Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Montana WILD

Helena, MT  High 81  Low 55

Thanks for all the comments about my orange chicken. Linda hit the nail on the head with her comment that it looked a lot like Panda Express Orange Chicken and I just had to try it. I love Panda Express.


Remember the bear enclosures we can see from our spot?


We wandered down there one day and discovered that the Montana Fish and Wildlife has a wonderful exhibit hall.

This is from their website: Montana WILD is FWP’s flagship education and conservation center, located in Helena, devoted to celebrating this deep connection people have with Montana’s fish and wildlife and its wildness.

One of their major goals is to educate Montana youth about wildlife whether it be through hunting, fishing, archery or conservation classes.

This cute little guy is a Tiger Salamander and the Ranger was able to coax him out of his hiding place by tempting him with yellow tweezers that they use for his food. He’s kind of their mascot along with his buddy in the next cage.


The neighbor – a Rubber Boa. This is the only Boa that is native to Montana. I had no idea we even had a Boa in the state.

Rubber Boas are considered one of the most docile of the boa species and are often used to help people overcome their fear of snakes. Rubber Boas are known to never strike at or bite a human under any circumstances but will release a potent musk from their vent if they feel threatened.


A Grizzly and cub.


Beautiful exhibits.




I took this picture of a picture because a lot of folks don’t know that Antelope do not jump fences – they bend their legs and go under them. And they are really fast. Antelope are runners unlike deer which are jumpers. That is why you see more dead deer on the highway than antelope.


Can you see the black bear cubs in the aspen tree?



This is a red-breasted merganser. They can be found at the lake we can see from our spot.


We had a wonderful time and learned so much talking with the Rangers. One of them was a fisherman and I didn’t think I’d ever get Jim away.

If you’re ever in this area, please take an hour and visit this place. It’s free which is another plus. Still no bears but they are also working on building a bird rehabilitation pen.

Pumpkinseed Fish



  1. What a great place to visit and learn!! I think educating our children about wildlife is such a wonderful thing (of course I am a retired educator). I know we learned soooo much when we volunteered at Hagerman Wildlife Refuge!! Glad you enjoyed your day!

  2. I hope they don't incarcerate a wild bear, but they probably will eventually. I just can't imagine being penned up after being born into freedom.

  3. I never heard of a rubber boa. I kicked up about a dozens garter snakes today while I was out picking up littler. They're about the only snake I enjoy seeing. ;)

  4. It certainly looks like an interesting place to visit for sure. It's also a place good for practicing with the camera.

  5. What an amazing place to visit. The Boa surprised me a lot.

  6. Looks like you had a good visit. We'll be in Montana soon and looking forward to it.

  7. Yep, Antelope are runners and if you have ever tried to hunt for them, you know its almost impossible to get one...

  8. aw, a cute Tiger Salamander.... interesting about the antelope... why did I think they were jumpers? I guess they're just big leapers?

    interesting place ~ glad they're educating the young about wildlife. It also makes me feel sad though when I look at the stuffed animals. I'm assured they were not hunted but had been killed or died natural deaths. I hope so.

  9. Thanks for the suggestion, that looks like a real nice museum.

  10. What a great museum. What the heck is that animal above the turkey photo?

    Thanks for the info onthe Antelope. Didn't know about the no jump
    the fence fact.

  11. The Antelope remind me of our Llamas. Those critters would find any crack / hole / fence a bit too high and escape. Guess who had to herd them back home????

  12. Huh, we have rubber boas in our park. They are weird because they look "rubber". Never had anyone say they release anything. Doug saw a camper with one wrapped around his hand.

  13. I will take your word for the rubber boa, just not in to handling snakes:)

  14. I really enjoy places like this, and especially if you can talk directly with a ranger. I had no idea that an antelope would crawl under a fence like that - I learned something new today.

  15. Is the bear enclosure for ones that get into too many trash cans?

  16. I don't care how docile that rubber Boa is supposed to be - it's still a snake and not to be trusted!

  17. I'm with Rick. I've known too many dogs that had never been known to bite before to risk any kind of snake.

  18. I've never known my pet tiger salamander to bite either. I think he "gummed" me a couple times when I was really trying to get him to bite me...that's what kids do, I guess.

  19. I guess that gives a new meaning to a rubber snake. ;c)

  20. The salamander is cute...but I don't like snakes!

    That's a very nice facility. Good thing they are doing to teach children about wildlife.

  21. How lucky you found that place - very interesting and it looks like they have some really nice exhibits. I'll bet Jim got some good fishing info, too.

    I have to say, that rubber boa is probably the only snake I'd want to run across. It sounds so safe.

  22. What a fantastic museum. Thanks for sharing.


Thanks for visiting today. I look forward to reading your comments. Have a beautiful day.