It’s a beautiful summer in the Rattlesnake! And if you need an excuse to get up there this weekend, tomorrow is National Get Outdoors Day! (Really—who thinks of these “official” days anyway? We live in Montana, it’s always “Get Outdoors Day”!)
But seriously it is nice out. In the past two weeks I’ve had the pleasure of seeing 3 pretty orchids along the Woods Gulch and Spring Gulch trails within the Rattlesnake Recreation Area:
These are the Fairy Slipper (Calypso bulbosa), Mountain Lady’s-slipper, (Cypripedium montanum), and Striped Coralroot (Corallorhiza striata). Identifications were confirmed at the Montana Field Guide website , where you may be surprised by the number of MT native orchid species! I’ve seen a few of the other species from that page around western Montana but I don’t have any photos of them in the Rattlesnake—if you have other recent sightings and photos, feel free to email them and I’ll update this page.
By the way, you may have noticed RCWG’s absence from this website and other social media during the past few months—we’re still around but all-too-often distracted by various other endeavours. We’d be glad to have help on projects like monitoring the Lolo N.F.’s upcoming Marshall Woods restoration project, managing invasive plants like buckthorn, taking care of apples and other bear attractants in the valley, along with other projects that interest you. Drop us a line (when you get back from your hike).