Montana Outdoors

November 13, 2015

Just a glimmer of pink

Filed under: Wildflowers — Tags: , , — montucky @ 10:01 pm

A few days ago, near the end of my driveway, I noticed just a slight glimmer of pink hugging the ground, nearly imperceptible from a distance of six feet. I thought of it today and looked at it a little closer, from a few inches, and through a lens. The flecks of pink are flower buds of Stork’s Bill (Erodium cicutarium) daring to bloom right on the very edge of winter.

redstem stork's bill, common stork's bill

redstem stork's bill, common stork's bill

redstem stork's bill, common stork's bill

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36 Comments »

  1. So brilliant. It’s like the last rose of summer (except that summer is long gone).

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    Comment by wordsfromanneli — November 13, 2015 @ 10:02 pm

    • I would say certainly the last flower of summer but I would probably be wrong again. I will keep on looking.
      I measured one of these: they are 1/16 inch in diameter.

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      Comment by montucky — November 13, 2015 @ 10:08 pm

      • Wow! I knew you had a good camera (and a good eye) but that’s really amazing.

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        Comment by wordsfromanneli — November 14, 2015 @ 5:26 am

        • It’s fascinating. I tried an experiment in photographing these. I’m learning to use a new camera, one of the tiny mirrorless ones. These photos were taken with a 10mm – 30mm lens (the one that I have been using lately for landscapes) with a 10mm extension tube, not a macro lens. Pushing the envelope maybe, but not too bad results so far.

          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by montucky — November 14, 2015 @ 10:01 am

  2. What a hardy little thing.

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    Comment by Candace — November 13, 2015 @ 10:06 pm

    • Amazing that they would bloom now. They are pressed right against the ground.

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      Comment by montucky — November 13, 2015 @ 10:11 pm

  3. So pretty.. glad you went back to check it out..

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    Comment by Mother Hen — November 13, 2015 @ 10:22 pm

  4. Must have been a warm space or something?

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    Comment by Vicki — November 13, 2015 @ 10:22 pm

    • It’s a very exposed place. Perhaps it depends on getting every bit of sunlight that becomes available.

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      Comment by montucky — November 13, 2015 @ 10:26 pm

  5. Was this after the snow? What a miracle. So pretty.

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    Comment by Brenda Davis Harsham — November 13, 2015 @ 10:36 pm

    • It was today, but we haven’t had snow yet on the valley floor. Nights in the 20’s though and snow is probable Monday.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — November 13, 2015 @ 10:38 pm

  6. Glad you saw it before you got snow.

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    Comment by Malcolm R. Campbell — November 13, 2015 @ 11:46 pm

    • I wonder how much snow it will tolerate; if it will weather a few snow and melt cycles. It is in the geranium family.

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      Comment by montucky — November 13, 2015 @ 11:59 pm

  7. How beautiful! Love the daring spirit of this little plant!

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    Comment by Jo Woolf — November 14, 2015 @ 3:49 am

    • I do too. It is a very successful plant, so there must be a strategy there somewhere.

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      Comment by montucky — November 14, 2015 @ 9:31 am

  8. Can’t help but wonder how they manage to get pollenated this time of the year.

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    Comment by centralohionature — November 14, 2015 @ 6:11 am

    • There are still tiny insects around. One winter about a dozen years ago I was on a trail on snowshoes. The snow was about 4 feet deep and I kept seeing tony black specs on the surface of the snow. I finally got down and looked very closely and saw that they were tiny insects. I still have no idea what they were or why they were out in the middle of winter.

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      Comment by montucky — November 14, 2015 @ 9:33 am

  9. Luscious colours and I like the fine details of the hairs. What a tough little thing.

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    Comment by Jane — November 14, 2015 @ 7:09 am

    • It was surprising how summer-like they appeared. They are so tiny that much of the detail cannot be seen without magnification, at least to my tired old eyes.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — November 14, 2015 @ 9:36 am

  10. I couldn’t remember why storksbill seemed famliar, until you mentioned geranium. Some time ago, I learned the difference between our wild geraniums and the ones I occasionally purchase at the garden centers and pot up for some fall and winter color. Geraniums certainly are cold-tolerant. In fact, more than once I’ve babied one through the summer by bringing it into the air conditioning! So, perhaps these will do well for you. I still remember the Easter we had blooming tulips right up to their blossoms in snow.

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    Comment by shoreacres — November 14, 2015 @ 7:23 am

    • It’s a plant that came over from Europe centuries ago. The ones I photographed are very small and are growing tight to the ground. In summer they are much larger and taller and are large enough to actually be a beneficial food for wildlife.

      I’ve seen tulips in snow too, and in very mild winters I’ve seen pansies that bloomed all winter where they were somewhat protected by taller evergreen bushes.

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      Comment by montucky — November 14, 2015 @ 9:46 am

  11. Their hairy buds and stems tell me that they are made for cold weather. They’ll be fine, but they might not see many pollinators!

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    Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — November 14, 2015 @ 7:50 am

    • Well, I still see tiny insects around even after many nights in the mid 20’s. They must have some kind of strategy!

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — November 14, 2015 @ 9:50 am

  12. Brave and hardy little bud showing its pretty color right on the cusp of cold weather. One last hurrah of color, maybe?

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    Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — November 14, 2015 @ 8:39 am

    • If it is a last hurrah, I appreciate it, even though it can only really be seen with magnification. I measured one of the blossom tubes and it is only 1/16 inch in diameter.

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      Comment by montucky — November 14, 2015 @ 9:52 am

  13. Fascinating after the snow pictures.

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    Comment by Lynn Millar — November 14, 2015 @ 2:51 pm

  14. Hi Montucky, Glad you still can find the pretty blossoms! Nice. Have a great Sunday tomorrow!

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    Comment by wildlifewatcher — November 14, 2015 @ 4:42 pm

  15. I am glad that You noticed these. Gorgeous photos.

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    Comment by Sartenada — November 24, 2015 @ 5:20 am

  16. The flower and your photos are beyond beautiful. What tenacious beauty … love this …

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    Comment by Teresa Evangeline — November 25, 2015 @ 1:33 pm

    • Those little flowers are under snow and ice this morning. It will be interesting to see what they might look like if this snow melts soon. The snow might have saved them from single digit temperatures over night.

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      Comment by montucky — November 25, 2015 @ 1:38 pm


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