to be.

citizen of the world said...

Beautiful! Those yellow flowers remind me of primroses.

Barb said...

Hi EcoRover,
Thanks for the heads-up about the Globeflower - saved me from embarrassment! The leaves tell the story... At first I thought your blue flower was a False Forget-Me-Not but they have 5 petals - so no. Looks as though you're getting lots of rain in the Butte area, too. Like those old mining ruins. Also, seeing the moose was awesome.

Arija said...

What glorious country you live in!Adorable wildlife and flora. Your blue flower could as easily be an ancestor of garden Stocks or Phlox. The leaves are all wrong for your guess and mine though.
I wish you luck with the Fulbright, a semester there would be great if you have no asthma and can live without bread and potatoes. We love Chinese food but after 10 days I was longing for a slice of bread I could get my teeth into that was not sweet.

What is your field of expertise? The Prof is a Meteorologist.

fishing guy said...

ER: I always love to see the nature you are able to find in your mountains, thanks so much for sharing.

gary said...

It sounds like we are letting a little of our rain get over the mountains to you. The way its come down here I can hardly see there would be any left. It sure leaves things green and beautiful though.
I too enjoy the history left in the woods by previous adventure seekers. Here its mostly mining equipment, some flumes and Indian trails, some from Idaho into Montana. Old homestead cabins too and you always wonder what memories the remnants hold secret.
Its well MTD didn't take on that moose, they can be quite cantankerous.

Janie said...

I really like the water droplet photo. We usually have a mystery flower, too.
MTD is much like our Daisy, always on the go. For a lab, that seems to be the norm.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Beautiful hike, Eco. Those little Globeflowers are gorgeous.

It was interesting seeing the old mining company development and flume.

Glad MTD is a good one. I'm sure you miss the other one still. We do become so attached to our pets.


Leora said...

Wonderful wildflowers. And your dog's quick movements are fabulously fun. Enjoy the hikes in the rain. I have fond memories of rainy hikes in the White Mountains.

~Sheepheads said...

Don't rush MTD to settle down! She is only a pup and look what you have given her - a whole new world to play in.

Cutthroat Stalker said...

Lupine is one of my favorite. Nice raindrops!

troutbirder said...

Hiking in Montana. I can dream about that!

EcoRover said...

THW, everyday here in the mountains is a blessing.

Thanks, COTW, Betsy, Leora, CS, TB & Fishing Guy.

Easy mistake, Barb. June is our rainy season.

Arija, I do "Science & Technology Studies," including environmental history & philosophy, politics of technical decisions, and the technology--society dance.

Gary, yeah--nothing like your dog leading an irate moose right back to you!

Thanks for the encouragement, Janie--the norm? How long do I have?

You're right, Sheepsheads--I need to appreciate the energy & chaos this little dickens is bringing into my life!

Kirsten said...

I saw my first live, in-person moose ever two weekend ago down at the Flint Creek campground on MT-1 east of Pburg. Very exciting! I didn't know what it was and had to look it up at home.