Two of the tiniest flying creatures have made appearances in the Bitterroot Valley this week. Bob Danley of KLYQ's Bitterroot Outdoor Journal saw a very small Calliope hummingbird (see photo above) at his home's feeder. The little guys can't fight off the larger hummers that hog the feeders during the day, so you can see them early in the morning and again about an hour before dusk, when they feed on the sugar water and then find a nearby perch to sit and digest. Another little guy out there in the wild is the Western Pine Elfin butterfly (see photo below). If you were to put it next to a coin like the nickel, the nickel might be larger. It can be found around dandelions - and there are plenty of those around right now. Bob has seen 11 butterfly species locally this year. The songbirds are getting noisier. Bob heard and saw Nashville Warblers, Savannah, Lincoln's and White-crowned Sparrows (see Photo below).

Then, there's the wildflower population. Look on south-facing slopes on the edges of the valley and you'll probably see some of the blooms in the galleries below. Now that Chapter One Book Store is open again, buy a wildflower book, get out and enjoy the world! The Bitterroot Outdoor Journal is heard Wednesdays at about 7:45 a.m. on 1240 KLYQ in Hamilton and on and that free cellphone KLYQ app.

Western Pine Elfin Butterfly. (Bob Danley Photo)
White-crowned Sparrow. (Bob Danley Photo)
Wildflowers of Western Montana. (bob Danley photos)
More wildflowers of western Montana. (Bob Danley Photo)