Native-plant events are winding down with winter approaching, but there are a few around western Montana in November – including a wreath workshop for the holidays!
The Clark Fork Chapter of the Montana Native Plant Society presents Elaine Sutherland, who will discuss “How Surprising Complexities in Historical Fire Patterns Shaped Today’s Forests” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, in Room L09 in the University of Montana’s Gallagher Business Building. Sutherland has studied Montana forests for the U.S. Forest Service for two decades.
Botanist Mel Waggy and Terry Divoky of Windflower Nursery present “From the Mountains to the Prairies: Conservation Efforts at the MPG Ranch” at the Flathead Chapter of MNPS at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 28, at the Teakettle Community Hall, 235 Nucleus Ave. in Columbia Falls. The 10,000-acre MPG Ranch includes forestland in the Sapphire Mountains, grasslands and riparian areas along the Bitterroot River.
The Montana Natural History Center will hold a Holiday Wreath Workshop on Thursday, Nov. 29, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Fort Missoula Native Plant Garden in Missoula. Create holiday decorations using local conifers and plants. Admission is $5 for members and $10 for nonmembers, and registration is required. Call 327-0405.
The Montana Natural History Center is holding a “Plants and Skulls Costume Workshop” on Thursday, Oct. 18, in preparation for Missoula’s Festival of the Dead parade.
From 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Fort Missoula Native Plant Gardens, participants can collect dead plants from the garden and use animal skull specimens for inspiration to create a parade costume. Screen-printing materials will be available to make shirts, capes and flags. (Bring your own fabric.)
Admission is $5. Registration is requested; call 327-0405.
The Festival of the Dead parade is on Friday, Nov. 2, and several other events are planned in advance of it.
Western Montana is awash in fall colors, and more should be on the way!
For me, the first seasonal changes were seen around the streets of Missoula and in Pattee Canyon. And recent outings suggest that larch trees should be going golden in the Rattlesnake Recreation Area and the Seeley Lake area soon – in the past week, both were between yellow and green.
Here are some fall color resources:
For any photographers out there, Missoulian is running a fall photo contest on its Facebook page. The top three vote-getters will receive prizes.
Here are the rules:
- Upload up to 5 photos a day.
- Must be a fall photo.
- Must be from this year.
- Must be from the Missoula Valley.
- Deadline to enter is Nov. 2.
- Voting ends Nov. 9.
Saturday, Sept. 24, is National Public Lands Day, and several opportunities to lend a hand or get outside are available in Montana.
In Missoula, volunteers are needed for four service projects.
For more Montana events, check the National Public Lands Day website.
Also on Saturday, National Park Service sites are waiving entrance fees. Sites include Glacier and Yellowstone national parks, Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area and Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. If you’re going to Glacier, remember that services and Going-to-the-Sun Road are beginning to shut down.
Project Budburst, previously written about here, is looking for fall color reports from citizen scientists. Paul Alaback, the lead science adviser for the effort to document climate change, blogs about the season here.
Also, I recently returned from a trip to Colorado, where golden aspens were on display. While I wasn’t there specifically to view fall foliage, some can be seen in photos here.