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      Fryer wheels a newborn calf down the barn at Castle Mountain Ranch. One of Fryer’s tasks is overseeing the calving of more than 300 heifers on the ranch each spring. Because she works primarily alone in the barn, Fryer uses the wheelbarrow to move the new calves to a stall without help. Photo by Casey Page

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      In the morning sunlight, Fryer moves calves born a few days earlier and their mothers away from the barn. Photo by Casey Page

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      Fryer helps a wobbly-legged calf stand. Photo by Casey Page

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      Fryer bottle-feeds a calf who was rejected by its mother. Photo by Casey Page

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      Bev Fryer rides among the "heavies" — pregnant heifers — on Castle Mountain Ranch near White Sulphur Springs. Photo by Casey Page

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      Fryer leads day-old calves out of the barn. Fryer and her husband, Ed, who operate Castle Mountain Ranch, use the barn during calving season for the heifers, who are first-time mothers. Photo by Casey Page

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      Fryer encourages a calf to suckle on his reluctant mother in the barn. Photo by Casey Page

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      A heifer and her calf peer around a windbreak. Photo by Casey Page

    • calves

      A heifer meets her calf in a stall in the barn. Photo by Casey Page

    An up-close look at calving on a Montana ranch

    All across Montana, the fields are filling with calves. 

    It’s an annual right of passage that begins for some in February and is finishing up now as we move into April.

    Billings Gazette photographer Casey Page gave readers an up-close-and-personal look at what calving season means for one ranch in White Sulphur Springs.

    Her photos show birth to field and follow Castle Mountain Ranches’ Bev Fryer, who was honored as the Montana Stockgrowers Association as the Ranching Woman of the Year.

    Fryer has operated the ranch for 17 years with her husband, Ed. She was recognized in January by the Montana Stockgrowers Association as the Ranching Woman of the Year.

    Working primarily alone in the barn, Fryer nurses bum calves, checks the pregnant cows, and pulls calves from heifers having trouble giving birth.

    On this particular spring day, she jumped on the horse-drawn hay wagon with her son David, distributing hay and talking about that day’s progress.

    View the slideshow here

    Jenna

  • Nat Geo photo shows hungry grizzly digging for pine nuts

    Grizzly in Yellowstone, photo by Matt Rush, via National Geographic.

    Grizzly in Yellowstone, photo by Matt Rush, via National Geographic.

    We noted earlier this year that Montana bears were waking up pretty early this winter, as the unseasonably warm temperatures had them coming out of hibernation in mid February.

    They were hungry then. But perhaps not as hungry as just before they went to sleep last winter. National Geographic featured a bear in the Beartooth Mountains inside Yellowstone National Park stealing pine nuts last winter as its Photo of the Day (by Drew Rush) today on Facebook. The grizzly was captured by a “camera trap” set up by Rush and tripped by the bear.

    It’s easy to see why it’s the Nat Geo Shot of the Day. Rush a set of awesome of photos of the bear digging in the Yellowstone snow to find much need food.

    But he also had a close encounter with a hungry bear while checking the camera that left him shaken but unhurt. Rush describes the experience for National Geographic in this Proof blog post.

    When he finally retrieved the camera, he found the awesome shot of the Grizzly – as well as some other awesome wildlife shots.

    Check them out!

    Jenna

  • Artist Hadley Ferguson works on her "Women Build Montana" mural. Photo by Tom Bauer

    Missoula artist paints Montana women building the state in new mural

    Missoula artist Hadley Ferguson’s work is well-known across many parts of the state and region.

    Missoula artist Hadley Ferguson and her daughter Sarah, right, stand in front of one of Ferguson's 'Women Build Montana' murals after their unveiling at the state Capitol in Helena. Photo by Tom Bauer

    Missoula artist Hadley Ferguson and her daughter Sarah, right, stand in front of one of Ferguson’s ‘Women Build Montana’ murals after their unveiling at the state Capitol in Helena. Photo by Tom Bauer

    But the artist expanded put her own mark on history this year when her mural, “Women Build Montana” was installed in the State Capitol.

    Ferguson’s mural, which includes two 5-by-10 foot panels, was our Glimpses feature for the March/April issue.

    The mural’s purpose is to honor the role that all women of all ethnic groups played in building Montana’s communities– from the era of maintaining a homestead in a harsh environment to the shaping of political and public life. The entire project was funded with private donations.

    In a scene of one panel, a woman hangs a poster on a wall to commemorate women's suffrage. Photo by Tom Bauer

    In a scene of one panel, a woman hangs a poster on a wall to commemorate women’s suffrage. Photo by Tom Bauer

    To say it’s a beautiful addition to the Capitol is an understatement. 

    Photographer Tom Bauer, who took the photos of the work, said Ferguson worked day and night leading up to the unveiling. Bauer and reporter Cory Walsh put together a moving feature on the work.

    Be sure to take a look at Ferguson’s work next time you’re in Helena.

    - Jenna

  • A P2v fighting fires in California. Photo by  Bryan Walton

    Planes of Montana: ‘The backbone of firefighting aviation’

    Fighting wildfires is a serious business. And the airplanes that have helped in that fight for decades call Montana home.

    In our recent feature, “Vintage Fighters” writer and photographer Jessica Lowry tells us about the P2v Neptune air tankers that were originally built for war, but have for the 50-plus years been used to fight wildfires. And, the planes are meticulously maintained in Missoula.

    The large facility houses space to service aircraft and craft parts that need replacing.  Crews work around the clock to keep the planes in top condition between flights and during the off-season.

    Learn more about the planes at the Neptune Aviation website.

    To read the entire story, find our March/April issue on newstands now.

    Want more of Montana all year long ? Subscribe today!

    - Jenna

     

  • ‘A lot of detail’ in the clouds

    Photographer Bob Hosea, AKA thebobfactor.com, often shares great Montana images with us on our Facebook page. And we’ve shared many here.

    But Hosea also makes videos. And often, those videos allow us to get a unique glimpse of the clouds in the Big Sky.

    The time lapse videos are make with thousadns of images. In fact, for his most recent video showing the sunset over Indian Head Mountain near Libby, Hosea took almost 5,000 shots (see the video here).

    “I used 4,500 pictures, and it took 24 hours of processing between two computers to create this 45 second time lapse of one hour of real time,” Hosea told us. “There’s a lot of detail in this thing. Time lapse is just plain cool stuff!” 

    Below, is one of Hosea’s videos showing clouds moving over Ibex Peak.

    Enjoy!

  • Sean Kochel. Photo by Kurt Wilson

    Kochel Guitars are made from Montana

    How do you make a guitar FROM Montana? Sean Kochel showed our readers how he does it in our March/April feature on his business.

    Check out the full story online now. The guitar map below details where and how Kochel integrates Montana into each instrument.

    For more Montana all year long, subscribe today.

    MT Mag_MA15_47

    • alex sholes photography outside great falls

      Sunset outside Great Falls. Photo by Alex Sholes Photography

    • jullie powell photography shepherd, mt sunset

      Sunset over Shepherd. Photo by Jullie Powell Photography

    • katie la salle lowery Red Migration Morning near Freezout lake snow geese

      "Red Migration Morning," snow geese near Freezout Lake. Photo by Katie La Salle

    • mary jo siarkowski sunrise over flathead lake

      Sunrise over Flathead Lake. Photo by Mary Jo Siarkowski

    • mike williams sunries snowgess at freezout lake

      Snow geese near Freezout Lake at sunrise. Photo by Mike Williams

    • pat mallard lady of the rockies in butte

      Lady of the Rockies, Butte. Photo by Pat Mallard

    • Robin K Hao exploring perma

      Spring near Perma. Photo by Robin K Ha'o

    • singing sky photography moorise over the tobacco root mountains

      Moonrise over the Tobacco Root Mountains. Photo by Signing Sky Photography

    • teri garrison kinsman near ulm pishkun

      Near Ulm Pishkun. By Teri Garrison Kinsman

    • the Bob Factor ever changing spring conditions at Kootenai Falls

      The ever-changing conditions at Kootenai Falls. Photo by The Bob Factor

    Signs of Spring: A celebratory slideshow

    There’s still a little snow on the ground, but Friday officially marks the start of spring.

    That means the green is beginning to peek out and so are the photographers. So, it’s time for us to post our annual Signs of Spring slideshow. It’s  a pretty good one this year.

    We’ve got everything from greening meadows to brilliant sunsets to snow geese leaving Freezout Lake.

    As always, we’re lucky that so many of our readers share images with us. Thank you to all who shared!

    Do you have images to share? Email jpg images, along with photographer information and a brief description of the photo to us at editor@montanamagazine.com.

    Want more of Montana all  year long? Subscribe today!

    – Jenna

  • Western Art Week begins March 22 in Great Falls. Courtesy of the Charles M. Russell Museum

    Montana Mag Show and Tell: Events around the state

    Montana is a big state. And there’s lots going on. Especially as spring gets going.

    So, we launched a new feature inside each issue this spring, and we’re calling it “Montana Magazine Show and Tell: our Big Sky Country events calendar for March and April.”

    It’s a rundown of most any kind of event going on around the state.

    calendar image 1For example, did you know it’s Western Art Week in Great Falls this month? If you’ve never gone to the Charlie Russell week of festivities, you should try and get there.

    Here’s the other events we wanted to tell you about:

     

    Do you have an event you’d like to share?

    To submit a Montana event for the Montana Magazine Show and Tell calendar, email the time, date, place and short description of the event to editor@montanamagazine.com.

    Jenna

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