• Meet Yellowstone’s ‘fatalistic’ butterfly

    Hayden's ringlet. Photo courtesy of George Bumann

    Hayden’s ringlet. Photo courtesy of George Bumann

    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.

    - Jenna

  • Photo by Jason Savage

    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.

    Photo by Teri Garrison

    Photo by Teri Garrison

    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 editor@montanamagazine.com.

    Also, look out for more Fan Feedback questions at fb.com/montanamagazine.

    - Jenna

  • 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…

    There was a good campaign and showing coming out of Montana, and our national parks earned the No. 2 (Glacier National Park) and No. 3 (Yellowstone National Park)spots.

    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.

    Enjoy!

    - Jenna