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In late June, a visiting group from the Clark Fork chapter of the Montana Native Plant Society learned about MPG’s native bee monitoring efforts. Folks asked great questions about the ranch’s history and MPG’s many ongoing research projects.

Last Saturday a group from the Clark Fork chapter of the Montana Native Plant Society came to learn about MPG’s native bee monitoring efforts.  Folks asked great questions about the ranch’s history and MPG’s many ongoing research projects.

Joshua Lisbon photo

Initial results from last year’s bee monitoring impressed everyone.  The USDA-ARS Bee Biology and Systematics Lab in Logan, Utah, identified the 132 bee species we caught on the property in 2013 and created this synoptic display from that collection.

Initial results from last year’s bee monitoring impressed everyone. The USDA-ARS Bee Biology and Systematics Lab in Logan, Utah, identified the 132 bee species we caught on the property in 2013 and created this synoptic display from that collection.

The cool, rainy weather made pollinator observations difficult, so we headed to Mount Baldy’s summit to see the wildflower displays instead.  We were rewarded with showy assemblages of arrowleaf balsamroot, silvery lupine, Indian paintbush, prairie smoke and biscuitroot.  A typical late spring grouping for our local montane grasslands, these flowers never fail to delight!

Joshua Lisbon photo

The cool, rainy weather made pollinator observations difficult, so we headed to Mount Baldy’s summit to see the wildflower displays instead. We were rewarded with showy assemblages of arrowleaf balsamroot, silvery lupine, Indian paintbush, prairie smoke and biscuitroot. A typical late spring grouping for our local montane grasslands, these flowers never fail to delight!

Although we didn’t see any bees, we did find Rocky Mountain Parnassian butterflies (Parnassius smintheus) waiting out the weather in clumps of lupine.  They became the easy and lovely subjects of participants’ photographs.

MK photo

Although we didn’t see any bees, we did find Rocky Mountain Parnassian butterflies (Parnassius smintheus) waiting out the weather in clumps of lupine. They became the easy and lovely subjects of participants’ photographs.

Rocky Mountain Parnassian butterfly

MK photo

About the Author

Marirose Kuhlman

Marirose graduated with a BA in biology with an emphasis in botanical science from the University of Montana, Missoula. She gained experience in botany working as a field technician for the Forest Service, non-profits, and the university. She has also worked as a lab technician in a salmon and trout genetics lab, and has organized environmental education classes for local homeschooled children.

Marirose works as a botanist for MPG Ranch where she performs vegetation surveys and conducts a pollinator monitoring program. She lives in a little hand-built cabin in the woods with her husband and their four young children who keep them very, very busy.