Bitterroot Outdoor Journals – Dragonflies Like Sunshine
The Bitterroot Outdoor Journal highlighted flying things this week. Bob Danley is noticing the increasing amount of dragonflies as summer sun and temperatures arrive in Montana. Some species' flight "season" starts in late June. He noted two damselfly species - the inch-long, mostly red Western Red Damsel (photo below), which can be found on the edges of ditches and ponds, and the Western Forktail, (Photo above) which is usually abundant in late July and early August. They hide in the shoreline vegetation. Up in the air, it's easy to see birds as they tend to their nests. "Loud and visible" are the words he used to describe avian activity this week. He heard a Hermit Thrush in the mountains. It has a long, flat note, followed by other "flute-like notes that do not rise or fall." Continuing our flights, let's check butterflies. Bob has seen 37 species so far, with the Chryxus Arctic (photo below) and the Field Crescent, (photo below) seen up in the mountains. Both are found near wet areas. Here's a Youtube video of checkerspot butterflies.
Also up by the trailheads, you can find the Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel (photo below). Wildflowers are all around, including Ballhead Waterleaf, Cow Parsnip, Elegant Mariposa Lily and Stiff Yellowish Indian Paintbrush (photos below). There is so much to see - take some time and get out there! The Bitterroot Outdoor Journal is heard Wednesday mornings at about 7:45 a.m. on 1240 AM KLYQ and www.klyq.com.