Sunday, March 31, 2013

Wildflowers Blooming

Beautiful spring weather today...low 60's with clear blue skies. Main priority for wildlife watching excursion is to add bird species to month list. Recorded 93 species in 2008; starting today have only 81.  Did find 3 'monthers' this morning : Mountain Chickadee, Red-breasted and Pygmy Nuthatch. As happens often, 'things' are found outside of priorities/targets. Found 5 colorful, at times tiny in size, species of wildflower in bloom: Sagebrush Buttercup, Yellow Bell, Spring Draba, Bulbous Woodland-star and Blue-eyed Mary (photos below). It was fortuitous in finding some of them; great overview of 'mastering the art of observation' by Brain Pickings Newsletter. This time I'll claim finding them to a "connected mind" :-) Find something great!
Collinsia parviflora

Lithophragma glabrum

Ranunculus glaberrimus

Draba verna

Fritilliaria pudica 

Monday, March 25, 2013

1st Butterfly of the Year...over Asphalt

A Milbert's Tortoiseshell (Aglais milberti) flew past me, my first butterfly for the year, while I sat in my car at a light on a four-lane highway. What's really ironic, I was going to Blodgett Canyon, a US Forest Service property just west of Hamilton, MT, that is a trailhead into the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness...I found zero butterflies there! Wildlife watching can be like this...never know what might pop into view. Here's a photo of a flashy Milbert's:
Aglais milberti
At Blodgett Canyon did find colorful wildlife in the form of many lichen species, mostly crustose in morphology, on rock:

Unfortunately, I cannot identify them (at present at least); please enjoy for form and color. Spring is arriving, find something colorful.