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      Pygmy owl outside Missoula. Photo by Noah Phillips

    • bald eagle

      A young bald eagle in the Flathead Valley. Photo by Whispering Peaks Photography

    • bear

      Bear takes a break near Dixon. Photo by Robin K. Ha'o

    • big buck

      A big buck sticks close to Missoula city limits. Photo @montanamagazine Instagram

    • branding

      Branding season near Canyon Creek. Photo by Mark Edward LaRowe

    • cows

      A herd of cattle near the Tobacco Root Mountains. Photo by Mark Edward LaRowe

    • geese in gibson park

      Geese in Gibson Park. Photo by Yvonne Moe Resch

    • pronghorn

      Pronghorn on the run. Photo by Whispering Peaks Photography

    • snow gees and horses

      Snow geese flyover. Photo by Whispering Peaks Photography

    • swan migration

      A snow geese closeup. Photo by Whispering Peaks Photography

    Spring slideshow: Reader wildlife shots

    If you’ve followed this blog in the past, you know that we’re pretty fond of sharing photos that our readers send us –  mostly because they send us such amazing shots.

    They came through again this spring. Along with scenic shots from all across Montana, they shared more than a few shots of animals.

    That said, here’s our spring slideshow featuring a wide range of critters frolicking under the Big Sky.

    We hope you enjoy these Montana animal shots as much as we do. Thanks so all who share their shots with us every day.

    Jenna

  • Photo by David Spear

    Photographing Butte: ‘A timeless town’

    We all know Butte is quite a town – but it’s a town that’s changed quite a bit in the past decades.

    Photographer David Spear has documented some of that change – and a lot of Butte’s magic – while photographing the city since the 1970s. Missoulian reporter Cory Walsh introduced readers to Spear’s new photo exhibit, “A Timeless Town in Time: Butte, Montana” in a recent story. 

    Spear came to Butte like many – a wannabe passer-by who was caught there by fascinated with the city. So he stayed for awhile and went back many times.

    David Spear first photographed Butte in the 1970s as an outsider, a Connecticut native by way of California.

    While some photographers parachute in and never come back, Spear’s fascination never waned.

    Photo by David Spear

    Photo by David Spear

    Much of Spear’s work focuses on the people of Butte.

    “I would take pictures and go back to the same places and see people,” he said. He’d show them prints and see how they were doing.

    • See a slideshow of Spear’s work here

    That’s how he was able to shoot intimate portraits of an elderly miner during his morning routine – smoking a cigarette and then wheeling his chair to a nearby bar to read the newspaper and learn who’d been arrested and who’d passed away.

    Tistol, he learned, rode a boxcar out from Minnesota in midwinter to work in the mines, and began using a wheelchair after he was hit by a truck.

    The exhibition includes two pictures, separated by decades, of Stevie Faulkner, a mentally disabled man well-known around town for offering shoe-shines.

    If you’re around Missoula anytime soon, check out Spear’s exhibit at the Zootown Arts Community Center.

    Jenna

  • Mitzi Baines walks her daughters Salome, 7, and Rivkah, 4, along the tracks outside Three Forks. Photo by Kurt Wilson

    Come wander MT with us

    We’re big fans of what we like to call virtual getaways. We think our magazine offers that to each reader each issue. And thanks to the internet, we think Mondays are good days to do a little digital wandering. Think of it as a mini road trip from your desk.

    Here’s our suggestion this week: We featured a wandering photographer in our March/April issue with our Roaming the Riverside Portfolio. Kurt Wilson took the photos for the spread while wandering to each corner of Montana. 

    Wind blows through the mane of a white horse on the Rocky Mountain Front near Choteau. Photo by Kurt Wilson

    Wind blows through the mane of a white horse on the Rocky Mountain Front near Choteau. Photo by Kurt Wilson

    In all, his Roadside Wanderings project for the Missoulian yielding a set of great stories and six photograph collections.

    Take a look at all Wilson’s work. It offers a great weekday getaway.

    Enjoy!

    Jenna 

  • Ivan Doig

    Montana reads galore: Our new ‘Montana Books’ page

    We love telling our readers about good Montana books to read. And we’re lucky enough to have a pretty great book reviewer in Doug Mitchell, who always has a great list of good reads to share.

    "Empty Mansions" by Bill Dedman.

    “Empty Mansions” by Bill Dedman.

    He’s told us about the now infamous copper king heiress.

    And got us the inside scoop on why writers like “Fourth of July” author Smith Henderson choose to set their books in Montana.

    Most recently, Mitchell reviewed books by Montana favorites Ivan Doig and newcomer Liz Carlisle. 

    Read all of Doug’s reviews and author Q&As here.

    Still need more to Montana reads? Subscribe today! 

    Jenna

  • MM_Park2Park 500x500 teaser

    Yellowstone! Glacier! Come with us on our Park-to-Park journey

    We’ve got National Parks on the brain this month at Montana Magazine for a couple reasons.

    For one, we’re preparing to send our Park-to-Park issue where we’ll take readers from Yellowstone to Glacier and back again in a couple ways (spoiler alert: there’s a map and a couple can’t-miss features.)

    For example, take writer Kelsey Dayton’s story on Yellowstone’s “geyser gazers.”

    The feature showcases not only the geysers of Yellowstone, but the self-appointed stewards of the geysers. They’re a set of people who dedicate years’ worth of vacation time to documenting the activity of geysers. Their data allows rangers to guide millions of visitors around the park, so they can have their own geyser gazing experiences.

    Our Park-to-Park issue ships to subscribers on April 30.

    Also, the National Parks Service launched its Find Your Park campaign this week, as it gears up for the 2016 centennial of the National Parks System. The new website includes several videos – including this one where Grand Prismatic in Yellowstone makes an appearance.

    Still want more from Glacier and Yellowstone? We’ll help you find the people and place that make Montana’s national parks special year round in Montana Magazine. Subscribe today!

    – Jenna

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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

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