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.
Nat Geo photo shows hungry grizzly digging for pine nuts
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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‘A lot of detail’ in the clouds
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.
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.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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.
Here’s the other events we wanted to tell you about:
- Western Art Week, Great Falls, March 18-22; http://www.westernartweek.com/
- Buddy DeFranco Jazz Festival, Missoula, March 26-27; facebook.com/BDFJazzFest
- Made in Montana Trade Show, Helena, March 27-28; http://www.madeinmontanausa.com/tradeshow
- Montana State University American Indian Council Powwow, Bozeman, April 3-4; http://www.montana.edu/nativeamerican/club/powwow.html
- Creston Auction and County Fair, Creston, April 10-12; http://www.crestonfire.org/auction/
- Billings Symphony’s From Russia with Love, Billings, April 18; http://www.billingssymphony.com/
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 email@example.com.