The days are getting longer, bears are waking up from hibernation, and buttercups are opening in the hills of Missoula. Spring is just over the horizon. As proof, "Pea Green Boat" listeners Lindley and Benton sent in these photos of their first buttercup sighting of the year. They found this one on Mount Jumbo in Missoula, Tuesday February 23, 2016.
Thirty species of buttercup are found in Montana, including some aquatic species. The sagebrush buttercup (Ranunculus glaberrimus) pictured above is also known as "early buttercup" because it's one of the first flowers to bloom after the snow melts. They range from the prairies to the pine forests across western Montana.
Have you seen any buttercups in your neck of the woods yet this year? What's the earliest you've seen them in bloom? Tell us what you're seeing, and tune in to "Pea Green Boat" weekdays at 4:00 p.m. to hear more about flowers as the spring unfolds.