Montana Outdoors

June 1, 2008

…and the rain that makes them grow…

A brief spring rain sweeps north over the peaks across from Munson Creek

Peaks of the Coeur d'ALenes

and waters the tolmie star-tulips that make their homes there.

Tolmie star-tulip

Tolmie star-tulip

Tolmie star-tulip


  1. The star tulips are fascinating – so intricate.


    Comment by Bo — June 1, 2008 @ 8:20 pm

  2. They are! They swept me away this afternoon: I brought back over 60 photos from Munson Creek, each of a different blossom and the varieties are incredible!


    Comment by montucky — June 1, 2008 @ 8:34 pm

  3. very pretty.

    I took some photos this morning too. I posted them at “each new day”. they are not going to be the kind you like to see…


    Comment by silken — June 1, 2008 @ 8:57 pm

  4. You’re right, silken, they’re not something I like to see. I hope everyone will visit Each New Day and read posts “sign of the times” and “another treeless area” especially!

    (For those not familiar, silken’s home is in Texas which is, of course, our second largest state, with 266,807 square miles of area. Of those, only 6 square miles are roadless. By way of comparison, consider Idaho, the 13th largest state. It has only 83,564 square miles of area but 14,558 square miles of roadless area.)


    Comment by montucky — June 1, 2008 @ 9:34 pm

  5. Beautiful shots I just cannot get past how “hairy” it looks like inside this little blossom. Brilliant that you so easily capture it and offer it up for our viewing pleasure! Interpretation? wicked cool shots Terry!


    Comment by aullori — June 1, 2008 @ 9:55 pm

  6. Thanks, Lori. I think these little tulips are just awesome. I plan to post a bunch more photos to show the variations. Of the 60 photos I took today, no two blossoms were exactly the same. When you have a camera in your hand, they drive you completely crazy.


    Comment by montucky — June 1, 2008 @ 10:07 pm

  7. Well it looks as if that rain finally hit. Are you excited about the upcoming primary in your state (or is it a caucus).


    Comment by scienceguy288 — June 2, 2008 @ 7:33 am

  8. Those Star Tulips are worth the hike. Boy, aren’t you glad you’re using a digital camera and not going through dozens of rolls of Kodachrome or Ektachrome every day!



    Comment by knightofswords — June 2, 2008 @ 10:33 am

  9. Scienceguy,

    We had rain again last night and I’m elated! So far the rain has at least postponed the wildfire season.

    The primary in Montana this time is a complete farce. The Republicans took away the right to vote in that they did a closed caucus by the party elites and gave the delegates to Romney two days before he withdrew. Both Clinton and Obama have demonstrated new meanings for the words “sham” and “farce”, changing their stands on a number of issues to appeal to the “country bumpkins” around here.

    Obama has the state Dem vote tied up for what little it’s worth and the general election here will go to McCain, mainly for the same reason that made Will Rogers once say “I belong to no organized political party. I’m a Democrat”.


    Comment by montucky — June 2, 2008 @ 10:40 am

  10. thanks for stopping by montucky. those stats are pretty telling! SIX sq miles, wow! weird that TX is like that, I think…


    Comment by silken — June 2, 2008 @ 10:49 am

  11. Malcolm,

    I’d hike 30 miles to get the chance to see those tulips! I still find it ironic that so few ever get out to see these wildflowers, even though it’s so easy here. I can ride the Wing to Munson Creek and even at today’s prices, the gas for that trip costs less than a dollar, there’s no admission fee, the hiking’s free and saves paying a monthly charge to use a gym for exercise. Add to that the beauty of the flowers and the country around them.

    Yes, thank goodness for digital! There’s no way I could afford to use film for all the shots I want to take. It’s not uncommon for me to bring back over a hundred photos from an all-day hike. Also, the instant feedback that digital gives makes a huge difference in learning how to take pictures.


    Comment by montucky — June 2, 2008 @ 10:50 am

  12. Silken,

    That’s why I’m personally so concerned about losing the wild country up here. We know it can happen, and as your photo of the sign points out, there’s no recovering once it happens. We need so much natural wild country to provide breathable air and usable water in order to survive on this planet and I’m concerned that maybe we have already destroyed too much of it.


    Comment by montucky — June 2, 2008 @ 10:54 am

  13. already destroyed too much of it…and on a rapid pace to keep doing so.

    Last night I went out to get some medicine for my daughter. It was just getting dark and when I came down our street I saw something in the sewer drain…RACOONS! I could not believe it. They then were getting into folks’ trash. My husband asked why there were RACOONS in the neighborhood. I said it probably has something to do w/ all the new construction and they have nowhere to go….


    Comment by silken — June 3, 2008 @ 7:07 am

  14. That’s really sad, but also raccoons are very adept scroungers and will often voluntarily visit urban settings for food. We have to be forcing a lot of wildlife out of their normal habitat when we pave it over. Sometimes they have the option of moving further back into the natural country but other times I’m sure they simply have no other place to go.


    Comment by montucky — June 3, 2008 @ 5:52 pm

  15. Lovely photos – we have a similar flower to your Tolmie “Star tulip,” which isn’t a very good name, as it’s not a tulip at all, but rather a lily, but such is life with the common names of flowers 🙂 So far every flower I’ve seen in the Calochortus genus is absolutely gorgeous, and this one is no exception! There’s even a flickr group for Calochortus admirers:


    Comment by Adam R. Paul — June 4, 2008 @ 9:55 am

  16. Thanks for that link! I’ll visit their group!


    Comment by montucky — June 4, 2008 @ 12:53 pm

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