This week's Bitterroot Outdoor Journal suggests you stay inside because of the wildfire smoke invading the valley from forest fires to the west. If you do venture outside, you can hear the birds before you'll them. When the smoke was a little less intense, Bob Danley was at Missoula's Blue Mountain and saw a Cooper's Hawk and a Northern Harrier. The hawks are finding early afternoon thermals and riding the warm air currents up to save energy for their migration. He also came upon a grouping of Clark's Nutcrackers there and got some audio. It's on Bob's Twitter account.

Under the smoke layer, Bob saw a Milbert's Tortoiseshell butterfly (see photo below), which overwinters as an adult, and along rivers and creeks you can see the Pale Snaketail dragonfly (photo above). On the ground, you can see Agaricon fungi on tree trunks, that looks like a pile of pancakes. But don't eat them. If undisturbed, they live a long time - even decades. Wildflowers out there include Pinedrops (photo below) that don't rely on photosynthesis and can grow up to six feet tall. They bloom in the summer and what you find now are dried up. The Bitterroot Outdoor Journal is heard Wednesday mornings about 7:45 a.m. on 1240 AM KLYQ Radio, at and on the KLYQ cellphone app.

Milberts Tortoiseshell butterfly. (bob Danley photo)
Pinedrops wildflower. (Bob Danley Photo)

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