Monday, July 22, 2013

WIldflowers #1

Wildflowers in Darby Canyon
Over the last few years, as our family has gone adventuring in the Idaho, Montana and Wyoming wilderness, we have been amazed at the wealth of different types of wildflowers there are here in the northern Rockies.  Last year I purchased a fieldguide called Rocky Mountain Wildflowers by Marlene Borneman and James Ells, Ph.D.  In addition to the book, we finally acquired a decent camera and I decided to start photographing wildflowers.  I've posted wildflower pictures on several entries and will continue to post them as I see them.

Half the fun of seeing new wildflowers is identifying them.  As I post a picture of a wildflower, I will identify it and state where and when we saw it.

Columbian Monkshood
Aconitum columbianum

Columbian Monkshood

Columbian Monkshood
I viewed the Columbian Monkshood on a hiking trip I took with my son Rhys, on July 25, 2012.  We hiked up to the Wind Caves in Darby Canyon near Driggs, Idaho.  I believe I saw more different types of wildflowers on this hike than any other I have ever been on.  It was stunning.

I viewed the Columbian Monkshood in the valley under the tree canopy.  The location I saw them in didn't seem to receive any direct sunlight throughout the day.  Always in partial shade.  The plants seemed to be about 4 feet tall with these blooms up near the top.

Parry's Primrose
Primula parryi

Parry's Primrose

Parry's Primrose
We viewed the Parry's Primrose on the same trip to Darby Canyon in 2012.  These plants were seen at the base of the waterfall after the water exited the Wind Caves.  The ground around the flowers was a little muddy and the mist from the falls was cool and refreshing on a hot summer day.  Parry's Primrose is most often found near water.

Parry's (Mountain) Gentian
Gentiana (Pneumonanthe) parryi

Parry's  Gentian

Parry's Gentian bud

Parry's Gentian cluster
The Parry's (Mountain) Gentian was observed on the same trip to Darby Canyon.  I viewed it on the switchbacks after the monument and before the trail terminated at the Wind Cave.  The plants were low lying and in partial sun.  These plants clung close on the steep hillside as we summited.

Tall (Chiming) Fringed Bluebells
Mertensia ciliate

Tall  Fringed Bluebells

These were spotted on the same trip through Darby Canyon in several places along the trail.  These were in full sun for most of the day, I believe. 

Tufted Fleabane
Erigeron caespitosus

Tufted Fleabane
This is a wildflower I see almost every time I go on a trip.  I rarely photograph it anymore because it is so plentiful.  Still, it is pretty.  I photographed this in the morning at the trailhead to the Wind Caves in Darby Canyon.

Bladder (White) Campion
Silene latifolia (scouleri) alba

Bladder Campion

I photographed this at about seven in the morning at the trailhead to the Wind Caves.  Darby Canyon was absolutely full of wildflowers last year.  A virtual paradise!

Seep (Yellow) Monkeyflower
Mimulus guttatas

Seep  Monkeyflower
I saw the Monkeyflowers in the Treasure Mountain Boy Scout Camp after the hike into Darby Canyon.  As I recall, they were in a marshy area.

Lewis (Prairie, Blue) Flax
Linum (Adenolinum) lewisii

Lewis Flax

Lewis Flax
Lewis Flax is a very common wildflower in the northern Rockies.  I see it on most hikes in the three states.  These were found at approximately 8000 feet above sea level on the Darby Canyon trail.  They were out in an open meadow with full sun most of the day.

Rocky Mountain Columbine
Aquilegia coerulea

Rocky Mountain Columbine

Rocky Mountain Columbine

Rocky Mountain Columbine
I found the white variety of the Colorado or Rocky Mountain Columbine at about 8000 feet.  Some were in full sun, some were in shade.  They grew where they were planted.

I had not intended this post to be all about Darby Canyon, I had intended it to be about wildflowers all over the northern Rockies.  Darby Canyon was so rich in wildflowers, however, I decided to split the wildflower post into several.  Wildflowers #1 is all about Darby Canyon, but the others will be about multiple trips because nowhere yet in my travels have I found the variety and abundance of wildflowers more than I did in Darby Canyon, hiking to the Wind Caves.  This was only a portion of the wildflowers I found in Darby Canyon.  But it will have to suffice for this blog post.

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