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".

'Field Notes': Butterfly Winter Survival Strategies

Mar 11, 2019
A butterfly sits a top a mound of snow.
(PD)

Here's a topic you might not be thinking much about right now. Remember all those colorful butterflies that visited your garden just a few short months ago? They seemed the very definition of summer. What's happened to those delicate creatures?

Saffron: Aromatic, Exotic - And Expensive

Mar 10, 2019
Saffron Threads
FLICKR USER, IAN (CC-BY-2.0)

Saffron is an aromatic, colorful spice that flavors Spanish paella, Italian risotto, and numerous Middle Eastern and South Asian dishes. It is also the most expensive spice in the world. The delicate yellow-orange saffron threads (i.e., stigmas) must be handpicked from the eponymous crocus, ideally on the day the flower blooms.

Can Do: The Hacker's Life

Mar 8, 2019
Sherri Davidoff, CEO of LGM Security.
LinkedIn headshot

The CEO of Missoula, Montana’s LMG Security spends her work days finding ways to break into companies, then writing reports about what she finds. Meet author, lecturer and “security badass,” Sherri Davidoff.

Influenced by the tradition of white-hat hacking at her alma mater, MIT, Davidoff is known as ‘Alien’ in the cyber-sleuthing world. After outing herself last year as Alien, she became the subject of a new book called Breaking and Entering, which profiles her adventures in the world of data breaches and digital forensics.

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.”

Pages