A Little Bit Fallish…

 

The temperatures have dropped and we have had a few killing freezes already in northwest Montana.  A few flowers are still doing well though….

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Most of the leaves here are still green but some of the shrubs are starting to change….

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  Go find the beauty in your day…

 

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Today’s Flowers

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Canadian Tiger Swallowtail

 

This beautiful Canadian Tiger Swallowtail has been visiting my flowers everyday.  We have very much enjoyed watching it flutter all around.

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Caterpillar: The caterpillar is green, enlarged in the front, and marked near the head with four yellow dots and two yellowisheyespots with bluish centers.
Adult: The butterfly is large (but small for a Swallowtail), with a wingspan of 2 1/2 to 3 1/4 inches, and tailed. The upperside is bright yellow and edged with a thick, black border marked with yellow dashes. The forewing is marked four broad, fairly parallel black bands. The hindwing is marked diagonally with a long and narrow black band, and is edged with black along the inside edge, next to the body. The rear of the hindwing is marked with two crescent-shaped blue spots, one of which edges an orange, similarly-shaped spot. The underside of the forewing is similar to the upperside, but the yellow dashes marking the black border are joined forming a continuous line. The underside of the hindwing is also similar to the upperside but is additionally clouded with orange. Note that a rare black form of female can occur.

Range: 
This Swallowtail ranges from Alaska and the Yukon Territory south through British Columbia and east across Canada to the east coast. It extends into the extreme northern U.S. from northeastern Washington to central Michigan, and from northern New York into New England. It occurs in the panhandle of Idaho.

Habitat:
It can be found in and along deciduous and mixed forests.

Diet:

Caterpillar: Caterpillars feed on the leaves of several species of trees: birches (Betula spp.), aspen (Populus spp.), crabapple (Malusspp.), and black cherry (Prunus serotina.).
Adult: Butterflies drink flower nectar.

Ecology:
Caterpillars construct small feeding structures from folded leaves tied and lined with silk. There is only one generation of caterpillars each year. Pupae overwinter in a physiological state called diapause, with the adults generally emerging to fly from May to mid-August. Males may often be observed puddling. This species may hybridize with Papilio rutulus, the Western Tiger Swallowtail, but such pairings are rare.

Reproduction:
Males actively patrol in search of receptive females. Females lay eggs singly on the leaves of host plants.

 

Please visit here to learn more…

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Moss Campion and Shooting Stars…

 

Pink Moss Campion with barbed wire running through it on the side of the road …

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Moss Campion is part of the pinks family. It is well adapted to growing in the lower, and sometimes higher Alpine regions. Moss Campion only grows about 5-15 cm tall, hugging the ground for warmth. Its leaves are very small, not exposing too much of the plant to wind and freezing temperatures found in the Alpine biomes. Its mounded cushion shape protects it from the cold, drying winds.

It looks like a soft, green cushion, sprinkled with small pink flowers. It grows in the sandy, rocky soil of the Rocky Mountains in the United States and can also be found growing in the Alps of Switzerland.

For more info please visit here….

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Also some Shooting Stars…
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Pulsatilla Family…

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Fuzzy petals…

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Fuzzy leaves…

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Common names include pasque flower (or pasqueflower), wind flowerprairie crocusEaster Flower, and meadow anemone. Several species are valued ornamentals because of their finely-dissected leaves, solitary bell-shaped flowers, and plumed seed heads. The showy part of the flower consists of sepals, not petals.

The flower blooms early in spring, which leads to the common name Pasque flower, since Pasque refers to Easter (Passover).

Pulsatilla is highly toxic, and produces cardiogenic toxins and oxytoxins which slow the heart in humans. Excess use can lead to diarrhoea, vomiting and convulsions, hypotension and coma. It has been used as a medicine by Native Americans for centuries. Blackfoot Indians used it to induce abortions and childbirth. Pulsatilla should not be taken during pregnancy nor during lactation.

Extracts of Pulsatilla have been used to treat reproductive problems such as premenstrual syndrome and epididymitis. Additional applications of plant extracts include uses as a sedative and for treating coughs. It is also used as an initial ingredient in homeopathic remedies.

For more info please read here…

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Evening view into Glacier National Park

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Trillium…

 

On our way up to East Glacier, we stopped  at this waterfall.  Normally, just a trickle it was roaring full bore due to the melting snow higher up.

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There was enough water that there were two arms to the waterfall…

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Below the falls in the moist soil were these beautiful white trilliums in full bloom…

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Shooting Stars…

 Dodecatheon

 Dodecatheon species…

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Shootingstar (Dodecatheon pulchellum) is a species of flowering plant in the primrose family.

The Shooting star is a perennial herb with single, leafless flower stems, growing from very short erect root stocks with no bulblets to a height of 2-15 inches.

Each plant has between 1 and 25 flowers clustered at the stem top. The calyx is usually purple-flecked, and the five lobes are 3 to 5 millimeters (mm) long. The corolla  is 10 to 20 mm long and the 5 lobes sweep backwards. The lobes are purplish-lavender and rarely white. The short tube is yellowish and usually has a purplish wavy line at the base. The filaments are joined into a yellowish tube 1.5-3 mm long, which is smooth or only slightly wrinkled. The 5 anthers are joined to a projecting point, usually yellowish to reddish-purple, 4-7 mm long and the stigma is slightly larger than the style.

Flowering period is from April to August depending on the site type and elevation.

The Shootingstar is native to much of North America. See a distribution map at the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service plants profile database. It can be found in saline swamps, mountain meadows and streams, plains, and alpine zones. In Montana, it is most common in western and central areas.

According to Montana Plant Life.org it is used as a medicine plant. “Pretty shooting star was used medicinally by the Okanagan-Colville and Blackfoot Indians. An infusion of the roots was used as a wash for sore eyes. A cooled infusion of leaves was used for eye drops. An infusion of leaves was gargled, especially by children, for cankers.”

For more info please visit here…

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