Montana Outdoors

April 30, 2009

Glacier Lilies

AKA Avalanche-lily, Dogtoothed violet, Erythronium grandiflorum

Glacier Lily

Glacier Lily

Glacier Lily

Glacier Lily

Glacier Lily

Glacier Lily

There! Maybe that got them out of my system!

May 11, 2008

The world in a small Styrofoam cup

Consider the Glacier Lily.

Glacier Lily

The other day while going through the check stand at the local grocery store I noticed that there were a number of these pretty wildflowers sitting on the counter in a small Styrofoam cup and commented on how pretty they were. The checker, a young woman whom I had often seen there but did not really know, agreed that they were very pretty and mentioned that she had never seen them before one of the other employees put them on her counter.

Glacier Lily

Just a few days before, I had seen them growing in great abundance along several miles of a trail that ran beside a small stream not far from the town, and thinking that I might tell her where she could see them growing naturally in the wild, I asked her if she ever did any hiking.

Glacier Lily

Her reply was that she never hiked at all if she could possibly avoid it.

Glacier Lily

How sad!

Glacier Lily

April 19, 2008

Bighorns and Dog-toothed Violets

With a severe spring snow storm moving in, the temperature sitting steady at 34 degrees and a light drizzle going on outside, today looked like a great day to sit in the living room by the fire.

So, as I placed my camera and pack in the Jeep, I wondered what Mother Nature would show me today in Her back country in the snow: I was sure that whatever it was would be infinitely better than whatever would be on TV. I chose an old familiar trail that started out just a few miles from home, drove to the trailhead and started hiking.

After about an hour and a half on the trail I had climbed above the rain and into the snow zone and took this photo. Most folks would say it is a terrible photo, and perhaps they’re right. It’s nearly monotone, one can barely make out the subject, and there are white spots in front of everything; just terrible. But there’s also the matter of how you look at it. Now if what you really wanted was a photo of a full-curl Rocky Mountain Bighorn ram standing in a heavy spring snowstorm on a cliff 300 feet above you looking down and watching you photograph Glacier Lilies, then it becomes a very beautiful photo indeed!

Bighorn ram in a spring snowstorm

Oh, and the Glacier Lilies (AKA Dog-toothed Violets)? Well, here’s how they looked today with a few melted snowflakes adorning their petals:

Glacier Lily

Glacier Lily

Glacier Lily

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