Montana Outdoors

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

December 13, 2013

April diversity

While reviewing some photos taken during 2013, I was reminded of the diversity that we encounter here during the month of April. Following are a few photos taken in April, 2013:

Thompson Pass

April 1, Thompson Pass ~ I hiked a mile and a half on snowshoes over six feet of snow to find a trail head but was unable to find it because all of the signs and markings were below the snow level.


April 5, our first Crocus was in bloom in one of the flower beds.

Western White Trillium

April 11, Western White Trillium, Trillium Ovatum in bloom at the bottom end of Munson Creek.

Darkthroat Shootingstar

April 13, Darkthroat Shootingstar, Dodecatheon pulchellum blooming just above the river.

Western White Trillium

April 18, Western White Trillium, Trillium Ovatum in bloom 2 miles up the Munson Creek trail. This was the fourth consecutive year that I caught the spectacular bloom of the trilliums in that one small area along the trail.

White on white

April 21, A sudden spring snow brought a relapse back to winter.

Clark Fork River

April 22, Most of the previous day’s snow had already melted down by the river.

Holboell's rockcress

April 22, Holboell’s rockcress, Boechera pendulocarpa was in bloom on a warm rock face just above the river.

April 13, 2013

Darkthroat Shooting Star

Filed under: Spring, Wildflowers — Tags: , — montucky @ 10:56 pm

Darkthroat Shootingstar

Dodecatheon pulchellum

There isn’t a white balance setting on my camera for “snow flurries”, but if this little plant can bloom in a driving snow, I am willing to be there to photograph it. Seems the least I can do. And besides, spring-time snowflakes feel oh, so good going down the back of my neck.

The genus name for this flower comes from the Greek dodeka (twelve) and theos (god) and means ‘the plant protected by twelve gods’. I like the thought.

April 14, 2012

Still the time of the hardy ones.

Though we in the northern states often become distracted by visions of spring in other parts of the country and the world, nature always does what has been successful for millenniums. Yes it’s spring, but last night’s low was 28°f and it’s still only the time for the small ones and the hardy ones.

Shooting Star

Shooting Star, Dodecatheon pulchellum

Blue-eyed Mary

Blue-eyed Mary, Collinsia parviflora

Next week the Trilliums should appear along a favorite trail (if it’s clear of snow). I will try for them on Monday perhaps.

April 27, 2011

They come in white, too.

White Shooting Star

Shooting star, Few-Flowered Shooting Star

Shooting star, Few-Flowered Shooting Star ~ Dodecatheon pulchellum

White Shooting Star

April 7, 2011

‘the plant protected by twelve gods’

Shooting Star

Today on one small corner of the Flathead Indian Reservation, the first few Dark-throated Shooting Stars (Dodecatheon pulchellum) were in bloom. (This could also be a sub-species, Cusick’s Shooting Star.) The genus name  is from the Greek dodeka (twelve) and theos (god) and means ‘the plant protected by twelve gods’. They are quite common in this part of western Montana and are among the wildflowers that bloom quite early in the spring. I’ve seen them also at much higher elevations blooming in small patches on steep sunny hillsides in late summer.

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