MTPR

Montana Natural History Center

Flickr user, Jason Hollinger (CC-BY-2.0)

Recently, the work of lichenologist Toby Spribille, a research professor based part-year at the University of Montana-Missoula, has upended the idea that lichen are an alliance between just one fungus and one algae. In many lichens, a mysterious yeast is the third player in this symbiosis. 

Why Spiders Appear To Bungee-Jump From The Sky

Sep 3, 2016
Flickr user, Hunter Desportes (CC-BY-2.0)

It felt like the perfect spot to see some wildlife. So I plopped down in the sun-soaked grasses among the widely scattered ponderosa pines and waited. I was squinting, or possibly had my eyes closed, and when my vision came back into focus I saw a visitor. One of the most creative, silent and lethal predators of the natural world was directly in front of me.

We were making our way down the Bitterroot River. I said to Chinook:  “I’ll be Lewis; you can be Clark.”  Then I reconsidered. “We’ll both be Sacagawea – since, historically, probably more than one Indian woman filled that role.”  Chinook wasn’t listening.  He was working hard to plow through water up to his belly and keeping an eye out for fish.

The Bonsai Opportunists Of Timberline: Krummholz

Aug 22, 2016
Flickr user, famartin. (CC-BY-3.0)

Winds lash the peaks. Snow pelts the ridges almost every month of the year. The warmest average monthly temperature is a mere 50 degrees F. The conifer forests of the high Northern Rockies appear hunched, twisted and bent. In fact, there’s a word for the dwarf form of subalpine tree species which in other environs would grow tall and straight: “krummholz,” which translated from German means “crooked wood.”

Ponderosa Pine Bark: Rocky Mountain Aromatherapy

Aug 15, 2016
Flickr user Tim Jones (CC-BY-NC-ND)

The bark of any tree is more than just a good-looking façade. Even the most graceful aspen or stately ponderosa requires bark to protect its sensitive inner flesh from disease, parasites, and other environmental stresses, such as fire.  Much like our skin, this outer layer is a necessity to protect the biological functions occurring within its protective covering. 

Flickr user, Ralph Arvesen (CC-BY-2.0)

Wish I may, wish I might…see a shooting star tonight. If increasing your chances for wishing on a falling star sounds appealing, then circle the nights of August 11th and 12th on your calendar and make a big list of wishes – for this is the peak of the Perseid meteor shower, when it’s possible to see a hundred meteors an hour. In fact, for 2016, a meteor “outburst” is predicted, which means that if you’re able to watch after moonset, from midnight till dawn on August 12, you could see as many as 200 meteors an hour.

Flickr user, Peter Stephens (CC-BY-2.0)

"Glacier lilies set standards in beauty and cultural importance. These charming flowers are the lights of spring, indicators of winter’s end, symbols of nutrition, yellow images of patience and longevity, and for me, a new and solid representation of pure human enchantment."

Flickr user, Ingrid Taylar (CC-BY-2.0)

I’m not sure if I’ve ever been on a river, at any time of year, and not seen a Great Blue Heron. They seem to stand as solitary sentries on the rivers of Montana, but also on rivers from Canada to South America.

Keith Williams (CC-BY-2.0)

My eyes open at 5:00 a.m. I see my breath billow towards the top of my tent as I sigh at the blaring intrusion of a battery-operated alarm clock. I must hustle if I want any shot at boiling the pot of water necessary for a hot breakfast. Fumbling around for my least stench-ridden set of clothes, the reality slowly creeps into my head: I am a field biologist.

Governor Bullock told a crowd at the Center Natural History Museum in Missoula July 11, that he is he is committed to strengthening Montana’s outdoor recreation and tourism industries.
Edward O'Brien

Governor Steve Bullock was in Missoula today on state business, and to campaign. Bullock started the day with an event as governor to, "introduce his public lands and access agenda for Montana to Missoula."

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