Category Archives: Prose and Poetry

Ellen Horowitz: Tours, writing, children’s books show love for Glacier Park

What I Saw in Glacier - cover
What I Saw in Glacier – cover

Long-time NFPA member and stalwart Ellen Horowitz continues to receive awards and praise for her writing and teaching . . .

With sparkling blue eyes, a contagious smile, and boundless enthusiasm, Ellen Horowitz’s passion is sharing the details of Glacier National Park through hands-on tours, as well as her writing, including her prize-winning children’s book, “What I Saw in Glacier: A Kid’s Guide to the National Park,” published by Riverbend Publishing in Helena.

“What I Saw in Glacier,” is a beautiful and information-packed guide geared towards children answering many of their questions, as well as a good number of the ones their parents might have, when they visit the park.

Because of Horowitz’s intrinsic talent in bringing these topics alive, she earned first place for it in the Children’s Book category in the Outdoor Writers Association of America’s Excellence in Craft (EIC) contest in June 2018.

Read more . . .

Ellen Horowitz’ new Glacier Park book released

What I Saw in Glacier - cover
What I Saw in Glacier – cover

Long-time NFPA member and stalwart Ellen Horowitz just had a new book published . . .

Columbia Falls author Ellen Horowitz is no stranger to natural history writing for kids.

She’s a freelance writer whose work appears in magazines like Ranger Rick. Her pieces have won national awards, including the National Wildlife Federation’s Trudy Farrand and John Strohm Magazine Writing Award, and she took first place in the Outdoor Writers Association of America’s Excellence in Craft contest.

Horowitz was asked to write “What I Saw in Glacier, A Kid’s Guide to the National Park” as a sequel to the popular “What I Saw in Yellowstone,” written by Durrae Johanek.

Read more . . .

New book great read on botanists of Montana

Montana's Pioneer Botanists - cover
Montana’s Pioneer Botanists – cover

Rachel Potter reports that Montana’s Pioneer Botanists: Exploring the Mountains and Prairies got a good review from Chris Peterson over at the Hungry Horse News . See our previous post for more information about this book . . .

From the Native Americans to Morton Elrod, a new book, “Montana’s Pioneer Botanists,” takes a biographical look at 27 botanists and their impact on the field in Montana.

Editors Rachel Potter and Peter Lesica have crafted not a dry biographical tome, but a bright and lively read full of colorful photos, illustrations, and interesting stories about the early efforts to catalogue, identify, and study Montana’s rich plant life and history. Eighteen authors,including Potter and Lesica, contributed to the book.

Potter said it took about five years to put the book together and gather the essays and photos. Some of the essays are 30 years old and she searched around the country for the historic photos. Potter and Lesica decided to put the essays together after they did a program of Glacier Park’s botanists for the Park centennial in 2010.

Read more . . .

“Montana’s Pioneer Botanists” available!

Rachel Potter, prominent North Forker and NFPA member, passed along the following exciting announcement . . .

Montana's Pioneer Botanists Book
Montana’s Pioneer Botanists Book

Dear North Forkers:

I am pleased to announce that Montana’s Pioneer Botanists: Exploring the Mountains and Prairies is now on sale at the Polebridge Merc.  It includes essays by Jerry DeSanto, retired Glacier National Park North Fork Ranger.  Price:  $29.95.

Some of you will remember that after Jerry retired, he wrote biographies for a book to be called Plant Hunters of the Pacific Northwest.   Jerry was the perfect contributor to the project.  His background in history and knowledge and passion for plants resulted in three wonderful stories on David Lyall (1817-1895), R. S. Williams (1859-1945) and his good friend Klaus Lackschewitz (1911-1995).   Jerry did years of research that included travelling to the National Archives in Washington D.C. and spending day after day digging through herbarium specimens in various Pacific Northwest herbaria. This was pre-internet.  Notes for a fourth essay on Sereno Watson were in his truck at the Polebridge Ranger Station the winter he got sick.

As the decades went by and the main players aged, it became clear that the Pacific Northwest book was not going to happen. The Montana Native Plant Society (MNPS) decided to publish a book with the original Montana essays and some new ones.  My main motivation was seeing Jerry’s essay’s published.  The book includes essays by 17 authors on 30 different botanists. Naturally, Jerry’s are among the best, and being rich with detail, comprise a hefty percent of the book. The essays are illustrated with portraits, historic photos and photos of flowers and landscapes (including a handful of Jerry’s), as well as old and new botanical artwork.

There is more about the book at:  We are updating purchasing info and adding reviews and more, so check back periodically.

Go to the Merc and check it out!

On another note, Jerry’s Alpine Wildflowers of Glacier National Park and Waterton Lakes National Park was scanned by the MNPS and is available to view online at  Jerry’s papers have been accessioned into the Archives and Special Collections at the University of Montana.  An Rachel Potterindex can be found at:

Rachel Potter

Debo Powers: The Wild Mind of God

Mossy Stream - W. K. Walker
Mossy Stream – W. K. Walker

Debo Powers presented this poem at the “Wild Poems, Wild Stories, Wild Flathead” program held in Missoula on September 13 and in Whitefish on September 15 . . .

The Wild Mind of God

Trying to face the mind of God in a grove of trees,
I pause and listen.
My breath comes hard and ragged.
Sweat soaks my clothes from the long climb.

It is cool here
Sheltered from the glare of the hot western sun.
The wind swooshing through the branches overhead
The sounds of a creek as it runs over the toes of smooth boulders.

This is a cathedral
This cool dark spot
Dripping with moisture
Heavy with decay and new growth.

I fall to my knees in worship
And feel the soft furry moss against my skin
The wetness soaks into my socks
I breathe deeply in this quiet sacred place
Where creatures find refuge from the blistering heat.

I am not alone here.
Everywhere there are spirits.
An old elk who laid down here to die,
Torn and bleeding from the ravages of wolves and long winters.
A baby tanager that fell from a nest
And never rose again to try its wings.
A trout that was scooped out of its cold watery home
By the claws of a patient mountain lion.

We are all here
In this cathedral
On this mountainside
In the wild mind of God.

— Debo Powers

Inspired by the wildlands of the northern Whitefish Range
in the Flathead National Forest