Common or Blue Camas was an important food source for Indian tribes in the west and many Indian wars were fought over collecting rights to certain camas meadows.
Meadow Death Camas is a highly poisonous perennial herb. Serious losses can occur to stock grazing in meadows where it is common. Several Indian tribes used the mashed bulbs as arrow poison.
The problem is that the bulbs of the two species are visually nearly identical. I don’t like to think about how the early Indians learned which was edible and which was lethal, but they did and therefore harvested the bulbs of the Blue Camas only while it was in bloom.
Thanks Annie! Interchangeable lenses are both a blessing and a curse. It seems that I always have the wrong one on the camera and they also get heavy: my camera and three lenses adds 7 pounds to my pack. I do like the image quality they produce though and the telephoto really helps with wildlife photos: I often want a stronger one, but that’s where I draw the line on weight. Couldn’t afford it anyway.
Thank you. I have a special love for the wild country and wildflowers especially because they seem to be indicators of the health of those places. It makes me happy knowing that other folks enjoy seeing them too and knowing that they exist.
I’ve missed my visits to your blog… besides the house being in an uproar, I lost internet service at the end of the week last week and was then out of town for two days (took my laptop thinking I’d visit blogs but forgot the power cord!)…
Excuses done… (or is it a reason)… I am now here to tell you that the Camas are lovely! (the bull snake is a cutie pie, I’d have moved him too as I’ve no fear of snakes UNLESS they are the poisonous kind)
Lost internet service! I thought that happened only out here on the frontier! LOL! I’m rather partial to the blue Camas. For some reason those blossoms really appeal to me probably because I’ve seen them completely cover very large meadows.
If you drive Hwy 200 through the Blackfoot Valley at just the right time, you can see several of these blue meadows that present a mirage of sorts: they look exactly like standing water reflecting the sky.