One of our little wonders in the valley is Skalkaho Falls, southeast of Hamilton near Skalkaho Pass. Bob Danley of the Bitterroot Outdoor Journal has explored around the falls and, as he did last week, notes some of the plants and animals you can find there. He really likes the variety of butterflies - at least 25 species. You can see them around watery areas around the falls (mudpuddles are good - photo below). His list includes the Zerene Fritillary, Margined White, Mariposa Copper and Pink-edged Suphur (see photos below). You might also see Boisduval's Blue, California Tortoiseshell, Clodius Parnassian, Common Alpine, Common Branded Skipper, European Skipper, Field Crescent, Greenish Blue, Hoary Comma, Hydaspe Fritillary, Lorquin's Admiral, Milbert's Tortoiseshell, Mormon Fritillary, Northern Blue, Northern Checkspot, Orange Sulphur, Pacific Fritillary, Painted Lady, Silvery Blue, Western Pine Elfin and West Coast Lady. Wow!

Skalkaho Falls at dusk. (Steve Fullerton, Townsquare Media)

Elsewhere, you can hear the Eastern Kingbird, but it's been in the shaded areas because of the heat and you'll have to listen for it's "bickering call" ending in a "k-zeeer" call (photo above). Dragonflies are a little sparse this season, but you can find the emerald Spreadwing (photo below) along temporary ponds that don't have fish. Wildflowers include the Common Sunflower and the Rocky Mountain Beeplant (photos below). Both can be seen along US 93 between Florence and Missoula. Be careful in the heat. Take some water along when you explore our great areas here in Western Montana. The Bitterroot Outdoor Journal is heard Wednesday mornings at 7:45 a.m. on 1240 AM KLYQ in Hamilton and on www.klyq.com.

Zerene Fritillary. (Bob Danley Photo)
Margined White butterfly. (Bob Danley Photo)
Mariposa Copper butterfly. (Bob Danley Photo)
Pink-edged Sulphur butterfly. (Bob Danley Photo)
Find butterflies around mudpuddles at Skalkaho Falls. (Bob Danley Photo)
Emerald Spreadwing dragonfly. (Bob Danley Photo)
Sunflowers and Beeplants in Bitterroot Valley. (Bob Danley photos)

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