OUR FIRST NIGHT IN MONTANA was spent along the Kootenai River at the USFS Yak Campground. There is a campground on each side of the Yaak where it meets the Kootenai. We left Seattle at 10:00 a.m. on 8/16 and arrived at our campground at 6:15 p.m. (MDT). Just before arriving at this CG we were looking for another one that showed on our map but all we could find at this location was a group of turkeys!

Since this blog is ostensibly about botanical things, I spotted this perfect seedhead (tragopogon lamottei?),–not yet identified with certainty– a globe of fairies waiting to lift off.

A Sunny little patch of gallardia pinnifolia (I think) along the riverbank.

Day two,east toward Libby, MT and a stop at Kootenai Falls, a majestic drop of waterfalls along the Kootenai River. Unlike any other waterfalls we’ve seen in our travels. To get a sense of the power and breadth I’m including the following series of photographs.We had the place to ourselves this time for about an hour. The rush of water through here is incredible!

The ‘top end’ of the falls

The ‘bottom end’ as the river flows northeast on its way to Lake Pend Oreille in Idaho. It is a fabulous stop that we could never tire of seeing.

On day three we made the west entrance to Glacier NP and by 1:00 p.m. we were at Bowman Lake CG, thirty miles north of the west entrance. A beautiful six mile long mountain lake between Numa and Cerulean ridges and six mountain peaks that overlook the lake. This beautifully located campground was never full in the four nights we stayed. The lake was the perfect spot to camp for several days and try out our inflatable tandem kayak and take some short hikes.

Beautiful Bowman Lake.

The best way to collect rocks in a national park–photographs! A lot of red rock here and in Lake McDonald at the west entrance.

On a hike along the lake we spotted the following butterflies, beetles,  assorted wildflowers, and plants.

A Blue Copper butterfly.

Coronis frittilary, I think.

And a Green Comma. A good site for identification of things living is DiscoverLife.

This is spirea pyrimidata with a checkered beetle and a mating pair flower longhorn beetles. Many thanks to the Bugman at Whats’sThatBug for helping me to identify the beetles! (See link at right)

There was so much to see here and great opportunities for seeing what is still wild and untrammeled. So let’s break here before continuing on to the Going-to-the-Sun-Road and parts east and south and another slew of photos to scroll through.

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