Montana Outdoors

May 8, 2010

Lots of patience:

on his part, not mine.

Western Tiger Swallowtail

Western Tiger Swallowtail

Western Tiger Swallowtail

Western Tiger SwallowtailWestern Tiger Swallowtail, Papilio rutulus


May 6, 2010


Western GroundselWestern Groundsel, Senecio integerrimus, Sunflower family

Slender HawkweedSlender hawkweed, Hieracium gracile, Sunflower family


May 5, 2010

Prairie Smoke

Prairie Smoke

Prairie Smoke

Prairie Smoke

Prairie SmokePrairie smoke, Old man’s whiskers, Purple avens, Geum triflorum; Rose family

These are blooming now at the east end of Dog Lake on the Flathead Indian Reservation. I found the color variation to be interesting (it’s not something I did with the photos). I will post photos later of the seed heads: they are quite interesting.


May 4, 2010

Montana Larkspur

Montana Larkspur

Montana Larkspur

Montana LarkspurMontana larkspur, Delphinium bicolor, Buttercup family

The showy part of these flowers are actually the five sepals, and the four petals form a small cluster in the center of the flower. The top sepal forms a hollow spur which produces nectar. but because of the depth of the spur, it is accessible only to insects with long feeding structures such as butterflies and bumblebees.

Larkspurs contain delphinine which is poisonous to cattle and highly toxic to humans.

May 3, 2010

Spring Beauties

Western Spring Beauty

Western Spring Beauty

Western Spring BeautyWestern Spring Beauty, Lanceleaf spring beauty, Claytonia lanceolata

There seems to be some disagreements about exactly what these should be called, whether Western Spring Beauty, or Lanceleaf Spring Beauty. If I were to choose a side it would be Western Spring Beauty (Claytonia lancelata, var. rosea). Whatever. They are still pretty little spring flowers!

(Today was stormy with wind velocities of around 35mph and gusts up to 50mph with light rain and temperatures in the 40’s. Photography was done in the prone position using an old umbrella as a wind-break. Camera stayed dry; photographer didn’t.)

May 2, 2010

Early blue violets

Despite the recent cold weather and clouds, new wildflower species begin blooming every day now. (I was afraid that I had missed these: I’ll try to keep up!)

Early blue violetHookedspur violet, Early blue violet, Viola adunca, Violet family

Early blue violet

(I couldn’t decide which to post. These were taken one minute apart; the first at 1/60 sec, f40 with flash; the second at 1/15 sec, f11 with no flash.)

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