Mountain High 

Birds and fishes are falling in love and building nests at the 19th Annual Loon and Fish Festival celebrating art and wildlife this weekend. The event will feature a wide variety of art sales and demonstrations sure to tickle any fish or fowl lover's senses. Weekend activities include a wildflower walk, loon nest site walk, artist's quick draw, and a bevy of wildlife films and speakers, including Nobel Prize winner Steve Running. Artist Bob Korn is donating pottery bowls decorated by local artists for purchase at a Soup Bowl Luncheon on Saturday given by area restaurants. The festival promises a variety of booths from local and statewide wilderness organizations, a raffle, and more. Everything's free except lunch, and all proceeds from sales go to benefit the Seeley Lake Food Bank.

The Loon and Fish Festival is sponsored by the Alpine Artisans, a group of artist and arts supporters committed to promoting the arts within the context of the natural splendor of the Seeley, Swan and Blackfoot Valleys.

The two day event runs Sat., May 28, from 10 AM to 5 PM, and Sun., May 29, from 10 PM to 3 PM, at Seeley Lake elementary school. For further information and event schedule, visit alpineartisans.org or contact Scott Milner at 677-0717. Free.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY CHAD HARDER

THURSDAY MAY 26

Find out what delicious berries you can plant in your garden—whether for you or the birds, at the Native Plant Garden Community Event: Native Berries at Fort Missoula under the big silver water tower. $2 for adults/$1 kids under 12.

Those interested in learning more about the management of the North Hills/Evaro elk herd are invited to a meeting of the North Hills/Evaro Elk Working Group, which features comments by biologist Vickie Edwards and meets from 7–9 PM at the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, 5705 Grant Creek Road. Free.

Join Nine Mile Wildlife for a lecture given by Rob Roberts, Settled, Mined and Left Behind: TU's efforts to improve fisheries and water quality in Ninemile Creek at Alberton Community Center at 7 PM, 701 Railroad St. Free. Visit ninemilewildlife.org.

FRIDAY MAY 27

Missoula Parks and Recreation and the Missoula Park Board are seeking volunteers to serve on the newly forming Conservation Lands Advisory Committee. Applications for this volunteer position can be obtained through the Mayor's office, City Hall, 2nd floor, 435 Ryman, due by 5 PM. Call 721-PARK.

Hear it straight from the horse wrangler's mouths with Stories of Ranch Women, a series of individual monologues presented at the Stevensville Playhouse at 8 PM, 319 Main St. in Stevensville. $10 advance/$15 at the door. Call 777-0520. (See Spotlight in this issue.)

SATURDAY MAY 28

Flower power is not dead at the Median Iris Show, hosted by The Missoula Iris Society. Entries accepted at Southgate Mall from 7–9:45 AM, followed by the public exhibition 10 AM–6:30 PM. Free. Call Donna at 542-1945.

Who wants to climb Mt. Sentinel obscenely early in the morning to look at birds? Five Valleys Audobon is sponsoring this 5-mile half day field trip which meets in the university parking lot at 8 AM and returns via the Hellgate Canyon and Kim Williams trails. Free. Call 549-5632.

Birds are words. Come birding in Glacier National Park with Flathead Audobon. Meet at the Alberta Visitor Center in West Glacier at 8 AM, returning by noon. Entrance fee or park pass required. Call to sign up at 892-7406.

Walk on the wild side, of flowers that is, when Lone Pine State Park presents a series of spring wildflower walks every Sat. at 11 AM until June 18 starting with a meet-up at the Lone Pine Visitor Center, 300 Lone Pine Road outside of Kalispell. Free. Call 755-2706 Ext. 2.

Perfect your stern strokes while competing against over 200 rafters during the Bigfork Whitewater Festival, a competition that features international kayak racing on the "Wild Mile" part of the Swan River in Bigfork, plus activities for non-racers throughout the weekend. Peel out to bigfork.org for info, or call 837-5888.

MONDAY MAY 30

Learn the basic strokes, how to read whitewater, the roll and an introduction to moving water and boat safety when you attend this Fundamentals of Kayaking class. Register by today for $185. Classes are June 2, 7, 9 from 8:30-2:30 at University of Montana Grizzly Pool, June 14 and 16 at Clark Fork River Days, and June 18th on the Blackfoot River.

Tuesday MAY 31

Help pull your weight to keep Missoula beautiful with the Woad Warrious weed pull. Meet at the M trailhead at 6:30 PM. Call 544-7189

THURSDAY JUNE 2

Eat crunchy food and talk sustainable urban living at the MUD Mingles Potluck from 6–9 PM at the MUD site, 629 Philips St. Free. Visit mudproject.org for details.

Learn to "folf" at Missoula REI's Disc Golf 101 class, where you'll go over the rules of the game, basic throws and different types of discs from 6:30–8 PM at 2230 N. Reserve St. Free.

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