Sunday, June 6, 2021

Mosaic Monday #134: Montana Spring Hiking

Around our house, the snow has long since fed the roots of trees and plants, and the ice left the lake mid-April.  The sun caressing my arms and the green brightening the hillsides brings on the itch to go to the mountains and HIKE!  Of course, with three years of Montana hiking notched in our belts, we know that even in early June, snow can still be deep at higher elevations.   So, we consult my hiking journal, pore over our maps, and manage our expectations of what we may find!  In this post, I will feature photos from four hikes, all completed in May or early June, including our latest adventure on Thursday of this week.  Enjoy!

On June 7, 2018, we were joined by the couple who built our house.  It was a unique day because we racked up not one but TWO hikes.  The first, to Stanton Lake, is a short four miles out and back with minimal elevation gain.  The outstanding feature of this lake is the view of Great Northern Mountain at the west end.

As I noted in my journal - "lake was very calm - great for reflections."  The picture below was taken looking to the east, toward Glacier National Park.

I also wrote that "mosquitoes were troublesome when standing still", which may explain why there were no other photos from this hike!

Next, we went to Marion Lake, 6 miles out and back.  On the lower part of the trail, trillium, spring beauty, and stream violets were blooming.  

Further up, the ground was deep in snow; we estimated up to six feet based on the tree wells (the space around a tree under its branches that does not get the same amount of snow as the surrounding open space). Although the trail was undiscernible, we made our way successfully to the lake because we had hiked this trail before in October 2017!   Only the outlet to the lake flowed free of ice.

On May 17, 2021, Spousal Unit and I repeated the Stanton Lake hike - we knew the lake would be open so that he could fish.  I brought reading material and a fold-up camp chair - we both would be happy!!!  And there were no mosquitoes.  Maybe I had more time to take photos - hence more flowers - or maybe timing our hike three weeks earlier meant these flowers were in bloom.  Whatever - I was thrilled to see my absolute favorite plant - the Fairy Slipper (Calypso) Orchid!

And the reflections were still as good!

On May 23, 2019, we explored a trio of lakes.  This is now one of my favorite places to go for a getaway; three unique lakes in 5 miles with only 1200 feet of elevation gain (in fact, I wrote about another visit to these lakes on October 1, 2020 in this post).  As you will see, the lakes are free of ice and snow early in the season, and Finger Lake in particular has good fishing, too!  Many flowers were in full bloom.  What more could a couple want?  

Finger Lake has a dramatic rocky outcropping which makes a great snack spot/overlook.  Serviceberry was prolific.

The trail to Hole in the Wall, the third lake, leads through a marshy area, and thankfully a log boardwalk was built in 2015 to get over it with dry feet.  As you approach, you can detect a skunk aroma emanating from the abundant skunk cabbage in the marsh.  

And now to our latest hiking adventure, Bramlet Lake in the Cabinet Mountains!  Yes, there was snow, and maybe a little bit of ice.  And maybe Man with Hat did not get to fish -- but we saw no-one, and we were in the mountains, living our dream.  It doesn't get any better than that!

Welcome to Mosaic Monday, a weekly meme where we get together to share our photo mosaics and collages.
Please include at least one photo mosaic/collage in your post.
The link will be open from 1 p.m. Sunday until 11 p.m. Tuesday (U.S. Mountain time).
Remember to add the link to your Mosaic Monday post and not the one to your blog.
Please link back to this post so that your readers will be able to visit and enjoy more wonderful mosaics; taking the MM blog button from my sidebar is an easy way to link back.
As host I will visit every participant and leave a comment so that you know I stopped by.
Please try and visit as many other blogs as you can, especially those that join in later, so that everyone's creativity can be appreciated fully.
Thank you for joining in today and sharing your mosaics with us. 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter


  1. The pictures are amazing! I like the lake covered with ice and snow. Walking in snow is always special adventure, but it could be dangerous, too.

  2. interesting hike, spring when started and winter later on. :) And so much beauty around you to enjoy. :)

  3. We're always amazed at the beauty...and a wee bit jealous too!

  4. I so enjoy seeing the plants, flowers and views on your hikes, that little purple orchid is beautiful.

  5. Good Morning, Angie, and yes... I enjoyed {with my Coffee on the table ☕} very much your different description of your hikes. I wished I could do this. It's a treasure being in the nature, walking around this wonderful Country. Thank you for sharing your notices and the fantastisc captures.

    But I understood the sorrow behind your post belong to the snow. It could be dangerous ...maybe.

    Have a good week, best wishes from Augsburg

  6. Hello Angie,
    These all sounds like wonderful hikes. The views of the lakes and mountains are lovely. Gorgeous spring flowers, I love the Fairy Slippers. Beautiful series of photos and mosaics. Take care, have a happy day and a great week ahead.

  7. Pretty nature shots. I like the floral mosaics.

  8. Marvellous photos from the hike in such delightful countryside, Angie! You are lucky to be able to visit such places. We were planning to go away, but unfortunately we've entered another lockdown (No 4!) in Melbourne, which means no venturing further than 10 km away from home and then only for very specific reasons (hiking is not one of them!).

  9. That is a wonderful hike. I like that you were 'itching' to go. We need bug spray or full netting around here.

  10. Marvelous trips, dear Angie! I love hiking in lake areas. True, sometimes there are a lot of mosquitos, but the landscape is wonderful - and even more wonderful that it is reflected in the water! <3
    Hugs from Austria,

  11. That's such big beautiful scenes! I know you are happy for hiking weather. Here...our hikes are tapering off for the hot months. Love that lady slipper!

  12. You got some great hikes in over the years. I perked up on your mention of service berries. We have those down here in Oklahoma.
    Great photos, especially love the reflections.

  13. ...I'm a bit behind this week, I'm in the woods getting bitten by the bugs. Thanks Angie for hosting.

  14. I'm behind this week too. We had a public holiday here yesterday. Spring is the most wonderful time to go hiking. I always keep notes to refer to and remind me of where we went and when is the best time and what we saw. Happy hiking! Enjoy your week and thank you again for the link up.

  15. Thanks for sharing your hikes. We have lady's slippers here but not fairy slippers.

  16. Dear Angie - Fantastic hikes, welcomed by the wild flowers in season and seeing reflections on the lake. I’d like to walk that boardwalk on the marsh which is reflecting the blue skies. Mosquitoes are nuisance indeed. When I walk in the mountains I wear a thin jacket with UV protection and insects repellant. Talking of “skunk cabbage” (mizubasho in Japanese), or Lysichiton camtschatcensis Schott, doesn’t smell unpleasant but even sweet. I’ve wondered why they are skunk cabbage in English as they are called "white fairies in the marsh" in my country. I found Lysichiton americanus (American skunk cabbage) has different features including smell.


  17. Hi Angie,
    Wonderful hikes. The lakes are hiked to are so beautiful.
    It looks so serene and peaceful. Ah…
    I absolutely love the wildflowers.
    Thank you for hosting.

  18. It's so good to see you hiking again, Angie and enjoying all that amazing scenery. Just spectacular! Love all those pretty little flowers, too.

  19. I see why the Farie Slipper is a favorite of yours. Springtime is so special. Too bad about those pesky mosquitoes. Beautiful reflections! Hope this week is going well.

  20. It's always a good thing when hiking season rolls around again. You live in such a great area for it. The Fairy Slipper is magical!

  21. The fresh air is palpable. Such lovely lakes. Healthy enough to hike and living your dream. Really nothing could be better than that!

  22. Perfect shots, the water is beautiful, and the flowers are tremendous Angie.

  23. There's one thing for sure Angie. You will never run short of places to hike ans scenes to shoot. Your reflections are beautiful and of course the Fairy's Slipper. I'm not if we have that one here but we do have Lady's Slipper that I once saw in Silverdale, but nowadays their locations have to be kept quiet in case of theft and the pressure of too many footsteps.

  24. Beautiful photos of an amazing landscape. You are "living your dream" Angie, good for you.

  25. Hi Angie :) Everything looks so beautiful there! I love that boardwalk along the marsh! I really hope to be back participating in your mosaic party soon! xx

  26. Such beautiful photographs you've shared.
    The landscape is glorious.

    All the best Jan

  27. Absolutely gorgeous! How I miss hiking and nature. We've had nothing but dust and sandstorms for a week now. My CO boy did a 42 mile backpacking trip with a friend a couple of weeks ago. They hit an ice patch not too far in and when warning the other to be careful, they both slipped which resulted in a gimpy knee for one and a dislocated finger for the other (my son). yikes! Thankfully they were able to keep going.