Montana Outdoors

April 25, 2019

Today’s wildflower finds

This afternoon it seemed to me that I ought to check the area of West Swamp Creek (about 20 miles to the southwest of my home). Sure enough, there were several species blooming there in profusion and I was glad that I paid attention to my hunch.

Small White Violet

Small White Violet ~ Viola macloskeyi

Both the white and yellow violets are growing right in the water of a small spring fed stream, which makes photographing them a rather wet and messy endeavor, but that’s alright because it is now warm!

Pioneer Violet

Pioneer Violet ~ Viola glabella

Pioneer Violet and Alpine Springbeauty

Alpine Springbeauty

Alpine Springbeauty ~ Claytonia megarhiza

Glacier Lily

Glacier Lily ~ Erythronium grandiflorum

Shooting Star

Shooting Star ~ Dodecatheon pulchellum

Small Bluebells

Small Bluebells ~ Mertensia longiflora

Slender Phlox

Slender Phlox ~ Microsteris gracilis

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April 11, 2018

Wildflowers blooming in between snows

A few more species of wildflowers have begun to bloom here now despite unseasonably cool weather and a series of weather fronts that have been passing through. There were a few brief periods of sun today before the next weather front is due to arrive tomorrow, bringing up to 8 inches of snow to the higher country especially along the Continental Divide, and I was able to get a few pictures.

"Yellow

Yellow Bell ~ Fritillaria pudica

The species name pudica means “bashful” because it always faces downward. I suspect that its position shelters the pollen from early rains and snows or perhaps because it has a relationship with a special pollonator that finds that convenient.

Shooting Star

Shooting Star ~ Dodecatheon pulchellum

I find it interesting that its genus name is from the Greek dodeka (twelve) and theos (God) and is considered to mean “the plant protected by twelve gods”.

Western White Trillium ~ Pacific Trillium

Western White Trillium, Pacific Trillium ~ Trillium Ovatum

These have just begun to bud at the Munson Creek trail head.

Dandelion

Dandelion

Despite their being usually considered as a weed, I still find the blossoms very pretty.

April 15, 2017

Spring Wildflowers

Eddy Peak

Eddy Peak in the Cherry Peak Roadless Area photographed from the Munson Creek trail head.

One of my favorite days of Spring usually comes on April 18th and for years on that day I have hiked two miles up the Munson Creek trail to an area where there is a large area of Trilliums in bloom. This year it has been cool and rainy with few sunny days and I suspected that the trilliums would be late so today I checked at the footbridge near the trail head where they bloom earlier and found they are just beginning. My hike will be put off another week or so because my favorite area is two thousand feet higher in elevation.

Pacific Trillium

Pacific Trillium, (trillium ovatum)

Several other wildflowers have begun to appear now too:

Yellow Bell

Yellow Bell, (fritillaria pudica)

Dark-throated Shooting Star

Dark-throated Shooting Star, (dodecatheon pulchellum)

Small-flowered Woodland Star

Small-flowered Woodland Star, (lithophragma parviflorum)

April 5, 2016

More new arrivals

Blue-eyed Mary

Blue-eyed Mary ~ Collinsia parviflora

Stork's Bill

Stork’s Bill ~ Erodium cicutarium

Shooting Star

Shooting Star ~ Dodecatheon pulchellum

April 12, 2015

Recent wildflower blooms

Despite the foibles of spring weather, our wildflowers are bound to begin their spring and summer cycle. Here are some of the newest:

Shooting Star

Shooting Star ~ Dodecatheon pulchellum

Arrow-leaved Balsamroot

Arrow-leaved Balsamroot ~ Balsamorhiza sagittata

Pear

Pear blossom

Nineleaf Biscuitroot

Nineleaf Biscuitroot ~ Lomatium triternatum

Serviceberry, Saskatoon

Serviceberry, Saskatoon

Serviceberry, Saskatoon

Serviceberry, Saskatoon

Serviceberry, Saskatoon ~ Amelanchier ainifolia

Kinnikinnik

Kinnikinnik ~ Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Oregon Grape

Oregon Grape ~ Mahonia aquifolium ~ Berberis aqufolium

April 21, 2014

Mid-April arrivals

As the weather here has warmed a bit more toward a more normal April, more species of wildflowers have begun to appear. Here are a few more species making their appearance, including one that I have not before noticed or identified; another member of the Saxifrage family (sure wish these were larger).

Oregon grape

Oregon grape

Oregon grape ~ Berberis aquifolium

redstem stork's bill, common stork's bill

Redstem Stork’s bill, Common Stork’s Bill ~ Erodium cicutarium

Northern Biscuitroot

Northern Biscuitroot ~Lomatium farinosum

Shooting star

Shooting star ~ Dodecatheon pulchellum

Maiden blue eyed mary

Maiden blue eyed mary ~ Collinsia parviflora

Glacier Lily; Dogtoothed Violet

Glacier Lily ~ Erythronium grandiflorum

Nuttall's saxifrage

Nuttall’s saxifrage ~ Saxifraga nuttallii

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