Fireweed…

 

Lovely, pink Fireweed was in full bloom this weekend at Glacier National Park….

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We had a day and half of rainy weather (which didn’t slow us down much!) and a day and a half of blue skies to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary!!
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Fireweed beside a sow grizzly.IMG_1059 P8020386

The clouds rolling up the mountains…

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In a burnt area overlooking the Saint Mary’s side of the park…P8040639 P8040646 P8040654 IMG_0818

This herb is often abundant in wet calcareous to slightly acidic soils in open fields, pastures, and particularly burned-over lands; the name Fireweed derives from the species’ abundance as a coloniser on burnt sites after forest fires. Its tendency to quickly colonize open areas with little competition, such as sites of forest fires and forest clearings, makes it a clear example of apioneer species. Plants grow and flower as long as there is open space and plenty of light. As trees and brush grow larger the plants die out, but the seeds remain viable in the soil seed bank for many years; when a new fire or other disturbance occurs that opens up the ground to light again, the seeds germinate. Some areas with heavy seed counts in the soil can, after burning, be covered with pure dense stands of this species and when in flower the landscape is turned into fields of color.

In Britain the plant was considered a rare species in the 18th century, and one confined to a few locations with damp, gravelly soils. It was misidentified as Great Hairy Willowherb in contemporary floras. The plant’s rise from local rarity to widespread weed seems to have occurred at the same time as the expansion of the railway network, and the associated soil disturbance. The plant became locally known as bombweed due to its rapid colonization of bomb craters in the second world war.

The young shoots were often collected in the spring by Native American people and mixed with other greens. As the plant matures the leaves become tough and somewhat bitter. The southeast Native Americans use the stems in this stage. They are peeled and eaten raw. When properly prepared soon after picking they are a good source of vitamin C and pro-vitamin A. The Dena’inaadd fireweed to their dogs’ food. Fireweed is also a medicine of the Upper Inlet Dena’ina, who treat pus-filled boils or cuts by placing a piece of the raw stem on the afflicted area. This is said to draw the pus out of the cut or boil and prevents a cut with pus in it from healing over too quickly.

The root can be roasted after scraping off the outside, but often tastes bitter. To mitigate this, the root is collected before the plant flowers and the brown thread in the middle removed.

In Alaska, candies, syrups, jellies, and even ice cream are made from fireweed. Monofloral honey made primarily from fireweed nectar has a distinctive, spiced flavor.

In Russia, its leaves are used as tea substitute and were exported, known in Western Europe as Koporye Tea(Копорский чай). Fireweed leaves can undergo fermentation, much like real tea. Today, koporye tea is still occasionally consumed though not commercially important.

Chamerion angustifolium (Epilobium angustifolium) herb has been used in the traditional Austrian medicine internally as tea for treatment of disorders of the prostate, kidneys, and urinary tract.

Fireweed’s natural variation in ploidy has prompted its use in scientific studies of polyploidy’s possible effects on adaptive potential and species.

For more info please click Here…

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Good Morning…

 

Last night’s beautiful moon!  Can you imagine hiking to the top of mountain by moonlight?  That’s what Sawyer and his buddies did this morning or maybe call it last night, where-ever 2 a.m. fits in that time frame.  They hiked to the top of Mt. Aneas in the Jewel Basin to watch the earth come alive…

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The first hints of daylight…P1230285 P12302931 P12303001 P12303131 P12303221 P12303341 P12303351 P12303391 P12303471 P12303491

I love these two pictures of this young man!

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The hike back down in the daylight…P12303511 P12303461 P1230352

What a wonderful experience for these guys!

A little more info about Mt. Aeneas in the Jewel Basin…

At just over 7,500 feet Mount Aeneas could easily be bypassed for other peaks with higher elevations or in more popular locations such as Glacier National Park.

To do so would be to miss a jewel of a peak. In fact, Mount Aeneas is located in the Jewel Basin. The views into Glacier National Park, The Bob Marshal Complex and The Flathead Valley are worth the easy hike to the summit. The map rates it as strenuous but by Glacier National Park Standards this is an easy class 1/2 hike.

The Jewel Basin is home to 27 lakes and most of them have fish in them. In days gone by it was possible to enter the Jewel Basin and have the area to yourself. Talk about fishing and a great wilderness experience!

Remote campsites are provided at a few selected lakes and most of them are an easy day hike away from the trailhead at Camp Misery (more on the name later). The Jewel Basin is made up of 15,349 acres (62.1 km²) and 50 miles of trails. The Jewel Basin is specially designated for hiking only, with motorized vehicles and horses prohibited.

The locals say that Camp Misery was named for the place that a local tribe spent a terrible winter. It is not impossible to imagine such a winter as the snowfall in this particular area is measured in feet not inches.

More Info Here…

Mount Aeneas is named for Chief Aeneas Paul who was born in 1828 and was also known as Big Knife II and Koostatah I.

As Chief of a band of Kootenai along the western shore of Flathead Lake, Chief Aeneas struggled with the rapid white settlement of the Flathead Valley. 

By one account, the half Iroquois Aeneas Paul rose to chief when Chief Baptiste was killed by Blackfeet Indians near the site of present-day Hungry Horse Dam in 1876. He had six children by his wife Woman’s Cry of Triumph. Two of his sons would die at the hands of white men and two would carry on as chief after him. 

Chief Aeneas is of the Dayton Creek band of the Kootenai. He is believed to be one of the negotiators of the Hell Gate Treaty of 1855 and an interpreter for missionaries such as Father Pierre Jean DeSmet. 

Other names of nearby geographic features — like Broken Leg Mountain, Lamoose Lake, and Baptiste Peak — reflect the names of Kootenai leaders from the mid-to-late 1800s. 

Source: Swan Journal article by Keith Hammer 

 

A Day with Big Brother…

A couple of weeks ago the boys spent the day doing what they love best! With their big brother!!  What else could the boys ask for?

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Garrett and his catch! He caught 8 fish in all!

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Nice sunfish, Teigen!

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Zayne is pretty proud!  He caught 5 fish that day!

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Two at once!

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Another double catch!  Hayden caught 5 fish!

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The line-up!  These fish don’t stand a chance.P1230179

Teigen caught 10 fish that day!  Happy boy!

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Sawyer, big brother himself, caught three fish in between taking fish off the hook and fixing tangles.P1230183

Thanks Sawyer for the incredibly fun day catching lots of fish!  Lots of memories made.

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Taking a swim…

That’s what happens when little boys decide to play outside during a rain/hail storm…

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We received a much-needed 1/2′” of rain in less than a half hour!

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The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

Rurality Blog Hop #20

Golden/Evening

This week’s prompt at Nurture Photography Summer 2013 are Golden/Evening.

Glacier Lilies where blooming at the top of Logan Pass this time through!  My favorite golden hued flower.

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Species Description and Taxonomy

This wild relative of the garden tulip, also known as the yellow avalanche lily or dogtooth violet, occupies mountainous elevations of western North America. The pendent flowers have six large, showy yellow “petals” (more technically, tepals) that are abruptly bent backward toward the base. Mature plants typically make 2 leaves and 0-3 flowers. The fruits are cylindrical, three-chambered capsules, containing up to 60 large seeds if well-pollinated. By late July, the leaves have withered, and the plant overwinters from August to June as an underground corm similar to a tulip bulb.

Distribution and Habitat

Glacier lilies thrive in supalpine meadows from northern California and southern Colorado to southern British Columbia and southwestern Alberta. They bloom as the snow melts, following the snow line as it recedes up slopes in the spring (see photo at right).

Ecological Relationships

Glacier lilies provide food for a variety of animals, including pocket gophers, mule deer, elk, and bighorn sheep. Grizzly and black bears may affect plant distribution by foraging on the corms; aboriginal humans also used corms as food. Bumble bee queens are the principal pollinators.

MORE INFO HERE

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Lots of Glacier Lilies!  🙂 P7139467 IMG_9392

Some of my favorite evening pictures from this summer include…

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The setting sun hitting Bird Woman Falls.

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A golden evening river…

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And some favorite silhouettes that I have shared already but…

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Black Bears

 

 

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Two different sows with cubs taken about a year apart.  Neither one hung out for long and by the time we stopped to pull over, the cubs that belonged to the sow below high-tailed it out there.IMG_7498

Black bears are North America’s most familiar and common bears. They typically live in forests and are excellent tree climbers, but are also found in mountains and swamps. Despite their name, black bears can be blue-gray or blue-black, brown, cinnamon, or even (very rarely) white.

Black bears are very opportunistic eaters. Most of their diet consists of grasses, roots, berries, and insects. They will also eat fish and mammals—including carrion—and easily develop a taste for human foods and garbage. Bears who become habituated to human food at campsites, cabins, or rural homes can become dangerous and are often killed—thus the frequent reminder: Please don’t feed the bears!

Solitary animals, black bears roam large territories, though they do not protect them from other bears. Males might wander a 15- to 80-square-mile (39- to 207-square-kilometer) home range.

When winter arrives, black bears spend the season dormant in their dens, feeding on body fat they have built up by eating ravenously all summer and fall. They make their dens in caves, burrows, brush piles, or other sheltered spots—sometimes even in tree holes high above the ground. Black bears den for various lengths of time governed by the diverse climates in which they live, from Canada to northern Mexico.

Female black bears give birth to two or three blind, helpless cubs in mid-winter and nurse them in the den until spring, when all emerge in search of food. The cubs will stay with their very protective mother for about two years.

For more info click here…

 

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Little Red Fruits…

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The currants are coming on strong this year!

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Yep, I am a bad, bad girl. I ate the first ripe raspberries all by myself, didn’t share, no no no no! Mmmm!!
Sshhh!! Don’t tell

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Rurality Blog Hop #20

Prairie Smoke (Geum triflorum)…

 

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Three weeks ago the Prairie Smoke was in full bloom in Glacier, when we visited a couple of weeks later it was doing what it is known for…

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It is also called Old Man’s Whiskers!

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Perhaps the most distinguishing feature of this North American native prairie plant is not the reddish pink to purplish, nodding, globular flowers that bloom in late spring, but the fruiting heads which follow. As the flower fades and the seeds begin to form, the styles elongate (to 2″ long) to form upright, feathery gray tails which collectively resemble a plume or feather duster, all of which has given rise to a large number of regional descriptive common names for this plant such as torch flower, long-plumed purple avens, prairie smoke, lion’s beard and old man’s whiskers. The feathery seed tails act as sails in aiding dispersal of the seeds. A soft, hairy plant growing typically to 16″ tall with fern-like, pinnately divided, green leaves (7-19 leaflets). Spreads by rhizomes and can be naturalized to form an interesting ground cover. Native Americans once boiled the roots to produce a root tea that was used medicinally for a variety of purposes such as wound applications and sore throat treatments.  For more info visit here…

 

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