Montana Outdoors

June 22, 2012

A closer look

At a casual glance, the leaves of the Twisted-stalk look like those of the False Solomon’s seal, and for years I didn’t look at them any closer. Then in the Spring Creek canyon one day the sky suddenly opened up and the rain came pouring down, giving me only time enough to pop open a small umbrella that I always carry with me and crouch down under it so that it would keep my camera and most of me dry. That put the plant at eye level and I suddenly saw the little blossoms hiding beneath the large leaves and realized that the inadvertent “closer look” had revealed another plant that was new to me.

Clasp-leaf Twisted-stalk, Clasping Twisted-stalk

Clasp-leaf Twisted-stalk, Clasping Twisted-stalk

Clasp-leaf Twisted-stalk, Clasping Twisted-stalk

Clasp-leaf Twisted-stalk, Clasping Twisted-stalk

Clasp-leaf Twisted-stalk, Clasping Twisted-stalk

Clasp-leaf Twisted-stalk, Clasping Twisted-stalk, Streptopus amplexifolius

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52 Comments »

  1. Oh, my. What a wonderful discovery. The veins on the leaves are really popping and a great backdrop for this enchanting little thing.

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    Comment by Teresa Evangeline — June 22, 2012 @ 9:18 pm

    • Once you focus at it’s level, it’s a very pretty plant. “Enchanting” is a very good word for it!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — June 22, 2012 @ 9:22 pm

  2. How very different, like pineapple upside-down cake. (Same color too) 🙂

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    Comment by Homestead Ramblings — June 22, 2012 @ 9:29 pm

    • They are very different. It’s as though they are hiding the blossoms. Perhaps they produce a smell that I didn’t detect.

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      Comment by montucky — June 22, 2012 @ 10:21 pm

  3. That is really cool! Nice photos.

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    Comment by Sue — June 22, 2012 @ 10:06 pm

    • I really enjoy encountering something that I’ve never seen before, especially something so pretty!

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      Comment by montucky — June 22, 2012 @ 10:22 pm

  4. How beautiful! Ellen

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    Comment by Ellen Grace Olinger — June 23, 2012 @ 3:07 am

  5. Love the last one…you’ve captured that little curl in the vine perfectly.

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    Comment by TheDailyClick — June 23, 2012 @ 3:35 am

    • That little curl is intriguing. I wonder why it developed that.

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      Comment by montucky — June 24, 2012 @ 4:43 pm

  6. Look at that! Just like little bells hanging there. It amazes me what we can see when we really LOOK.

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    Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — June 23, 2012 @ 8:21 am

    • It amazes me too. I’ve gotten a lot of enjoyment out of the macro lens. Besides giving a good close look at things, it has heightened my ability to notice things.

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      Comment by montucky — June 24, 2012 @ 4:45 pm

  7. I love the close up shots of something so delicate, fragile and small. This is the part of nature most of us never see.

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    Comment by bearyweather — June 23, 2012 @ 8:30 am

    • That’s true. Botanists used to (and probably still do) carry some kind of magnification device and I’ve done it on occasion, but a photo is very useful. I’ve seen new things because of the lens and have learned a lot about things that I’ve seen before without magnification.

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      Comment by montucky — June 24, 2012 @ 4:47 pm

  8. It is pretty close up. We are supposed to have it here, but so far, I haven’t seen it, or I should say that I haven’t recognized it when I saw it.

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    Comment by sandy — June 23, 2012 @ 9:53 am

    • That was one of many plants that I’ve seen listed as being native to Montana, Montana is a big state and even though a plant may be native here it might be 600 miles away from me! It was just luck that I ducked down low enough to catch a glimpse of these blossoms. Next time I will know to look for them!

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      Comment by montucky — June 24, 2012 @ 4:50 pm

  9. Almost fairy-like! These are lovely. Perhaps you were meant to get caught in that shower!

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    Comment by Jo Woolf — June 23, 2012 @ 10:08 am

    • Last night there was sequel to this find. I was crawling around looking at some other small flowers and encountered another small one that I hadn’t seen before.

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      Comment by montucky — June 24, 2012 @ 4:52 pm

  10. like little curly umbrellas — to help keep you dry. 😉

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    Comment by allbymyself09 — June 23, 2012 @ 11:30 am

    • Anything helps in a downpour! Actually, if getting good and wet is the price to pay for finding something like this, I’d be happy to get wet more often!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — June 24, 2012 @ 4:53 pm

  11. What a fun bonus to find! I love them against the dark background, makes it seem all the more “forest-y” to us viewers.

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    Comment by Candace — June 23, 2012 @ 11:48 am

    • With the natural shade of that forest and the dark rain clouds besides, the only way I could get photos was by using flash. I end up doing that a lot!

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      Comment by montucky — June 24, 2012 @ 4:55 pm

  12. Fabulous photos … I love the way you document every detail … Things I’d never get to see…

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    Comment by snowbirdpress — June 23, 2012 @ 2:58 pm

    • I’m very glad that you like seeing them! I’ve learned to take shots of everything that looks interesting and then get to see what it looks like. The details are usually amazing!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — June 24, 2012 @ 4:57 pm

  13. guess you were lucky (blessed!) to be caught in that rain storm. these photos are really amazing! I love the “closer look”!

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    Comment by skouba — June 23, 2012 @ 3:31 pm

    • To me, finding something like that is well worth a shower! I always carry a small umbrella and rain gear anyway, but sometimes I don’t get it out quickly enough.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — June 24, 2012 @ 4:58 pm

  14. Beautiful. I’ve been looking for this plant for quite awhile now, peeking under leaves. Maybe next time it rains I’ll go for a walk in the woods.

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    Comment by New Hampshire Gardener — June 23, 2012 @ 4:42 pm

    • Maybe that’s what it will take! I was aware of the plant, but I was surprised at how large the whole plant was, and especially the leaves.

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      Comment by montucky — June 24, 2012 @ 6:19 pm

  15. What marvels! Shy little flowers, but quite striking and elegant leaves. Who knows what other unseen treasures are out there, lurking?

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    Comment by shoreacres — June 24, 2012 @ 8:48 am

    • I’m wondering that too! For some reason I’ve seen a lot of flowers for the first time, many more than in the past. Last night I found another one, not rare, and on the lists for this area, but until now I hadn’t seen it. I like the way this is going!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — June 24, 2012 @ 6:27 pm

  16. Oh, these are so lovely. Never seen such a flower, but it was worth all your efforts.

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    Comment by Bo Mackison — June 24, 2012 @ 6:02 pm

  17. Nice to see another “new” one! Guess hunkering down under an umbrella is a good thing!!

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    Comment by kcjewel — June 24, 2012 @ 7:22 pm

    • That’s always a good thing! This time there was a bonus!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — June 24, 2012 @ 8:31 pm

  18. i remember being quite surprised the first time i saw these tiny flowers hanging under the leaves. your photos are wonderful.

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    Comment by Tammie — June 24, 2012 @ 11:37 pm

    • They are surprising, aren’t they! Hearty food for the imagination!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — June 24, 2012 @ 11:49 pm

  19. Some of this earth’s most beautiful items are small and concealed. By happenstance you have stumbles on to one! Beautiful, and as someone said above, enchanting!

    Like

    Comment by Wild_Bill — June 25, 2012 @ 6:55 am

    • So many of the wildflowers are that way. Perhaps that’s why I love them so much.

      Like

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

  20. “Solomon’s Seal, to be real, must have flowers on its keel” (or berries, depending on the season)

    False Solomon’s Seal has a terminal spike of flowers, more like the Wild Lily of the Valley but moreso. Twisted stalk seems to be more closely related to the real Solomon’s Seal.

    Like

    Comment by Kim — June 25, 2012 @ 5:26 pm

    • I like that saying! I’ve never seen real Solomon’s seal, although I’ve read that it does grow in Montana.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — June 25, 2012 @ 10:35 pm

  21. And there we go, in life, thinking we are being punished by having rain come down on our walks when, in reality, we are being shown something better than we would have noticed on our own. Put’s a new perspective on life.

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    Comment by Long Life Cats and Dogs — June 26, 2012 @ 9:37 am

    • Rain, for those who enjoy it, is a wonderful agent for bringing them closer to nature. Seems like there is always something interesting happening during a rain.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — June 26, 2012 @ 8:27 pm

  22. I guess you didn’t complain about the weather when you found these little gems! Your close up shots of the single flowers are absolutely exquisite.

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    Comment by Finn Holding — June 26, 2012 @ 2:33 pm

    • I sure didn’t! It was a thrill to see these, especially since they were completely new to me. For that I’d go out in the rain any time!

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      Comment by montucky — June 26, 2012 @ 8:28 pm

  23. The leaves do look so much like false solomon’s seal, I can see how it would be easy to pass them by without a closer look. What pretty delicate little flowers to be seen when you do take a closer look!

    Like

    Comment by kateri — June 27, 2012 @ 1:19 pm

    • It’s a very strange plant. The blossoms are quite spaced out and they look like they were intentionally hidden from view from above.

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      Comment by montucky — June 27, 2012 @ 9:00 pm

  24. It would have fooled me easily!

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    Comment by Watching Seasons — June 28, 2012 @ 2:07 pm

  25. Very nice captures. It is always to have an umbrella with oneself. I know that from experience.

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    Comment by Sartenada — June 28, 2012 @ 10:49 pm

    • I have a very small one that I carry if it looks like there is a chance of a shower. Besides that I always have a light poncho in my pack. Both are very handy!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — June 29, 2012 @ 8:42 pm


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