Montana Outdoors

April 14, 2012

Still the time of the hardy ones.

Though we in the northern states often become distracted by visions of spring in other parts of the country and the world, nature always does what has been successful for millenniums. Yes it’s spring, but last night’s low was 28°f and it’s still only the time for the small ones and the hardy ones.

Shooting Star

Shooting Star, Dodecatheon pulchellum

Blue-eyed Mary

Blue-eyed Mary, Collinsia parviflora

Next week the Trilliums should appear along a favorite trail (if it’s clear of snow). I will try for them on Monday perhaps.


  1. It’s good that you’re shooting into spring with a shooting star. We’re supposed to have a species of Dodecatheon in Austin, but I’ve never been able to find one; I’m glad you did.

    Steve Schwartzman


    Comment by Steve Schwartzman — April 14, 2012 @ 10:07 pm

    • These are very common here this time of year, although they have a short blooming cycle. They bloom later at higher elevations and over 7,000 feet one can fine them in bloom in mid summer.


      Comment by montucky — April 16, 2012 @ 9:59 pm

  2. Apropos of living in Montana: have you ever read the book My Life as an Indian, by James Willard Schultz? It’s the fascinating true account of a teenager from New York State who went to live with the Blackfoot Indians in Montana in 1877 and who ended up marrying into the tribe. Great reading for those nights when the temperature dips below freezing.


    Comment by Steve Schwartzman — April 14, 2012 @ 10:13 pm

    • I haven’t read that. It will be added to my list. I spend quite a bit of time on the Flathead Reservation which is close to where I live. I share many of their beliefs about the natural world and our relationship to it.


      Comment by montucky — April 16, 2012 @ 10:00 pm

  3. Truly amazing photos. The dodecatheon is absolutely beautiful. It’s just below freezing here too, this morning – we’ve had cold northerly winds for a week now. March was much warmer.


    Comment by Jo Woolf — April 14, 2012 @ 11:32 pm

    • We are in a period of cooler than seasonal weather too. Actually, I quite like it that way as long as it is interspersed with a few sunny days. I love wildflowers and photographing them is much better on cloudy days, or even under an umbrella.


      Comment by montucky — April 16, 2012 @ 10:04 pm

  4. Enjoy the wonder of the tiny blooms. Once you look you can’t help yourself but to anticipate their arrival each spring. You photos display the incredible color and shapes of two delights. Thanks for sharing.


    Comment by Grampy — April 15, 2012 @ 12:17 am

    • I do anticipate their arrival, but sometimes I’m surprised as I was today when I found two that I thought were very early for such a late spring. I am completely fascinated by wildflowers.


      Comment by montucky — April 16, 2012 @ 10:06 pm

  5. That scientific name made me think of dodecahedron, and I wonder – is the name related? Are there twelve “somethings” that helped to give it the name? I did some snooping on plant sites, but there wasn’t any info on the name itself. Perhaps they appear in clusters?


    Comment by shoreacres — April 15, 2012 @ 6:57 am

    • According to Shinners and Mahler’s Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas, the name is from “Greek: dodeca, twelve, and theos, god, name given by Pliny to the related primrose, which was believed to be under the care of the twelve superior gods.” A fanciful explanation for the name of a fancy flower.


      Comment by Steve Schwartzman — April 15, 2012 @ 7:21 am

      • I’ve read that too. It seems well named in both its common name and its scientific one.


        Comment by montucky — April 16, 2012 @ 10:10 pm

  6. As always, great close-ups. We’ve had some chilly weather in NE Georgia lately, but fortunately not as chilly as 28 degrees.



    Comment by knightofswords — April 15, 2012 @ 8:23 am

    • Thanks Malcolm. Yes, this would feel like your winter, wouldn’t it.


      Comment by montucky — April 16, 2012 @ 10:11 pm

  7. Both are so pretty and are flowers I have not seen before. In spite of our very early and mixed up spring, I have not seen trillium blooms yet, but it appears they my start blooming next week.


    Comment by kateri — April 15, 2012 @ 10:30 am

    • I found trilliums blooming in profusion today along a small stream. If it doesn’t rain too hard tomorrow I will hike two miles up that trail to where there is a very large bloom at this time every year. It’s 2000 feet higher there though and this year there might still be snow.


      Comment by montucky — April 16, 2012 @ 10:16 pm

  8. Lovely photos of lovely flowers!


    Comment by allbymyself09 — April 15, 2012 @ 10:56 am

  9. I hope to see shooting stars someday. The name is as lovely as the flower. Blue eyed Mary comes in wildflower seed mixes sometimes. It never seeds back, and I never remember which mix I bought.

    Glad to see you are shooting flowers these days, instead of shoveling snow.


    Comment by sandy — April 15, 2012 @ 12:17 pm

    • It’s so good to be shooting flowers again! I found more species in bloom today.


      Comment by montucky — April 16, 2012 @ 10:17 pm

      • I am seeing one or two a day, here. Nothing much in the woods, though.


        Comment by sandy — April 17, 2012 @ 9:01 am

  10. Hi Montucky, I so enjoy how well you have captured the texture of the surface of the blooms. Excellent photography! Have an enjoyable and most pleasant coming week!


    Comment by wildlifewatcher — April 15, 2012 @ 3:03 pm

    • Thanks wildlifewatcher! I really enjoy photographing wildflowers.


      Comment by montucky — April 16, 2012 @ 10:18 pm

  11. If Blue Eyed Mary had a fifth petal she might be mistaken for a violet. I’ve never heard of the plant so I looked it up and found that it only grows out your way. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a shooting star in New Hampshire either. Great shots of beautiful flowers!


    Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — April 15, 2012 @ 4:07 pm

    • Yes, I believe that both of these are western species only, at least the wild ones are.


      Comment by montucky — April 16, 2012 @ 10:20 pm

  12. Such beautiful flowers. I sometimes wish spring could last longer!


    Comment by Wild_Bill — April 15, 2012 @ 9:14 pm

    • You know, that’s one of the many things I enjoy about living in this location. Many wildflowers bloom early at the low elevations (2,400 feet) and as time goes by one can go to the higher elevations and see them bloom there late in the summer, some even toward fall. It seems to prolong spring!


      Comment by montucky — April 16, 2012 @ 10:22 pm

  13. Both so pretty but the Shooting Star is so aptly named that it’s especially lovely.


    Comment by Candace — April 16, 2012 @ 12:00 am

    • Yes, I think the star is very well named. It was a very popular flower when I was a child.


      Comment by montucky — April 16, 2012 @ 10:23 pm

  14. Aren’t they beautiful… love the shape of the Shooting Star! =)


    Comment by Tricia — April 17, 2012 @ 11:12 am

  15. We have NO shooting stars, but the Pasque flowers are almost open and my first Trillium is in bloom. Yellow bells are also out, but the deer clip them soon after they open.


    Comment by Kim — April 17, 2012 @ 9:51 pm

    • I’ve noticed that the deer have been eating the yellow bells more than any year I can remember. We have had several bloom near the house and they lasted only a day or so. I also noticed that a lot of glacier lilies have been disappearing as well.


      Comment by montucky — April 17, 2012 @ 11:57 pm

  16. Beautiful spring blooms!


    Comment by marciescudder — April 18, 2012 @ 6:04 am

    • Thanks Marcie. The wildflowers are finally starting to bloom.


      Comment by montucky — April 18, 2012 @ 8:09 am

  17. To me both are unknown, but I am so happy that I could see these beautiful flowers of Your country.


    Comment by Sartenada — April 19, 2012 @ 11:19 pm

  18. small, hardy and very pretty! I like that shooting star


    Comment by skouba — April 20, 2012 @ 5:18 pm

    • The wildflowers are finally getting a start. It is a fun time of year!


      Comment by montucky — April 20, 2012 @ 9:45 pm

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