Montana Outdoors

April 29, 2011

Balsamorhiza sagittata

Filed under: Wildflowers — Tags: , — montucky @ 2:17 pm

Soon the lower to mid-level elevation mountainsides in Montana will be brightly colored with the large bright flowers of Arrow-leaved Balsamroot. All parts of this large plant are edible and were a very important food source for the Indian peoples who were also native to this area. Their bloom is not wide-spread yet this spring, but some flowers are starting to show up in a few sheltered, warmer locations: the one in the photo is growing on the Flathead Reservation along the lower Flathead River.

This member of the sunflower family is well-named, with its arrowhead shaped leaves and roots that have the aroma of balsam pitch.

Arrow-leaved Balsamroot

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April 27, 2011

They come in white, too.

White Shooting Star

Shooting star, Few-Flowered Shooting Star

Shooting star, Few-Flowered Shooting Star ~ Dodecatheon pulchellum

White Shooting Star

April 25, 2011

Spring Beauties and Stork’s Bills

Western Spring beauty

Western Spring Beauty ~ Claytonia lanceolata

Western Spring beauty

Redstem Stork's Bill, Common Stork's Bill

Redstem Stork’s Bill, Common Stork’s Bill ~ Erodium cicutarium

Redstem Stork's Bill

April 24, 2011

Two wildflowers and, well…

Shepherd's Purse

Shepherd’s Purse ~ Capsella bursa-pastoris

Oregon Grape, Hollyleaved Barberry

Oregon Grape, Hollyleaved Barberry ~  Mahonia aquifolium

Well,...

Well…

April 23, 2011

Trillium buds

Filed under: Wildflowers — Tags: , , , — montucky @ 12:05 am

As far as I’m concerned, with trilliums no number of photos is ever enough.

Trillium bud

Trillium bud

Trillium bud

Trillium bud

Trillium bud

April 20, 2011

A little red leaf

Filed under: Inspiration — montucky @ 9:45 pm

This is characteristically the time for the trilliums to be in full bloom along the Munson Creek trail in the TeePee/Spring Creek roadless area here in western Montana. The trail is a beautiful one that climbs steeply up the side of a wild canyon full of rushing water and thick undergrowth, then levels out for awhile to become the quiet companion of a musical little stream that bubbles along in the deep shade of tall cedars before it resumes it’s steep climb to Big Hole Peak.

There is always a small bloom not far from the trail head, but a much larger one a thousand feet higher, two miles up the trail. Today the ones down low were in full bloom, but the ones up higher were still a week or two away from their peak.

Since the bloom up high was just beginning, I took some rather strange and (hopefully) interesting photos of the trillium buds that I will post a little later. Today however I was captivated by this single small twig of an Oregon Grape. Isn’t it interesting how such a simple little thing can sometimes steal the whole show!

Oregon Grape leaf

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