Mountain High 

Missoula rarely needs an excuse to have a delicious beer: Griz games, 5Ks, river floats, the release of the newest Twilight film. Our latest excuse, the end of Daylight Savings Time, is a fine example. It gets dark earlier, so it's okey-dokey to imbibe earlier. Heck-darn, it may even help you get to sleep on these newly chilly nights. Of course, mid-summer is a great time to get your drank on for just the opposite reasons. The oppressive heat and the 18 hours of sunlight? They make it impossible to get to bed at a reasonable hour without a smidgen of depressant. But before you hunker down over that pint or three (let's not even talk about all the cheese I know you're consuming), maybe you should reassess your winter customary regimen. No, I am no telling you to exercise, because if you're not already, winter is no time to start, and right before the holidays? Puh-leaze. All I am suggesting is that you put some information in that noggin of yours. Maybe learn about the place you live. Maybe become a more erudite and interesting person.

Look, we know all your jokes. We've heard about your ski trip to Fernie, B.C. a thousand times. Yes, I know, it was epic. But it's time for some new stories, new insights. Did you know that the state of Montana has eleven types of shrews? Did you know that one of them is the smallest mammal on Earth? Of course you didn't. There's so much more to learn about shrews than you can imagine, and Dr. Kerry Foresman will share his knowledge during his lecture "Montana's Smallest and Most Ferocious Mammals: The Shrews."

If for some reason the shrews don't do it for you, there's still plenty to learn and do with winter blowing in. Read Dostoyevsky. Learn Portugese. Bake a Turkish lahmacun. No one said you can't have a brewski before or after; just make sure there's something for your brain in between.

Dr. Kerry Foresman's lecture Montana's Smallest and Most Ferocious Mammals: The Shrews is at the Montana Natural History Center on Nov. 16. 7 PM. $4 suggested donation.

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THURSDAY NOVEMBER 10

Get your little sponges down to the MNHC's miniNaturalists Pre-K Program so they can develop the necessary skills to cultivate a love of the outdoors. Kids ages 2–5 are welcome when accompanied by an adult. 10–11 AM. $1 for members $3 for all others. montananaturalist.org.

You'll be climbing up a wall at Freestone Climbing Center's Ladies Night each Thursday. 935 Toole Ave. 5–10 PM. $6.50/$5 Student.

The Stumptown Arts Studio hosts the Aaron Robinson Memorial Reception, a photographic exhibition of bomber snowboarders demonstrating their styles. The event is a benefit for the A-Rob Plant-a-Seed Foundation. 6–9 PM. Free.

Find out what gear you'll need when the pow–pow is the mow–mow at the big luau at REI's Backcountry Essentials clinic. 6:30 PM. Free.

Let's get our collective stoke on and check out Teton Gravity Research's latest offering, One For the Road. Roxy Theater. 7 and 9 PM. $10 adv./$12 door.

FRIDAY NOVEMBER 11

Active outdoor lovers are invited to the Mountain Sports Club's (formerly the Flathead Valley Over the Hill Gang) weekly meeting to talk about being awesome, past glories and upcoming activities. Swan River Inn. 6–8 PM. Free.

SATURDAY NOVEMBER 12

What's up with all them dead trees in yonder woods? Come learn about those pesky mountain pine beetles that may be behind their deaths during Saturday Discovery Day with UM grad student researchers at the Montana Natural History Center. 9–2 PM. $15 for members/$20 for all others. montananaturalist.org

The kind grind, shreddy-shreddy, gnar-gnar and puff-puff, pow-pow is what Why We Ride: A Montana Ski and Snowboard Documentary is all about. Wilma Theatre. 7:30 PM. $6.

SUNDAY NOVEMBER 13

The 2011/2012 Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour is heavy, like a mother-scratching ton of bricks, and features a diverse blend of outdoor good times: skiing, river action, climbing, etc. You know, stuff you'd do, if only you had more time. Wilma Theatre. 6 PM. $15/$12 adv. available at The Trail Head and Rockin Rudy's.

Whitefish be blowin' up y'all, as is the 3rd Annual Whitefish Mountain Films event, which has moved to the O'Shaughnessy Center this year. The festival features epic gnar-gnar and bad boy toy skiers, mountaineers and filmmakers. 6:30 PM. Free.

MONDAY NOVEMBER 14

If birds don't scare you like they scare me, attend the Flathead Audubon-sponsored lecture by local birder extraordinaire Dr. Pete Smith as he describes his experiences Birding in the Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctic Peninsula. Community Room of The Summit. 7 PM. Free.

WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 16

Dudes, one of Montana's eleven shrews species holds the distinction of being the smallest mammal on Earth. Dr. Kerry Foresman will tell you about the other ten types of shrews at his lecture, Montana's Smallest and Most Ferocious Mammals: The Shrews, at the Montana Natural History Center. 7 PM. $4 suggested donation.

THURSDAY NOVEMBER 17

The Montana Chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology holds their 4th annual research symposium entitled Connectivity and Conservation. University Center, 3rd floor. 8:30 AM. conbio.org/chapters/montana.

Get your little sponges down to the MNHC's miniNaturalists Pre-K Program so they can develop the necessary skills to cultivate a love of the outdoors. Kids ages 2–5 are welcome when accompanied by an adult. 10–11 AM. $1 for members $3 for all others. montananaturalist.org.

You'll be climbing up a wall at Freestone Climbing Center's Ladies Night each Thursday. 935 Toole Ave. 5–10 PM. $6.50/$5 Student.

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