Wildflowers for My Birthday (and May 5th birds)

14May08

Today was my 40th birthday and it was a really nice day. I had posted last year, at this time, that the idea of age is actually something I consider one of life’s gifts. That said (and not to be said again) I spent the day looking down instead of up. I was tracking wildflowers and was amazed at all that I saw. One of the main reasons I did not take pictures at the feeder today was because the evening grosbeaks came back and I just wanted to allow them time to get used to me before taking more shots. So instead I went looking for wildflowers and felt pretty lucky by the end of the day. For the record I didn’t pick any flowers, one of the real blessings of taking photographs is it isn’t necessary. So instead of babbling I’ll get to the local wildflowers. (p.s. so the only birds I will show were ones taken on may 5th. I had too many at that time to show.)

camas indian hyacinth
(Camassia quamash)

I had shown, last week, this photograph of Common camas and mentioned that Indians actually loved the taste of the roots. As a matter of fact some tribes actually battled over camas fields. Adam Paul had mentioned that hopefully no one mistakes it with death camas. Here is a photograph of death camas I got today. {Adam Paul takes amazing landscapes, birds and wildflowers!}

Death Camas
(Zigadenus venenosus)

He is absolutely correct! The mistake can be fatal. The rub is that both Common death camas and Common camas often grow in the same areas. Both of the stems and leaves look exactly the same and when the bulbs are uprooted they are virtually identical. However, one tastes like a sweet potato and the other can kill even horses if enough of it is ingested. It’s a really pretty flower with a mighty punch. Death camas also looks a lot like wild onion as well however, in that case they do not smell like wild onions.

Douglas' Brodiaea
(Triteleia grandiflora var. grandiflora)

I had mentioned to Montucky, a curious soul cataloguing the backwoods of Montana in a beautiful way, that a flower we had both identified last year had not blossomed yet in my area. The name is Douglas Brodiaea so I took the above shot today to show it’s current condition for his sake. Meanwhile, when I stopped to get the shot of the death camas, you could imagine my shock when I ran into a whole field of them, with all of them in full bloom! That was a nice birthday surprise as I think this just may be my all time favorite wildflower. So here is an open shot of one of them…

Douglas' Brodiaea
(Triteleia grandiflora var. grandiflora)

Okay I also saw that the silky lupine was just starting to bloom as well. Here is your typical lupine leaf and any plant with this type of leaf is regarded as a lupine. Washington has 23 species of lupine in our forests so specifically identifying them always makes me a bit leery. Consider the silky lupine comment a hazards guess. This also might be silvery lupine as well. (Lupinus argenteus)

Lupine leaf
(Lupinus sericeus)

Silky Lupine
(Lupinus sericeus)

A couple birds…..

Sharpshinned Hawk

Sharp-shinned Hawk. On May 5th I was watching the birds and taking photographs when all of them simply flew away – and fast! I saw this bird fly into the tree it was the size of a large woodpecker which is what I thought it originally was but often what I see in the lens is shocking. Sadly, he was in a dark area so the shot isn’t too good but I finally identified him as the smaller hawk species of the Sharp-shinned Hawk. I got to tell you it was amazing how fast the birds flew away when he came. I had forgotten to post him so here he is.

turkey vulture

On that day a Turkey vulture came by and I got a decent shot of him as the lighting was actually pretty good. They, a group of four, circle the mountain looking for something to clean up everyday so far they’ve never had to land on our property.

Nashville Warbler

And lastly Monarch, helped me identify this little warbler that I found over at Lake Pierre as the Nashville warbler. Thank you Monarch! {If your a bird lover his page is a must see!}

On that day, I also ran into the funniest sounding chickadee I’ve ever heard. I glanced at it in my telephoto lens and went, “wait by sound that cannot be a black-capped chickadee!” I was so shocked at what it sounded like, which did not mesh with what I saw, I only took one picture and it did not show his face well enough for identification. That being the case I’ll be visiting him again and very soon. So hopefully (fingers crossed) you can look for him in the future. Meanwhile, I think I’ve overloaded you enough. I’ll post some more wildflowers later this week as my photographic cup runneth over. Thanks for taking the time to look!

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15 Responses to “Wildflowers for My Birthday (and May 5th birds)”

  1. Happy Birthday 🙂

  2. 2 Bo

    I love this kind of post. Your wildflowers are so different from these in the Midwest, and I am loving the show!

    All 3 of my kids and I have traveled to 46 of the 50 States, and aside from the more difficult Alaska and Hawaii, we have only missed Washington and Oregon. They have been on my planning list several times, but it just never happened. On our last cross-country vacation we had a big trip planned, culminating with a week at Olympia NP and the coast, but we had to turn home in Minnesota so a kid could have an unplanned surgeryand spent all our trip money on that! Never did get there, but now I’m inspired again.

    Happy birthday – a babe in the woods (literally?) at 40!!!

  3. 3 Mungo

    Amazing pictures, especially of the silky lupine – I am so impressed with your phtographs – very inspiring!

    Cheers,

    Mungo

  4. Thank you Zenuria!

  5. Hi Bo! I’m pretty impressed with your wildflowers for the very same reason. They are so different! I would so love to see a Jack in the Pulpit in real life! The Olympia NP is really an amazing place and completely worth the trip. (lodging is really inexpensive if you go to the local hotels.) One time we went there (we visit the coast yearly as I have family over there..) and we were driving along the ONP when we saw this sign that only said, “Big Cedar.” I had to stop. I then saw the biggest tree I’ve ever seen in my life. It actually had an old fire pit inside of it because people lived in it at one time! Amazing stuff. At the Washington Pass NP they have an old photograph that I wish I had taken a photo of – it was a HUGE Cedar tree cut down and a family put a door in, and sawed out a window, and put a window pane in and was living in the base of the tree! Really some mind-blowing sights there!

  6. Thank you Mungo and thank you for your visit! What a nice surprise – I’m going to have a peek at your webpage!

  7. Lori you are one fine wildflower hunter!:) Nice photos. I love the softness you have captured in the backgrounds. The information is very interesting as well.

  8. 8 montucky

    Beautiful shots here! I especially liked the Camas and the Hyacinth. I bet a whole field of them is gorgeous! Your lupines are way ahead of ours, none of which have opened yet.
    Happy Birthday!

  9. Happy Birthday. What a nice way to enjoy it!

  10. Wow, what a wonderful exposure in your shots! Quite interesting too. It’s so pretty to see the little water droplets on your Lupine leaves. I only have one in my rock garden and anxiously await the bloom!

  11. No worries and wonderful photos that you captured!

  12. Very nice shots. The hawk is really well taken from in between the branches.

  13. Belated, but earnest happy birthday wishes to you!

    Quite a nice set of photos you’ve got here! We have several Triteleia sp. here, but not T. grandiflora, although it looks quite a bit like our T. laxa (“Ithuriel’s Spear”). It must have been great to see a whole field of them!


  1. 1 tree leaf identification
  2. 2 lupine leaf photos

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