Monday, April 06, 2015

Mandala Monday - Nature's Mandalas and Wildflowers

Nature makes such wonderful mandalas all on her own.  The more I hike and observe, the more I feel the meditative healing of it.  Even if the hike is long and my physical limits are tested, there is still the feeling of restoration.

I am usually the last one in line when it comes to group hikes.  One reason is because I am taking pictures.  I normally come back with 300 plus pictures.  The second is I not there for the 'speed' of completion, but rather to 'see', to look for the little things as well as the big things.  And third, I'm not in the best of shape - but that's beside the point.

Saturday the Helena Hikers went to Bear Trap Canyon near Bozeman.  This is an area I have not been in before hiking.  Despite being early April, with the warmer than usual temperatures we have been having, there was ample evidence spring has sprung in Montana.

Most of the bushes and shrubs are budding up.  Hopefully, there won't be too severe a cold snap in the next few weeks and they be zapped.

(On the following, I apologize in advance if I mislabel any of the plants.  I am still really new with Montana plants, but am learning.  If a mistake is discovered, please let me know.)

Anemone, Drummond's I think.  Could be a Northern.  But feel it's an anemone.  They were really starting to bloom along the slopes in spots.

I found ferns nestled in some nooks in the rocks.

Glacier Lilies were sprouting up quite nicely.

As were pockets of Shooting Stars. 

A few 'mats' of what I think is Rocky Mountain Douglasia.  

Snowberry was abundant (at least I think it's snowberry.)

And lots of Oregon Grape.

All this wildflower activity this early in the year makes me hopeful for a wildflower 'saunter' I am leading in a month.  I was worried nothing would be up, but it looks like I might have a decent showing.

But flowers and trees weren't the only things emerging.  All along the pathway there were tons of these black beetles starting to come out of wherever they had been for the winter.

Not sure what kind of beetle he is.  Not sure I really want to know or care.  There were just tons of them on the pathway.  

So spring has hit Montana!  Can't wait for the lilacs to start blooming in the neighborhoods.

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