Wildflowers are beginning to peek out this week in the KLYQ Bitterroot Outdoor Journal. Bob Danley reports that no flowers are widespread yet, but the east and south facing slopes will be where you can see any that have started to bloom. The Yellowbells and Bulbous Woodland-star (see photo above) are among the "early risers." As fisherpeople will tell you, the insect hatches are going on and that includes the Midges, which fly around in little clouds, getting in the way of hikers and others.(see photo below) The nice thing is they don't bite. The mosquitoes will take care of that duty is spring goes along.

For birdwatchers, Snow Geese are still passing through the valley, heading north. A few much smaller Ross's Geese are among them. You can probably see some at the April 13 "Welcome Back Waterfowl Day" at Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge, northeast of Stevensville, this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. A great thing about this activity is the group of experts that will help you see and identify all sorts of birds.

Close-up of a typical Midge. (Bob Danley Photo)