Montana Outdoors

November 30, 2011

Thinking of June

Filed under: Wildflowers — Tags: , — montucky @ 10:52 pm


Bitterroot, Lewisia rediviva



  1. Is this ever beautiful!! It will be!


    Comment by Roberta — December 1, 2011 @ 12:39 am

  2. wow…I do not have the words to say what I elt when I saw such a beautiful flower…
    I’m still…enjoying this beauty!

    Thank You!



    Comment by Blueshell — December 1, 2011 @ 2:33 am

    • Thank you for visiting, Blueshell! I’m pleased that you enjoyed the photo. This flower grows only in the far western part of the United States and the far west of Canada. Besides the beautiful blossoms, is roots are a traditional food of the native people of this area.


      Comment by montucky — December 1, 2011 @ 10:34 pm

  3. Beautiful. The sky was almost this “bitterroot color” in the late afternoon here recently. Best wishes from Wisconsin, Ellen


    Comment by Ellen Grace Olinger — December 1, 2011 @ 6:48 am

    • I can imagine how beautiful a sky of this color would be. Very delicate, but haunting.


      Comment by montucky — December 1, 2011 @ 10:35 pm

  4. Gorgeous! I’m thinking of/wishing for June already!


    Comment by Barbara — December 1, 2011 @ 10:54 am

    • I have fond memories of June and will enjoy it when it comes again. I’m also looking forward to the real part of winter when it finally arrives and then the wonder of the new life that begins in spring.


      Comment by montucky — December 1, 2011 @ 10:43 pm

  5. Thanks, Montucky, for brightening up the drab season with that.


    Comment by Kim — December 1, 2011 @ 11:48 am

    • I think that’s a good reason for photography. The memories and expectations are always there, but an image is good too.


      Comment by montucky — December 1, 2011 @ 10:45 pm

  6. You know, the seed catalogs are coming in now. I will bet a lot of us are thinking of flowers.


    Comment by sandy — December 1, 2011 @ 3:45 pm

    • I haven’t seen the seed catalogs yet here, but our planting time is quite late. Everyone’s attention here is on winter and the opening of the ski areas.


      Comment by montucky — December 1, 2011 @ 10:47 pm

  7. June?? What?? Are you tired of the snow already? 😉


    Comment by TheDailyClick — December 1, 2011 @ 4:11 pm

    • No, not tired of winter yet. It really hasn’t gotten started here, but I will welcome it when it comes. I love the snow; not so much the sub-zero temperatures when they come – next week I’m told.


      Comment by montucky — December 1, 2011 @ 10:48 pm

  8. Looks like a star! Beautiful!


    Comment by Stacey Dawn — December 1, 2011 @ 4:27 pm

    • I think it one of the very prettiest blossoms. They used to be very plentiful in this part of the country, now not nearly so: development has taken over many of the meadows and fields in which they grew.


      Comment by montucky — December 1, 2011 @ 10:50 pm

  9. How curious – it looks like a Waterlily! 🙂


    Comment by Val — December 1, 2011 @ 7:39 pm

    • It does look similar, doesn’t it. This plant grows in quite arid, barren looking prairies and grows flat to the ground.


      Comment by montucky — December 1, 2011 @ 10:52 pm

  10. The lighting is so pretty in that photo. Oh-oh, bad sign if you’re wishing for June already.


    Comment by Candace — December 1, 2011 @ 8:53 pm

    • Not really wishing for it, but remembering it fondly. I thoroughly enjoy having the four distinct seasons, each for its own fascinating attributes.


      Comment by montucky — December 1, 2011 @ 10:53 pm

  11. So beautifuln not only the flower, but Your photo also. I find it so nice to make us to remember that there is a season called summer also. I guess that You have noticed that in my photos too. 🙂


    Comment by sartenada — December 2, 2011 @ 12:16 am

    • A nice thing about photos is that we can look back at the beauty from other seasons and other years.


      Comment by montucky — December 2, 2011 @ 10:26 am

  12. Stunning clarity!


    Comment by stuaato — December 2, 2011 @ 2:53 am

    • That was taken on a stormy day that had a brief period of sun which made the flowers just stand out.


      Comment by montucky — December 2, 2011 @ 10:27 am

  13. quickly we forget the beauty and color of summer!


    Comment by Marcie — December 2, 2011 @ 7:08 am

    • Yes, we do tend to focus on the present. I really like the distinct season that we have here though.


      Comment by montucky — December 2, 2011 @ 10:29 am

  14. Hi Montucky, How sweet and pretty! The pictures you take of flowers tend to be just beautiful! Have a great Friday today!


    Comment by wildlifewatcher — December 2, 2011 @ 10:46 am

  15. I had no idea the Bitterroot Range was named for such a beauty! And it’s the state flower of Montana? I found a very nice little video with a good bit of information about it. It’s a fascinating plant, and the story of how it got its name is terrific. Your photo far outshines anything in the videos, though!


    Comment by shoreacres — December 2, 2011 @ 9:23 pm

    • It has always been an important plant to the Indian tribes in this area, and every spring there is a traditional dinner serving bitterroots held on the Flathead reservation just a few miles from here. When I was a kid growing up in Missoula in the mid 40’s, at the south edge of town, a mile or so from our house there were fields full of bitterroots and every spring Indians would come from all over western Montana and set up camps there to harvest the roots. Some folks were distrustful of the Indians and somewhat fearful of them, but as a kid I had no pre-conceived ideas of such things and found them to be friendly and honest and I visited their camps and helped them look for the plants. It was always a highlight of my spring.


      Comment by montucky — December 3, 2011 @ 10:11 am

  16. Beautiful photograph. I cannot yet think of June, winter hasn’t officially arrived. Way too much to enjoy in the immediate future. When summer arrives I’ll be there, but not too far ahead of time. Still, in the very back of my mind I relish the idea of fishing for bass on a quiet, warm lake.


    Comment by Wild_Bill — December 3, 2011 @ 6:06 am

    • Here we are now in between fall and winter, neither really dominating. We have had several snows, but none remains on the ground in the valleys. I am very much looking forward to the snow season starting. By the end of January, I will start longing for spring. Strange as it may seem, I know of a place where the first buttercups start blooming in early February (last year I got my first photos of them on Feb. 5th).


      Comment by montucky — December 3, 2011 @ 10:21 am

  17. A very pretty and delicate flower …
    I think if I start looking forward to the early spring and summer blossums now, I will go insane. I still have at least 4-5 months of snow and cold to get through ..I am already trying hard to find the joy and beauty of the snowy world I live in. There is a lot of beauty and fun out there .. it just lasts too long and is too extreme at times.


    Comment by bearyweather — December 3, 2011 @ 11:24 am

    • We have about the same winter climate as you do I think and I agree that a couple fewer winter months would be more enjoyable. We do need the snow and ice that forms in the mountains though and I always hope the snow piles up deep up there.Lat winter here was very good in that respect, and our streams showed it during the summer. Now if the exploiters would stop destroying the remaining watershed!


      Comment by montucky — December 4, 2011 @ 11:15 am

  18. I don’t recall seeing a picture of this flower before. I googled it to see what the leaves looked like. The plant and flower looks so exotic–like something you would expect to see in dessert. It has such a rich history. Pretty neat that you helped the Native Americas gather the roots when you were a boy.


    Comment by kateri — December 3, 2011 @ 12:24 pm

    • Yes it does indeed resemble the desert plants. Actually, the places where it is found are quite arid. Most people think that Montana gets a lot of precipitation and it does in the mountains, but it actually ranks 45 in all of the states in annual precipitation with a statewide average of only 15 inches of rain a year. I’ve seen most bitterroots in areas of about 12 inches a year.


      Comment by montucky — December 4, 2011 @ 11:23 am

  19. Ahhh, June, did June ever really exist? Or did we just dream that it existed? I suppose your flower proves that it did happen…sometime…


    Comment by Kathy — December 3, 2011 @ 1:08 pm

    • Between now and February, summer seems like it’s a long time away!


      Comment by montucky — December 4, 2011 @ 11:24 am

  20. Taken in June or somehow this one escaped the December that we’re having?


    Comment by Tammy — December 3, 2011 @ 3:16 pm

    • Taken in June. Development has reduced the numbers of the plant so much that it has been years since I have even seen one. I found an area that still has quite a few last June and took lots of photos!


      Comment by montucky — December 4, 2011 @ 11:26 am

  21. As quickly as time passes it will be here before you know it. Love the photo!


    Comment by kcjewel — December 3, 2011 @ 8:33 pm

    • Time will pass more quickly for me when we get into our real winter. So far it hasn’t done much but get cold and brown.


      Comment by montucky — December 4, 2011 @ 11:27 am

  22. pretty in purple, and June is more to my liking! :p


    Comment by silken — December 3, 2011 @ 10:01 pm

    • Yes, I think you would like June better than December here silken!


      Comment by montucky — December 4, 2011 @ 11:28 am

  23. If a person hasn’t seen this flower, he still has much to learn about Montana.


    Comment by knightofswords — December 4, 2011 @ 8:54 am

    • That’s sure the truth. I wonder though just how many have seen it lately. A lot of its habitat here in the western area has been destroyed. I think of it every time I go to Missoula and see a huge shipping center and housing developments where I used to see bitterroots every summer.


      Comment by montucky — December 4, 2011 @ 11:30 am

  24. Gorgeous!!! It may be a little while before you see some of these again…


    Comment by dhphotosite — December 4, 2011 @ 1:19 pm

  25. Terry, We camped in a field of Bitterroots last summer in Butte next to the rodeo grounds during the folkfest. I know some of the places lost you speak of in Missoula. What a beautiful photo!


    Comment by Maureen — December 4, 2011 @ 7:29 pm

    • That would have been good to see! I’m surprised there are any left around Butte.


      Comment by montucky — December 5, 2011 @ 9:39 pm

  26. I like your idea of having summer twice a year, I’m in! A beautiful image as always, thanks for brightening things up.


    Comment by farmhouse stories — December 6, 2011 @ 9:27 pm

    • Yes, if we could sneak in a month of summer in between January and February!


      Comment by montucky — December 7, 2011 @ 9:37 am

  27. Indeed. And what a gorgeous flower to remind of us June. Winter is getting seriously started here in Kansas, and June does seem such a long time ago. 🙂


    Comment by Anna — December 7, 2011 @ 6:24 pm

    • Our winter hasn’t really gotten started yet. It’s cooler now but little snow: kind of an in-between time.


      Comment by montucky — December 7, 2011 @ 10:55 pm

  28. Picture perfect and absolutely stunning!


    Comment by Victoria — December 8, 2011 @ 10:03 am

    • I think they are gorgeous blossoms and they have so many color variations too. I went for many years without being able to fine any until last summer and I took hundreds of photos then.


      Comment by montucky — December 8, 2011 @ 11:23 pm

  29. I have never seen/met a bitterroot in person! I want to! So June is the time? Could you suggest a place for me to go in search? Pretty Please.

    Your portrait is gorgeous!


    Comment by Tammie — December 13, 2011 @ 8:12 pm

    • I’ve had a hard time finding them until I ran into these last summer and photographed a bunch of them on June 1 and June 4, so around the end of May, early June seems good there. These were located at the south end of the Flathead Reservation along Highway 382 which is a very short road that runs north and south between Montana Highway 200 and Montana Highway 28. You can spot it on a Montana road map between the little towns of Dixon and Plains. Let me know if you aren’t able to find it and I will give more detailed directions. Make a note, and if you are interested in going there next summer, let me know and I can check out the area to make sure they are in bloom before you make a trip. It’s only about 30 miles from where I live and I’ll want to get a few more shots myself.


      Comment by montucky — December 13, 2011 @ 8:28 pm

      • thank you for your response! I will put it on my calendar with your directions and be sure to make a trip down for the flowers. I always make a road trip for flowers a month before they are here… just can’t wait for them here when I can drive an hour or two and find them somewhere! you are kind to offer to check them out for me. I might take you up on that.


        Comment by Tammie — December 15, 2011 @ 2:46 pm

  30. Beautiful! I don’t think I knew what bitterroot was.


    Comment by Tammy — June 3, 2012 @ 3:13 pm

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