In between snow squalls, spring is sneaking into the Bitterroot Valley. Bob Danley in this week's Bitterroot Outdoor Journal (on 1240 AM KLYQ and klyq.com at 7:45 a.m. Wednesdays) saw his first Wood Duck of the season in the valley. He said the Osprey are checking out their former nesting sites. Bob is still looking for Lincoln's Sparrow, Northern Rough-winged Swallow and Violet-green Swallows. It's been rough for butterflies, but you might be seeing Morning Cloak butterflies on sunny days soon. That's the Montana State Butterfly, by the way.

The wildflowers of Montana are poking their heads out of the ground. Bob has seen Bonneville Shootingstar, Blue-eyed Mary and the leaves of Pussytoes, Large Fruit Desert Parsley and Lupine. For mushrooms, check out the photo (below) of the Geopyxis, a small cup fungi. The book "Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest" notes that cup fungi are the major element of the spring mushroom season.

Cup fungi. (Bob Danley Photo)
The early stages of Bonneville Shootingstar wildflower. (Bob Danley Photo)