Montana Outdoors

April 12, 2015

Recent wildflower blooms

Despite the foibles of spring weather, our wildflowers are bound to begin their spring and summer cycle. Here are some of the newest:

Shooting Star

Shooting Star ~ Dodecatheon pulchellum

Arrow-leaved Balsamroot

Arrow-leaved Balsamroot ~ Balsamorhiza sagittata


Pear blossom

Nineleaf Biscuitroot

Nineleaf Biscuitroot ~ Lomatium triternatum

Serviceberry, Saskatoon

Serviceberry, Saskatoon

Serviceberry, Saskatoon

Serviceberry, Saskatoon

Serviceberry, Saskatoon ~ Amelanchier ainifolia


Kinnikinnik ~ Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Oregon Grape

Oregon Grape ~ Mahonia aquifolium ~ Berberis aqufolium

May 14, 2012

Back to the wildflowers

Our wildflowers are blooming now faster than I can post their pictures! I shall try to catch up!

Early Blue Violet

Early Blue Violet

Early Blue Violet, Viola adunca, May 1

Ground-ivy, Creeping Charlie, Field Balm

Ground-ivy, Creeping Charlie, Field Balm, Glechoma hederacea, May 2

Oregon Grape

Oregon Grape

Oregon Grape, Mahonia aquifolium, Berberis aquifolium, May 1


Unidentified, May 2

Hooker's Fairybells

Hooker's Fairybells

Hooker's Fairybells

Hooker’s Fairybells, Disporum hooker, May 2

May 23, 2011

Wildflowers of spring (4)

Heart-leaved Arnica

Heart-leaved Arnica ~ Arnica cordifolia 5/16


Pretty, but I have been unable to identify it 5/16

Field Chickweed

Field Chickweed ~ Cerastium arvense 5/16

Leafy Spurge

Leafy Spurge ~ Euphorbia esula 5/17

This is a Eurasian introduction that has become a serious threat to rangeland. It is difficult to eradicate and is poisonous.

Star Solomon's Seal

Star Solomon’s Seal ~ Maianthemum stellatum 5/17

Oregon Grape

Oregon Grape ~ Mahonia aquifolium 5/17

I couldn’t resist posting another photo of this. I liked the setting among the other plants in a typical setting and these are blossoming just everywhere right now.

April 24, 2011

Two wildflowers and, well…

Shepherd's Purse

Shepherd’s Purse ~ Capsella bursa-pastoris

Oregon Grape, Hollyleaved Barberry

Oregon Grape, Hollyleaved Barberry ~  Mahonia aquifolium



April 8, 2010

Umbrella photography

It’s impossible to resist getting outside into a sudden springtime snowstorm and when one came up this afternoon I grabbed my camera gear and headed down toward the river.

The forecast for western Montana today had been for strong winds and snow although this particular area was excluded from the wind part of the forecast. However, as so often happens, Nature ignored that and decided to push the snow along by a brisk little wind of about 20 knots. Just up off the river, it felt cold; it was 33° to be exact, putting the wind chill at about 17°.

Rather than give up my excursion completely I sought the shelter of some small cliffs above the river that looked as though they would serve as a wind break and climbed up toward them to sit for a spell to watch the storm play itself out over the river. As I scrambled up the steep slope, a speck of color showed itself and when I investigated I found that there were several very small Oregon grape plants in bloom deep down inside some other brush that sheltered them quite nicely, and since the blossoms were open I decided to try for a shot.

Of course, one of the laws of photography states that the lens currently on your camera is never the one you want to use, and that is where the umbrella (which I always carry strapped to my pack) comes in. Yes, it is indeed possible to change lenses and take macro shots while lying prone under an umbrella on a steep slope in a 20 knot wind that is driving heavy snow before it; not easy really, but possible.

I hope it was worth it.

Oregon Grape

Oregon Grape

Oregon grape


February 3, 2010

Oregon Grape; then and now

Oregon Grape in April (April 20, 2009)

Oregon Grape(February 3, 2010)


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