The elusive Moose!

Another great day in Montana!  The sky was cloudless and the temperature was 61 degrees.  We slaved in the yard moving dirt and burning limbs and pine cones in the fire pit.  About noon, we stopped long enough to blister some hot dogs for lunch over the coals in the fire pit and then continued slaving around the yard, and oddly enough, it is beginning to look like someone lives here!

As the day wore on, we decided it was time to ‘get away from it all’ and headed up to Glacier National Park, a short 15 mile drive.  Our interest was to check on the early wildflowers, mainly the Fairy Slipper Orchid (Calypso bulbosa), a tiny little orchid, but an extremely beautiful one.  Last year we photographed these Orchids the 22nd of May and some of them were past their prime.  So this year we want to try to find the first ones to bloom the get the early bloom date of them.  The only thing we found was the leaf.  But, this leaf was in a different location from the ones last year, therefore we now have a new location to photograph them as they bloom.  We plan to hike in this area several more times this Spring to see how many areas we can find them blooming.  It is quite a rare plant out here, so we are not expecting to find it in many other places. 


The dark green leaf among the moss and twigs was our quarry.

From expansive landscapes of the Mountains to photos like this of tiny things, we love photography.  This leaf is about 1 inch long and each Fairy Slipper Orchid has only ONE leaf.  Sooooo tiny and delicate, how it even survives is a miracle in itself.  Picking the flower usually kills the plant which took several years to reach blooming stage.

Ledge Mushrooms have a beauty all their own

Debbie spotted some ledge mushrooms along our hike and this one caught her attention.  It was growing at the base of a dead tree in a bed of moss.

A Loon Calling…………

We heard a Loon calling on McDonald Lake and since we were hiking close to the lake, Debbie stepped over to the edge of the road and took a few shots of it.


The call of a Loon is almost haunting……..

They are an interesting bird to hear and watch as they dive for fish.  This one was keeping us occupied looking out over the lake when a car approached us and we thought they were stopping to see the Loon or maybe they were concerned about us being in the road, but the driver got out of the car and pointed down saying “Moose”.  We had not looked down at the edge of the Lake as it was very steep from the road down and we were not quite out to the edge of the ‘drop off’.


We stepped over to the edge and right below us wading in the shallows was a young bull Moose.  We walked along with him for a few minutes as Debbie took some photos.  I had left My Camera in the car as we were just looking for wildflowers and not expecting any wildlife.  Dumb!!!  So, as usual, Debbie gets all the good shots…

The ‘antler button’ is just above the eye

The elusive Moose did not seem concerned with us walking along with him, just kept an eye on us as it waded along in the clear water of Lake McDonald.


Don’t know who was the most interested in who…

The setting sun in the western sky lit the Moose up.  Such a magnificent animal….


Apparently having enough of this ‘wading stuff’ it headed for high ground

The elusive Moose came out of the Lake and headed up the incline like it was level and we could not even climb up or down it without climbing gear.

Dancing across the road

It does not look that large, but the shoulder hump is closing in on 6 feet from the ground and probably weighs in at about 700 to 800 pounds.  Not bad for a youngster.  The elusive Moose moved over the ground so effortlessly that he appears to ‘float’ along.


Anyway, we returned to our wildflower hunting and slowly headed home.  Another GREAT day in Montana!