What’s going on out there? I’m writing science-based stories about the landscape around us: bugs, birds, plants, and more. These stories follow the pattern of the seasons. Many of them take place close to where I live, in western Montana. For others, I’ll travel farther afield, interviewing scientists and community members. But whether you live in Montana or not, these stories will inspire you, give you new insights, and encourage you to get to know the landscape around you.
How can you find these stories? I publish one each week as a richly-illustrated article and as a podcast, with versions in English and Spanish. And I’m making this work freely available to everyone, no ads, 100% supported by your donations.
What do I cover? Change through the seasons. Natural mysteries. I write about community members who spend time in nature and interview ecologists and wildlife biologists biologists about their current research. Read stories about native pollinators visiting noxious weeds. Getting to know a Polyphemus moth through a brutal winter and Montana’s dark summer nights. A beautiful plant whose foliage traps insects. Learning to see pollinator diversity in urban gardens. The hidden world of Missoula, Montana’s slow-moving groundwater. Finding long-eared owls in the winter. A porcupine spending the winter in a Montana pasture.
Stories of the landscape
Plants, birds, and insects are the areas where I have the most experience. But I’m a naturalist at heart, so I’ll be looking at everything: geology, soils, fish, and more. If it teaches us something about this landscape, chances are it’s going to turn up in my blog.
These stories are based on observations I make in the field and the knowledge of the people I interview. I supplement these direct observations with a variety of published information, which you can find referenced at the end of each relevant article. Unless otherwise noted, all photography I publish is my own.
Where do I live? Helena, Montana, USA is a dry landscape with cold winters. It’s a place of bunchgrasses, prickly pear cactus, and chokecherry thickets, where life congregates in wetlands and along streams. Yet just in this one valley, there are hundreds of species of birds and plants, thousands of species of insects, leading interesting and often unseen lives. They live in every habitat imaginable: from farm fields, vacant lots, and restoration sites to grasslands, marshes, and forests. I’ll be going out and finding them.
Just in this one valley, there are hundreds of species of birds and plants, thousands of species of insects, leading interesting and often unseen lives.
Stories that matter
Ultimately, this blog is a celebration of thriving life. We all find that there are uncertainties and challenges in this world. But in spite of that, we can still go outside, look around, and find abundant life all around us. By getting outside and paying attention, we can live fuller, happier lives. At the same time, we can help our local plants and animals continue thriving.
We can still go outside, look around, and find abundant life all around us.
Through this writing, I hope to serve you, my readers: to inspire you, to share my eyes and ears with you, to learn and grow together. I am making my writing freely available here, without ads, because I hope it will matter to people. If you like what you read, please share it. And if you can afford to support my work with a monthly donation, please visit my Patreon page. With your support, I hope I will be able to continue this work for the long term.