Saturday, July 27, 2013

Wildflowers, Part Deux

Pretty purple wildflowers on a trip to Yellowstone, May 2013

If the Darby Canyon trip I posted about last week was the best wildflower excursion to date, then the trip we took to Yellowstone in May of this year is the first runner up.  While we didn't see nearly as many varieties of wildflowers on this trip as we did in Darby Canyon, in many ways the ones we saw were more exotic.  Yellowstone in May is a grand time to spot wildflowers!

About a dozen years ago, I became interested in heirloom tomatoes.  Because of the variety of shape, size and color and especially taste, heirlooms became the norm for me and hybrids from the store began to look, seem and feel artificial.  Last week, after our trip to St. Anthony's riverwalk, we drove back into town and I saw flower gardens with domesticated flowers and it struck me that they now looked artificial to me as well.

Yellow Avalanche Lily
Erythronium grandiflorum
Liliaceae

Yellow Avalanche Lily
This picture was taken near Howard Springs on the Idaho side of the continental divide on Highway 20 on the road to Yellowstone.  I don't remember ever seeing one of these before, however it has only been a few years that I have had an interest in wildflowers.  The more I travel, the greater diversity of wildflowers I see.

Subalpine Larkspur
Delphinium barbeyi

Subalpine Larkspur
This was spotted along the sideroad to Petrified Tree in Yellowstone National Park.  We normally would have driven to the petrified tree but there was a sow black bear and her cub along the road and the rangers would not allow automobile traffic.  We walked up to see the bears and spotted many species of wildflowers along the way.  It was a win win win for me.  I saw bears, got some exercise and spotted some neat wildflowers.

Subalpine Phlox
Phlox condensata
Polemoniaceae

Subalpine Phlox
This was also photographed near Petrified Tree.  This was early in the spring and I imagine a week or two later this would have been covered with blooms.

Hookedspur Violet
(Mountain Blue Violet)
Viola adunca
Violaceae

Hookedspur Violet
As with most of the wildflowers on this blogpost, this was found along the road to Petrified Tree.  Since becoming interested in wildflowers, a whole new world has opened up to me.  I am amazed at the diversity of different plants in the northern Rockies.

Bonneville Shooting Star
Dodecatheon conjugens
Primulaceae

Bonneville Shooting Star

This flower was spotted along the road to Petrified Tree while we were walking toward the bear sighting area.  I don't remember ever noticing this type of wildflower before this day in May.

Hairy Clematis
(Sugar Bowl)
Clematis hirsutissma
Ranunculaceae

Hairy Clematis

Hairy Clematis

Hairy Clematis

I had never seen one of these before.  This may be the most exotic wildflower I spotted on the entire trip.  I didn't know they even existed.  Delightful.  There were several of these along the road to Petrified Tree.

Alpine Forget-Me-Not
Myosotis alpestris
Boraginaceae

Alpine Forget-Me-Not

This was also spotted along the road to Petrified Tree.  These plants are quite common in the greater Yellowstone area. 

I have enjoyed discovering new wildflowers and photographing them.  At least new wildflowers to me.  I have endeavored to identify them correctly but recognize that I am not a botanist.  In some cases the identification was the best guess based on the book and images I've found on the web. 

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