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In the 1930s the people of the Canadian prairies experienced both an economic collapse and an environmental disaster. The stock market crash came first, in 1929, followed by a decade of drought in central North America. Wheat prices plummeted, and many crops were totally destroyed. Two thirds of prairie residents would eventually require “public relief” to survive.   With farms failing or deserted, and local economies in crisis, there was simply...
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Doing biological field work always comes with challenges. Since I began working at the Museum in 2003, the summers have been relatively wet. As a result, I’ve had to deal with muddy roads, many, many biting insects thirsty for my blood, and bootfuls of water obtained while exploring flooded wetlands. This year though, the roads were good, the biting insects non-existent, and many wetlands were so dry that I could...
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Like many of you, I enjoy walking through my neighbourhood and smelling the sweet fragrances of the summer flowers. Unfortunately, like many things, flowers are ephemeral. When I see a flower, I am always reminded of the Robert Herrick poem urging us to: “Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, Old Time is still a-flying; And this same flower that smiles today, Tomorrow will be dying.”
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Post by Debbie Thompson, Diorama and Collections Specialist  More than 440 million years ago, during the Ordovician Period, northern Manitoba was at the edge of a sea near the equator.  Among the many invertebrates that swam and lived in the salty waters were jellyfish.  Their fossilized remains are the focus of ongoing research at the Museum. After years of collecting, specific specimens were chosen to undergo a process called thin...
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August brings the Perseids meteor shower, an annual event that gets many people looking skyward. In recent years, social media has been hyping (and sometimes overhyping) celestial events, since they tend to generate a lot of interest (and thus “clicks”, “likes”, and “shares”), so it can be hard to know what you can actually expect to see. Here is the Manitoba Museum Planetarium’s guide to the 2021 Perseids meteor shower....
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Maureen Matthews Curator of Cultural Anthropology For the commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of Treaty Number One, three Treaty medals from the Manitoba Museum will be on display at Lower Fort Garry.  Although these medals were used by Canada to acknowledge promises made by the Crown to First Nations people in Treaty negotiations, they also reveal a history of First Nations protocols, diplomacy, and political advocacy at a difficult time.[1] ...
Posted in Cultural Anthropology, News | Comments closed
In recognition and celebration of National Indigenous History Month, we’re featuring an artifact from Private David Thomas, a Peguis First Nation soldier who died in the First World War. An exhibit featuring his story and a handkerchief he had sent to his sister from Europe was on display in November 2020. Unfortunately we closed to the public that week because of a COVID-19 province wide lockdown, and no one was...
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A Sunrise Solar Eclipse

Astronomy

From Winnipeg, the rising sun on June 10, 2021 will appear similar to this view, shot during the 2017 eclipse. [Image: Scott D. Young]   On the morning of June 10, 2021, early risers across Manitoba will see a partial eclipse of the sun from most of Manitoba. TO VIEW THE ECLIPSE YOU MUST USE ONE OF THE SAFE METHODS DESCRIBED BELOW. The eclipse is already underway by the time...
Posted in Astronomy, News, Planetarium, Science Gallery & Planetarium, Space News | Comments closed
Plants and fungi were challenging organisms to include in our new Prairies Gallery because most of our 50,000+ Museum specimens are preserved in a flattened, dehydrated condition. Not very attractive! Further, because these organisms don’t move the way animals do, people don’t seem to find them interesting. But are they really the passive, immobile creatures that we think they are? Our new exhibit case called Travelling Plants and Flying Fungi,...
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If you’re an observant person, you may have noticed colourful things growing on Manitoba’s trees and rocks. Although some of these organisms are mosses (especially near the base), they are more likely to be lichens.  Bright orange Firedot Lichens (Caloplaca spp.) are common on Manitoba’s elm and oak trees. Lichens are symbiotic organisms; they consist of a fungus (called a mycobiont) and an alga (called a photobiont). In some lichens...
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