Home Forums Campfire Forum Flowers and other blooming' things

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    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      Yesterday was the first chance I’ve had in a while to get up in the hills behind the house and wander. The hike started out on a high note when at the trailhead I found a new sign and gate, prohibiting motorized access to some of my favorite hunting grounds:

      The last time I was up here, everything was still brown and just coming out of winter. Lots of change in the last few weeks, with everything bursting into springtime bloom. This photo hasn’t been edited at all. They really were this electric blue:

      Lots of these everywhere:

      A young aspen that’s seen a lot of rubbing:

      Elk have moved through, not too long ago:

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      Lots of moose sign as well:

      Looking back into the valley:

      And up into the high country, where there is still some snow:

      Old wolf sign:

      “The Meadow” that I always expect to see a bull elk standing majestically in the middle of, and of course I never have:

      Playing around with my new tree seat:

      And some very unusual scat that I don’t recognize at all:

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Nice, Bruce! We’ll be heading up your way and points beyond NW in a couple of weeks, returning to grizzly country after a long enforced absence. These photos get me even more fired up. Don’t rejoice overly much on the blocked ATV trail. Unless there are physical barriers sufficient to stop them, the idiots will go around. Here, there’s a massive gate across a FS road into bighorn habitat that over the years has been pulled off repeatedly–they bring up a muscle truck and yank it out. But it’s a start!

      I see you have a Badlands pack. I just got one, a Diablo, and so far it’s far and away the best I’ve ever owned.

      And those mysterious droppings … Bigfoot! Here’s a recent photo of Him from my game camera …

      attached file
    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      Dave – that pack is the Diablo as well. I really like it. The way the suspension system keeps the pack off your back is great for warm weather early season hunts. The only thing I wish it had was a strap system across the back for lashing things to the outside of the pack. I might just have to rig something up.

      And yeah, I know the signage and gate are only a minor victory, and there are still a couple other access points that people can use to get their ATVs into this area (in addition to poaching new ways to get in) but at least it sends a clear message, and it’s an improvement over what it’s been in the past. And it gives me a little more backup when I take photos of them breaking the law and send them in to Fish and Game (and BHA)!

      Seriously, if anyone has a guess at what that scat is, I’d love to hear it (it was about the size of a small bulb of garlic, if that helps).

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Bruce — Identifiable flowers in order of appearance:

      Larkspur

      Tent caterpillars (the opposite of flowers and great for shotgun practice; have no mercy)

      Serviceberry blossoms, aka June berry, saskatoons

      Richardson’s geranium

      If the photo of the Mystery Turds was higher res and more close-up, maybe I could venture a guess. Almost appear to be porcupine droppings–cylindrical and woody–in some sort of goop, like a fungus of some sort.

      I’ll be there in less than two weeks, heavy into morel-hunting mode. Great fresh in omelettes with white wine or filthy mimosas. 😀

      One of my two favorite MT artists, Monte Dolack, shows below how I feel when in Glacier country.

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    • Raymond CoffmanRaymond Coffman
      Moderator
      Post count: 1035

      Smithhammer –

      Beautiful day on the montain –very clear pix– What camera did you use?

      Guys, I use a Badlands Ultraday

      [because of the suspension system] that model has the straps across the back for clothing, that I particularly like [and wanted]. Great day pack.

      Scout

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      Dave – good luck with the morel hunting! And yes, that painting sums it up well.

      Scout – believe it or not, those were all taken on an iPhone, and are straight from the phone, no further enhancements. It’s amazing the quality of cameras they’re putting into those things now.

      And I’ve been looking at the Ultraday for that same reason. I believe it has the same suspension as the Diablo.

    • bruc
      Member
      Post count: 476

      Great pictures !! It’s pretty much what I like about this site the most,is seeing other people’s habitats and your’s looks to have it all. I’m assuming there’s a trout stream there fairly close !!

      Bruce

    • Raymond CoffmanRaymond Coffman
      Moderator
      Post count: 1035

      Smithhammer —

      I just got a new phone, need to try out it’s camera!? Yours surely works very well! I normally carry a small pocket Canon. might not need to carry both, if my phone/camera takes as good pix as yours.

      The Ultraday has the same suspension { looking at both in the store} and almost the same capacity – just more pockets and straps on the outside – which suits my style.

      thanks for the showing off your backyard -haha

      Scout

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      Got back up there today. Several days of heavy rain and snow had wiped the slate clean, and I wanted to see what kind of new sign there might be.

      Lots of arrowleaf starting to bloom since I was last here:

      And other stuff…

      One of my favorite native trees, Rocky Mountain juniper:

      When I hit the meadow pictured in my previous post, very fresh elk sign was everywhere, and the whole meadow still reeked of elk:

      Seems like Mother Nature is doing her best to block old ORV trails as well:

      One of my favorite spots in this area. Of course, there was plenty of elk sign around here too:

      This harrier has been coming out to greet me at a certain spot on the trail this spring. It’s never been the least bit aggressive at all, as though it were guarding a nest; just comes by and swoops over my head a few times and hovers and looks at me. One of my favorite birds:

      I love knowing a place intimately, not just during hunting season, but year-round. It makes the all too short window of searching for wapiti with a bow that much richer.

    • Clay Hayes
      Member
      Post count: 418

      Good eye on the plant id Dave, but that last one isn’t a geranium. It’s one of many species of phlox. Not sure which one. In the next set of pics, the yellow flower is balsom root. The young flower heads and leaves are used pretty heavily by big game in some areas. Also, I think the nezperce cooked and ate the young shoots and roots.

      On the poo, I’d guess it’s from some sort of bird. Probably a grouse. They will drop big mucusy masses called cecal droppings every now and then. In gamebirds they’re usually black, but that’s just my experience. You offen find them where sharpies have spent the night in the snow.

      From the pics it looks like there is some smaller, “normal sized” droppings that look like ruff grouse, but I can’t really tell.

      nice pics.

      I’ve spent the last two weeks hiking around taking pics of “user created” ohv trails. I’ve got a good one of a busted gate with a road closed sign and an atv trail going right by. Classic.

      ch

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      And a few more from the latest scouting trip:

      They’re out there somewhere…

      Some very fresh wolf sign:

      And lots of fresh elk tracks around this pond:

      A Blue grouse in full strut on the way back to the truck:

      New BRKT Loveless Classic Drop Point, instantly my new favorite blade:

      Best public backyard a bowhuntin’ nature freak could hope for!

    • Raymond CoffmanRaymond Coffman
      Moderator
      Post count: 1035

      Smithhammer —

      Nice Knife, a true classic! I looked over the BRKT line –

      good selection. I am thinking of a fox river — fancy wood. I noticed they varied the way they make the different models. does one just order what he wants or find who is selling the variant one desires.

      Is that sheephorn on yours—?

      Scout.

    • Bruce Smithhammer
      Post count: 2514

      Scout – the BRKTs are “semi-custom” so they are only made in small quantities, and certain variations, depending on the model. A few dealers will do pre-orders if there is a certain configuration you’re looking for. All are handmade, and hand-ground, in MI. They are all convex ground, and the most impressive working knives I’ve ever used.

      Two dealers that tend to have the best selection are here and here.

      And yes, that’s sheep horn w/red liners on the Loveless. Here is a Canadian Special and Little Caper, both impala horn with red liners:

      and my favorite little EDC, the Mini-Canadian:

      And if you’re not familiar with sharpening convex blades (or even if you are), these videos are great:

      http://www.knivesshipfree.com/pages.php?pID=4&CDpath=0

    • Wexbow
      Post count: 403

      Beautiful scenes and a beautiful knife Smithie – life’s sweet at times 😀

    • Raymond CoffmanRaymond Coffman
      Moderator
      Post count: 1035

      Smithhammer –

      Thanks for the info and the show and tell — definitely going to pick one up. Familiar with the grind, but enjoyed the video.

      Too bad it wasn’t fall, that grouse looked in range–haha

      scout

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