Montana Outdoors

May 26, 2014

Wildflowers in the rain

Pointedtip Mariposa Lily, Three-spot Mariposa Lily

Pointedtip Mariposa Lily, Three-spot Mariposa Lily, Baker’s Mariposa ~ Calochortus apiculatus

Woolly Groundsel

Woolly Groundsel ~ Packera cana

Poison Larkspur

Poison Larkspur ~ Delphinium trolliifolium

Yellow Salsify, Meadow Goatsbeard

Yellow Salsify, Meadow Goatsbeard ~ Tragopogon dubius

Howell's Pussytoes

Howell’s Pussytoes ~ Antennaria howellii

Choke Cherry

Choke Cherry ~ Prunus Virginiana

Mountain Lady's Slipper

Mountain Lady’s Slipper ~ Cypripedium montanum

Antelope Bitterbrush

Antelope Bitterbrush, Antelope-brush ~ Purshia tridentata

Rydberg's Penstemon

Rydberg’s Penstemon ~ Penstemon rydbergii

Starry False Lily-of-the-valley, Star-flowered Solomon's-seal

Starry False Lily-of-the-valley, Star-flowered Solomon’s-seal ~ Maianthemum stellatum

Smallflower Miterwort

Smallflower Miterwort, Side-flowered Mitrewort, Cross-shaped Mitrewort ~ Ozomelis stauropetala

Feathery False Lily-of-the-valley, Plumed Solomon's Seal

Feathery False Lily-of-the-valley, Plumed Solomon’s Seal, Plumed Spikenard ~ Maianthemum racemosum

The thing about photographing wildflowers is that you have to be there when they are blooming, which means lots and lots of trips into the woods, the meadows, the trails and along the streams – sunshine or rain. That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!


  1. I am stunned by the beauty you have captured in these photos. Each flower has its own spirit, soul, it seems, and you’ve seen it and photographed it … these are exquisite … no words to convey how perfect they are …


    Comment by Teresa Evangeline — May 26, 2014 @ 5:25 pm

    • You phrased it very well, Teresa: “Each flower has its own spirit, soul…” They do. They are fantastic little beings and I’ve very happy to make them visible to folks who otherwise might not see them.


      Comment by montucky — May 26, 2014 @ 8:40 pm

  2. Teresa is right. There are no words to describe these flowers.


    Comment by wordsfromanneli — May 26, 2014 @ 5:59 pm

  3. Hi Montucky, The Bitterbrush is my favorite of your photographs today. Have a super coming week!


    Comment by wildlifewatcher — May 26, 2014 @ 6:07 pm

    • The Bitterbrush is a shrub whose small leaves sustain thousands of deer and elk during hard Montana winters when snow covers up most everything else.


      Comment by montucky — May 26, 2014 @ 8:42 pm

  4. So many wonderful flowers.


    Comment by bentehaarstad — May 26, 2014 @ 6:10 pm

  5. Very nice collection, I particularly enjoyed the Mountain Lady’s Slipper!


    Comment by centralohionature — May 26, 2014 @ 6:21 pm

    • I like it too and look forward to seeing it bloom each spring.


      Comment by montucky — May 26, 2014 @ 8:44 pm

  6. Stunning images. The sharp focus is absolutely superb.
    I also liked the Lady’s Slipper very much.
    And you’re so right about lots of walks. I know myself how many times I used to go back to the same locations waiting and waiting for the right moment (for a flower to open and before it wilted).


    Comment by Vicki — May 26, 2014 @ 6:26 pm

    • I’m fortunate to be close to areas where these grow and have enough free time to visit frequently. Just a week ago, most of these were not blooming. I’m glad that today I ventured out in the rain to see them.


      Comment by montucky — May 26, 2014 @ 8:47 pm

  7. Wonder of wonders, I’m looking at your rain-drenched flowers while it’s raining here! There are some old friends here. I already laughed at the pussy-toes again. And I’m curious about the lady slippers. Are those corkscrew leaves (or brachts, or whatever) typical? I don’t remember seeing them before, but of course there are so many wonderful details with all of these flowers, it would be easy to miss something.

    The cross-shaped mitrewort – well, there just as no words. It looks like handmade lace, or tatting. So beautiful.


    Comment by shoreacres — May 26, 2014 @ 6:41 pm

    • The curled brown parts are sepals, I believe, and they are a part of the flower.
      The mitreworts are quite small and I would bet they are usually overlooked by those who walk the trails. At first glance they appear to be just tall dead blades of grass unless you see the face side.
      I perceive these as old friends now too. I’m amazed though that each year, while traveling the same trails, that I see new blossoms that I’ve not before seen. I will be anxious to be able again to visit the Cabinet Wilderness because I know there will be new varieties there to discover.


      Comment by montucky — May 26, 2014 @ 8:58 pm

  8. Rain is good. Beautiful!


    Comment by twoscamps — May 26, 2014 @ 7:23 pm

    • Yes, rain is good. I get perturbed at the meteorologists on TV news who talk as though rain is a bad thing, when it is a vital factor for life on our planet. I always celebrate it and am always prepared for it.


      Comment by montucky — May 26, 2014 @ 9:00 pm

  9. Looking at these, a almost think the flowers’ scents are coming through the computer.into my den.


    Comment by Malcolm R. Campbell — May 26, 2014 @ 7:25 pm

  10. wild but still delicate, gently touching and heightening our senses. making us see and understand more the beauty in everything His majesty has created.


    Comment by marlynsuarezexconde — May 26, 2014 @ 10:51 pm

  11. Your story is an accurate one. I’ve walked a trail several times now waiting for a wild azalea to open. There’s no rushing nature!
    That white mountain lady’s slipper is interesting. It looks just like our pink ones except for the color. The colors of the larkspur and penstemon are beautiful and as usual you got great shots of them all.


    Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — May 27, 2014 @ 4:25 am

    • Fortunately, there is a trail fairly close that has lots of the flowers in the first mile. Other trails and areas are quite challenging and I cannot visit them as often as I would like. In this area there are practically no flat trails or flat, hikeable land. I know there are wildflowers around that I have not yet seen.


      Comment by montucky — May 27, 2014 @ 7:56 am

  12. Such a beautiful time of the year and these photos visually describe one of the reasons it is.


    Comment by anniespickns — May 27, 2014 @ 6:46 am

    • It is! Once I started to look closely at the wildflowers, my enjoyment of the back country has increased exponentially.


      Comment by montucky — May 27, 2014 @ 7:58 am

  13. I saw the Pointed Tip Mariposa Lily popping up all over the place at Glacier National Park this week. These are beautiful pictures!


    Comment by themrshaddad — May 27, 2014 @ 8:06 am

    • They really bloom in profusion, don’t they! One day nothing, the next, they are everywhere!


      Comment by montucky — May 27, 2014 @ 7:57 pm

  14. Hello Terry, I’ve been missing all the blogs I follow just lately, but I’ve been especially missed your wild flower close ups. And here’s another terrific collection of real beauties! Thanks for sharing.


    Comment by Finn Holding — May 27, 2014 @ 8:12 am

    • Thanks Finn. Lots of species are starting to bloom now. It’s a fun time to be out and about!


      Comment by montucky — May 27, 2014 @ 7:58 pm

  15. Beautiful images, Terry…some of them are familiar from my hiking here in the Wasatch.


    Comment by seekraz — May 27, 2014 @ 9:08 am

    • I would imagine there would be many of the same species there and here, although it is nearly 700 miles between the places. Roughly the same climates.


      Comment by montucky — May 27, 2014 @ 7:59 pm

  16. Well, your story is very good, my friend, so you need to stick with it!! 😉 You always capture the most beautiful images.


    Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — May 27, 2014 @ 9:17 am

    • Thanks! An interesting thing about the wildflowers, they have so many faces at their different stages of development, it’s always like photographing different flowers.


      Comment by montucky — May 27, 2014 @ 8:38 pm

  17. Wow, those are so beautiful. I can imagine I am about the size of a bee as I’m looking at them, they’re so detailed! 🙂 The raindrops are lovely.


    Comment by Jo Woolf — May 27, 2014 @ 11:45 am

    • Wouldn’t it be interesting if we could see each flower the way its particular pollenator sees it1 I suppose that would be possible for science today, but I sure don’t have the knowledge nor the technology.


      Comment by montucky — May 27, 2014 @ 8:42 pm

  18. You really puts up a beautiful serie of flowers in this post … Mountain Lady’s Slipper is my favourite … I wish that we had them were I live … // Maria 🙂


    Comment by mariayarri — May 28, 2014 @ 10:46 am

    • It is now getting into the best time for our wildflowers. I see new species in bloom nearly every day.


      Comment by montucky — May 28, 2014 @ 7:56 pm

  19. i agree
    get out there and enjoy
    notice the details
    so many beauties here
    and you got rain
    us too


    Comment by Tammie — May 28, 2014 @ 7:03 pm

    • We had a beautiful thunderstorm last night and a good rain too. There was a little rain in the air today and I found a few morels in their prime.


      Comment by montucky — May 28, 2014 @ 7:57 pm

  20. What a treasure chest Montana is! All flower praise the beauty of Your country.


    Comment by Sartenada — May 29, 2014 @ 2:23 am

    • Yes, nature celebrates spring here with lots of flower species!


      Comment by montucky — May 29, 2014 @ 8:03 pm

  21. OK. You’ve done it again! I love photos of flowers after showers! You simply have the best photos of any blog I’ve ever been to. Thank you!


    Comment by WildBill — May 29, 2014 @ 3:50 pm

    • Wildflowers and rain go well together, and photographing them in the rain is one of my favorite things to do, partly because I hold both in reverence.


      Comment by montucky — May 29, 2014 @ 8:05 pm

  22. I’m glad you are able to be out in your beloved woods capturing these stunning blooms. I love the mitrewort and the lady slippers and choke cherry.


    Comment by Candace — May 31, 2014 @ 10:33 am

    • Thanks Candace. I’m very happy to be able to hike again. I had a short but very steep hike this week in search of morels and was very pleased to be capable of the hike again, although very tired. The ‘shrooms were especially delicious too with dinner tonight!


      Comment by montucky — May 31, 2014 @ 9:28 pm

  23. Glad to see that you’re in floral high gear now.


    Comment by Steve Schwartzman — June 8, 2014 @ 9:57 pm

    • Getting there Steve, thanks! I’ve missed a lot this year, but the payoff will be when I’m ready to spend time in the Cabinet Wilderness in a couple of months.


      Comment by montucky — June 8, 2014 @ 10:32 pm

  24. Among bloggers I know, you and Steve Gingold have cornered the market for lady’s slippers:


    Comment by Steve Schwartzman — June 8, 2014 @ 10:00 pm

  25. Beautiful as ever, Montucky!!


    Comment by Mary Strong-Spaid — June 9, 2014 @ 12:03 am

  26. There is something special about the minutes right after a summer shower. The duality of the blossoming flowers and the life that the water gives to them. It really makes you appreciate the beauty of nature.


    Comment by Lewa — June 17, 2014 @ 7:50 am

  27. oh the elegance of miterwort!


    Comment by Tammy — June 19, 2014 @ 7:13 am

    • They really are elegant, aren’t they. They are so small though that without magnification they are hardly noticed.


      Comment by montucky — June 19, 2014 @ 9:13 am

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