Sip and Sketch: Photographic Curiosity Cabinets

Blog Archives

Sip and Sketch: Photographic Curiosity Cabinets

Saturday, January 28th, 2017
Evening Program

Brought to you in part by Home ReSource.

The Montana Natural History Center’s February Artist in Residence, Peggy Christian, will guide you through the process of combining photography and words to create a unique and beautiful work of art.

Practice mindful photography as you explore a specimen, resulting in a deeper connection. Peggy will direct you in carefully editing your photos, and you’ll choose six that will provide a narrative. Add text to develop the story and, finally, affix photos and text to a wooden canvas. Learn how photography can go beyond simple documentation–it can be used to sharpen your senses, heighten awareness, and, yes, tell stories.

Any smart phone or digital camera will work for this program!


Wednesday, February 22

7:00-9:00 p.m.

$30; $25 MNHC members


Make Art with Peggy!

Friday, January 1st, 2016
Saturday Kids’ Activity

MNHC’s artist in Residence, Peggy Christian, will help you create a unique work of art during this special Saturday Kids’ Activity. Practicing mindful photographic techniques you will use (with the help of a parent) a smart phone or camera that can print to an air printer to create a collage. The photos along with text will form a narrative work. This photographic ‘curiosity cabinet’ showcases MNHC’s specimens and your own sense of exploration.

98c837767bd095c0c1d2bcf149da0f29Saturday, February 11

2:00-3:00 p.m.

Montana Natural History Center, 120 Hickory St.

Program is free with admission to MNHC


2016-2017 Audubon Photography Awards Opening

Sunday, December 6th, 2015
First Friday Gallery Opening

The best bird photography in America is coming to MNHC!

Award-Winning Audubon Photography Exhibit

For the past seven years the National Audubon Society has been conducting an annual photography contest to select the best bird-related photographs of the year.  There were over 7,000 photographs submitted in 2016.

For the first time NAS has organized a traveling exhibit of the best photos of 2016 and earlier years.  Five Valleys Audubon is honored to host an exhibition of these photographs jointly with the Montana Natural History Center.  These large format photographs (2 feet by 3 feet) are truly spectacular.

These photographs will be on display from December 29 to January 19.


First Friday Gallery Opening

Friday, January 6

4:30-6:30 p.m.

Geology Rocks! Evening Series with Bruce Baty

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015
Evening Program Series

We are sorry. This program has filled.

Join us for a 4-class series with geologist and retired Hellgate High School earth sciences teacher Bruce Baty. 

Rocks contain unique features that give clues to their origin and formation. In essence, rocks tell stories.dscf6621

In this series we will learn how to read those stories.  We will differentiate rocks based on their origins, i.e., igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary, as well as name about 40 different rocks.  After the first class, feel free to bring some of your own “special rocks” for class discussion.


Tuesdays, January 10, 17, 24, & 31

7:00- 8:30 pm

Montana Natural History Center, 120 Hickory St.

$35 (non-members)
$30 (members)

6 OPI credits available.

Community Discovery Day Hike on Bass Creek

Sunday, June 15th, 2014
Discovery Day

Join Master Naturalist Micki Long for a snowshoe hike in the Bitterroot!

downloadExplore Bass Creek on snowshoes on a beautiful winter Sunday afternoon. Perhaps you will see a few birds and scrutinize some tracks or maybe you will just revel in the soft quiet beauty of a snowy landscape. Take time outside this winter to hike in the snow!

SUNDAY, February 26

1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Location: Bass Creek Trail head


RSVP required. Please email

Children must be over 12 for this hike.

The Montana Natural History Center has snowshoes you can borrow for free if you pick them up the week before the program. MNHC is not open on Sundays.

Meet at the Bass Creek Trail head. Note: Extremely inclement weather may relocate our hike to a different location. Micki, will let you know if the location changes.

Here is a link to our Emergency Release Form: emergency-contact-information You can fill it out and bring it along, or sign a hard copy when you arrive.



Friday, December 6th, 2013
Saturday Kids’ Activity

geodeFind out how to become a rockhound with members of the Hellgate Gem and Mineral Society. They will show you the tools of the trade. Examples of Montana’s interesting minerals will be on display and you will even be able to dig for own special treasures to take home.

Saturday, March 11

2:00-3:00 p.m.

Montana Natural History Center, 120 Hickory St.

Program is free with admission to MNHC.

Members-Only Discovery Day at Lee Metcalf

Friday, December 6th, 2013
Saturday Discovery Day

download-1Join MNHC staff on a members-only walk at Lee Metcalf Wildlife Refuge.

On this leisurely walk we will look for migrants moving south and scout the river trail for other species of interest. Porcupines have been sighted in the Cottonwoods and birds of all kinds are drawn to open water. Find sign of animals by their scat, tracks, and burrows.

This trip will involve one to several stops by open water where we will get out of the cars and view birds with binoculars and scopes. We have binoculars to borrow! We will also walk up to 1 mile (on flat ground) on riparian paths.

Be sure to wear clothing appropriate for the weather and bring water and lunch.

Because we are carpooling, you always have the opportunity to leave early or explore the area longer.

Saturday, March 18

9:00-2:00 p.m.

Free for Members!

RSVP required. Please  email

Meet at MNHC and carpool to Lee Metcalf. Or meet at Lee Metcalf at 10:00 if you are coming from the Bitterroot.

All ages welcome.

Here is a link to our Emergency Release Form: emergency-contact-information You can fill it out and bring it along, or sign a hard copy when you arrive.


Our Wild Raptors

Thursday, December 6th, 2012
Saturday Kids’ Activity

osprey_101625Montana is home to beautiful raptors. Some are small and beautiful like the Kestrel and Merlin. Others amaze us with their size such as Bald and Golden Eagles soaring overhead. Get an up-close investigation of these raptors by looking at a number of specimens. Learn where to view raptors in the wild and how to use binoculars. Anyone interested can take a short walk over to McCormick park with a volunteer to view osprey nesting by the stadium.

Saturday, April 15

2:00- 3:00 p.m.

Montana Natural History Center, 120 Hickory St.

Program is free with admission to MNHC.

Naturalist Trivia Night!

Thursday, November 10th, 2011
Evening Program

Compete in a fun and exciting game of Naturalist Trivia! You can show off your skills or come to learn new nature facts. This program is entertaining and educational for all skill levels. Bring a team or join one when you arrive.

This evening is hosted by a special group with a special topic- ‘Mating and More’ in observance of Valentine’s Day. Get ready for some fascinating facts.


BYOB and snacks.

Wednesday, February 15

7:00-9:00 p.m.

$5 suggested donation; MNHC members free

Montana Natural History Center, 120 Hickory St.

Artists’ Lecture: Peggy Christian

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010
Evening Program

MNHC’s Artist in Residence, Peggy Christian will present an ‘Artists’ Lecture’ following her First Friday Gallery Opening.

unnamed-3Learn about Peggy’s process and the nature of her work during the residency. Peggy had access to all of MNHC’s specimens, from the depths of our storage area to the exhibit hall. She also worked with the numerous specimens at the University of Montana’s Zoological Museum. Find out what inspired her and the stories and questions these items generated.

Friday, March 3

6:30 p.m.

Montana Natural History Center, 120 Hickory St.