Montana Outdoors

April 7, 2009

It has begun

Spring around here starts off not only the wildflower season, but another season as well; the wildfire season. This afternoon we responded to the first wildland fire of this year. We haven’t received our usual amount of spring rain and the woods are already very dry: it looks like it will be a long, long summer if we don’t get more rain!

Before the fire call came though I was able to find a few wildflowers. The Buttercups have been out for over a month and now just seem to cover the ground in places. Yellowbells have also been out for a while now and have become more numerous too. (They are a western wildflower and grow only in eleven western states.) Fritillaria pudica

Yellowbell, Goldcup, Fritillaria pudica

Yellowbell, Goldcup

Another tiny western flower, the Woodland Star, began to bloom only in the past few days.

Bulbous woodland-star, lithophragma glabrum

Woodland Star

Since I greatly prefer the wildflowers, I am hoping for a lot more rain!

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20 Comments »

  1. That Yellowbell, Fritillaria pudica, is just about the prettiest thing I have seen all week long. I hope you get a lot more rain too. Wildflowers are simply the best!

    Comment by Tabbie — April 7, 2009 @ 11:45 pm

    • THe yellowbells are, to me, a more significant sign that spring is really here than any other flower.

      Comment by montucky — April 8, 2009 @ 8:03 am

  2. They are beautiful! And,…. we have snow this a.m. Grrrrr…. I need sun and warm and wildflowers here too. Your photos couldn’t have been posted at a better time! My favorite is the woodland-star. Thanks for a breath of spring!

    Comment by Cedar — April 8, 2009 @ 4:39 am

    • Haven’t you had your share of snow already? It’s so good to see some sun and temperatures in the 60′s! (I know we’ll have a snow storm or two yet though too.)

      Comment by montucky — April 8, 2009 @ 8:05 am

  3. we too have not had enough rain this year.

    our wildflowers have been out about a month now, though most of them I call “weeds”!

    Comment by silken — April 8, 2009 @ 10:41 am

    • One of my friends had a clear distinction between weeds and other plants: if they had blossoms they were wildflowers.

      You’ve had quite a bit of warm weather from what I’ve seen.

      Comment by montucky — April 8, 2009 @ 4:45 pm

  4. These are simply beautiful photos (and wildflowers) Montucky. Can’t believe that you need to worry about fires after all that snow!

    Comment by connie — April 8, 2009 @ 5:01 pm

    • Thank you Connie! The snow helps a lot at the higher elevations, but the frequency of rains is what controls the wildfire conditions near the valley.

      Comment by montucky — April 8, 2009 @ 7:19 pm

  5. They’re both very nice, Terry but I really like that Yellowbell. Keep those fires away and enjoy the wildflowers! I look forward to seeing more from the west.

    Comment by edvatza — April 8, 2009 @ 5:08 pm

    • Thanks Ed. I’m really looking forward to more of the flowers coming out and seeing the ones in your area!

      Comment by montucky — April 8, 2009 @ 7:21 pm

  6. Oh, the Yellowbell Goldcup is pretty! Lovely captures. :)

    I so love the wildflowers when they bloom. So far, I haven’t seen any wildflowers here in our area of Kansas. The hills have been ablaze but not from wildfires, controlled burning. After the burns of April, the wildflowers push through and bloom.

    Comment by Anna Surface — April 8, 2009 @ 6:04 pm

    • That’s interesting, flowers coming through the burned areas. After fires here it is usually the following year before flowers return.

      Comment by montucky — April 8, 2009 @ 7:23 pm

  7. montucky, I share your concern about wildfires. Maybe just maybe this summer will be as nice as last summer in Montana!

    Comment by Maureen — April 8, 2009 @ 6:18 pm

    • I sure hope so, Maureen, but it doesn’t look good at the moment. We were very lucky to get on the one last night when we did: it was set to really take off and there were houses not far from it too.

      One of the really big problems here now is the large number of trees that have been killed by the beetle infestation. Once a fire gets started in that kind of stuff it really burns.

      Comment by montucky — April 8, 2009 @ 7:27 pm

  8. Both are lovely flowers. We have Woodland Stars here, but ours are always pure white; a different species in the same genus: Lithophragma heterophyllum

    Comment by Adam R. Paul — April 9, 2009 @ 8:20 am

    • Interesting that you have only the white. We have both, but the pink seem to grow a tiny bit larger and maybe a week later.

      Comment by montucky — April 9, 2009 @ 8:39 am

  9. Gorgeous capture of yellowbell

    Comment by Robert Burcul — April 9, 2009 @ 8:43 am

  10. Lovely images Terry, I really like the Goldcup, well done !!

    Comment by Bernie Kasper — April 10, 2009 @ 9:10 pm

    • I just love that flower. This is the first time that I’ve been able to get a shot at that angle: it stands only about 3 inches tall.

      Comment by montucky — April 10, 2009 @ 9:47 pm


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