Field Notes from the Montana Natural History Center

https://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/kufm/files/styles/npr-feeds-podcast-cover-art/public/201608/mtpr-1400.jpg

0 Likes     0 Followers     1 Subscribers

Sign up / Log in to like, follow, recommend and subscribe!

Website
http://mtpr.org/programs/field-notes
Description
For keen observers, a walk to the grocery store or a hike up a mountain can inspire questions. Where do magpies nest? Why doesn’t a spider stick to its own web? How do water striders keep from sinking? Every week since 1992, Field Notes has inquired about Montana's natural history. Produced by the Montana Natural History Center, Field Notes are written by naturalists, students and listeners about the puzzle-tree bark, eagle talons, woolly aphids and giant puffballs of western, central and southwestern Montana.
Language
🇬🇧 English
last modified
2019-01-15 10:43
last episode published
2019-01-14 18:26
publication frequency
8.37 days
Contributors
ltalbott author  
MTPR owner  
Explicit
false
Number of Episodes
100
Rss-Feeds
Detail page
Categories
Science & Medicine Sports & Recreation Natural Sciences Outdoor

Recommendations


Episodes

Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors
14.01.2019

'Field Notes' Investigates Gizzard Grit

Afternoon sunshine was softening into twilight on a recent fall day as I drove with my family down a forest road in the mountains north of Missoula. We were heading home after a day of hiking and grouse hunting—and we had a blue grouse to roast for din...
Kathleen Ort author
7.01.2019

Tough But Sensitive: How Climate Change Threatens Bull Trout

In the beginning, the idea of global warming was easy for me to ignore. Of course I found the footage of floating polar bears distressing, but the ice caps seemed far away, and scientists seemed even farther from any real answers.
Jane Sullivan author
17.12.2018

How Fir Trees Became Christmas Trees

Fir trees, decorated and lighted, are such a fixture of American homes at Christmas that it's difficult for us to imagine that it was not always so. But on a time scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the beginning of life on earth, the Christmas tree traditi...
Pat Tucker author
10.12.2018

Western Montana's Winter Inversions Explained

Since my recent move to Missoula from the sunny state of Florida, I had experienced many unfamiliar weather conditions. Montana residents might be well accustomed to snow, black ice, negative temperatures, and the season known as winter, but these were...
Ondi Crino author
26.11.2018

'Field Notes:' The Power Of The Western Red Cedar

The ides of November, a time of limbo between autumn and winter. It is my birthday. I take a walk in celebration of existence. The atmosphere is cool and gray, and the first layers of high-elevation snow have cast a renewed sense of dimension and perso...
Mike Roesch author
13.11.2018

'Field Notes:' North America's Pleistocene Megafauna

A cheetah crouches in the tall grass. Pronghorn graze warily in the cool summer breeze. After minutes of quiet patience the cheetah erupts into a burst of muscle and speed. A small herd of pronghorn sprint into action, their nimble legs churning ground...
Thomas McKean author
5.11.2018

'Field Notes:' Glaciers 101

Glaciers: they are sculptors, carvers and artists. When the Bitterroot Mountains, the Missions and the Rockies were raised from the floor of the ocean it was the glaciers that came behind, crawling over the surface, grinding and eroding the face of the...
Charles Finn author
29.10.2018

Fall Migration Brings Golden Eagles To Montana

I had been sitting in the observation blind for a couple of hours when I heard a commotion outside. Looking through the one-way glass, I saw an enormous bird with a golden crown and talons that were built for serious damage. Another landed nearby. I kn...
Kristie Lawson author
22.10.2018

'Field Notes:' What Determines When Leaves Fall?

Every autumn, deciduous trees and shrubs shed their leaves. In some years, leaves are shed earlier than in others. Why does this happen? What determines when leaves fall?
Peter Lesica author
8.10.2018

'Field Notes:' Bull Snake Encounter

One recent summer a group of friends and I floated the Middle Fork of the Salmon River in central Idaho. On this eight day trip we rafted 100 miles through some of the wildest country in North America: a 2.5 million-acre wildland officially called the ...
Edward Monnig author
24.09.2018

Are You Mis-Using These Common Tree Terms?

As I split and stacked my winter firewood this fall in preparation for the long nights to come, trees in the surrounding forest were also preparing for winter. While I watched their leaves turning yellow along the flank of the Bitterroot Mountains, I f...
Bill Gabriel author
17.09.2018

'Field Notes:' 100 Centuries Of Squash Growers Can't Be Wrong

August had just begun when a friend delivered my first hand-me-down squash of the summer: a round, green variegated giant that had reached the size of a jack-o-lantern seemingly overnight, just the way squash like to do. Later in the kitchen, I eyed do...
Kara Cromwell author
10.09.2018

Ancient Giants: The Mysterious Beauty Of An Aspen Grove

The hot summer sun beats down on my back as I climb the trail to the ridge. Looking for a place to wait for my hiking companion, I find a grove of quaking aspen. Their distinctive white bark is beautiful and their leaves rustle at the hint of a breeze.
Gilia Patterson author
27.08.2018

Citizen Scientists Can Help Unravel The Mysteries Of Dragonfly Migration

In August, 2010, my family and I watched from our backyard an unbelievable phenomenon: a single species of dragonfly, individually numbering in the thousands, flew steadily westward across our property on the edge of town for ten magical days. Occasion...
Andrea Stephens author
20.08.2018

What Does A Longer Fire Season Mean For Montana Forests?

July of 2015 was the warmest month on record in the history of our planet, 2015 is on trend to be our warmest recorded year, and in much of the American west that warmth has been coupled with moderate to extreme drought conditions. With emissions of gr...
Tom Torma author
13.08.2018

'Field Notes:' All About Skippers

Out on a run on a spring day only a stone’s throw from the Flathead River on the watery outskirts of the town of Hungry Horse, I have stopped for a moment and listen to the river. With its rustling it seems to applaud my efforts. And as I go back and f...
John Copeland author
6.08.2018

Fishing With The King: The Belted Kingfisher

While recently visiting the Rock Creek area to simply go fishing I became distracted as I cast my red skwala into the clear, frigid stream. I was not distracted by the surrounding beauty of grasslands and different flora, or my ongoing love/hate relati...
Jason Brininstool author
30.07.2018

How Wildfires Impact Deer And Elk

How devastating are wildfires to deer and elk? Can most of them outrun or outflank a rapidly spreading fire? And what about the survivors when they return to a burned forest? Isn’t their habitat destroyed?
Mike Hillis author
23.07.2018

Truffles, Trees And — Squirrels?

Walking through the woods recently, I saw a red squirrel digging in the litter of the forest floor. I assumed it was burying a pine cone, but on closer inspection I found a piece of mushroom. Little did I know I was witnessing a process critical to the...
Sue Reel author
2.07.2018

Exploring The Landscape Of The Pixie Cup Lichen

Lying on my stomach on the fringes of the forest, my view is perfect of a colony of tiny lichens. They are perched on top of a rock outcrop, beyond which lies a majestic view eastward across the cold, choppy waters of Flathead Lake and on to the Missio...
Erin Ebersberger author
2.07.2018

Exploring The Landscape Of The Pixie Cup Lichen

Lying on my stomach on the fringes of the forest, my view is perfect of a colony of tiny lichens. They are perched on top of a rock outcrop, beyond which lies a majestic view eastward across the cold, choppy waters of Flathead Lake and on to the Missio...
Erin Ebersberger author
25.06.2018

How Do Montana's Moose Measure Up? 'Field Notes' Investigates

On a sunny June day, I was standing among a group of budding naturalists, sketching the bark of a cottonwood tree. Suddenly, I heard a series of quiet gasps and more than a few titters ripple through our small crowd. Someone had spotted a cow moose and...
Danielle Lattuga author
18.06.2018

How Black-Backed Woodpeckers Thrive After Wildfires

You've probably seen woodpeckers. Whether attracting them to your backyard with suet feeders, or hearing them drill on the side of your house, you have probably noticed their large pointed beak and ability to climb tree trunks. But besides downy and ha...
David Jachowski author
18.06.2018

How Black-Backed Woodpeckers Thrive After Wildfires

Most of you have probably seen or heard woodpeckers. Whether attracting them to your backyard with suet feeders, or hearing them drill on the side of your house, you have probably noticed their large pointed beak and ability to climb tree trunks. But b...
David Jachowski author
11.06.2018

'Field Notes:' The Fruits Of Fire

Have you ever walked around in a recently burned forest? One of those areas where perhaps last summer you saw flames leaping out or smoke billowing? If not, I urge you to go out and take a look at this unique environment. I had never spent any time in ...
Elaine Caton author
11.06.2018

'Field Notes:' The Fruits Of Fire

Have you ever walked around in a recently burned forest? One of those areas where perhaps last summer you saw flames leaping out or smoke billowing? If not, I urge you to go out and take a look at this unique environment. I had never spent any time in ...
Elaine Caton author
3.06.2018

'Field Notes:' All About The Bitterroot, Montana's State Flower

Enter the high country of Montana in late May or early June and you may see a striking pale pink flower. Few plants can rival the lovely bloom of the bitterroot, a low-growing perennial herb with a blossom that ranges from deep rose to almost white. Th...
Michelle Gullickson author
3.06.2018

'Field Notes:' All About The Bitterroot, Montana's State Flower

Enter the high country of Montana in late May or early June and you may see a striking pale pink flower. Few plants can rival the lovely bloom of the bitterroot, a low-growing perennial herb with a blossom that ranges from deep rose to almost white. Th...
Michelle Gullickson author
26.05.2018

Ceanothus: Life From The Kiss Of Fire

Thirty-plus years ago when I was studying wildlife management at Oregon State University, we learned that Ceanothus was a highly preferred forage plant for deer and elk during the winter. I knew that Ceanothus was the genus name of a large group of wes...
Mike Hillis author
21.05.2018

Beavers, Beetles, Cottonwoods And The Wonders Of Chemistry

In the great stands of old cottonwood trees along prairie rivers, chemical skirmishes are taking place between beavers, cottonwoods, and a certain species of beetle. Beavers gnaw on the trees; the trees fight back with toxic compounds; and the beetles ...
Chris Paige author
21.05.2018

Beavers, Beetles, Cottonwoods And The Wonders Of Chemistry

In the great stands of old cottonwood trees along prairie rivers, chemical skirmishes are taking place between beavers, cottonwoods, and a certain species of beetle. Beavers gnaw on the trees; the trees fight back with toxic compounds; and the beetles ...
Chris Paige author
14.05.2018

'Field Notes': All About The Western Meadowlark

If you have been in open country anywhere in Montana, you have heard, and probably seen, thunderchunks. These birds are everywhere, proclaiming territories and singing from fence posts, sage brush, and telephone poles.
Lauren Smith author
7.05.2018

'Field Notes:' Montana's Rain Shadow Explained

I love driving from Missoula to Helena or Great Falls or Bozeman, over the big passes of the Continental Divide and along some of our country’s most spectacular rivers. On the west side of the Divide, we pass green foothills, huge ponderosas and larch,...
Alison James author
7.05.2018

'Field Notes:' Montana's Rain Shadow Explained

I love driving from Missoula to Helena or Great Falls or Bozeman, over the big passes of the Continental Divide and along some of our country’s most spectacular rivers. On the west side of the Divide, we pass green foothills, huge ponderosas and larch,...
Alison James author
29.04.2018

'Field Notes:' Cushion Plants Keep It Short

This spring I went out for a walk on one of the bald hills on the outskirts of Missoula, just east of Hellgate Canyon. I walked the crest of the hill and saw how the strong wind on these exposed ridges blows the soil away, leaving a gravelly surface. T...
Peter Lesica and Annie Garde author
29.04.2018

'Field Notes:' Cushion Plants Keep It Short

This spring I went out for a walk on one of the bald hills on the outskirts of Missoula, just east of Hellgate Canyon. I walked the crest of the hill and saw how the strong wind on these exposed ridges blows the soil away, leaving a gravelly surface. T...
Peter Lesica and Annie Garde author
23.04.2018

'Field Notes:' All About Ravens

I was walking through Greenough Park in Missoula the other day, enthralled by the bright spring afternoon. A yellow cascade of dandelions popped out against the grass. Rattlesnake Creek swelled with snowmelt. The air smelled of shoots, buds, and fresh ...
Nate Bradley author
23.04.2018

'Field Notes:' All About Ravens

I was walking through Greenough Park in Missoula the other day, enthralled by the bright spring afternoon. A yellow cascade of dandelions popped out against the grass. Rattlesnake Creek swelled with snowmelt. The air smelled of shoots, buds, and fresh ...
Nate Bradley author
16.04.2018

To A Grizzly, The Glacier Lily's Bright Yellow Petals Say, 'Eat Here'

"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 p...
Melissa Matthewson author
16.04.2018

To A Grizzly, The Glacier Lily's Bright Yellow Petals Say, 'Eat Here'

"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 p...
Melissa Matthewson author
2.04.2018

Cattail: Plant Of A Thousand Uses

Cat-o-nine-tails, reedmace, bulrush, water torch, candlewick, punk, and corn dog grass. The cattail has almost as many names as it has uses. Humans have taken their cue from the animals over the centuries and continue to benefit from cattail’s nutritio...
Emily Withnall author
2.04.2018

Cattail: Plant Of A Thousand Uses

Cat-o-nine-tails, reedmace, bulrush, water torch, candlewick, punk, and corn dog grass. The cattail has almost as many names as it has uses. Humans have taken their cue from the animals over the centuries and continue to benefit from cattail’s nutritio...
Emily Withnall author
26.03.2018

Painted Puzzle Pieces: How Ponderosa Pine Bark Protects and Preserves

The bark of any tree is more than just a good-looking facade. 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.
Katherine Court author
26.03.2018

Painted Puzzle Pieces: How Ponderosa Pine Bark Protects and Preserves

The bark of any tree is more than just a good-looking facade. 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.
Katherine Court author
19.03.2018

'Field Notes:' How Scientists Study Bird Migration

Migration is one of the many adaptations used by birds and other animals to cope with the cold temperatures and scarcity of food that winter can bring. As scientists and naturalists we are interested not only in where birds go in the winter, but in how...
19.03.2018

'Field Notes:' How Scientists Study Bird Migration

Migration is one of the many adaptations used by birds and other animals to cope with the cold temperatures and scarcity of food that winter can bring. As scientists and naturalists we are interested not only in where birds go in the winter, but in how...
12.03.2018

'Field Notes:' Great Horned Owls

I was admiring a blanket of stars spread above Lake Como in Montana’s Bitterroot valley, when out of the stillness of the chill winter night came floating a deep, dignified, hoo-h’HOO-hoo-hoo. There are few things more evocative of wildness in the nort...
Wenfei Tong author
12.03.2018

'Field Notes:' Great Horned Owls

I was admiring a blanket of stars spread above Lake Como in Montana’s Bitterroot valley, when out of the stillness of the chill winter night came floating a deep, dignified, hoo-h’HOO-hoo-hoo. There are few things more evocative of wildness in the nort...
Wenfei Tong author
5.03.2018

'Field Notes:' How Red Squirrels Store Food For The Winter

Not long ago I was out hiking in the mountains during one glowing afternoon. I turned off the trail and headed into the woods in search of a comfortable place to nestle down and daydream. As I found a spot for myself a red squirrel came bounding toward...
Jennifer Delisi author
5.03.2018

'Field Notes:' How Red Squirrels Store Food For The Winter

Not long ago I was out hiking in the mountains during one glowing afternoon. I turned off the trail and headed into the woods in search of a comfortable place to nestle down and daydream. As I found a spot for myself a red squirrel came bounding toward...
Jennifer Dolese author