Montana Outdoors

April 24, 2012

Now, back to the flowers

Filed under: Wildflowers — Tags: , , — montucky @ 10:55 pm

It appears that now the wildflowers in this area are beginning to bloom in earnest. I shall try to catch up!

Western Spring Beauty, Lanceleaf Springbeauty

Western Spring Beauty, Lanceleaf Springbeauty

Western Springbeauty or Lanceleaf Springbeauty, Claytonia lanceolata

Advertisements

46 Comments »

  1. Gorgeous photos!

    Like

    Comment by Jo Woolf — April 25, 2012 @ 12:04 am

    • Thanks Jo. These seem especially nice this year, and many are larger than usual.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — April 25, 2012 @ 9:20 pm

  2. Such little beauties!
    I’m always amazed at how well you capture the shimmer of the petals.

    Like

    Comment by TheDailyClick — April 25, 2012 @ 2:52 am

    • I think they are well named. They are definitely early spring flowers: I’ve seen them bloom right next to banks of snow.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — April 25, 2012 @ 9:24 pm

  3. I just can’t get over the variety in these flowers, and can’t help wondering – how, why did those little purple stripes evolve? What is it that brings such variety and intricacy into being? I know evolution is one answer, and all that goes with it, but I can’t help loving the thought of a Creator-of-all-that-is, sitting in the studio and beaming with pleasure that this little project worked. 😉

    Like

    Comment by shoreacres — April 25, 2012 @ 5:54 am

    • I wonder about such things a lot too. There are so many varieties that are dramatically different from the others. Many are very small, not ostentatious at all. They quietly live out their lives in remote out of the way places, yet I sense each serves a different and probably very important purpose. Our species prides itself on its knowledge and intelligence and yet we know so very little about the different elements of the natural world. Personally I do believe that these were intentionally created and I often feel a real closeness with their Creator, knowing that we both share a deep love for such living things.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — April 25, 2012 @ 9:39 pm

  4. I’ve never noticed our eastern spring beauties sparkling like these do. I like them. Great shots!

    Like

    Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — April 25, 2012 @ 8:19 am

    • The sparkle on the petals in the first photo was probably brought out with the on-camera flash that I had to use because of a low-light condition. I use negative compensation on the flash (-.7EV for that photo), but it still brings out anything that tends to reflect well.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — April 25, 2012 @ 9:46 pm

  5. These are beauties! Would the flowers in your area be considered alpine?

    Like

    Comment by sandy — April 25, 2012 @ 8:21 am

    • Good question! I am not very knowledgeable in that area, but this species would not be considered an alpine species because it grows at quite low elevations (these were at about 2,800 feet). I haven’t studied it much, but I see a lot of disagreement about what is an alpine species and what isn’t. Some say that alpine plants are those which grow in the alpine climate region which is at high elevation and above the tree line. Strictly speaking, in this part of North America that would be above about 11,500 feet. Yet I have found flower species that are categorized as “Alpine” at elevations as low as 6,000 feet. Many of the peaks in northwestern Montana are in the range of 7,000 to 9,000 feet and yet still have no large tree growth on their tops and those areas do provide many of the aspects associated with “Alpine” species, such as high exposure to ultraviolet radiation, dryness, low average temperatures (especially in winter) exposure to cold wind, very short growing season, etc.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — April 25, 2012 @ 10:15 pm

  6. You have a wonderland right outside your door, Montucky, Lovely pictures.

    Like

    Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — April 25, 2012 @ 10:45 am

    • Yes, it certainly is that. I’m fortunate to have fairly close access to many different elevations and climate zones in country that is still wild and has not been altered too much by human intervention. I mostly frequent the back country in a swath of northwestern Montana about 50 miles in length by roughly 20 miles in width which is an area of about 1,000 square miles. Within that small area there are a huge number of different plant species. I sometimes think that is a large area, but it is only about 1/147th of the state of Montana.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — April 25, 2012 @ 10:21 pm

  7. They look like they’re made of glazed ceramic — so shiny!! Beautiful shots!

    Like

    Comment by allbymyself09 — April 25, 2012 @ 11:01 am

    • Yes they do have that look. I also think of the petals as silky too. They are structurally quite fragile, but biologically very hardy (if that makes any sense).

      Like

      Comment by montucky — April 25, 2012 @ 10:24 pm

  8. Our spring beauty in the east is similar but with different foliage. How big is this flower? Beautiful photographs.

    Like

    Comment by Wild_Bill — April 25, 2012 @ 11:50 am

    • Most are low-growing, but some will get up to around 8 inches in height, particularly in tight cover such as under the taller foliage of antelope bush for example. The blossoms are usually around 1/4 inch in diameter, with some perhaps 3/8 inch.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — April 25, 2012 @ 10:29 pm

  9. Springbeauty is certainly well named.

    Like

    Comment by knightofswords — April 25, 2012 @ 2:16 pm

    • It is! I remember the first time I encountered them. They were growing right next to some snowbanks at about 6,000 feet. Before I knew thei name, I thought of them as beautiful little flowers in very early spring.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — April 25, 2012 @ 10:30 pm

  10. I keep wanting to reach out and touch them! Beautiful!

    Like

    Comment by zannyro — April 25, 2012 @ 3:32 pm

    • Yes, they are beautiful little things. They are small enough though that, like so many wildflowers, it really takes some kind of magnification to appreciate them.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — April 25, 2012 @ 10:34 pm

  11. Hi Montucky, Very pretty little flowers. I like wildflowers a lot. Your pictures are always so nice to view. I like the pretty stripes on this flower. Have a great day tomorrow!

    Like

    Comment by wildlifewatcher — April 25, 2012 @ 6:20 pm

  12. Beautiful. I’d love to see such a variety of wildflowers. Guess I’d have to get out of the city a little more.

    Like

    Comment by Candace — April 25, 2012 @ 7:07 pm

    • It’s getting harder and harder to get out of the city there now, isn’t it! I used to think it quite a drive to get away from the development when I lived there. Now it has spread so much further!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — April 25, 2012 @ 10:37 pm

  13. Ooh, very pretty. It is very similar to the spring beauties we have here. They are one of my favorite spring flowers.

    Like

    Comment by kateri — April 25, 2012 @ 7:27 pm

    • They are one of my favorites too. I’m happy to see that there is one or more species of them in just about all states.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — April 25, 2012 @ 10:42 pm

  14. Spring beauties are a plant that I know only from photos. They must be just everywhere, but I have yet to see them in person. One day…

    Like

    Comment by jomegat — April 25, 2012 @ 9:31 pm

    • They are flowers where timing is everything. I think they are often missed because they bloom so early and have a quite short blooming period. I now know about when and where to expect them, but before I figured that out there were years when I never did see them.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — April 25, 2012 @ 10:46 pm

  15. These are beautiful photos Montucky. The flowers are so delicate. It is just amazing the variety of plants in this world we live in…just waiting for us to enjoy!

    Like

    Comment by dhphotosite — April 26, 2012 @ 8:02 am

    • Yes, the variety is astounding. I enjoy the wildflowers so much!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — April 26, 2012 @ 8:04 pm

  16. Great detail on the spring beauties!

    Like

    Comment by Watching Seasons — April 26, 2012 @ 4:35 pm

    • These were nice and fresh, just in the prime of the bloom.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — April 26, 2012 @ 8:05 pm

  17. The pictures make me want to go out and search for flowers now. I know they’re out there, but I haven’t been tpo the right places yet.

    Like

    Comment by Ratty — April 26, 2012 @ 7:09 pm

    • I’m sure that there too there will be wildflowers appearing for the next few months. You never know what you will find!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — April 26, 2012 @ 8:06 pm

  18. Never seen them, but they are so beautiful. I love Your macros.

    Like

    Comment by Sartenada — April 27, 2012 @ 12:01 am

  19. We had them in Wisconsin, too, but they neverl ooked so beautiful as your closeup photos! If only I could dial my eyes in like you dial your camera in.

    Like

    Comment by Kim — April 27, 2012 @ 8:22 am

    • The size of wildflowers is an enigma to me. Many are too small to see well (and grow so closely to the ground) with the un-aided eye. I missed out on much of their beauty for years, and now I am very grateful for the state of digital photography and good lenses! I’m very happy when I can get a photo that really shows the beauty of the flower.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — April 27, 2012 @ 10:47 pm

      • Do you have any advice for one shopping for a digital camera who doesn’t want a large SLR type camera, but more of a high quality point and shoot? Viewfinder is a plus.

        Like

        Comment by Kim — May 22, 2012 @ 2:23 pm

        • I really don’t, Kim. I know there are lots of really good ones out there, but I have no personal experience with any of them and haven’t kept up with that technology at all. I would probably look at the Nikon line myself. I’ve seen some very nice photos from one of their Coolpix models. One of the blogs I follow somewhat is done by a young guy who lives in Romania. I have been quite impressed with his photos and when I checked I found he uses a Coolpix although I don’t know which model. I was surprised!

          I am often very tempted to get something like that, but I just can’t bear the thought of not having my lenses, and I’m finally learning how to use my D80. Still, 7 pounds of camera and lenses on a long mountain trail…

          Like

          Comment by montucky — May 22, 2012 @ 9:17 pm

          • Thanks for your thoughts, Montucky. I’ve also heard good things about Panasonic Lumix cameras.

            Like

            Comment by Kim — May 23, 2012 @ 6:11 am

  20. Beautiful flowers. I’m looking forward to exploring the Montana flora here at ‘Montana Outdoors’.

    Like

    Comment by Finn Holding — April 28, 2012 @ 3:13 am

    • The wildflowers are getting a start. now. New species will begin blooming every few days for weeks ahead. I hope I will be able to encounter most of them this season.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — April 28, 2012 @ 7:39 pm

  21. The petals are so broad! very different from plants in the Pacific Northwest

    Like

    Comment by tstou10 — September 10, 2013 @ 11:25 pm

    • I guess we are far enough inland to make a difference. Here we share a lot of our flora with British Columbia.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — September 11, 2013 @ 10:22 pm

      • that is awesome! I am actually doing my dissertation research on Claytonia lanceolata — it turns out to be a fascinating collecting of several look-a-like species! Your pictures might actually represent the REAL C. lanceolata, haha. Great shots!

        Like

        Comment by tstou10 — February 24, 2014 @ 7:42 pm


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: