Montana Outdoors

March 25, 2012

Small-flowered Woodland Star

After a week of snow and rain, the sky cleared a little today and I was surprised to see that the first Woodland Stars of the season are in bloom. The plants are small (only about two inches tall), but the blossoms are as pretty as always.

Woodland star

Woodland star

Woodland star

Sagebrush Buttercups have also spread out the range of their bloom .

Sagebrush buttercup

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62 Comments »

  1. Superb photos. The woodland stars are exquisite.

    Like

    Comment by Jo Woolf — March 26, 2012 @ 12:10 am

    • Thanks Jo. I think they are truly beautiful. They live in their own tiny world, overlooked by most of us because it takes a certain amount of magnification to be able to appreciate their intricacy.

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      Comment by montucky — March 26, 2012 @ 12:17 am

      • Well, your pics certainly do them justice. We are looking forward to taking some pics of our own wild flowers – particularly wood sorrel and wood anemones.

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        Comment by Jo Woolf — March 26, 2012 @ 12:31 am

        • I will watch for your photos. I have a very special fondness for wildflowers wherever they grow.

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          Comment by montucky — March 26, 2012 @ 1:08 am

  2. Nice flowers!

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    Comment by Cornel Apostol — March 26, 2012 @ 1:49 am

  3. Wow, the wildflowers are gorgeous. And your images are just lovely.

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    Comment by Eileen — March 26, 2012 @ 2:37 am

    • Thank you Eileen. More varieties will start their bloom over the next few weeks, a dozen or so.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — March 26, 2012 @ 8:37 am

  4. The first one is amazing! You’ve captured the sparlkly shimmer of the petals so beautifully.

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    Comment by TheDailyClick — March 26, 2012 @ 2:38 am

    • They are amazing little things. Their world is so tiny yet pretty!

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      Comment by montucky — March 26, 2012 @ 8:39 am

  5. So pretty! Thank you and Happy Spring, Ellen

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    Comment by Ellen Grace Olinger — March 26, 2012 @ 3:36 am

  6. Your eye looks for and captures beauty. Lovely.

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    Comment by Debby — March 26, 2012 @ 6:27 am

    • Once you fall in love with wildflowers, they are always present on your mind.

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      Comment by montucky — March 26, 2012 @ 8:42 am

  7. I’ve never heard about woodland stars. They are beautiful. I did some reading on them and was surprised that a flower that rises from a bulb has such a woody looking stem. Unusual, but beautiful.

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    Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — March 26, 2012 @ 6:30 am

    • They are small and delicate, but very prolific and quite hardy. In a few more weeks they will be showing up all over this area.

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      Comment by montucky — March 26, 2012 @ 8:55 am

  8. My god these woodland stars are so exquisite and delicate! Loved the detail in the sagebrush buttercup photo! You are the best!

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    Comment by Wild_Bill — March 26, 2012 @ 7:01 am

    • Thanks Bill! Most of our wildflowers here are small, but they are certainly worth a closer look! This should be a good year for wildflowers because it looks like it will be a long, wet spring and I think that cloudy and wet weather is better for photography too. The heavy snowpack at the higher elevations will probably mean that the flowers up there will be blooming a little later than usual.

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      Comment by montucky — March 26, 2012 @ 9:02 am

  9. So excited to see that wildflower season has hit your area. Being able to see not only the flowers blooming around my neck of the woods but yours too is truly a gift. And I don’t have to carry a hand lens to see yours. Thanks for your beautiful captures. The passion for natures beauty is certainly apparent.

    Like

    Comment by anniespickns — March 26, 2012 @ 7:24 am

    • Carrying a hand lens is such a great idea in wildflower season. I wish more folks would get into a habit of carrying one: they would enjoy the flowers (and the rest of the natural world) so much more! I’m excited to know that the wildflower season is about to begin. April is always a good month.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — March 26, 2012 @ 9:05 am

  10. So delicate and fragile. Reminds me to ‘handle with care’ all that life brings my way. Really glad to see your post today, and to know it was the weather and not illness that has kept you inside. 🙂

    Like

    Comment by Homestead Ramblings — March 26, 2012 @ 9:53 am

    • Thank you for your concern! Yes, the weather has inhibited my photography. It has been rainy and cold and the outdoors seems monochrome. It has been a good time to get indoor projects done though which will free up my time when the weather turns and the ice leaves the roads to the trail heads. I want to spend a lot more time in the roadless areas this summer than I did last year. Right now I’m really looking forward to a date I always keep with the Trillium boom a few miles up one of my favorite trails. I always visit there on April 15th.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — March 26, 2012 @ 1:33 pm

  11. Tiny treasures! When we take the time to take a closer look, isn’t it amazing what beauty we find? These are so beautiful!

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    Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — March 26, 2012 @ 1:29 pm

    • Yes it’s amazing the treasures we can find by looking closely. Wildflowers are excellent examples of that, with all of the tiny species out there that are so pretty. It just weems to me that they deserve more attention, even though it be through photos and the internet!

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      Comment by montucky — March 26, 2012 @ 1:36 pm

  12. Love the details in that pretty purple flower!!

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    Comment by Stacey Dawn — March 26, 2012 @ 2:36 pm

    • I do too, Stacey. They are very delicate and quite complex in structure.

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      Comment by montucky — March 26, 2012 @ 9:26 pm

  13. The stars are so delicate and beautiful.

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    Comment by Tammy — March 26, 2012 @ 2:48 pm

    • They sure are. They would be very popular in gardens were they much larger.

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      Comment by montucky — March 26, 2012 @ 9:26 pm

  14. Oh, they are nice! I have been looking, but nothing in the woods here, yet. We are back cold again. But, we have fantastic sky going on right now. The wind is wild, and the clouds are in constant motion.

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    Comment by sandy — March 26, 2012 @ 2:57 pm

    • We are cold again too, quite a bit below normal and we have wind as well. Maybe its is nature getting winter out of her system!

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      Comment by montucky — March 26, 2012 @ 9:28 pm

  15. such beautiful and clear portraits of this tiny little being/ star flower
    and the buttercups too~

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    Comment by Tammie — March 26, 2012 @ 5:03 pm

    • I really enjoy finding all of the details in the very small flowers. They never disappoint!

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      Comment by montucky — March 26, 2012 @ 9:29 pm

  16. our wildflowers are pretty well flourishing! I like your purple woodland star

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    Comment by skouba — March 26, 2012 @ 5:25 pm

    • Yes, I’ve heard that the flowers in your area are wonderful this year! They must have liked all of that rain!

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      Comment by montucky — March 26, 2012 @ 9:30 pm

  17. Very beautiful indeed! 🙂

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    Comment by allbymyself09 — March 26, 2012 @ 7:09 pm

  18. Hi Montucky, Tremendous looking flowers for such a tiny plant! Beautiful Buttercups too! Have a great day!

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    Comment by wildlifewatcher — March 27, 2012 @ 11:52 am

    • Yes, they are tiny. The ones that bloom later on into early summer get much taller.

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      Comment by montucky — March 27, 2012 @ 10:26 pm

  19. The Woodland star is such a lovely little flower. With the first photo, I really like seeing the details and delicacy. Interesting petal shapes. 🙂

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    Comment by Anna Surface — March 27, 2012 @ 3:41 pm

    • Those petals are so delicate one would think they couldn’t stand much weather, but they seem to do well. They are nearly impossible to photograph if there is any breeze though.

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      Comment by montucky — March 27, 2012 @ 10:27 pm

  20. The Woodland Stars are a beautiful color, too, very delicate shade. I think I remember these from your photos last year.

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    Comment by Candace — March 27, 2012 @ 7:47 pm

    • Yes, it’s getting to be the season for this year’s wildflower blooms. I keep trying for slightly different shots each year.

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      Comment by montucky — March 27, 2012 @ 10:30 pm

  21. Happy woodland stars (and beginning of spring) to you. This is a new species for me.

    Steve Schwartzman
    http://portraitsofwildflowers.wordpress.com

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    Comment by Steve Schwartzman — March 27, 2012 @ 8:21 pm

    • Happy spring to you too, Steve, although spring has been with you for quite awhile now. These are just a western and northwestern flower, no further south than Colorado.

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      Comment by montucky — March 27, 2012 @ 10:35 pm

  22. There’s something deeply appealing about the tiny things. One of the reasons I love macro photography is that it does make some of these beauties accessible to us in a way that even a magnifying glass couldn’t. It’s no wonder we miss so much – two inches high!

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    Comment by shoreacres — March 27, 2012 @ 8:44 pm

    • The small sizes and delicate make-ups of the wildflowers here have a great appeal for me too. I was very happy when I was able to get this close-up lens! Of course, there are holes in the knees of my trousers and my mustache usually has dirt in it, but getting photos of the little ones is worth it!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — March 27, 2012 @ 10:39 pm

  23. Incredible images Terry..looks like things are starting to turn for you, bet you can’t to get to those trillium I will be heading to the Great Smoky Mountains tomorrow looking for them as well !!

    Like

    Comment by Bernie Kasper — March 27, 2012 @ 9:28 pm

    • I haven’t tried the trail to my favorite trillium place yet, but in 19 more days I will be there. That may be a little early this year, but I don’t want to miss seeing them in that particular location. I always have my Yaktrax in my pack for those trails until late summer.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — March 27, 2012 @ 10:42 pm

  24. We are fortunate to have you to share spring with us..

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    Comment by Roberta — March 27, 2012 @ 10:15 pm

    • I will do my best, Roberta. I always wish that you and others could see the mountains here proceed through spring into summer. It’s like the world is starting all over again.

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      Comment by montucky — March 27, 2012 @ 10:43 pm

  25. You are so right about carrying a lens to bring in to focus the tiny wildflowers. Our yard has a nice variety that once discovered and appreciated each year I look forward to the progression of blooms. The henbit and dead nettle, then the spring beauties, next the violets, then the star of bethleham. Incredible that before photography I only saw a yard that needed mowing. Now I see these blooms and all the insects they feed along with the smaller birds coming to grab up a few insects their heads peeking over the top of the flora. Thanks for sharing your varieties.

    Like

    Comment by Grampy — March 28, 2012 @ 3:02 am

    • I agree that we learn a lot from a good lens! I chuckled about how you changed your vision of the yard. Fortunately, our yard is not a very formal one, but at various times during summer there are many patches in it where the mower does not go because of the flowers. I like it better that way!

      In summer, when the trails are finally mostly free of snow and ice, a good long hike turns up a huge number of wildflowers. I’m like a child on an Easter egg hunt, trying to spot them all and catch their beauty as best I can.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — March 28, 2012 @ 10:42 pm

  26. I’m glad you tell us the size of the woodland star–I wouldn’t have guessed it is so small. You sure have done this flower justice in this photo–it is beautiful!

    Like

    Comment by kateri — March 28, 2012 @ 5:44 am

    • The first ones to bloom are quite small. Later there will be some with stems up to 10 inches tall and blossoms half an inch across. They are amazing in that there are some in bloom over a time of several months.

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      Comment by montucky — March 28, 2012 @ 10:44 pm

  27. SO BEAUTIFUL! I love Montana..I’ve been to Missoula many times..

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    Comment by zannyro — March 28, 2012 @ 5:50 pm

    • Thanks for visiting, zannyro! I was born in Missoula and now live about 80 miles northwest of there. I have loved the mountains of Montana all of my life.

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      Comment by montucky — March 28, 2012 @ 10:46 pm

  28. Very pretty and glittery… they look like snowflakes! The foliage looks equally as interesting as the blooms.

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    Comment by kcjewel — March 29, 2012 @ 8:24 pm

    • The glitter is interesting and I have no idea what causes it. I can see it only in photos. I also think of snowflakes more than stars when I see them.

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      Comment by montucky — March 30, 2012 @ 9:30 pm

  29. Those woodland stars are incredible beautiful. Being only two inches high one must be careful that not to step over them, I presume.

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    Comment by Sartenada — March 30, 2012 @ 12:26 am

    • Yes, one has to be careful about where to step. I suspect their strategy is to grow so plentifully that when some are destroyed there are still plenty left to re-seed.

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      Comment by montucky — March 30, 2012 @ 9:32 pm

  30. As the wildflower season kicks off, I’ll bet your stunning macro photos get a lot of us thinking it’s time to upgrade our cameras!

    You’ve said before that you use a Nikon D80, but I don’t recall if you’ve divulged the make and model of your “good closeup lens”. Thanks, Montucky.

    Like

    Comment by Kim — April 3, 2012 @ 9:53 am

    • That lens is a Nikon AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8D. I thought it was a little pricy, but I’m very glad that I bought it.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — April 3, 2012 @ 8:28 pm


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