September 22 is the official start of Autumn. However, we had a blast of weather Monday to warn us. Many birds have already started their southward migrations - including osprey (see photo above). Bob Danley of the Bitterroot Outdoor Journal said that shorebirds were leaving in July and the songbird migration is picking up. The songbirds still here are fattening up on berries and insects, mainly by the Bitterroot River. However, birds like finches are fairly nomadic, Bob noted. You can still find quite a few Evening Grosbeaks, Red Crossbill and Pine Siskin. Hawk sightings should be picking up.

About a dozen butterflies are still flitting around, including Mylitta Crescent (photo below), which you might even see in October. A few dragonflies are still flying, such as the 3-inch long Paddle-tailed Darner (photo below). It's constantly flying, so getting a good look can be tough. You'll find it near water. Wildflowers have pretty much gone to seed. That includes the violets we have pictured. The Sand Violet is one of nine violet species in the Bitterroot. The Yellow Woodland Violet can be a foot tall when it flowers and the Smooth White Violet is in shady forest areas. (see photos below)

The Bitterroot Outdoor Journal is heard throughout the year Wednesday mornings about 7:45 a.m. at 1240 AM KLYQ on the radio, at www.klyq.com on the internet and on that free KLYQ app on your cellphone, which can be found at the Android or Apple stores.

A fall butterfly. (Bob Danley Photo)
Paddle-tailed Darner dragonfly. (Bob Danley Photo)
Three violets during the summer. (Bob Danley Photos)