Montana Outdoors

May 22, 2011

Wildflowers of spring (3)


Fairyslipper ~ Calypso Bulbosa 5/10

Pink Trillium

Pink Trillium 5/10

Large-flower Tritelia, Douglas Brodiaea

Large-flower Tritelia, Douglas Brodiaea

Large-flower Tritelia, Douglas Brodiaea ~ Triteleia grandiflora 5/16

Western Groundsel

Western Groundsel ~ Senecio integerrimus 5/16

Field Pussytoes

Field Pussytoes ~ Antennaria neglecta 5/16

Saskatoon (Serviceberry)

Saskatoon 5/16


May 21, 2011

Muddy water

Filed under: Montana — Tags: — montucky @ 9:19 pm

Muddy water

The Clark Fork of the Columbia river is about at its peak flow now and while it does spread out a lot that is normal for this time of year and not a flood problem. In an area of rapids not far from my house the water level is eight to ten feet higher at the moment than it is during late summer and winter. The photo does not quite show the proper perspective, but the river is a mile away and a thousand feet below the end of the meadow and the flowers.

May 20, 2011

Wildflowers of spring (2)


Kinnikinnik ~ Arctostaphylos uva-ursi – 5/6

Holboell's Rockcress

Holboell’s Rockcress ~ Arabis holboellii – 5/6

Blue clematis

Blue clematis ~ Clematis occidentalis – This is a vine and it climbs into the lower branches of nearby trees. The blossoms often look like bluebirds flying through the forest. – 5/10

Utah Honeysuckle

Utah Honeysuckle ~ Lonicera utahensis – 5/13

Heart-leaved Arnica bud

Heart-leaved Arnica bud ~ Arnica cordifolia – 5/13

Western Larch

Western Larch ~ Larix occidentalis – (Not a flower, just the beauty of new leaves on our deciduous conifer!) – 5/13

May 19, 2011

Wildflowers of spring (1)

Spring this year in western Montana has been/is anything but usual; very cold, damp, extremely heavy snow up high, and in most cases the wildflowers have been blooming about two weeks later than usual for each species and I have been trying to catch and post as many photos of them as I can. Because they are so small and precious and so often overlooked, yet so intricate, diverse and beautiful it seems that the least I can do is to try to give them a little attention. I’ll try to post a few each day with the date photographed and my best attempts at ID’s until I catch up (or we get the first snow of next winter).

Sticky Currant

Sticky Currant ~ Ribes viscosissimum ~ 4/22

Suksdorf's desert-parsley

Suksdorf’s desert-parsley ~ Lomatium suksdorfii ~ 4/22

Midget phlox

Midget phlox ~ phlox gracilis, Microsteris gracilis ~ 4/23

Early Blue Violet

Early Blue Violet

Early Blue Violet ~ Viola adunca ~ 5/4

Small Bluebells

Small Bluebells, Long-flowered Lungwort, Trumpet Bluebells ~ Mertensia longiflora ~ 5/4

Western Stickseed

Western Stickseed ~ Lappula redowskii ~ 5/5

May 18, 2011


Filed under: Wildflowers — Tags: , , , — montucky @ 9:00 pm

Common Camas, Blue Camas

Common Camas or Blue Camas ~ Camassia quamash

Meadow Death Camas

Meadow Death Camas ~ Zigadenus venenosus

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.

May 17, 2011

(Don’t tell him this, but he’s completely harmless!)

Filed under: Animals — Tags: , — montucky @ 9:40 pm

Last night after dinner, as happens nearly every evening, I was invited by my friend The Pointer to go out for a hike, an activity that she absolutely lives for. I grabbed a light pack, hung my camera from the shoulder strap and we headed the Jeep toward an old gated road in the National Forest just a few miles away.

By the time we arrived at the gate a small storm had swept down over the valley from the Coeur d’Alene mountains across the river and a moderate rain had begun to fall. When I checked my pack for rain gear and found the old black umbrella that I usually keep lashed to it for such occasions the thought came to me that hiking through the forest on the last day of spring bear hunting season under a black umbrella was probably not the greatest of ideas!

We then moved our hike to another area, one that was not open to hunting, and on the way found this pretty little fellow and moved him off the road and out of harm’s way, for which favor he posed for me, coiling nicely, vibrating the tip of his tail in his very best rattlesnake imitation, and hissing impressively. (He was a very pretty specimen!)

Bullsnake (Pituophis catenifer sayi)

Bullsnake ~ Pituophis catenifer sayi

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