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This summer I went from Manitoba’s southern-most border all the way to its northern one within just a week. I was fascinated to see how differences in climate had influenced the plant communities. The massive trees of the south give way to nearly treeless tundra in the far north. But despite being separated by over 1,000 kilometers, both places had something in common: climate change was beginning to impact the...
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For Part I: https://manitobamuseum.ca/archives/49639 When the Ukrainian Canadian Legion Branch 141 building closed on Selkirk Avenue at the end of March 2022, Vladimir Putin’s military invasion of Ukraine was a month old. I visited the Legion building and was shown the flag of Branch 141, and I was struck by the power of the symbols, given the current conflict. Though this flag has its origins among Canadian veterans from the...
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[Image: Prokhor Minina/Unsplash] August brings with it hot summer days, earlier sunsets, and the annual Perseid meteor shower. Here’s how you can get the best view of the shooting stars this season. TL;DR: Best views  for Manitobans will occur between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. on the morning of Saturday, August 13th, or the mornings immediately before or after that date. Go somewhere where you can see the stars, face...
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A two-stage rocket departs for space on a clear day in Churchill. Photo by Ken Pilon. By Tamika Reid, Volunteer Researcher, and Roland Sawatzky, Curator of History, Manitoba Museum   Churchill, Manitoba is well known for its scenic arctic landscape, polar bears, and vibrant northern lights, but did you know that Churchill was once home to the most active rocket range in Canada? While the Churchill Rocket Range was in...
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Post by Marc Formosa, Collections Technician (Natural History) A current and ongoing problem for museums is collection storage space. Maximizing space for expanding collections requires Tetris-like problem solving. We are always looking for ways to make the most of the space we have, while improving the long-term preservation of the objects in the collection. In the spring of 2021, I had the chance to virtually attend the joint American Institution...
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Tyndall Stone contains many beautiful fossil corals. (MM-I-3407) By Dr. Graham Young, Curator of Geology and Paleontology, Manitoba Museum   When you hear the word “fossil”, you probably think of giant dinosaurs, or perhaps marine reptiles such as Morden’s “Bruce”, but fossils actually include all evidence of past life. Fossils may be the remains of plants or animals, such as leaves or bones, and they also can be tracks or...
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Branch 141 Colour Party: Steve Lacomy, Tom Holowaty, John Wachniak, Mike Gregorash, Nick Frost. 1964 After the Second World War, hundreds of branches of the Royal Canadian Legion were established across Canada where veterans of the war could gather and socialize. These branches became important community hubs of activity, from wedding socials to charitable fundraising, to having a beer with a buddy.  The Ukrainian Canadian Veterans Branch 141 sold its...
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You may have heard the old saying that “nature abhors a vacuum”. To understand this expression, you probably won’t need to look any farther than your own lawn. Although lawns may start out as monocultures of Kentucky Bluegrass (Poa pratensis), they never stay that way. Inevitably, species like Common Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) show up, prompting a flurry of weeding and spraying of herbicides. We are told by lawn care companies...
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Dinosaurs and Stars

Did You Know

Asteroids pass close to the Earth quite often, but most are small. A large asteroid approaching Earth is cause for concern. Image: NASA By Scott Young, Planetarium Astronomer At the Manitoba Museum, we know that just about everyone loves dinosaurs. It’s easy to understand why. Dinosaurs grew to enormous sizes, existed all over the planet, and ruled the Earth for about 165 million years. Then, they disappeared –all at once–...
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In Search of New Species

Botany

When I tell people I am writing a book that describes all of the plants that grow in Manitoba, they are often incredulous. “Don’t we already know how many plants species there are in Manitoba” they ask. Sadly, the answer is no. New to Science Believe it or not, botanists documented and collected two flowers that were not believed to grow in the province, for the first time ever in...
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