Thursday, August 18, 2011

East Rosebud - Elk Lake Nature Photography

A beautiful Saturday to head out to new hiking grounds.
The walls of the valley were nearly vertical.
The flowers were every where and so were the bees!  I brought my Wildflowers of Montana guide and tried my best to increase my naturalist skills.  I think this yellow flower is a Canada goldenrod - Solidago canadensis, but I am not 100% sure.
This bee scared off the butterfly I was trying to photograph, but I think I like this action shot even better.
Playing golf in the tent while waiting out a little rain shower.
I couldn't quite figure this one out, but it was so neat looking...
Pearly Everlasting - Anaphalis margaritacea
This was the very first flower I was able to identify using my guide book.  It was pretty easy since in was on the cover of the book!  It is called blanketflower - Gallardia aristata
Bean patties and noochy garlic rice....I know, I know...quite traditional camp food.
Monopoly Go.  I think I like it better than the original which is something I NEVER say about revamps of classic games.
At sunrise Sunday we headed out for Elk Lake, a short little hike (3-4 miles I think).
Raspberries lined the whole trail for at least four miles...and I mean lined it.  Thimble berries too.
Actually the whole place was lousy with berries, but I can only positively identify a few varieties.
We crossed paths with a mama grouse and half a dozen little babies.  Oh, the cuteness.  I am not positive what type of grouse she is either.  I was sure that eyebrow would be a give-a-way....but, not so.  Grouse all look strikingly similar to me still, but I've only seen them once before..
That is one happy hiker.
We though it was an impressive fungus right there....  you should have seen its gills!
Common Paintbrush - Castilleja miniata is one of my longtime favorite wildflowers and one of the few species that I could identify without a book to help me.

The first view of Elk Lake.  It was lovely!

From the opposite end of the lake looking back towards where we came from.
The water was soooooooo clear.
Mountain chickadee!  Matt's first sighting.
They have fabulous little white eye brows which differentiate them from our common black-capped chickadees.  It also makes them cute as the dickens in my humble opinion.  We watched them feed for a long while under a tree along the lake side.  Heavenly if you ask me.
White Geranium - Geranium richardsonii
Sitting up on his little fanny in the sunshine....
...until he realized he was being watched from below.  I think it is a golden-mantled ground squirrel, but I am not as confident in my mammal identification as I am in my avian identification.
And then we crossed paths with another set of mama and baby grouse!  These babies were quite a bit larger though.
They were so close I could hear them cheeping.  It was a fantastic finale to the hike that made my bird-lovin' heart absolutely swell.


  1. The purple flower you couldn't quite figure out is bergamot aka bee balm aka Monarda Fistulosa. It is an ingredient in chai tea & is good for colds & the flu. :)

  2. Looks like a fun trip! Like the camp food ;-)

  3. OMG, I am SOOO envious of your hikes! You live in such gorgeous country!


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