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Spring Wildflowers

Spring Wildflowers

Ellen Horowitz, B.S. 

“I held a blue flower in my hand, probably a wild aster, wondering what its name was, and then thought that human names for natural things are superfluous. Nature herself does not name them. The important thing is to know this flower, look at its color or until the blueness becomes as real as a keynote of music. Look at the exquisite yellow flowerets in the center, become very small with them. Be the flower, be the trees, the blowing grasses.” - Sally Carrighar

June is the ideal month to observe the blooms of the prairies and foothills. Anyone who delights in wildflowers will be thrilled with the dozens of flower species growing along the rocky mountain front this time of year. With magnifying glasses in hand, we’ll “get to know” some of these plants by viewing them up close. We’ll also study variations in the landscape--from lush meadows to rocky ridges--and how microclimates influence where plants grow.

Meeting Place:  Glacier Park Field Camp Meeting Hall (see campus map).

Itinerary: Following introductions of participants, a slide show will demonstrate the basics of flower identification. From Field Camp we’ll drive to the Firebrand Pass Trail and spend the day amidst wildflowers. We will return to Field Camp by approximately 4:30 PM. This course will not be cancelled due to weather.

Food:  Students are responsible for their own meals.  Please bring a sack lunch and ample snacks.

Required Equipment (all seasons): Warm Layers 

Course Equipment: Bring a magnifying glass if you have one, or we will provide small field lenses. Wildflower field guides, field journal, and binoculars are also helpful.

Physical Requirements: Easy-Moderate. Hiking distance covers less than two miles with less than 500 feet elevation gain.

Transportation: We will be traveling in a Glacier Institute vehicle.

Recommended Reading:

Prairie Wildflowers by Dee Strickler

Plants of the Rocky Mountains by Linda Kershaw, Andy MacKinnon and Jim Pojar

Wildflowers of Glacier National Park by Shannon Fitzpatrick Kimball and Peter Lesica.