Montana Outdoors

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)

March 14, 2016

Bells and stars

In between rain showers and snow flurries both of these species bloomed today

Small-flowered Woodland Star

Yellow Bells

March 13, 2015

Woodland Star and friends

A few of the tiny wildflowers are beginning to emerge.

Small-flowered Woodland star

Small-flowered Woodland star ~ Lithophragma parviflorum (blossom size about 1/4 in – .64cm)

Spring Draba, Spring Whitlow-grass

Spring Draba, Spring Whitlow-grass ~ Draba Verna (blossom size 1/8 in – .32cm)

April 4, 2014

Early little ones

Woodland star

Woodland Star ~ Lithophragma parviflorum

Such a tiny (about .25 inches across) blossom and so fragile that it floats on even the tiniest breeze, it is still one of the earliest and hardiest of the wildflowers. Things cannot always be understood at the first glance.

Yellow Bell

Yellow Bell ~ Fritillaria pudica

A Whitetail doe was grazing on the hillside just below this small blossom in the evening of the second day of its bloom: in the morning the flower was gone. Life can take a sudden turn in this world in which we live.

May 12, 2013

May wildflowers

After the late arrival of warm weather, the wildflowers in this part of Western Montana have been hurrying to catch up with spring. Here are more that have started blooming in May:

Miner's Lettuce

Miner’s Lettuce, Claytonia perfoliata

Unknown

Unknown

Western Blue Clematis

Western Blue Clematis, Clematis occidentalis

Heart-leaf Arnica

Heart-leaf Arnica , Arnica cordifolia

Fairy Slipper, Calypso Orchid

Fairy Slipper, Calypso Orchid , Calypso bulbosa

Falsebox, Mountain Boxwood, Oregon Boxwood

Falsebox, Mountain Boxwood, Oregon Boxwood, Paxistma myrsinites

Blue-eyed Mary

Blue-eyed Mary, Collinsia parviflora

Yellow Wood Violet

Yellow Wood Violet, Viola glabella

Arrow-leaved Balsamroot

Arrow-leaved Balsamroot, Balsamorhiza sagittata

Arrow-leaved Balsamroot

Arrow-leaved Balsamroot, Balsamorhiza sagittata

Serviceberry, Saskatoon

Serviceberry, Saskatoon, Amelanchier alnifolia

antelope bitterbrush, antelope-brush

Antelope Bitterbrush, Antelope-brush, Purshia tridentata

antelope bitterbrush, antelope-brush

Antelope Bitterbrush, Antelope-brush, Purshia tridentata

sticky purple geranium, sticky geranium

Sticky Purple Geranium, Sticky Geranium, Geranium viscosissimum

woolly groundsel

Woolly Groundsel, Packera cana

ground ivy

Ground Ivy, Glechoma hederacea

largeflower triteleia

Largeflower Triteleia, Triteleia grandiflora

meadow death camas, common death camas

Meadow Death Camas, Common Death Camas, Zigadenus venenosus

small-flowered woodland-star, small-flowered prairie-star

Small-flowered Woodland-star, Small-flowered Prairie-star, Lithophragma parviflorum

holly-leaf Oregon-grape, shining Oregongrape, tall Oregongrape

Holly-leaf Oregon-grape, Shining Oregongrape, Tall Oregongrape, Berberis aquifolium

Unknown shrub

Unknown shrub

woolly groundsel

Common Hawkweed, Hieracium lachenalii

two-lobe larkspur, upland larkspur

Two-lobe Larkspur, Upland Larkspur, Delphinium nuttallianum

March 12, 2013

It’s a little bit Spring

Tucked neatly in between snow flurries these days there have been periods of sunshine, and Nature is proceeding with the inevitable journey toward Summer. The Buttercups which have been in bloom for a month on Buttercup Ridge have now spread to sunlit places along the valley floor

Buttercups

Sagebrush Buttercup Ranunculus glaberrimus

and among them are the tiny white flowers of Whitlow Grass.

Whitlow Grass

Whitlow Grass

Whitlow Grass

Whitlow Grass

Whitlow Grass, Draba verna

Near where these were blooming there was a section of an old abandoned barb-wire fence and it appeared to be a danger to the deer who crossed that hillside on their way to the river to drink. As I knelt down to cut the pieces of old rusted wire, this very early bloom of Woodland Star became visible, perhaps as a small reward for my effort.

Woodland Star

Woodland Star, Lithophragma parviflorum

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