Sunday, October 23, 2022

Friday, September 09, 2022


After getting smoked out of a Glacier National Park trip during the 2017 fires, we finally made it to Glacier this year. After overnighting in Great Falls, MT, we crossed the border into Canada to visit Waterton Lakes National Park where we took in the scenery on a boat ride. We saw a bear which appeared to be a black bear even though its fur seemed to be brown. Then it was on to Glacier, which was much more crowded than Waterton. We did the Going to the Sun road and another boat ride. On our way home we stayed in Helena, the first time I've been there in 50 years. Click here for the images on

A black bear that is brown.

Monday, July 04, 2022

Red Lodge 4th

Time again for the 4th of July festivities in Red Lodge, MT, including the parade, rodeo and fireworks. See Summer 2022 photo pages.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022


We went to Bozeman (actually Belgrade) today to see the Commemorative Air Force display of B-25 and B-17 bombers from WWII. We were able to go inside the B-25 "Maid in the Shade." The B-17 "Sentimental Journey" was in the hanger getting some work done and we were only able to get a distant shot of it. They are selling rides in these planes this weekend but we did not see them in the air. (Here is a link to flight shot of "Sentimental Journey" from the Sioux Falls Air Show 2016.) I've been to the Commemorative Air Force museum in Mesa, AZ, but it was many years ago.

B-17 Sentimental Journey

Cockpit of B-25 Maid in the Shade

B-25 Maid in the Shade

Thursday, June 16, 2022


Last year we had a daily air show with choppers and planes dumping water on the fire. This year we have flooding and a different air show. A National Guard chopper (perhaps the one below) rescued 60 people stranded at a lake 20 miles west of town and brought them back to Red Lodge Tuesday. There also have been several National Guard Black Hawks flying out of the airport.

Sunday, June 05, 2022


We usually don't patronize Renaissance Festivals, but this one in Red Lodge, MT was just a few blocks away so we biked over. Lots of broken lances in the jousting.

Friday, May 27, 2022

Sunlight Ranger Cabin

We had an opportunity spend two nights at the Sunlight Rangers Cabin in the Shoshone National Forest, Wyoming. No cell service and no TV, but we did have four walls, a roof, heat, plumbing and electricity, unlike the folks who were boondocking in the area. We did some hiking and some four-wheeling...not really four-wheeling, but the narrow roads were muddy in spots and I did engage the 4WD a couple times. We were hoping to go over Beartooth Pass (US 212) on the way home today, but it was storming and snow was expected.

Click for images.

Friday, May 20, 2022


Our previous record for bear sightings in Yellowstone was two in 2020. These past two days we saw 13. The breakdown is eight griz/brown bears (three adults, three cubs, two yearlings) and five black bears (three adults, two cubs). The road going south from Tower-Roosevelt is only open for 2.5 miles, but it is a hotspot of bear activity. The highlight was two unbearably cute cubs crossing the road and climbing a tree as their mama kept a watch on the 50 or so tourists who were witnessing. We also saw some bison babies today, which is what we expected to see on this trip. BTW, the white spots on many of these images are snowflakes. I know much of the country has already had a heat wave, but in Yellowstone it was in the 30s with intermittent snow yesterday and today.

Here's the list of bear sightings.

  • Bear #1 - Griz near Tower Falls
  • Bears #2-5 - Griz mama and three cubs north of Old Faithful
  • Bear #6 - Griz west of Tower Falls turn
  • Bear #7 - Black bear near Tower Falls
  • Bears #8-10 - Black bear mama and two cubs near Tower Falls
  • Bears #11-13 - Griz mama and two yearlings in Lamar Valley

See for all of the images. We also saw fox, coyotes and pronghorn but didn't get images of those this time.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Drop the mic

Every few years I have that "drop the mic" moment when it almost seems pointless to snap any more images. The one I remember the most is the owls on Honeymoon Island in 2008. The bluebirds gave me something similar today. I was hanging out on the patio to see if any more hummingbirds came by, and getting shots of opportunity with the bluebirds. Then this happened.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Spring marching in

I saw a hummingbird fly through the yard yesterday so I decided it was time to put the feeders out. I happened to have the 500mm sitting on the patio when this fellow came by. It's at the old crappy plastic feeder, which I have removed via Photoshop. I rarely change images with Photoshop in this manner, but in this case I'll make an exception.

I tried to fix the nicer glass feeder, which got the top broken off last year and subsequently leaked, by pouring latex paint into it last fall. Despite a winter of allowing the attempted seal to cure, it still leaks. I re-ordered the same one and I'll try to keep the wind or mowing crew from breaking it.

Sunday, May 15, 2022


To save wear and tear on my Canon 5D Mark III, which is almost 10 years old now, I'm using the 18-year-old 1D Mark II for my bluebird camera trap. This morning while setting the motion trigger with the 1D and 500mm monster lens, the female bluebird was buzzing around. I took control and got a few manually-triggered shots. The previous day, I got some motion-triggered images with the 1D and 70-200 zoom at 70mm. Most of these images have been added to my web site.

The 1D was a great camera in its day, but it is only 8.2 megapixels. It is hard to keep the sensor clean and I have to Photoshop out spots most of the time. The battery doesn't last all day, so today I have the AC adapter plugged in. But with a little effort, the 1D is once again producing passable images after sitting idle from 2012 until last year.

For sure, the images are miles ahead of anything out of my trailcams, even the two Reconyx.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

The West

Spring is slow in coming to Montana, so we took a 10-day drive southwest starting April 14. We saw moose and sheep in Wyoming, marmots and waterfalls in Idaho, rocks and more rocks in California, cactus in Nevada, red rocks in Arizona and Utah, and (not pictured) spent a couple of days in Las Vegas. We wanted to drive down to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, but discovered that road is closed until mid-May. Instead we drove through Vermilion Cliffs National Monument and I spotted my first California Condor at the Navajo Bridge in Arizona. The tags on its wings indicated it was an 18-year-old male.

Even though we started off in the middle of April, we drove through some snow at both ends of the trip. Click here for the photo gallery. Here is a small sample.

Grand Teton Moose
Las Vegas finch
Vermilion Cliffs National Monument

Sunday, April 10, 2022

It's Rough

Sometimes I can hear the squawk of sandhill cranes from my back yard. Today, armed with location information, we drove a short distance to the northwest. We didn't find any cranes, but we did find a rough-legged hawk using the high utility poles along the road as observation points. Sometimes hawks are hard to identify, but from under-wing patches I saw in some of the images, the ID is fairly certain. Nothing else in the Sibley book matches it, and this is within their winter range. Gray, washed out sky, oh well.

I also included trailcam images of local moose from January-March in this gallery. As usual, the Primos gave images ranging from underexposed to severely overexposed, but I managed to process four. The Reconyx gave me some better exposures, as it should since it cost six times as much.

(Because Blogger and GoDaddy aren't playing nice, these are uploaded images, not an inline images with links to my site. Click here to see the images on my site.)