Spooky Things Fill the Woods at Halloween
Owls are right at home during this spooky Halloween season. The Great Horned Owl is easier to see now, as the leaves drop away from the trees. And the owl is pretty large, anyway. Bob Danley celebrates them this season on the Bitterroot Outdoor Journal.
The Great Horned Owl has a varied diet and is known to hunt everything from birds to amphibians and even skunks (reported in Illinois). The large talons help in that effort, with a 28-pound grip. The male and female owls frequently hoot as a duet and you can hear the slightly different hoot frequencies in the dark of night.
Pumpkins are all around, usually on peoples' porches or at grocery stores. A few pumpkin patches have been doing pretty good business this year in Montana. They are a species of squash and require a reliable water source to grow. Bob says his research came up with Harry Paris' suggestion that the original wild pumpkin was small and round. maybe even smaller than these little guys below.
Not in Montana, but in the warmer parts of the U.S. there is an orange-colored dragonfly that is active year-round, including Halloween. In fact, its name is the Halloween Pennant (photo below). It can be regularly seen in parts of Florida.
Bob has a photo of another orange-colored fungi. This Red Waxy Cap (Hygrocybe miniata) is small with a 1-inch cap and can be found in forests and wet grasses. That's it for Halloween examples, but Bob had good news about butterflies this week.
The Monarch butterflies made a huge appearance at Pacific Groves. Last year, there were no Monarchs there. This month, observers reported over two thousand. They are on their way farther south. This will be really good news if the same thing happens next year. Bob's report is heard Wednesday mornings at about 7:45 a.m. on 1240 KLYQ AM and at www.klyq.com.