As the summer slowly transitions into fall, the wildflower blooms are fading. But there are still some great visions out there with the Columbia Monkshood and the Common Sunflower (see photos above). Bob Danley said the sunflowers are along gravel roads or other open areas. He also said the ducks are gathering in the ponds at the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge. The Mallards are less colorful (in eclipse plumage) than during mating season, but they're always fun to watch as they dip down into the water (see photo below).

Make sure your hummingbird feeders remain full as the little birds prepare for some long flying times south. Some great butterflies are out and about, including the Great Spangled Fritillary, which is one of the best names we're heard for a butterfly. Enjoy the outdoor changes as we approach autumn.

Mallard ducks in the Bitterroot. (Bob Danley Photo)