Montana Outdoors

July 1, 2013

This morning’s wildflowers

With the temperature headed for one hundred today, early morning was the only time for a short hike and yesterday’s post on Jomegat’s Weblog reminded me that the Pipsissewa are starting to bloom, an event I would hate to miss. The wildflowers don’t mind the heat, especially along a wooded canyon trail. There were other flowers in bloom as well.

Bluebell bellflower, Bluebell-of-Scotland, Harebell

Bluebell bellflower, Bluebell-of-Scotland, Harebell, Campanula rotundifolia


Pipsissewa, Chimaphila umbellata

Oneleaf foamflower, Sugar scoop, Western foamflower

Oneleaf foamflower, Sugar scoop, Western foamflower, Tiarella trifoliata

Common selfheal

Common selfheal, Prunella vulgaris


Twinflower, Linnaea borealis

Liverleaf wintergreen, Pink pyrola

Liverleaf wintergreen, Pink pyrola

Liverleaf wintergreen, Pink pyrola, Pyrola asarifolia

Nodding onion

Nodding onion, Allium cernuum

Spotted coralroot

Spotted coralroot, Corallorhiza maculata


  1. “… a wooded canyon trail… ” those words alone are cooling. Love these, especially the nodding onion.


    Comment by Teresa Evangeline — July 1, 2013 @ 3:40 pm

    • Hard to imagine that as an onion, isn’t it. It even smells like one.


      Comment by montucky — July 1, 2013 @ 8:20 pm

  2. Those flowers are stunning. I guess I didn’t realize it gets that hot where you are.


    Comment by roberta — July 1, 2013 @ 4:15 pm

    • It gets hot just a few days a year. Today we had 96; the small town just 5 miles away had 103. 57 at night though.


      Comment by montucky — July 1, 2013 @ 8:22 pm

  3. It’s amazing the number of kinds of wildflower there are out there. Beautiful!


    Comment by wordsfromanneli — July 1, 2013 @ 4:20 pm

    • Once I started to photograph and identify them, I was amazed at the variety too. So far I’ve found about 230 species.


      Comment by montucky — July 1, 2013 @ 8:22 pm

      • I’m always impressed with how you identify them all.


        Comment by wordsfromanneli — July 1, 2013 @ 9:26 pm

        • I try my best but I sill make mistakes. I recently have gotten some great help from Joe Marcus at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.


          Comment by montucky — July 1, 2013 @ 9:47 pm

  4. Great shots of some hard to photograph flowers! I can imagine how many knots you tied yourself into to get the pipsissewa shot, because I just went through the same thing the other day.I’m surprised by how much your Liverleaf wintergreen flower looks like our shin leaf (Pyrola elliptica.) I like the coralroot-something I haven’t found yet.


    Comment by New Hampshire Gardener — July 1, 2013 @ 4:35 pm

    • Yes, pipsissewa is very shy. The coralroot is just beginning to bloom and the plants seem very small this year but plentiful. I saw about two dozen plants, more than I’ve ever seen in one area before. Today’s selection came from about 3/4 mile of trail.


      Comment by montucky — July 1, 2013 @ 8:25 pm

  5. The wildflower-world is so exciting. We have the same bluebell and linnea (twinflower), and maybe the same wintergreen. The others very exotic, and beauties all of them.


    Comment by bentehaarstad — July 1, 2013 @ 5:28 pm

    • I find the wildflowers very exciting too. I’m constantly in awe of them. It’s very interesting that we share some of the species! THere is a web site here that gives me good distribution of plants for the U.S. but not for the rest of the world. I wish it did.


      Comment by montucky — July 1, 2013 @ 8:28 pm

  6. I spent a summer hiking with the Mountaineers doing a naturalist program and enjoyed every hike…your photos bring all of that back, they are so wonderful.


    Comment by Charlie@Seattle Trekker — July 1, 2013 @ 9:51 pm

    • Thank you Charlie! I spend every moment that I can hiking in the back country and bring back photos for my wife and others to see. There is an abundance of beauty out there!


      Comment by montucky — July 1, 2013 @ 9:59 pm

  7. Your harebell is lovely, perfect depth of field. What lens and settings did you use?


    Comment by Finn — July 2, 2013 @ 12:46 am

    • Thank you! The lens was the AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8D. The settings were ISO200, -0.3 EV, f/11, 1/125, white balance=sun, spot metering.


      Comment by montucky — July 2, 2013 @ 12:57 am

  8. Fantastic serie of flowers ! I especially like the little Twinflower, common here in Sweden and Scandinavia . In Sweden their name is Linnéa … Named after the Swedish botanist and 1700´s explorer Carl Von Linné or Carl Linnaeus … // Maria 🙂


    Comment by mariayarri — July 2, 2013 @ 2:24 am

    • They are beautiful little flowers and sometimes along a trail they just cover the ground. Yes, their scientific name here is “Linnaea borealis”.


      Comment by montucky — July 2, 2013 @ 8:11 am

  9. What beautiful flowers, and really beautiful photos too. I’ve never even heard of a Pipsissewa – wonder how that came by its name? It’s really lovely.


    Comment by Jo Woolf — July 2, 2013 @ 4:12 am

    • Apparently the Cree Indian tribe here believed that the leaves of the plant contained a substance that would dissolve kidney stones and they called it “pipisisikweu”, their word which means “it breaks into small pieces”. It’s a strange little plant which keeps its blossom always pointed at the ground.


      Comment by montucky — July 2, 2013 @ 8:16 am

  10. Especially love the self heal (we call in heal all in the NE). And the twin flower is wonderfully beautiful as well.


    Comment by WildBill — July 3, 2013 @ 6:26 am

    • I sometimes will bring back a bag of forest mulch from under a heavy canopy of firs and cedar for our flower beds. In one area of one of the beds there is now a large colony of self-heal.


      Comment by montucky — July 4, 2013 @ 12:24 am

  11. They’re beautiful! Amazing you hit 100. So how does 100 in Montana feel compared to 100 in AZ?


    Comment by Candace — July 3, 2013 @ 12:56 pm

    • It feels rare. We had only one day of it last year and none the previous two. Actually here at our house we have only seen 99 so far this year. The little town about 5 miles away hit 105 yesterday which was a new record. I remember back in the 50’s a couple of 100 degree days, both associated with changing a flat tire.


      Comment by montucky — July 4, 2013 @ 12:26 am

  12. I hope you’ll excuse my laughing at your hundred degree days with a flat. Reminds me of one very hot day in the Trans-Pecos with a broken belt. Ah, those memorable times. But I’ll tell you what – some of these names are just as memorable. Sugar scoop. Nodding onion. Those really are great. The flowers are pretty, too! I can see why you’d want to go hunting the Pippsissewa!


    Comment by shoreacres — July 4, 2013 @ 11:24 am

    • Hot weather and flat tires always go together. If it’s not my tire, it’s someone else’s.
      Some of the flower names are pleasant and enjoyable, others not so much. Pipsissewa not only has a beautiful and unusual flower, but also that wonderful name.


      Comment by montucky — July 5, 2013 @ 10:16 pm

  13. They’re all pretty cool, but i’m lovin the 2nd one, Pipsissewa… very intricate

    Happy Independence Day!


    Comment by Tricia — July 4, 2013 @ 1:02 pm

    • Pipsissewa reminds me of a candy concoction. I bet kids would love a candy that looked like that.


      Comment by montucky — July 5, 2013 @ 10:17 pm

  14. These are all amazing Terry, love to be able to photograph subjects like these, thanks for sharing !!


    Comment by Bernie Kasper — July 4, 2013 @ 7:30 pm

    • There is hardly anything that I enjoy more than finding and photographing wildflowers.


      Comment by montucky — July 5, 2013 @ 10:21 pm

  15. I am back after two week’s pause. Great flower photos.


    Comment by Sartenada — July 4, 2013 @ 11:10 pm

    • Glad to see you back, Matti! I loved the photos in your recent post!


      Comment by montucky — July 5, 2013 @ 10:22 pm

  16. The harebells are my favorite … they grow wild here, too, usually on the hillsides by the lakes or the edge of the trees and the sides of the roads. I found some at a gardening store and added them to my perennial garden this year so that I can always see and find them.

    100º … oh my … I think you need to head to the cold water lake you shared with us in your last post and hang out for the day.


    Comment by bearyweather — July 5, 2013 @ 8:44 am

    • Well, I didn’t get to the lake, but found refuge in a cool canyon much closer to home. One that hardly anyone ever visits.


      Comment by montucky — July 5, 2013 @ 10:25 pm

  17. Your flower photos are fantastic! Do you usually use a tripod? I especially like the Pipsissewa (in fact, I love saying it out loud!). Happy 4th of July, Terry.


    Comment by twoscamps — July 5, 2013 @ 12:00 pm

    • Thanks Maureen! The Pipsissewa is a favorite of mine too. They are very plentiful this year along the Spring Creek trail.
      I hardly ever use a tripod, partly because of the extra weight on my pack and partly because wildflowers are usually so close to the ground that it’s more effective to use the “nose in the dirt” technique. I’ve even tried using a 3″ bolt that acts like a camera support but gave that up. Right now I’m developing a very small tripod that I can use as a support against a tree for those dark canyons where you have to have a slow shutter speed. I think of it as a “tree pod”.


      Comment by montucky — July 5, 2013 @ 10:30 pm

  18. Hi Montucky, Graceful, and truly lovely wildflowers! Have an exceptionally nice weekend!


    Comment by wildlifewatcher — July 5, 2013 @ 6:42 pm

  19. A couple of them look like orchid relatives.


    Comment by Tammy — July 6, 2013 @ 11:37 am

  20. A beautiful collection of blooms!


    Comment by Watching Seasons — July 6, 2013 @ 5:14 pm

    • There certainly are some beauties in the array of wildflowers, aren’t there!


      Comment by montucky — July 7, 2013 @ 8:45 am

  21. These are beautiful macro shots!


    Comment by Fergiemoto — July 7, 2013 @ 11:39 pm

  22. I love the diversity of wildflowers you have out there! They sure are pretty!


    Comment by dhphotosite — July 12, 2013 @ 1:17 pm

    • Yes, there are a huge number of species in this area. I’m sure I haven’t encountered them all yet either.


      Comment by montucky — July 12, 2013 @ 9:36 pm

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