The spring weather has finally arrived and the plants in the Bitterroot Valley are responding with a sense of urgency. The hardier species are already showing some colors among the wildflowers and are quickly welcoming more and more varieties.

We feature the awakening natural world in our weekly Bitterroot Outdoor Journal with Bob Danley every Thursday on KLYQ's Bitterroot Morning newscast at about 7:45 a.m. on 1240 AM and at klyq.com. Bob noted in our April 19 edition that Western Trillium flower is found in shaded, moist woods.

Meanwhile, the Low Larkspur is popping up in open forest and grasslands with good sunlight.

Low Larkspur. (Bob Danley)

Bob says the iridescent colors in the sky - the hummingbirds - are due back in Western Montana any day now - calliope hummers will arrive first. It's a good time to make sure your hummingbird feeder is full, because those little guys have been flying thousands of miles to get here for the summer season. And please don't add color to the sugar water in those feeders. It doesn't really attract the birds and the dye in the water is not good for the hummers' digestive tracts. Just the clear sugar water (ratio is 1:4 sugar to water) is needed, and you'll be buzzed by those little birds when you least expect it.

Songbirds are arriving and can be found where insects are buzzing, near the streams and ponds. The bigger birds are always found at the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge. There are new arrivals every day and herons are nesting in the tall trees.

Check out some of Bob's great photos here.