Montana Outdoors

April 4, 2014

Early little ones

Woodland star

Woodland Star ~ Lithophragma parviflorum

Such a tiny (about .25 inches across) blossom and so fragile that it floats on even the tiniest breeze, it is still one of the earliest and hardiest of the wildflowers. Things cannot always be understood at the first glance.

Yellow Bell

Yellow Bell ~ Fritillaria pudica

A Whitetail doe was grazing on the hillside just below this small blossom in the evening of the second day of its bloom: in the morning the flower was gone. Life can take a sudden turn in this world in which we live.


  1. Lovely images, Terry.

    Hope your feeling fully recovered by now?


    Comment by Vicki (from Victoria A Photography) — April 4, 2014 @ 9:48 pm

    • Thanks Vicki! I’m doing quite well, but it will be months yet before a complete recovery to where I can hike the aggressive trails, but that will coincide withthe best time of year to visit the, Good timing!


      Comment by montucky — April 5, 2014 @ 9:21 pm

  2. I always look forward to your spring and summer wildflower show and often remember them from year to year, like these 2. Lovely.


    Comment by Candace — April 4, 2014 @ 10:06 pm

    • I’m glad that you like the wildflowers too. I know I will never lose the infatuation that I have for them. They are a beautiful part of the wonder of spring.


      Comment by montucky — April 5, 2014 @ 9:22 pm

  3. They’re so delicate and your photos show that.


    Comment by wordsfromanneli — April 4, 2014 @ 10:40 pm

    • They are amazing really, as is everything in the mountains and forests. The more I understand about them the more reverence I have toward them.


      Comment by montucky — April 5, 2014 @ 9:24 pm

  4. I enjoy all of your pictures, but your wildflowers really touch me!


    Comment by Anonymous — April 5, 2014 @ 5:10 am

    • I’m glad! They touch me deeply too, I guess for many reasons. I particularly love the ones that live in the very wild places where they can be seen in habitat that hasn’t been changed by the modern version of progress.


      Comment by montucky — April 5, 2014 @ 9:26 pm

  5. It seems like a mad scramble at this time of year, with everyone hurrying to bloom before the tree leaves hide the sun. Yours are well ahead of ours.


    Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — April 5, 2014 @ 5:52 am

    • It sure does seem like a scramble. There is a short growing season here, especially at higher altitudes which an now still covered by 10 feet of snow here. The plants know well what they must do in that short time and have become very efficient in doing it. It’s a fascination!


      Comment by montucky — April 5, 2014 @ 9:29 pm

  6. Beautiful flowers! … And I always appreciate your text … // Maria 🙂


    Comment by mariayarri — April 5, 2014 @ 6:29 am

  7. Not only the images are beautiful, so are the words.


    Comment by anniespickns — April 5, 2014 @ 7:25 am

  8. Beutiful portraits of these flowers.


    Comment by bentehaarstad — April 5, 2014 @ 9:01 am

    • Thanks Bente! It’s a pleasure to show off their beauty!


      Comment by montucky — April 5, 2014 @ 9:31 pm

  9. Perhaps the doe saw that yellow bell and thought, “Dessert!” The woodland star is lovely. I’ve seen parviflorum a few times, so I looked it up. Apparently it means “small flowers”. I did find that, in the Finnish language, parvi means a group. It’s used mostly for birds of animals, but I think it would do nicely for petals that float on the wind.


    Comment by shoreacres — April 5, 2014 @ 10:15 am

    • I’ve seen in some places it is called “Smallflower Woodland Star”. Group is also accurate: these almost always grow in large groups. They are so small though that a casual observer just notices flecks of white or pink: it takes a magnified image to see how pretty they are. Perhaps that’s a special reward for those who care to look closely?


      Comment by montucky — April 5, 2014 @ 9:34 pm

    • The word parvus, which meant ‘small’ in Latin, is one of those words that didn’t survive in the Romance languages. French replaced it with petit and Spanish with pequeño. Biologists are fond of naming things in Latin, so for a plant that produces small flowers they sometimes turn to parviflorus. As far as I know there’s no connection to parvi, because Finnish isn’t even an Indo-European language.


      Comment by Steve Schwartzman — April 9, 2014 @ 8:22 am

      • Well, gosh. “So, what IS an Indo-European language?” I thought to myself. I found a site that gives the basics (you’re right — no Finland), and provided this marvelous bit: “Dates are very approximate. We adopt, for sheer presentation convenience, quite arbitrary ranges of 500 or 1000 years that have little to do with accurate dates even when these might be known, which is seldom.” That made me laugh.


        Comment by shoreacres — April 13, 2014 @ 10:06 am

        • I like the tone of that article, which provides a lot more detail than you may have wanted to know, but which gives you in its first part a summary of what is meant by an Indo-European language. The other non-Indo-European languages of Europe are Estonian (which is related to Finnish), Hungarian, and Basque.


          Comment by Steve Schwartzman — April 13, 2014 @ 11:22 pm

    • By coincidence, yesterday I came across a species named parviflora in an Australian blog. What’s especially interesting is that it’s one of those relatively uncommon plants that has green flowers:


      Comment by Steve Schwartzman — April 12, 2014 @ 2:51 am

  10. Wow, beautiful! At least you saw and photographed that lovely Fritillaria while you could!


    Comment by Jo Woolf — April 5, 2014 @ 10:43 am

    • The Yellow Bells are just starting to bloom and this was the first I saw. They grow here in large numbers, but now I wonder just how many there would be without the large deer population.


      Comment by montucky — April 5, 2014 @ 9:36 pm

  11. The beautiful fragility of life … gorgeous little things … wonderful photos of them.


    Comment by Teresa Evangeline — April 5, 2014 @ 2:08 pm

    • I love your term, “beautiful fragility”, Teresa! It fits the mountain wildflowers perfectly.


      Comment by montucky — April 5, 2014 @ 9:37 pm

  12. There is much to contemplate in nature. The flower there and then gone, the unexpected things in life…. So happy to see your flower photos and know you are getting back in the swing of things (Synchronicity?)


    Comment by twoscamps — April 5, 2014 @ 5:23 pm

    • Yes, there is so much. Some folks might view them as rather simple things, but as you contemplate them you find that they and their ecosystems are amazingly complex.

      Yes it’s good to be moving about at least a little. The timing is good for me here though because there will be plenty more time before the higher trails even open up. We have been fortunate to get quite heavy snow amounts in the mountains this winter too.


      Comment by montucky — April 5, 2014 @ 9:41 pm

  13. Good to see you’re getting up and about again Terry, I hope the recovery is all plain sailing.

    More wonderful wild flower studies too, I really like the woodland star, so delicate and at the same time so robust. Beautiful!


    Comment by Finn Holding — April 6, 2014 @ 1:00 am

    • The recovery is going well, thanks, but it takes a long time for full recovery.
      I love these little flowers and there will be many more species starting to bloom by the end of the month. I’m looking forward to them!


      Comment by montucky — April 6, 2014 @ 10:36 pm

  14. Oh how beautiful! We’re not seeing too many wildflowers here yet, but the bluebonnets are starting to pop up in places.


    Comment by TheDailyClick — April 6, 2014 @ 5:42 pm

    • Our flowers are a little late this year too, but starting. I’d love to see the bluebonnets in person. I’ve seen so many beautiful photos of them. We have a flower here that is a little like them but it doesn’t grow in such profusion.


      Comment by montucky — April 6, 2014 @ 10:38 pm

  15. Oh, those sweet little wildflowers make a pretty picture for me on this gray, overcast and dull day! Thanks for sharing them.


    Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — April 7, 2014 @ 1:53 pm

    • It has been rather gray here for them too, but there have been a few sunny days which we really enjoy!


      Comment by montucky — April 7, 2014 @ 3:05 pm

  16. Hi Montucky, I am glad you took the picture of this lovely flower. Have a great evening and a nice day tomorrow, too!


    Comment by wildlifewatcher — April 7, 2014 @ 2:02 pm

    • Thanks wildlifewatcher. I hope you have a great day too!


      Comment by montucky — April 7, 2014 @ 3:06 pm

  17. Bonjour. The petals on your woodland star remind me of the French fleur-de-lis.


    Comment by Steve Schwartzman — April 9, 2014 @ 8:25 am

  18. Beautiful flowers remind us that life is fragile and often shorter than we would like it to be.
    We have deer too….munching happily on spring. 😉


    Comment by Mary Strong-Spaid — April 9, 2014 @ 10:22 am

  19. It’s at once a little sad to see the wildlife dining on the first flowers, and joyful to see them eating well after surviving a long, hard winter.


    Comment by montucky — April 9, 2014 @ 9:51 pm

  20. I have so missed your photographs that I find myself just staring at the ones you have recently posted. Like a chocoholic craving cocoa I cannot resist long, unrelenting looks at your exquisite photos!


    Comment by WildBill — April 10, 2014 @ 8:26 pm

    • Thank you for your kind words, Bill! The forests here, at the low elevations, are beginning to celebrate spring. Higher up though there is still a heavy snowpack, as it should be this time of year. I hope to be seeing it as it awakens this year and I am so thankful that I will be able to! It has been a long winter!


      Comment by montucky — April 10, 2014 @ 10:11 pm

  21. You photos are mesmerizing. So grateful to have discovered your blog.


    Comment by Waggin' The Tale — April 14, 2014 @ 1:25 pm

    • Thank you! I’m glad that you enjoy seeing some of Montana’s outdoors! I’ve been a bit under the weather for awhile and so haven’t posted much lately, but hope to be back on track again in a month or so.


      Comment by montucky — April 14, 2014 @ 8:06 pm

  22. yes, life is precious and to be considered so.
    these are so lovely….i have not seen a flower yet.


    Comment by Tammie — April 15, 2014 @ 3:24 pm

    • Flowers have been blooming later this year here too, but next month is theirs usually, so maybe they will catch up.


      Comment by montucky — April 15, 2014 @ 7:22 pm

  23. Beautiful !!


    Comment by Bernie Kasper — April 17, 2014 @ 2:47 pm

  24. Very beautiful photos. I wish that Your recovery will continue.


    Comment by Sartenada — April 18, 2014 @ 3:57 am

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