Last weekend, I drove high into the mountains above Lincoln, Montana. The uppermost peaks still hold snow in deeper scores and catchments. Below all of that, where I looped through the forest understory on a narrow road, the beargrass was blooming in full.
While the area around my home—some sixty miles distant as the crow flies and caught permanently in the natural rain shadow created by the Continental Divide—is already drying out, the loftiest forests are still coming alive. The deeper pockets and notches are just now beginning to flourish with summer’s brightest greens.
Posted today are two photographs of false hellebore I captured at a switchback in one of the deeper mountain pockets. The hellebore are not yet half-grown. These plants might grow to be as tall as a man. Hellebore is also highly toxic. I find the leaves particularly beautiful in pattern.