MTPR

Arts & Culture

Author interviews, food, natural history, poetry, and more from "The Write Question", "The Food Guys", "Field Notes", "Home Ground Radio", "Front Row Center", and "Reflections West".

Treasure State stars Gary Cooper and Myrna Loy found unparalleled success during the Golden Age of Hollywood. For more than a century, Montana has supplied a rich vein of entertainment and personality--from daredevils to dancers and even mimes. Born in Miles City in 1895, comedian Gilbert "Pee Wee" Holmes played sidekick to such stars as Tom Mix. One-time Butte resident Julian Eltinge went on to become America's first famous female impersonator.

Bug Bytes: Centipede Or Millipede?

Jul 7, 2019
Millipede and centipede
Shutterstock

So you’re digging in the garden and see something crawling in the freshly turned soil. With its many legs, it’s clearly not a worm. But what is it? A millipede or a centipede?

Both have long, segmented bodies and lots of legs. But despite these visual similarities, they could not be more different in terms of diet and behavior.

Birds Of A Feather Flock Together ... To Bathe In Ants?

Jul 7, 2019
A blackbird sunning ... or is it anting?
Hornbeam Arts (CC-BY-NC-2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/hornbeam/9272137714

Anting is a bizarre form of bird behavior that has often been observed but is not well understood. It typically involves a bird picking up ants and rubbing or jabbing them into the feathers, especially under the wings and tail. The action is so rapid and vigorous that the bird will often knock itself over onto the ground.

Bug Bytes: Aphid Ranchers

Jul 1, 2019
Ants tending to their aphid herd.
Missoula Insectarium

If you’ve ever noticed a group of ants milling about on a leaf or the stem of a plant and wondered why, take a closer look. You might only be seeing half of what’s going on.

While they lack pickup trucks, fencing pliers, and other tools of the trade of their human counterparts, these ants are likely ranchers. But instead of cows, they’re carefully tending their herd of aphids.

Creating A Backyard Banquet For Butterflies

Jul 1, 2019
Keenan Adams, U.S.F.W.S. (PD)

I recently listened to a Field Note about the joys of designing a backyard landscape for wildlife and birds. As you’re scheming and poring over seed catalogs, consider the smaller winged creatures in your plans. Butterflies not only bring their own delight to a garden, but butterfly gardens have real conservation value. A garden that’s free of pesticides and full of nectar sources and food plants can become habitat for dozens of brightly-colored flitting jewels.

Recipe: Salmoriglio Sauce

Jun 30, 2019
Marco Verch. CC-BY-2.0 foto.wuestenigel.com

Salmoriglio (sal-more-EEL-ee-yo) is an Italian lemon and olive oil sauce, marinade and dipping condiment for fish, chicken and practically any vegetable. Once you make it, you’ll wonder why you'd never heard of it before. That’s what happened to "Food Guy" Greg Patent: he lived for an entire year in Italy without ever learning of salmoriglio.

From Donald Trump to the Virgin Mary, Darth Vader to the Dalai Lama, Schlegel turns cultural criticism personal with bracing intelligence and vulnerability as she explores what it means to be human, a woman, an artist, and, in particular, a parent: what it means to love a child beyond measure, someone so vulnerable, familiar, and strange. 

Bug Bytes: Fiddler Crabs - The Kings Of Animal Weaponry

Jun 24, 2019
Fiddler crab, Uca leptodactyla in Margarita Island, Venezuela.
(PD)

When you think of an animal with an impressive weapon, the first images that pop to mind might be a bull elk or moose with their massive antlers. Or maybe a bull elephant with its enormous tusks.

But the king of weaponry in the animal kingdom might surprise you: a fiddler crab that’s less than 2 inches long.

Cottonwoods: Born From The Floods

Jun 24, 2019
Cottonwoods line a flood plain on Rock Creek near Missoula.
Josh Burnham

I’ve just started noticing cottonwood seeds in the air again — the bits of white fluff that bounce around on the breeze. It seems impossible that big, beautiful cottonwood trees can grow from such insubstantial beginnings.

Flickr user, Justin Henry. CC-BY-2.0

The Food Guys, Jon Jackson and Greg Patent, discuss an article published in the March edition of the journal Science about a study linking the consumption of high fructose corn syrup with colorectal cancer. According to the study, drinking a modest amount of high-fructose corn syrup -- the equivalent of about 12 ounces of a sugar-sweetened beverage daily -- accelerates the growth of intestinal tumors in mice, independently of obesity.

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