Montana Outdoors

May 11, 2017

Mid May wildflowers

You know it will be a pleasant hike when it starts out like this:

Munson Creek

Munson Creek

Oregon Grape

Oregon Grape ~ Berberis aquifolium

Howell's pussytoes

Howell’s Pussytoes ~ Antennaria howellii

Dandelion

A Dandelion was competing with some undergrowth for light and its stem was nearly two feet long.

Lemonweed, Western Gromwell

Lemonweed, Western Gromwell ~ Lithospermum ruderale

Pink Pacific Trillium

This Pacific Trillium is about at the end of its blooming time and has turned pink.

Field Chickweed

Field Chickweed ~ Cerastium arvense

Heart-leaf Arnica

Heart-leaf Arnica ~ Arnica cordifolia

Heart-leaf Arnica

Arnica bud

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April 24, 2015

In the last few days…

Many, many years ago, someone driving along Highway 200 tossed out the core of a pear and the seeds took root. The little tree was too close to the highway and the highway crews cut it down year after year. And each year at least a little part remained on the side furthest from the road. This year there is a branch that has formed what may be a new trunk, far enough from the roadway that it might survive. It has grown to about 8 feet high and is just covered with the most beautiful blossoms.

Pear blossoms

Pear blossoms

More species of wildflowers have also begun to bloom, some very early, I think, but surely very welcome!

Meadow death-camas

Meadow death-camas ~ Zigadenus venenosus

Field Chickweed

Field Chickweed ~ Cerastium arvense

Slender Hawksbeard

Slender Hawksbeard ~ Crepis atrabarba

Peak Saxifrage

Peak Saxifrage – Micranthes nidifica

Field Pussytoes

Field Pussytoes ~ Antennaria neglecta

Upland Larkspur

Upland Larkspur ~ Delphinium nuttallianum

May 11, 2014

Early May wildflowers.

In spite of a cold spring and below normal rainfall here in western Montana, the wildflowers are blooming, but about two weeks later than usual. This morning there was fresh snow on the mountainsides a thousand feet above the valley floor.

Western Gromwell, Lemonweed

Western Gromwell, Lemonweed ~ Lithospermum ruderale

Western Serviceberry, Saskatoon

Western Serviceberry, Saskatoon ~ Amelanchier alnifolia

Field Pepperweed, Field Peppergrass or Pepperwort, Field Cress

Field Pepperweed, Field Peppergrass or Pepperwort, Field Cress ~ Lepidium campestre

Fairy Slipper, Calypso orchid

Fairy Slipper, Calypso orchid ~ Calypso bulbosa

Marsh Valerian, Northern Valerian

Marsh Valerian, Northern Valerian ~ Valeriana dioica

Hooker Fairy-bells

Hooker Fairy-bells ~ Prosartes hookeri

Kinnikinnik

Kinnikinnik ~ Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Field Chickweed

Field Chickweed ~ Cerastium arvense

Arrowleaf Balsamroot

Arrowleaf Balsamroot ~ Balsamorhiza sagittata

Black Hawthorn

Black Hawthorn ~ Crataegus douglasii

Holboell's rockcress

Holboell’s rockcress ~ Boechera pendulocarpa

Menzies' fiddleneck

Menzies’ fiddleneck ~ Amsinckia menziesii

Meadow death-camas

Meadow death-camas ~ Toxicoscordion venenosum

Large-flowered Tritelia

Large-flowered Tritelia ~ Triteleia grandiflora

May 6, 2013

Today’s flora & fauna

On today’s walk with the canine member of the family:

Prairie Smoke, Old Man's Whiskers, Purple Avens

Prairie Smoke, Old Man’s Whiskers, Purple Avens, Geum triflorum

Field Chickweed

Field Chickweed, Cerastium arvense

Early blue violet

Early blue violet, Viola adunca

Small Bluebells, Long-flower Bluebells

Long-flower Bluebells, Mertensia longiflora

Bighorn Sheep

Bighorn Sheep, Ovis canadensis

Bighorn Sheep

Bighorn Sheep

Bighorn Sheep

May 22, 2012

More May blossoms

Antelope Bush

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

Black Hawthorn

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

Ponderosa Pine

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

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.

Field Chickweed

Field Chickweed, Cerastium arvense

May 23, 2011

Wildflowers of spring (4)

Heart-leaved Arnica

Heart-leaved Arnica ~ Arnica cordifolia 5/16

Un-identified

Pretty, but I have been unable to identify it 5/16

Field Chickweed

Field Chickweed ~ Cerastium arvense 5/16

Leafy Spurge

Leafy Spurge ~ Euphorbia esula 5/17

This is a Eurasian introduction that has become a serious threat to rangeland. It is difficult to eradicate and is poisonous.

Star Solomon's Seal

Star Solomon’s Seal ~ Maianthemum stellatum 5/17

Oregon Grape

Oregon Grape ~ Mahonia aquifolium 5/17

I couldn’t resist posting another photo of this. I liked the setting among the other plants in a typical setting and these are blossoming just everywhere right now.

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