Most of the dragonflies have disappeared as fall rolls in, but the aptly named Autumn Meadowhawk dragonfly can still be found in Western Montana, according to Bob Danley in this week's Bitterroot Outdoor Journal. The very small creature has been seen, occasionally, at the Florence Fishing Access and at the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge. You'll have better luck looking up during midmorning through the noon hour to see the hawk migration as the birds catch those upward-bound thermal winds. Bob saw a Peregrine Falcon in the Missoula area and a Golden Eagle in Lolo. The Black-capped Chickadees are flocking and you can listen for their "chick-a-dee-dee" call. Bob noted that an article in the online magazine "Bay Nature" explained how birdwatching is helping people's attitudes during the pandemic and the politically charged election season.

The Montana State butterfly is still around. Its migration limit is about 40 miles. The Mourning Cloak (photo below) has a 3-inch wingspan and overwinters as an adult. It's fattening up for the cold weather - landing on tree sap and fruit. The recent rain brought out some mushrooms. Still, not much out there, but you might see the large White Leucopax fungi (photo below), which can be found among the needles in forested areas. The Bitterroot Outdoor Journal is exclusively on 1240 KLYQ AM in Hamilton and Wednesdays about 7:45 a.m. We also occasionally replay the program Fridays during the hour-long Event Show at 8 a.m.

Montana's State Butterfly - Mourning Cloak. (Bob Danley Photo)
White Leucopax mushroom. (Bob Danley Photo)

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