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".

From the killer bee-infested border region of southeast Arizona to the sultry islands of the Galapagos, Warblers & Woodpeckers recounts the quest of a father and his thirteen-year-old son to see as many birds as possible in a single year.

'Field Notes': Camas Bulbs Below The Snow

Mar 4, 2019
Camas flower.
Flickr user born1945 (CC-BY-2)

On a recent early winter morning I am cross-country skiing along the trails at Lolo Pass in the Bitterroot Mountains. As I glide along Packer Meadows in the breaking dawn, I think about early summer when this is a wet meadow awash with a sea of camas blooms.

The camas, or Camassia quamash, produce blue-violet six-petaled flowers on stalks rising above the main stems. They bloom so profusely and in such numbers that they can look like a pool of water.

Cultivating The Coconut Craze

Mar 3, 2019
Coconuts
(PD)

There's a coconut boom going on: the versatile flesh of the fruit can be manufactured into substitutes for milk, cream and other cooking oils.

The Food Guys, Jon Jackson and Greg Patent, point out that there are reasons to be concerned about the growing demand. Coconut farmers in Asia are among the poorest people in the world, and often, their trees are planted as a monoculture, a risk to farmer and the environment alike.

"It’s hard because those same qualities that make you really good at your job—chasing Al Qaeda or ISIS and basically taking them off the face of the earth—those same qualities can lead down some dark roads." -- Ray McPadden

Forget The Powder; Why Some Animals Prefer Crusty Snow

Feb 24, 2019
A fox in mid-air about to poke through the snow while hunting.
iStock

This morning, the valley sits under a blanket of fresh snow, and another few inches is forecast for tomorrow. I love the first day or two after a snowfall when everything is still white and clean, before the snow’s presence in town becomes more of a hindrance than a facelift.

Flickr user, Debbie Tingzon (CC-BY-2.0)

Here’s a baking miracle that performs its magic due to air alone—choux paste or pâte à choux.  It translates literally as “the pastry for making little cabbages.” Cream puffs are, hands down, the most well-known choux paste descendant.

Can Do: Seizing An Adventurous Life

Feb 22, 2019

Brian Morgan has a superpower: he’s figured out how to turn his wanderlust into a thriving business. In 1999 he created Adventure Life, a Missoula, Montana-based travel business offering clients personalized tours around the globe.

Morgan defines adventure travel as “Going somewhere that’s going to put you out of your comfort zone a little bit, and something that’s really going to introduce you to cultures and environments that you’re not familiar — that’s the core part of adventure.”

Theresa Burkhart

Award-winning professor and author, Rita Sommers-Flanagan has written a book that will charm, irritate, amuse, and engage readers. It will also change minds and lives. This novel provides an entertaining and excellent read for book clubs, families, and everyone contemplating the meaning of life.

Root Vegetable Ideas That'll Butter Your Parsnips

Feb 17, 2019
Flickr user, Amber DeGrace (CC-BY-2.0)

The Food Guys, Jon and Greg, remain undaunted champions of parsnips, a vegetable that suffers from its resemblance to an anemic carrot.  Jon reminisces about the sweet and flavorful parsnips his gardener father kept buried in a box of soil in the root cellar. "Their taste approached the mythic sweetness of mature parsnips left in the ground all winter."

In the summer of 1955, sixteen-year-old Tommy Cadigan finds himself helpless in the face of desire, especially when the man that wears the face is his high school swimming coach, a young Korean War veteran who is still recovering from receiving a “blue ticket” discharging him from the military because of his homosexuality. Unsure if his infatuation is returned, Tommy distracts himself with the attention of a local bully, who hustles older men at night besides a decrepit zoo in Boise’s park. Tommy soon finds himself in the midst of a scandal that threatens to ignite the entire town…and his life will never be the same.

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