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From gardens to grizzlies, along with plenty of outdoor adventures, check out                                        Amy's articles for instruction and inspiration.

Listening to the resonating “gong” after tapping one of Montana’s Ringing Rocks with a hammer is not only surreal, this seemingly inconspicuous pile of boulders inspires more questions than answers, even for geologists.


With no glare from homes or towns, the line blurred between earth and the cosmos, and not to sound like a cliché motivational poster, it truly felt as if I could touch the stars.


To truly experience Yellowstone, sometimes you have to take your hands off the wheel.

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As seed prices increase, saving seeds is a cost saving way to make your garden even more economical. But there’s more to it than simply gathering them at the end of harvest season. I


Exploring the Montana Dinosaur Trail, you can almost envision dinosaurs roaming the arid, expansive prairies and badlands of Central and Eastern Montana.

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Often viewed as an entertaining clown or mischievous rascal, the black-billed magpie never lacks in personality — and ingenuity.

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Hygge gets all of the attention when many people think of winter. While this sounds lovely — maybe for a day when the weather is absolutely atrocious — memories are made outdoors. 

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People think we’re nuts. To the uninitiated, sitting on a five-gallon bucket on a frozen lake in the bitter cold, looking down a hole for hours couldn't possibly be a good time.

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Purple vegetables are jewels of the edible garden. I’ve been gardening for more than 40 years, but I still show off my magenta cauliflower or deep purple peas. 


Why are there fossils in the Rocky Mountains? Sea Creatures don't live at 7000 feet, so you wouldn't expect to see their ancient fossilized remains. But that's exactly what you can find if you look close enough.

The Wonder of Warblers - Birds & Blooms

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With more than 50 species found in North America, enthusiasts clamor and gather for a chance to spot the energetic little birds during spring migration.

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As the Great War shook the world, Montana felt more impact than most states.

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It’s time to grow up. For those gardeners whose space is a premium, the remedy just might be growing vegetables vertically. This allows more room for other crops, makes harvesting simple, and reduces overcrowding and potential disease issues.

21. Museum ofthe Plains Indian. Amy Grisak.HEIC

Traveling to the heart of Glacier National Park via Going-to-the-Sun Road is more complicated these days after changes to entry requirements for the iconic thoroughfare, as well as the route to the North Fork region.

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Winter months in Glacier National Park provide a sharp contrast to the wall-to-wall people clamoring to soak in the beauty of the park during the summer. A respite for those hardy enough to visit, the frozen landscape beckons intrepid souls to see Glacier in an entirely new light. 


If you’re looking for a budget-friendly vacation, why not try camping? Camping allows you to reconnect with nature, sleep under the stars—even in the backyard— and helps relax and recharge your mind. 


Montana's Smoot Honey Co. upholds a sweet tradition with an efficiency that would make any honey bee queen proud. 


Known as the "Treasure State," Montana residents and visitors enjoy searching for sapphires, the state gem. 

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If you see a grizzly sauntering across a wheat field outside of Big Sandy or playing with a flag on the greens of the Marias Valley Golf & Country Club in Shelby, rest assured, you are not crazy. Moving from their long held mountain stronghold, more bears are heading to the eastern plains they once called home. 

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With more people concerned about food security, as well as a desire to have a better connection with their meals, community gardens - the modern day Victory Gardens - are making a resurgence.

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The waterways, prairies, mountain ranges, and hiking trails of Big Sky Country offer practically endless recreational opportunities


Spend a little time before the holidays to make memorable and welcomed gifts for family and friends. 


Jacob Cowgill went from farmer to baker working with ancient and heritage grains for over a decade. Now Blue Truck Bread is a favorite of locals throughout Central Montana. 

Photo courtesy of Jacob Cowgill at Blue Truck Bread. 

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Choose shrubs that are hardy and offer a glorious display in the spring. 


Many people are surprised at the number of orchids seemingly at our fingertips. But because of their unique growing habits and relationship with the neighboring mycorrhizal fungi, it's imperative to leave them where you find them. 

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Passing on gardening wisdom, whether it's mastering the basics or growing the perfect tomato, is all part of the rich tradition in the Master Gardener Program found throughout the country.


Now is the perfect time to take your family to the forest. Whether you're new to hiking and camping, or a seasoned outdoor enthusiast, here are a few tips to make it fun for the entire family.


If you think there is nothing new under the sun when it comes to preparing family meals outdoors, it may be time to try solar cooking.

Harnessing the sun can take camp cooking to a new level.

The most important ingredient, of course, is the sun.

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Saskatoons! - Horticulture

These sweet fruits are a boon inn gardens where winters are harsh or blueberries fail.

 Photo by Kierstin Schmitt


We're keeping a secret in Central Montana. While 

Glacier and Yellowstone receive the accolades, the Little Belt Mountains are the diverse and wild playground less than an hour from Great Falls. 

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Yellowstone Shortline - Rails to Trails Conservancy

It's fitting that the railway corridor responsible for the creation of the town of West Yellowstone, Montana, over a century ago continues to welcome visitors along the same path. 

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To get started with saving vegetable seeds, a few extra steps will keep your best varieties growing in the garden next year.

More than 150 species make up a group of native bees called mason bees, which handled pollination long before European honey bees arrived. 


Commercially raising bees fits perfectly into Montana’s rich agricultural and ranching heritage. It just involves dealing with smaller livestock.

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A recent visit to the American Prairie and the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge (CMR) provided a memorable time to reconnect with this wild and remote region of Montana.


Perched in areas overlooking an expanse of forests and mountains, fire lookouts offer a perspective unlike any other. The good news is there are dozens of lookouts in state and federal rental programs allowing visitors to spend the night, or nights, in these unique structures that offer a one-of-a-kind view with a room. 


Jennifer at Jacobs Heritage Farm in Copley, Ohio strives to utilize the best of the old ways of agriculture steeped in her family's Hungarian tradition.


Delphiniums, sweet peas, zinnias, and many other colorful blooms have been favorites for generations... and for good reason. 

Preparing cabbage for a batch of sauerkraut. Start by shredding it to be able to release t

Learn to turn veggies into delicious ferments. 

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Ready to grow your best garden yet? Gather some branches, leaves, and grass clippings to create a garden bed that does all the work for you.


A Missoula, Montana couple turned their standard urban backyard into a wildlife oasis by planting native wildflowers. Now over 80 different species of birds visit their home, along with a myriad of colorful - and beneficial - insects.


The Bulls of Banff - Bugle Magazine - OWAA Excellence in Craft Winner 2019 

Town elk in Banff, Alberta have made life interesting for visitors and residents for over 25 years. Learn what researchers think of the situation and methods their incorporating to live with urban elk.


Mushrooms and Mountains - The New Pioneer

In agricultural circles, Montana is well-known for wheat, barley and beef, but Shawn and Jennifer McDyre of Sun Hands Farm in Kila are putting mushrooms on the map. 


Native Americans had their own names and legends for the stars to teach lessons and explain the world around them. Read about them here.


The Many Glacier Hotel is one of the most loved places to stay or visit in Glacier National Park. To keep it safe during the brutal months when the valley is engulfed in snow, winter keepers spend months depending upon their own resources to maintain and preserve this iconic hotel. 


By Amy Grisak

Photos by John Ashley

Standing in the middle of the Montana prairie on a clear, moonless night, the familiar landscape takes on an otherworldly beauty as the Milky Way arches across the sky and hazy, spiraling 

galaxies glimmer. It's a blend of science and spirit, a way to connect with the universe from our home soil. 

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Throughout the summer, honeybees are our gardening companions, pollinating the plants, flowers and vegetables we love. But what happens when the weather chills and the flowers are gone?

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Cold Weather Cuisine: Choose high-energy foods to keep backyard birds well fed during
the winter. Birds & Blooms December/January 2022

Foraging is tough business with snow on the ground, which is why our wintertime bird visitors benefit from high-energy food options.


There is a science behind those storms of the century that make headlines and earn their places in history. 


These Christmas legends from around the world are so sinister, you'll want to be good, for goodness' sake!


With a history steeped in cattle rustling and a thriving agriculture industry, the brand inspectors have their thumb on the pulse of Montana livestock. Take a step into the day of Paul Johnson, veteran brand inspector in Central Montana.


Basil is the queen of summer, and with so many varieties available to us, it's worthwhile to grow more than one. This article highlights a few of the less common options to spice up your garden and your meals. 


Affectionately known as “Big Sky Country,” Montana’s glorious blue skies seemingly stretch forever, yet the heavenly expanse we love truly shines at night.


Learn how to make the "drink of the gods" with the bounty from the bee hives. 


Journey of Rediscovery-New Pioneer; OWAA Excellence in Craft 2nd Place Award 2021

When Tom Elpel decided to paddle the Missouri River from Three Forks, Montana to St. Louis, Missouri, he did it in style. Working with a descendent of Captain William Clark, they fashioned the Belladonna Beaver and gathered friends to spend five months on the river following learning more about the land and themselves. 

Photo by Dirk Rohrback


Backyard Kitchen Gardens The New Pioneer 

You don't need acres of land to supply your family with enough fruits and vegetables for the entire year. Learn tips on how much to plant and how best to do it. 


With just four major meat packers controlling approximately 85 percent of U.S. beef processing and the elimination of Country of Origin Labeling (COOL), promoting a local, direct to consumer beef supply chain benefits both ranchers and consumers. Though there are multiple USDA inspected processing facilities in Montana, the MPPC’s unique business plan will create more options for small- and medium-sized producers to sell beef to locations throughout the state and beyond Montana’s borders. 


Choosing the best crystals and stones that align with a Zodiac sign is something that many believe can help them achieve goals and assist in growing and learning. Similar to choosing birthstones by month, with popular favorites like pearls for June and beryl's aquamarine for March, this technique relies on your birthday in relation to your zodiac sign.

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