Trillium…

 

On our way up to East Glacier, we stopped  at this waterfall.  Normally, just a trickle it was roaring full bore due to the melting snow higher up.

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There was enough water that there were two arms to the waterfall…

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Below the falls in the moist soil were these beautiful white trilliums in full bloom…

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Shine the Divine

Hanging out with a Goat…

We spotted this Mountain Goat at the top of Logan Pass in Glacier National Park.

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Should I go down the stairs?  Hmmm….

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Some info on Mountain Goats, more can be found here

Mountain goats are not true goats—but they are close relatives. They are more properly known as goat-antelopes.

These surefooted beasts inhabit many of North America’s most spectacular alpine environments. They often appear at precipitous heights, from Alaska to the U.S. Rocky Mountains, showcasing climbing abilities that leave other animals, including most humans, far below. Mountain goats have cloven hooves with two toes that spread wide to improve balance. Rough pads on the bottom of each toe provide the grip of a natural climbing shoe. Mountain goats are powerful but nimble and can jump nearly 12 feet (3.5 meters) in a single bound.

Mountain goats have distinctive beards and long, warm coats to protect them from cold temperatures and biting mountain winds. Their dazzling white coats provide good camouflage on the snowy heights. During the more moderate summer season goats shed this coat.

Female goats (called nannies) spend much of the year in herds with their young (called kids). These groups may include as many as 20 animals. Males (known as billies) usually live alone or with one or two other male goats. Both sexes boast beautiful pointed horns, and in mating season billies will sometimes use them to battle rivals for prospective mates.

In the spring, a nanny goat gives birth to one kid (sometimes two), which must be on its feet within minutes of arrival into its sparse mountain world. Mountain goats eat plants, grasses, mosses, and other alpine vegetation.

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Nature Notes

Bear Grass

 

The Bear Grass is very abundant this year at Glacier National Park…

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Bear Grass looks like a grass, but really belongs to the lily family. It is about 4.5 feet tall. Its olive-colored, grass-like leaves grow from the base of the plant and are tough and wiry. The outside leaves clasp around the stem. The leaves have toothed margins, and grow about 35 inches long, getting shorter as they near the flowers, looking very much like a fan.

The flowers of bear grass grow on a stalk that can be 6 feet tall with many small flowers. Each flower is creamy white, and saucer shaped, and has a sweet

aroma. The lowest flowers bloom first, creating a tight knot of buds at the top. The entire flower looks a little like fluffy, upside down ice cream cone. Bear grass tends to flower in 5 to 7 year cycles. After the fruit sets, the plant dies. It reproduces by seed, and by sending out offshoots from its rhizomes.

 

Bear grass is found in open forests and meadows at sub alpine and low alpine elevations in the western United States. It is commonly found under alpine larch (Larix lyallii) and whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) stands on cold, rocky sites at upper timberlines.

Bear grass is a fire-resistant species that is the first plant to grow after a fire. Bear grass, and many other native plants, need periodic burns to produce strong, new growth. After a fire bear grass sprouts from its rhizomes which lie just under the surface. Light fires of short duration are best. Intense fires which linger in the same place for a long time will kill the rhizomes under the ground, and prevent the bea rgrass from growing back.

Find more info here

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Today’s Flowers

 

Sitting on the Side of a Mountain…

Watching the sun give off it’s final whoo-raw for the day.  Getting to spend the entire day with my best friend.  How could it get any better?

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As the sun was just starting to set, it lit up the other side of valley.  Particularly this waterfall coming off the mountain…IMG_7671 IMG_7677 IMG_7687

Also these mountain peaks…

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Indian Paintbrush

The Indian Paintbrush seem to be particularly vibrant this year…

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Castilleja sp.

One of the popular paintbrushes, this showy annual or biennial grows 6-16 in. high. Its several unbranched stems form clumps topped by bright-red, paintbrush-like spikes. The flowers are actually inconspicuous and greenish, but are subtended by showy, red-tipped bracts. Together, the flowers and bracts form 3-8 in. spikes.

The roots of this plant will grow until they touch the roots of other plants, frequently grasses, penetrating these host roots to obtain a portion of their nutrients. Transplanting paintbrush may kill it. Indian paintbrush has a reputation for being unpredictable. In some years, when bluebonnets (which flower at approximately the same time as Indian paintbrush) are especially colorful, paintbrush will have only an average flowering year. Other years, paintbrush is spectacular.

The roots of this plant will grow until they touch the roots of other plants, frequently grasses, penetrating these host roots to obtain a portion of their nutrients. Transplanting paintbrush may kill it.

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 Ruby Tuesday 2

Macro Monday

Common Merganser and Others…

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This duck looks like a speck below the enormous mountains behind it.

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I watched these Common Mergansers for a few minutes, diving and searching for food while they headed down the lake.

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