On my first entry into Glacier NP, I thought I would not see Bear Grass (Xerophyllum tenax) wildflowers growing. The late snowstorm had made pretty much everything in the park late, and there was very little Bear Grass growing on the first day … and the few plants seen were not really accessible for photography. But by the end of the trip, a week later, Bear Grass was beginning to show up in good numbers, at numerous locations in the park. Here are a few of my favorite images of Bear Grass that I captured near the end of the visit:
Bear Grass, contrary to what it’s name might imply, has nothing to do with bears. In fact, most all references I have read indicate that bears have no interest at all in this neat wildflower. Bear Grass is a grasslike perennial in the family Melanthiaceae, closely related to lilies. It is known by a few other common names, including squaw grass, soap grass, quip-quip, and Indian basket grass. This species was long used by Native Americans who wove it into baskets. Its fibrous leaves, which turn from green to white as they dry, are tough, durable, and easily dyed and manipulated into tight waterproof weaves.
Photographic Equipment Used:
- Canon 5D Mark 3 body
- Canon EF28-135mm, f/3.5-5.6 IS lens
- Handheld, with IS “On”
- ISO 200
- Aperture f/8 and f/22
- Shutter 1/60 sec. to 1/1000 sec.