Bitterroot Outdoor Journal – More ‘Springy’ Things Are Happening
Yes, spring things are bustling and Bob Danley at the KLYQ Bitterroot Outdoor Journal has been glimpsing the changes - from the ground level up. He has noticed that the western Montana mosses have greened up with their reproductive spores already forming. He notes that there are almost 600 moss species in the Pacific Northwest. If they don't have water, they don't green up. You can find them on rocks, living and dead wood and in the soil. Meanwhile, at about ground level are the butterflies. Bob saw five species on Deer Creek Road up Pattee Canyon near Missoula. (See photo below of various butterflies) The Mourning Cloak butterfly, as an example, likes the muddy water for some nourishment, so you can see them along those muddy backcountry roads. You'll have better luck on sunny days with temperatures above 50.
And, up in the air, there's always something going on. The Osprey have arrived all over, including the Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge northeast of Stevensville. The Canada Geese have selected their nests and also arriving daily are Ruddy Ducks, Fox Sparrows and Warblers of all types. Sand Hill Cranes are being spotted in the air and at the refuge. Weatherwise, the rainshowers have been sliding through, with even more snow in the mountains. The Bitterroot Outdoor Journal is heard Thursdays on KLYQ 1240 AM and online at klyq.com.