Bob Danley doesn't often include reptiles on our weekly Bitterroot Outdoor Journal, however....

As he was walking on the Bass Creek trail, a mature Rubber Boa was right there on the path. He quickly took a photo (see above), because the snake is not usually seen in the valley. The snake is usually less than 28 inches long and its favorite foods include shrew, Bob says.

Birds are demanding our attention this week, with another ten species counted for 157 feathered species in Ravalli County so far, including our first sightings of Calliope and Rufus Hummingbirds. So get your hummingbird feeders filled with clear sugar water and be ready to see them in the early mornings and at dusk, mainly.

Other returning birds include Lewis's Woodpecker along the streams, Yellow-rumped, Townsends, Orange-crowned and Nashville (photo below) Warblers are all over the place, along with Sparrows, species include Savannah, Lincoln's, Vesper and White-crowned sparrows. Bob also says to include a shallow bowl of water along with your backyard feeder. As he's noted in his yard, birds like to splash around (photo below).

What about butterflies? Bob has photos (below) of Silvery Blue butterflies, which are found near Lupine wildflowers and Western Pine Elfin, which use conifer leaves for food in the larval stage. Mudpuddles are good places to find butterflies in the warm sunshine.

As allergy-sufferers know, the wildflowers are ganging up on you. There are at least 30 species flowering right now and we have photos (below) of Glacier Lily and Showy Jacob's Ladder. Others include Harsh Indian Paintbrush, Arrowleaf Balsamroot and Wyeth's Lupine. Get out there and enjoy the natural world all around, and listen to the Bitterroot Outdoor Journal on 1240 AM KLYQ and www.klyq.com Wednesdays at about 7:45 a.m.

Nashville Warbler (Bob Danley Photo)
Red Crossbill at Bob's birdbath. (Bob Danley Photo)
Silvery Blue Butterfly. (Bob Danley Photo)
Western Pine Elfin butterfly. (Bob Danley Photo)
Showy Jacob's Ladder wildflower. (Bob Danley Photo)
Glacier Lily. (Bob Danley Photo)

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