Spring is arriving and Bob Danley of the Bitterroot Outdoor Journal has been seeing lots of birds. In fact, he saw about 15 species in 45 minutes in his backyard at Lolo. At Pattee Canyon by Missoula he noticed a few Pine Grosbeaks on the road, taking grit from the road surface to help with digestion (see photo above). In crabapple trees, you can see Steller's Jays and a few Blue Jays (see photo below).

The Montana State Flower, the Bitterroot, has already poked out its thick succulent leaves that help the root grow. In the spring - late May or early June - those leaves wither and the legendary pink flowers bloom, which helps in reproduction. The "before and after" photos are below. Though it's pretty easy to discover nature here in the rural areas, Bob noticed that Jeff Skrentry in Chicago, is attempting to find 2,500 plant and animal species in Cook County, Illinois, which is highly urbanized. You can find nature everywhere - just stop and pay attention. The Bitterroot Outdoor Journal is heard Wednesday mornings on 1240 KLYQ and www.klyq.com, during the Bitterroot Morning newscast between 7:30 a.m. and 8 a.m.

Steller's Jay (left) and Blue Jay (right). (Bob Danley Photos)
Bitterroot - early leaves on the left - spring flower on the right. (Bob Danley Photos)