Montana Outdoors

April 15, 2011

Pacific Trillium

Filed under: Wildflowers — Tags: , , , — montucky @ 10:07 pm

Pacific TrilliumPacific Trillium, Western White Trillium, Wakerobin, Trillium ovatum

The Trilliums have just begun to bloom at the lower end of Munson Creek here in western Montana and despite the cold, wet spring they are just about on their usual schedule. There were only several in full bloom today, so the choice of subjects to photograph in the light rain was limited. In a few days to a week they should be blooming a few miles further up the canyon and I’m hoping for at least a little sun when I make the hike up there for some better photos.

The creek has a good flow of water and there is plenty of snowpack far up the drainage to keep the stream well fed all summer.

Munson CreekMunson Creek



  1. Such clarity! That trillium photo is breathtaking.


    Comment by Roberta Warshaw — April 16, 2011 @ 5:34 am

    • Trilliums are much fun to photograph. They are the largest of our wildflowers here and in some locations grow in abundance, giving lots of opportunity for photos.


      Comment by montucky — April 16, 2011 @ 10:18 am

  2. Exquisitely beautiful capture of the trillium..and the creek looks wonderful in its spring run off. So much energy!!!


    Comment by Marcie — April 16, 2011 @ 6:03 am

    • I will likely post more trillium photos once they start to bloom higher up in the canyon. During the runoff from snow melt, the small streams are especially interesting. Unlike the large river which turn very muddy, the small streams stay crystal clear even though they are carrying mush more water than in late summer.


      Comment by montucky — April 16, 2011 @ 10:21 am

  3. Oh, so pretty. I love trilliums. I haven’t even seen any signs of the ones in our woods emerging yet. Interesting that your are so much farther ahead of ours. The creek is lovely with its mossy stones.


    Comment by kateri — April 16, 2011 @ 6:14 am

    • Most of the wildflowers haven’t begun to bloom yet here, being later than usual this year, but the trilliums are just about right on schedule. Perhaps that is because of the deep canyons where I find most of them are more sheltered from the vagaries of this year’s spring weather.


      Comment by montucky — April 16, 2011 @ 10:25 am

  4. Hi Montucky, Some lovely shots! I especially like your picture of the Trillium blossom with the drops of rain or dew. Have a super Saturday!


    Comment by wildlifewatcher — April 16, 2011 @ 8:09 am

    • I love photographing wildflowers in the rain if it isn’t raining too hard. The light is good then and the raindrops are pretty.


      Comment by montucky — April 16, 2011 @ 10:26 am

  5. Your close-ups of flowers remind me of the flower paintings of Georgia O’Keefe–the view of the flower as a bee or butterfly sees it.



    Comment by knightofswords — April 16, 2011 @ 10:44 am

    • I hadn’t thought of that, but now I will think of the way a bee might see a blossom when I look closely at one. What is designed to attract their eyes may also be something that attracts mine!


      Comment by montucky — April 16, 2011 @ 8:33 pm

  6. Wow Terry – your images get better and better. Beautiful flower – love the drops of water on it and that stream is so soft! Love it.


    Comment by Stacey Dawn — April 16, 2011 @ 11:56 am

    • Thank you Stacey! So far it seems that this year’s blossoms are larger and prettier than usual.


      Comment by montucky — April 16, 2011 @ 8:34 pm

  7. Terry:

    Given this year’s MT snow-pac, do you think the water source at Big Hole LO will be viable? Sure like to find that spring.



    Comment by Chad — April 16, 2011 @ 1:10 pm

    • It’s certainly possible, Chad. I have already noticed small streams flowing where they haven’t for several years and some ponds that have water in them again after having been dry in recent years. Big Hole still isn’t approachable yet though. There’s still a lot of snow up there. It will be something to look for next summer for sure!

      The other day I heard someone say that when he went over Lolo Pass (on Highway 12), because of the warm weather, the 8 ft. marker on the snow pole now can be seen.


      Comment by montucky — April 16, 2011 @ 8:39 pm

  8. The trilliums here are just barely poking their furled leaves up through the brown cottonwood leaves along our little creek. There used to be a lot of them, but the overpopulated whitetail deer are so hard on the tender forbs in my valley. If I hadn’t staked a chickenwire basket over my clump of trilliums – and over every pasqueflower I find – they would disappear…


    Comment by Kim — April 16, 2011 @ 6:06 pm

    • We are way over populated with White-tails in the valley areas here too. A week ago I hiked a five mile loop above some big hay fields and counted roughly well over 200 deer. There are deer in the smaller stream drainages too, but not huge numbers of them as there are in the valley. This next week I will visit my favorite trillium area and see what that looks like.


      Comment by montucky — April 16, 2011 @ 8:44 pm

  9. The trillium looks so clean and fresh. The water shot is spectacular. Yes… very good to see the flowers again!


    Comment by kcjewel — April 16, 2011 @ 8:37 pm

    • Yes, I would guess that blossom had been open only a day, so it is very fresh. There were many more around there that were just in the bud stage too.

      That’s a pretty little stream and has plenty of very cold water all year long. There are also some small trout in the lower reaches of it.


      Comment by montucky — April 16, 2011 @ 8:45 pm

  10. I love the way you shot the water, showing the rushing movement. The trillium looks beautiful with the raindrops.


    Comment by Candace — April 16, 2011 @ 10:43 pm

    • I like water shots, but as in this photo there is so much thick brush in the small canyons it is difficult to get a clear shot. A few miles further up stream, under the canopy of the cedars perhaps I can do better.


      Comment by montucky — April 17, 2011 @ 10:52 am

  11. I think the name “trillium” is just as beautiful as the flower.


    Comment by Tammy McLeod — April 17, 2011 @ 7:47 am

  12. What an absolutely gorgeous capture of the Trillium with drops. I just love the deep and rich colors. Also love the Munson Creek shot with the silky flow water.


    Comment by Anna — April 17, 2011 @ 7:12 pm

    • Trilliums have a special place in my heart I guess, even more than most other wildflowers.


      Comment by montucky — April 17, 2011 @ 8:10 pm

  13. looks like a lovely day’s hike….


    Comment by silken — April 17, 2011 @ 8:14 pm

    • It was. A little rain, but the forest was just beautiful.


      Comment by montucky — April 17, 2011 @ 9:54 pm

  14. Marvelous image of the Trillium… water droplets and all! And I love the ‘motion’ of the flowing water in Munson Creek.


    Comment by Victoria — April 18, 2011 @ 1:07 pm

    • there were only two in full bloom that day. The weather is supposed to be nice for Wednesday and I plan then to hike into a very pretty area to see more trilliums. Today they have fresh snow on them.


      Comment by montucky — April 18, 2011 @ 2:50 pm

  15. The trillium is another flower that changes color as it ages, at least “mine” turn pink after starting out white like yours.


    Comment by Kim — April 19, 2011 @ 9:47 pm

    • Yes, these will do that too. I always have to watch for it so I don’t miss out!


      Comment by montucky — April 20, 2011 @ 9:20 pm

  16. Terry, it’s been a long time since I’ve visited your blog–as ever, the photos are exceptional. It’s a soggy spring in the Hudson Valley–time to dust off my camera and get out for a hike…cheers and thanks for the inspiration and the breath of fresh air! S


    Comment by Sandra Wells — April 20, 2011 @ 5:29 am

    • It’s good to see you out and about again, Sandra! It has been pretty soggy here too, and cold, but the spirit of spring is starting to overcome the vagaries of the weather.


      Comment by montucky — April 20, 2011 @ 9:22 pm

  17. The creek seems to be wild and in You photo is so inviting.

    Trillium is really very beautiful and we do not have it in our garden. On some Finnish site I found “Trillium erectum” with photo.


    Comment by sartenada — April 22, 2011 @ 1:24 am

    • The plants must be related, but I have not ever seen that one. these will turn pink at maturity, just before they are through blooming.

      The stream is very wild and the water is ice cold even in summer.


      Comment by montucky — April 22, 2011 @ 11:12 pm

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