Montana Outdoors

June 9, 2019

More May flowers

These are the rest of the wildflowers that I was able to photograph during May. Late rains have slowed down the bloom, but it looks like June will be a good month for flowers.

Meadowrue

Meadowrue ~ Thalictrum occidentale

Field Pussytoes

Field Pussytoes ~ Antennaria neglecta

Bog Saxifrage

Bog Saxifrage ~ Micranthes oregana

This is a rather unusual member of the saxifrage family, but rather interesting because of the colors.

Upland Larkspur

Upland Larkspur

Upland Larkspur ~ Delphinium nuttallianum

Shooting Star

Shooting Star ~ Dodecatheon pulchellum

Indian Paintbrush

Indian Paintbrush ~ Castillleja miniata

Violets

Wild Violets ~ Viola Adunca

Lanceleaf Springbeauty

Lanceleaf Springbeauty ~ Claytonia lanceolata

Fairy Slipper

Fairy Slipper ~ Calypso Bulbosa

Probably the prettiest of the wild orchids in this region.

Elegant Cats-ear, Northwestern Mariposa

Elegant Cats-ear, Northwestern Mariposa Lily ~ Calochortus elegans

It’s a little unusual to see these in multiples.

Bitterroot

Bitterroot ~ Lewisia rediviva

The Bitterroot is the state flower of Montana. It was cherished by the indigenous people for its roots.

Northern Cinquefoil, Villous Cinquefoil

Northern Cinquefoil, Villous Cinquefoil ~ Potentilla villosa

February 28, 2015

Mule deer buck ~ B & W conversion

I seldom participate in challenges, but Maurice at i AM Safari invited me to post in the current Black & White challenge and I have a photograph that is so similar in its essence to the one that he posted from half the world away that I simply had to post it.

When I was a kid growing up here in western Montana in the mid 40’s, we lived near the edge of town and about a mile away from our house (within my permissible roaming distance) there was a large section of natural prairie which in the spring was very nicely decorated by a profusion of wildflowers, most notably the state flower of Montana, the Bitterroot (Lewisia rediviva). The Bitterroot has always been considered a valuable plant to the native Salish and Kootenai Indian tribes who cooked and ate the roots and large numbers of tribal members came from the nearby Flathead Indian Reservation each spring to camp and harvest roots on that section of prairie. They were very friendly people and were quite pleased to let a little kid like me help them with their harvest, and that became a real highlight for me every spring.

Sadly, that special place has now long been buried under the asphalt , concrete, and brick and mortar of commercial development that some folks call “progress” and Bitterroots have become very scarce. They do still bloom in places on the Reservation though (although not in great numbers), and each June I visit there to see and photograph the flowers.

Bitterroot ~ Lewisia rediviva

Bitterroot ~ Lewisia rediviva

In June of 2011 a couple of miles from where I had been photographing Bitterroots I encountered a beautiful young Mule deer buck and was able to capture one of my favorite photos of that species, and probably the only photo in my entire library that I think looks fairly decent as a black and white conversion: a native mulie, perfectly at home in his natural habitat, wondering who or what I am and if I really belong there too.

Mule deer ~ Odocoileus hemionus

Mule deer ~ Odocoileus hemionus

June 5, 2013

Lewisia rediviva ~ Bitterroot

Filed under: Wildflowers — Tags: , , — montucky @ 10:17 pm

The Bitterroots are in bloom!

Bitterroot

Bitterroot

Bitterroot

Bitterroot

Bitterroot

Bitterroot

Bitterroot

Bitterroot

Bitterroot

Bitterroot, Lewisia rediviva

The genus name, Lewisia, commemorates Meriweather Lewis of the Lewis and Clark expedition who first collected it in 1806 in what is now Montana. He pressed and dried one and when it was examined months later it still showed signs of life, and when planted, promptly grew. Its species name then was given as rediviva, meaning ‘restored to life’.

November 30, 2011

Thinking of June

Filed under: Wildflowers — Tags: , — montucky @ 10:52 pm

Bitterroot

Bitterroot, Lewisia rediviva

June 1, 2011

Lewisia rediviva

Filed under: Wildflowers — Tags: , — montucky @ 10:15 pm

In western Montana a blue-ribbon trout stream (well, it used to be) flows south to north through three quarters of a beautiful hundred mile long valley to its confluence with the Clark Fork of the Columbia river. Bordering the valley to the west is a 24,223 square mile range of mountains, anchored by 10,157 foot high Trapper Peak, that also forms most of the north/south border between Idaho and Montana.

The river, the valley, and the mountain range are all named after a small pink flower, the state flower of Montana, the Bitterroot.

Bitterroot

Bitterroot

Bitterroot

Bitterroot

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