30 September 2010

Skywatch Friday: Montana Autumn Skies (and 'shrooms and supper)

After a cool, wet summer, September has been our finest summer month. It began cool and clear, then became hot and clear with near record temperatures in the 70s (deg F). Moist air clings to the Butte valley, forming a cool layer of fog beneath the warm morning sky, the fog highlighting the Anselmo Gallows Frame:

Early in the month, some snow fell one night on a remote mountain ridge:

Cascade Mountain Ash (Sorbus scopulina) berries glow bright red against the cloudless sky:

On a hike in the nearby mountains, white limestone cliffs reflect the hot sun:

On another hike, some late afternoon cumulus clouds build up along the Pintler Range spine of the Continental Divide:

A rare cloudy morning contrasts with the fall colors of deciduous shrubs, with the Quaking Aspen (lower right) just beginning to turn color:


Hey, EcoRover is a fun-guy! Hiking around the hills while scouting for Bull Moose (see previous entry about the moose hunt), mushrooms (fun-gi?) were much in evidence. Some are shaggy:

And some are scallopy:

Life on a cowpie:

Or life on a stump:

And some with a funnel to drink life in:

Oh, wish I knew more about mushrooms and which were edible!

These things, I know are edible--tiny but sweet Wild Strawberries (Fragaria virginiana):

And these--deliciouly puckery Chokecherries (Prunus virginianus):

MollyTheDog says this Mountain Grouse is edible, too:

Good dog, you deserve a treat (with your buddy JackTheDog) on the way home:


After all that hiking, we're hungry! What's for supper? Stir fried veggies:

Along with grilled grouse, moose steaks, and potatoes:

There's plenty of food & an extra plate, just in case you're in the 'hood.


larry kurtz said...

Number 1: coprinus comatus, the shaggy mane, excellent edible while it is fresh, gritty after it opens. It will deliquesce quickly.

Number 2: looks like marasmius oreades, Scotch cap. if it's in a fairy ring. very good edible.

Number 3: psilocybe coprophilia probably. Watch your eyes!

Number 4: a helvella. Deadly!

Number 5: cantharellus cibarius probably, chanterelle. Excellent. What trees were nearby?

Your site is great! I stole your post on the Folk Festival. Hope that's ok.

Janie said...

Those red berries are beautiful agains the sky. We've had a mild September here, too, and lots of sunny days.
Great selection of mushrooms, and interesting to see the previous comment that names all of them.
Looks like you eat well after a hike. I'm glad the dogs got their treat, too.

larry kurtz said...

Number 4: Confirmed. Conifer false morel. Helvella esculenta or gyromitra esculenta.

Frostbite and Sunburn said...

I know what you mean about a super September. Lovely clarity to your photos - that first shot could almost be a Christmas card!

Sylvia K said...

Marvelous post and photos as always and as always they took me back to Montana and that's always a delight! Have a wonderful weekend!


Anonymous said...

Great photos! Makes me want to go back to Montana and also have a cookout!

Maria said...

The Mountain Ash berries against the blue sky photo is so pretty... I'd love to frame that one!

I hope everyone enlarged the photos ~ they're great!

The dogs had a blast with those cones! Don't they just love ice cream! My old dog Muffin, still dives right in.

Veggie stir fry {on the grill} is our favorite summer dinner... especially if there's eggplant and zucchini!

Enjoy the weekend!
It's time to


troutbirder said...

A hunters delight. Yummy. Sometimes I miss that...

Anonymous said...

I love that first shot. This is my favorite time of the year. The air feels wonderful, and everything looks so nice. Our wild strawberries were done weeks ago. I have noticed how much later things are out west.

So nice that the dogs get cones!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Yum... what time is supper? I'll be there!!!! ha ha

Interesting mushroom pictures... They like those special places like cowpie and stumps, don't they????

Loved watching the dogs eat the ice cream... Cute!!!!

Glad you have had a great Sept. ER.... We are quite cool now --and had a frost advisory last night. No frost though --which is good since we still have roses blooming.

TonyC said...

Picture no 3 - WOW WOW WOW!! Stunning colours, captured beatifully.

Elizabeth said...

Wonderful post as always! Love the ice cream shots :)