The summer sun teased us in the Bitterroot Valley this past week. Then, the Pacific Ocean began to send more clouds and rain. And, in the higher elevations, even more snow.

In the this week's Bitterroot Outdoor Journal, Bob Danley reports seeing eight more species of butterflies for the year. Of course, opportunities to see them are just like their flightpaths - fleeting.

Spotted in western Montana are the Anise Swallowtail (photo above), Arctic Skipper, Pale Swallowtail, Western tiger Swallowtail, Common Alpine, Common Ringlet, Boisduval Blue and Juniper Hairstreak. Bob has now seen 24 butterfly species in 2022.

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Newly viewed dragonflies out there by the water are the California Darner, Four-spotted Skimmer and Dot-tailed Whiteface (photo below).

dot-tailed whiteface dragonfly
Dot-tailed Whiteface dragonfly. (Bob Danley photo)
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Wildflowers this week include the Side-flower Mitrewort, Striped Coralroot, Colville Paintbrush, Small-flower Beardtongue, Smooth Yellow Woodland Violet and Mountain Lady's Slipper. Up to 78 species are now blooming in the valley and on the mountainsides.

Bob is always taking his camera out into the field. A couple of easy tips for best results in your pictures:

  • Set the camera to "auto-focus."
  • "Use "action" setting for fast shutter speed or manually set the shutter at about 1/1250. (fast shutter speeds for butterflies and dragonflies)
  • Tuck your elbows into your body, hold the camera on the right side, with left hand supporting underneath the camera.
  • Exhale before pushing the button. Steady, steady, steady.
  • You can listen to the Bitterroot Outdoor Journal Wednesday mornings about 7:45 a.m. on 1240 KLYQ AM Radio or "listen Live" at klyq.com or with the KLYQ app on your cellphone.

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