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.P1150839

 

There was enough water that there were two arms to the waterfall… P1150841 P1150842

Below the falls in the moist soil were these beautiful white trillium in full bloom… P1150844 P1150847-Edit P1150852-Edit

All Dressed Up…

 

 

 

 

~Ring Tailed Pheasant~

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Male Ring-necked Pheasants establish breeding territories in early spring. A male maintains sovereignty over his acreage by crowing and calling; he approaches intruders with head and tail erect, and may tear up grass that he then tosses. Competitors sometimes resort to physical combat. After a series of escalating threat displays, fighting cocks flutter upward, breast to breast, and bite at each other’s wattles. They may take turns leaping at each other with bill, claws, and spurs deployed. Usually the challenger runs away before long, and these fights are rarely fatal. Females assemble in breeding groups focused on a single male and his territory. The cock courts the hen with a variety of displays—strutting or running; spreading his tail and the wing closest to her while erecting the red wattles around his eyes and the feather-tufts behind his ears. He also “tidbits”—poses with head low while calling her to a morsel of food. A female may flee at first, leading the male on a chase punctuated by courtship displays. Males guard their groups of females from the advances of other males. Like many birds, Ring-necked Pheasants take frequent dust baths, raking their bills and scratching at the ground, shaking their wings to sweep dust and sand into their feathers, lying on their sides and rubbing their heads. Dust-bathing probably removes oil, dirt, parasites, dead skin cells, old feathers, and the sheaths of new feathers.

For more information please visit here…

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Shooting Star…

 

 

 

Dodecatheon species…

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Shootingstar (Dodecatheon pulchellum) is a species of flowering plant in the primrose family.

The Shooting star is a perennial herb with single, leafless flower stems, growing from very short erect root stocks with no bulblets to a height of 2-15 inches.

Each plant has between 1 and 25 flowers clustered at the stem top. The calyx is usually purple-flecked, and the five lobes are 3 to 5 millimeters (mm) long. The corolla  is 10 to 20 mm long and the 5 lobes sweep backwards. The lobes are purplish-lavender and rarely white. The short tube is yellowish and usually has a purplish wavy line at the base. The filaments are joined into a yellowish tube 1.5-3 mm long, which is smooth or only slightly wrinkled. The 5 anthers are joined to a projecting point, usually yellowish to reddish-purple, 4-7 mm long and the stigma is slightly larger than the style.

Flowering period is from April to August depending on the site type and elevation.

The Shootingstar is native to much of North America. See a distribution map at the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service plants profile database. It can be found in saline swamps, mountain meadows and streams, plains, and alpine zones. In Montana, it is most common in western and central areas.

According to Montana Plant Life.org it is used as a medicine plant. “Pretty shooting star was used medicinally by the Okanagan-Colville and Blackfoot Indians. An infusion of the roots was used as a wash for sore eyes. A cooled infusion of leaves was used for eye drops. An infusion of leaves was gargled, especially by children, for cankers.”

For more info please visit here…

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Glowing…

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Cool Facts About the Blue Heron

  • Thanks to specially shaped neck vertebrae, Great Blue Herons can curl their neck into an S shape for a more aerodynamic flight profile and to quickly strike prey at a distance.
  • Great Blue Herons have specialized feathers on their chest that continually grow and fray. The herons comb this “powder down” with a fringed claw on their middle toes, using the down like a washcloth to remove fish slime and other oils from their feathers as they preen. Applying the powder to their underparts protects their feathers against the slime and oils of swamps.
  • Great Blue Herons can hunt day and night thanks to a high percentage of rod-type photoreceptors in their eyes that improve their night vision.
  • Despite their impressive size, Great Blue Herons weigh only 5 to 6 pounds thanks in part to their hollow bones—a feature all birds share.
  • Great Blue Herons in the northeastern U.S. and southern Canada have benefited from the recovery of beaver populations, which have created a patchwork of swamps and meadows well-suited to foraging and nesting.
  • Along the Pacific coast, it’s not unusual to see a Great Blue Heron poised atop a floating bed of kelp waiting for a meal to swim by.
  • The white form of the Great Blue Heron, known as the “great white heron,” is found nearly exclusively in shallow marine waters along the coast of very southern Florida, the Yucatan Peninsula, and in the Caribbean. Where the dark and white forms overlap in Florida, intermediate birds known as “Wurdemann’s herons” can be found. They have the body of a Great Blue Heron, but the white head and neck of the great white heron.
  • The oldest Great Blue Heron, based on banding recovery, was 24 years old.
  • Great Blue Herons congregate at fish hatcheries, creating potential problems for the fish farmers. A study found that herons ate mostly diseased fish that would have died shortly anyway. Sick fish spent more time near the surface of the water where they were more vulnerable to the herons.

For more information, please visit here...

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Two Dog Flats

 

 

Every time we pass Two Dog Flats in Glacier Park, we always think we should see elk grazing peaceably by the aspens.  In all the years we have been driving past this spot we have never seen anything; elk, deer, bear, coyotes, etc…IMG_0855

Then one day last year, we went driving on by and we had to stop… Whoa, stop…Elk!IMG_0851IMG_0821 IMG_0829 IMG_0831 IMG_0839