Montana Outdoors

May 3, 2014

A strange spring for western Montana wildflowers

After a winter with large amounts of snowfall (the high country around here still has 140% of normal snowpack) and lots of cloudy/rainy days this spring, the forests are very dry. The rain we’ve had has been mostly light showers with not much water volume, and the flowers which depend on April rain are doing poorly, at least in this specific area. These were taken on a couple of short hikes recently and the selection was not very good.

Round-leaved Violet

Round-leaved Violet ~ Viola orbiculata

In an area that usually abounds with violets, this and the following one were found only on a small hillside where water from snow melting at a higher elevation was trickling out of the ground.

Canadian White violet

Canadian White violet ~ Viola canadensis

Woodland Strawberry

Woodland Strawberry ~ Fragaria vesca

Mule Deer

Mule Deer ~ Odocoileus hemionus: (A fellow wild plant aficionado)

Heart-leaf Arnica

Heart-leaf Arnica

Heart-leaf Arnica ~ Arnica cordifolia

Pacific Trillium

Pacific Trillium

Pacific Trillium

Pacific Trillium ~ Trillium ovatum

These are Pacific or Western White trilliums that are in the final stages of their boom, when they turn pink. It took me awhile initially to realize that the pink onesĀ are not from a different species.

Western Blue Clematis

Western Blue Clematis ~ Clematis occidentalis

Early Blue Violet

Early Blue Violet ~ Viola adunca

Arrowleaf Balsamroot

Arrowleaf Balsamroot ~ Balsamorhiza sagittata

Grand Fir

Grand Fir ~ Abies grandis

Pioneer Violet

Pioneer Violet ~ Viola glabella

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May 19, 2013

An hour on the Spring Creek trail

A little spare time in the late afternoon, a short drive, cool green shade and flowers.

Scarlet Indian Paintbrush

Scarlet Indian Paintbrush, Castilleja miniata

Kinnikinnik

Kinnikinnik, Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Howell's pussytoes

Howell’s pussytoes, Antennaria howellii

Woodland Strawberry

Woodland Strawberry, Fragaria vesca

Yellow Coralroot

Yellow Coralroot, Corallorhiza trifida

This encounter made my day! It was the first time that I’ve encountered this saprophytic orchid. Its greenish tinge suggests that it may be capable of manufacturing at least a part of its food to supplement its normal diet of decaying organic material.

Smallflower Miterwort

Smallflower Miterwort, Mitella stauropetala

Heart-leaf Arnica

Heart-leaf Arnica, Arnica cordifolia

Early Blue Violet

Early Blue Violet, Viola adunca

Star-flowered Solomon's-seal

Star-flowered Solomon’s-seal, Maianthemum stellatum

Feathery False Lily-of-the-valley

Feathery False Lily-of-the-valley, maianthemum racemosum

Western Gromwell

Western Gromwell, Lithospermum ruderale

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