This week, the Bitterroot Outdoor Journal highlights what you can see along the hiking trail in Blodgett Canyon. The striking cliffs west of Hamilton have been photographed as much as any natural feature in the Bitterroot Valley.

Bob Danley took a hike last year up the trail and repeated that short trek this year. What did he see? He saw 34 bird species - four less than last year. But a bright highlight was the Western Tanager (photo below), with black wings and back, yellow belly and a red head. It's only about 7 inches long and likes to perch high in the trees.

Colorful Western Tanager. (Bob Danley Photo)
Colorful Western Tanager. (Bob Danley Photo)
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Though it was cloudy when Bob visited Blodgett, he saw some butterflies. Among them was the tiny Spring Azure (photo below) with blue upperwing and white underwing with grey spots and lines. It likes mud puddles and the Red Osier Dogwood.

spring azure butterfly
Spring Azure butterfly. (Bob Danley Photo)
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A Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel cross his path and didn't hang around like other ground squirrels. It looks like a chipmunk at distance, but it's larger and has a bushy tail. (photo below)

Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel. (Bob Danley Photo)
Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel. (Bob Danley Photo)
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As far as plants, Blodgett Canyon has some Sticky Currant shrubs, which can get to be about 6 feet tall. It has white flowers with a pink tinge and the shrub can be a little smelly.

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The campground had Silvery Lupine in various places. It can be up to three feet tall and has blue and white pea-like flowers (photo below).

silvery lupine
Silvery Lupine. (Bob Danley Photo)
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The Bitterroot Outdoor Journal is heard Wednesday mornings during our Bitterroot Morning newscast at 1240 AM KLYQ and here on the klyq.com website at about 7:45 a.m.

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