The blossoms of Antelope Bush, Purshia tridentata. It is somewhat similar in appearance to sagebrush and is a very important food source for deer during the most harsh parts of winter.
Black Hawthorn, Crataegus douglasii. This grows as a large deciduous shrub to a small tree with very nasty thorns. It bears fruit that looks very similar to Serviceberry and it’s edible but neither good tasting nor juicy. The name “Crataegus” is from the Greek “largos”, ‘strength”, because of the great strength of the wood. On my hikes into the back country I always carry the 63-inch long staff of Hawthorn that I have had for many years now and over the several thousand miles it has accompanied me in those years it has helped me through some serious back country situations. Once I cut it, I carefully peeled the bark from it and began applying hand-rubbed coats of linseed oil. It probably has 80 coats now and is in every bit as good condition as when I first cut it.
Ponderosa Pine, Pinus ponderosa. Allergy sufferers beware: look at the pollen in the second photo! This pine can grow to be 100 feet tall and 4.5 feet in diameter and can live for up to 600 years. We share the property where we live with two mature Ponderosas and I’m constantly in awe at standing next to trees that were probably close to a hundred feet tall when the Revolutionary War was under way.
Silky Lupine, Lupinus sericeus. Pretty blossoms, but only a little over half their normal size because of lack of enough precipitation for the last month or so. We have had lots of clouds and showers that had very little rain in them. I’ve seen the same thing with many of the flowers that are now getting into their blooming season.
It’s a sure bet that before summer is over I will have flooded cyberspace with photos of Penstemons, but it might be a good start to look at just one individual blossom of this species which is found only in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.
This is the time, if you love wildflowers, when you just can’t get out often enough. I wish now that I could be several places at the same time but I will be content for the time being and hope for more outings throughout the summer.
Kinnikinnik, Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, May 2
Unidentified, May 5
Western Stickseed, Lappula redowskii, May 7
Small tumblemustard, false London Rocket, Sisymbrium loeselii, May 13