POTD: Aging Outlaw

Aging Outlaw
Kalispell, Montana
2011

This guy came into my booth at the art show in Kalispell last weekend. I only had a quick moment to get this photo when he turned to leave, so it’s not quite in focus. But I wanted to post it anyway because I found it pretty funny. Here’s a serious looking biker in typical garb. He’s got the rugged leather hat, the longish hair, bandanna, leather Harley vest (of course), and leather chaps. He’s really got the outlaw biker look down. But wait, what’s that on his left hip? It’s an AARP fanny pack.

POTD: Hiding in Plain Sight

Hiding in Plain Sight
Bozeman, Montana
2011

When I started posting the series of photos of local flowers that ended yesterday, I did so to show why spring in Montana is worth waiting for through a long winter. Well, this is another reason it’s worth waiting for.

I got this image when I was going out to photograph flowers about a month ago. I was walking up the hill behind our house when I heard a snort over near our garage. When I looked over, I saw a mule deer doe bounding off behind the building. I turned to continue up the hill but in the corner of my eye caught a glimpse of the white spots on this little doe. She had done what she was supposed to do when her mother signaled danger–drop to the ground and hide, not moving until it was safe. The problem was she was still mostly on the bare ground next to the garage when she dropped. I went down to where she was and took this photo. She didn’t move a muscle while I was there; even her eye, although wide open, was perfectly still. I quickly went back up the hill so as not to scare her or her mother (who was certainly nearby somewhere) too much. I watched from behind a tree and after a couple of minutes the fawn got up and very cautiously moved down the hill and crawled under a big stand of balsam root plants and lay down again. I’m sure she felt much safer there. I know I couldn’t see her at all.

POTD: Yellow Monkey-Flower

Yellow Monkey-Flower
Bozeman, Montana
2011

Monkey-Flower really likes to keep it’s feet wet. This patch is growing in the overflow of one of our spring boxes.

After more than a month of being on this flower-posting binge, I still have a number of photos of flower varieties that I haven’t used and there are even more varieties I haven’t photographed yet. But, I’ve decided to end the flower series and move on to other topics for now. Maybe I’ll take up the flowers again in the middle of winter when some bursts of living color will be sorely needed around here. In the meantime, while I’ve received quite a lot comments from people enjoying this change from my more normal fare, I’m afraid the POTDs are going back to mostly black and white images of more eclectic subjects (‘cuz a guys’ gotta do what a guy’s gotta do).

POTD: Geyer’s Onion

Geyer’s Onion
Bozeman, Montana
2011

This is one plant that I was pretty sure I had correctly identified, so I pulled one up and tasted the root. Although much smaller than a really small green onion from the garden, the root of this wild onion had about ten times the flavor. I think you could spice up a whole pot of soup with just a couple of them.

POTD: Many-Flowered Stickseed

Many-Flowered Stickseed
Bozeman, Montana
2011

When they’re flowering, these plants look like some tall gangly version of Forget-Me-Nots. Later on (like now–I took this several weeks ago) they are covered with stickers that are much less pleasant to look at and even less pleasant to have to pull out of your clothes when you pass through them while out walking around.

POTD: Blanketflower

Blanketflower
Bozeman, Montana
2011

A somewhat imperfect specimen of this quite showy flower, included in this collection more for completeness rather than photo quality.

POTD: Long-Leaved Phlox

Long-Leaved Pholx
Bozeman, Montana
2011

There’s a more compact, low-lying type of phlox that comes out earlier in the year that I like better than the Long-Leaved Phlox, but as I mentioned in a previous post, I didn’t get around to photographing flowers early enough to catch some varieties.

Native Americans use to us Long-Leaved Phlox to build up blood in anemic children and to treat eye problems, stomach-ache, diarrhea, and venereal disease. That was probably before the white man introduced them to snake oil as a cure-all.

Speaking of previous posts, I now think that the flower photo I featured on July 17th under the title Subalpine Valerian is actually Meadow Death-Camas. While Valerian is a common dietary supplement even today, Meadow Death-Camas is as ominous as it’s name implies. Except for Hemlock, it is the most poisonous plant in the West. Given my shaky ability to correctly identify plants, I think I’ll stick to snake-oil to cure my ills.

POTD: Drummond’s Milkvetch

Drummond’s Milkvetch
Bozeman, Montana
2011

I’m pretty sure this is Drummond’s Milkvetch instead of one of the various other milvetch’s that are out there. I’m also pretty sure I don’t want make a tea of it’s leaves or otherwise ingest it as it is stated by some to be “toxic to both livestock and wildlife.” (I assume humans fall somewhere along the livestock-wildlife continuum.)