The Bitterroot Outdoor Journal provides tips every week on what you can see in the Western Montana natural surroundings. Bob Danley has always suggested that you know what you're observing. To help, here are some books and things that will help anyone, especially if you need a gift for an "outdoors" type of person.

Birds and Birding -

  • What's Like To Be A Bird: From Flying to Nesting, Eating to Singing - What Birds are doing and Why. It's a long title for the Hardcover-Illustrated book that was published just this year by David Allen Sibley as part of his Sibley Guides.
  • Materials - bags of Black oil sunflower seed or a Hummingbird Feeder.
  • Butterfly and Dragonfly -

  • Butterflies of the Pacific Northwest by Robert Michael Pyle and Caitlin C. LaBar. A Timber Press Field Guide book.
  • Stokes Beginner's Guide to Dragonflies (2nd Edition) by Jackie Sones, Lillian Stokes and Donald Stokes.
  • Other Topics -

  • Mammals of North America (2nd Edition) by Roland W. Kays and Don E. Wilson. A Princeton Field Guide.
  • Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest by Steve Trudell and Joe Ammirati. A Timber Press Field Guide.
  • Rocky Mountain Natural History: Grand Teton to Jasper by Daniel Mathews.
  • Wildflowers of the Rocky Mountain Region by the Denver Botanic Gardens. A Timber Press Field Guide.
  • National Geographic Photo Basics: The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Great Photography by Joel Sartore and Heather Perry. It covers cameras to cellphones.
  • Bob also suggests you take your time in selecting a good pair of binoculars. He listed these things to consider - Image sharpness, Brightness in all light conditions, Edge-to-edge focus, Color rendition (do colors look natural?), Ease of focus and Close-focus Capacity, and Size (does it fit your hands or is it too heavy?). If you wear glasses, check out the term "Eye Relief" online. Some binoculars work well with glasses, others don't.

    A couple of other suggestions - an inexpensive magnifying glass for close-up looks at plants and stuff. And the gift of "time," where you give someone a hand-made certificate which promises that you will take a certain amount of time to go out with them into the "wilds of Montana." The Bitterroot Outdoor Journal is heard Wednesday mornings at about 7:45 a.m. during the Bitterroot Morning newscast on 1240 AM KLYQ and www.klyq.com.

    Even back in 2014, Bob Danley knew the value of good binoculars. (Steve Fullerton, Townsquare Media)

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