The wind and the clouds, with the continuing freezing temperatures at night, are making the emergence of springtime in Western Montana a little tough. However, Bob Danley of the Bitterroot Outdoor Journal has seen more signs that the season is truly upon us.

Birds - Bob has seen some songbirds in the past few days, including Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, American White Pelican (photo below), a Yellow-rumped Warbler and a Long-billed Curlew. So far, 125 bird species have been recorded in Ravalli County.

Butterflies - Bob has been patient as he looks for butterflies. Sunshine has been nice, but the temperatures are not cooperating. Still, he's seen Boisduval's Blue (photo Below), which is small, with an inch-and-a-half wingspan. You can find it near its favorite plant, the Lupine wildflower.

Speaking of wildflowers, the Pasqueflowers are beginning to bloom, along with the Nineleaf Biscuitroot and the Springbeauty (photos of all three below). The Sagebrush Buttercups are peaking. There are at least nine species of blooming wildflowers spotted in the Bitterroot Valley so far this year.

And, an interesting fungi is visible, if you look closely on the right moss-covered log in the woods. The Fluted Bird's Nest looks like a miniature bird's nest. The photo below is a good example. Each of those tiny nests is a half-inch in size. Inside the nest are the fungi spores, ready to spread.

In the towns around the valley, the sure sign of spring has popped up in our lawns - it's a little yellow bloomer that bees like to buzz around and lawncare people hate. Yes, I saw my first dandelions this week! Welcome spring.

Boisduval's Blue butterfly. (Bob Danley Photo)
white pelicans. (Mike Daniels Photo)
Nineleaf Biscuitroot. (Bob Danley Photo)
Springbeauty wildflower. (Bob Danley Photo)
Pasqueflower. (Bob Danley Photo)
Fluted Bird's Nest fungi. (Bob Danley Photo)

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