Meet Yellowstone’s ‘fatalistic’ butterfly
Yellowstone National Park is awesome for a lot of reasons.
One that you might not have heard about: Butterflies.
Along with bison and wolves, Yellowstone is home to 134 known species of the beautiful bug. George Bumann is the park’s unofficial butterfly expert who leads visitors on butterfly counts yearly and educational outings to help more people learn about the bounty of butteflies in Yellowstone.
We featured Bumman in our Sept/Oct 2014 issue.
“In Yellowstone, people get attached to those mega animals: the elk, bears and wolves,” Bumann said. “But what’s really amazing about this place is the tie between geology, plants and animals as they relate to each other; it’s a very tight-knit system.”
All the butterflies are important to the park. But what is Bumman’s favorite Yellowstone butterfly?
It’s Hayden’s ringlet. A butterfly with a “fatalistic” flying pattern and “eyes” on its wings. Why is it Bumann’s favorite? Click here to find out.
The Yellowstone supervolcano’s seismic threat
The supervolcano under Yellowstone National Park was in the news quite a bit last spring. New findings coupled with a string of small earthquakes fueled some wild rumors of its impending explosion.
But what really is the risk?
Writer Jack Ballard explored that question in our feature in the Sept/Oct issue. Scientists inside the park of been studying the volcano for decades. And, as Jack found out, better technology means better knowledge about the beast.
They say it’s unlikely the volcano will erupt anytime. More likely: Earthquakes.
In a 2009 paper in the Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, Smith and a team researchers concluded that the Yellowstone-Teton region represents the area of greatest seismic hazard in the western United States. The project also analyzed earthquake risk in relation to the various fault lines radiating from the caldera of Yellowstone’s most recent, albeit very ancient, super-volcano. Of those, the team concluded major quake activity was most likely to occur on the Teton Fault which extends from the southern boundary of Yellowstone National Park into the Jackson Hole Valley in Wyoming.
The USGS has a ton of information about the likelihood of any major disaster caused by the supervolcano. The Q&A is particularly interesting.
Like Jack found out from the scientists who know the supervolcano best, it’s likely that the more you know, the less you’ll have to fear.
Mapping magma in the Sept/Oct issue out this week
You’ve probably heard of the supervolanco that lives under Yellowstone National Park. Researchers recently discovered it contains 2.5 times more magma the previously thought and reported their findings in a study released just as a swarm of small earthquakes hit the park. But is it a thing to fear? We’ll tell you in the September/October issue of Montana Magazine.
Our cover image, by Tom Murphy, is a shot of some of the mystical and almost other worldly geological features created around Yellowstone by the supervolcano and volcanism of the past.
Writer Jack Ballard writes about how scientists map magma and catalog quakes in his great story about the supervolcano.
Funny enough, our other Yellowstone-focused story takes a look at one of the most gentle creatures inside the park. As writer Corinne Garcia tells us, an artist with a love for winged bugs is helping hoards of park visitors learn more about butterflies.
Spoiler alert: There are a lot of butterflies inside Yellowstone.
You’ll also need to see the spread of gorgeous photos by Cathie and Gordon Sullivan, who are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act and Sen. Lee Metcalf’s role in its passage with their “In the Name of Nature” Portfolio.
That’s accompanied by a another great story by Jack Ballard about how the lands protected by the Wilderness Act continue to draw tourists and support Montana outdoor-based businesses.
As always – we hope you enjoy our most recent issue.
What’s your best bison story?
Yellowstone National Park is, of course, a place where many buffalo roam. So before we debut our Sept/Oct issue that includes several stories from the park, we asked our friends on Facebook to tell us their best Yellowstone bison story. Here’s what a couple had to say:
Teri Garrison: I was roaming the boardwalk near Old Faithful when this beautiful creature wandered up and past. I stood mesmerized as it ambled just feet away from me.
Shanna Mae Swanson: One fall I had planned a camping trip in Yellowstone with a few photographer friends of mine. I left super early to get into the park during sunrise and had made it to the Midway Geyser Basin area just after sunrise. Before I arrived at the parking area, I had noticed a herd of buffalo in the geyser area and thought it would be pretty cool to stop and photograph them. Once I was in the parking area, I set all of my photo gear on the hood of my car to get everything organized. All of the sudden a buffalo came through the trees right in front of my car, and then another and another. The herd of buffalo were stampeding into the parking lot. When I saw the first buffalo I ran to the back of my car (because I had locked my car) and laid up against the trunk to stay out of the way, leaving all of my camera gear on the hood of my car. Here I was in the middle of a herd of bison without a camera and a hundred tourists on the other side of the parking lot taking photos of the bison and of me lying on my car. It was definitely a crazy moment and an experience I will never forget.
To share your answer and pictures, or read more of what our friends had to say, find us on Facebook. We’ll also have some stories in the Sept/Oct issue – out soon.
You can also email stories and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, look out for more Fan Feedback questions at fb.com/montanamagazine.
Survey says Montana home to 2 top national parks
You probably saw this online poll making the social media rounds in the past couple weeks, asking people to vote for the nation’s best national park.
Easy choice right?!? Well there are two easy choices for most Montanans…
I think we can all agree it should’ve been a tie for first, with Glacier and Yellowstone at the top. But it was Maine’s Acadia National Park that took the No. 1 spot.
Still, pretty good showing for MT. And in case this makes you want to go and see the parks, we have a great suggestion on the best way to take in the scenery.
Writer Ednor Therriault wrote a great feature in our July/August issue about the iconic red and yellow buses the operate inside Glacier and Yellowstone. It really is a fun story. And even if you’ve seen the parks, Ednor says you’re missing out if you haven’t seen them in a bus.
November-December issue out now!
We’re excited to share the final issue of 2013 with everyone. It was mailed from the printers Oct. 27 and the should soon (if it’s not already) arrive in subscribers’ mailboxes.
We chose photographer Jason Savage’s epic shot of a snowy buffalo for the cover. The big guy is standing strong in a storm just outside Yellowstone National Park.
Jason has a ton of other photos inside the issue as well. You really get to a chance to see how talented he is.
Along with the cover, our Portfolio features a spread of photos from Jason (the snowy buffalo makes an appearance there too. If you’ve been missing Montana lately, his photos will cure your blues.
Also inside the issue, we’ve got the story of Marvin Camel, a boxing champ who grew up in the Mission Valley and goes on to become the first Native American world boxing champion.