MtPublicRadio

The Food Guys take a couple of shows to talk about einkorn, the ancient predecessor to modern wheat. Einkorn (rhymes with “fine corn”) means “one grain” in German. As with other ancient grains that have become trendy, the gluten structure of einkorn seems to suit some people better than that of modern bread wheat, Triticum aestivum. Einkorn boosters point out that, compared to bread wheat, it's low in starch and high in protein, and tastes nutty and earthy.

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.

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.

GMOs: The Food Guys Remain Skeptical

May 25, 2016

The Food Guys, Greg Patent and Jon Jackson, don't trust the claims of agribusiness regarding the safety and importance of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. "The industry asserts it's like natural plant breeding. But anytime you insert genes from one species into another, you're disrupting the entire genetic structure of the organism. Putting a bacterial gene into a rat or a plant might have long-term effects on the physiology of the rat or the plant," says Greg.

I first visited Glacier National Park in June. Though winter had only recently loosened its grip on the Crown of the Continent, there were blue skies and sunshine as I hiked up a high-elevation glacial basin. The temperature was a balmy 60 degrees.

Thinking about plants in winter recently, I remembered a particular good-sized cottonwood I saw while walking along a riverbank. What was its story?

From James Halfpenny’s fascinating book “Winter:  An Ecological Handbook,” I learned that cottonwoods, like many northern trees, have very special adaptations to survive the long, cold winters.

One of my favorite places to look in the forest is up. I love the way trees frame patches of sky, and how rays of sun slide over the branches and slant into pockets of darkness. On a recent stroll through the woods near Echo lake, I found myself, as usual, looking up. I saw mostly fir and birch trees, and I took their narrow trunks and modest heights as signs of a young forest. But it was a much older tree that caught my eye.

Wolf Moss: Wallpaper Of The World's Forests

Mar 21, 2016

Although small and unobtrusive, an estimated 13,000 to 17,000 species of lichen spread across the Earth, from the Arctic to the equatorial tropics. One of those species, more noticeable than most, is Letharia vulpina, a brilliant fluorescent yellow-green, moss-like lichen that clings to the bark and wood of living and dead trees throughout the world, from sea level to timberline.

Bobcats are relatively common in patchy habitats all across the U.S., but we don’t see them often because they are crepuscular or nocturnal and well camouflaged. But after a recent bobcat sighting, I'll be on the lookout for bobcats much more than I have before.

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