See more of Clint's Photographs

31 December, 2009

Happy New Year

This will be a Happy New Year, for all of us, the horses, cats, Kenya & Barlo, and Marty and Clint. We hope the new year bodes as well for you.

Marty and I finished the decade at Paws Up, a Montana resort. Kenya, Barlo and the 2 of us traveled some 300 plus miles to this beautiful ranch for a few days. Although it was cold, the climate could not have been better. Marty is winding down her law career at Bricker & Eckler, Clint is enjoying rural living and his new found hobby of photography, Ruthie & Martha (our barn cats) have just celebrated 10 years with us, Kenya is at the crest of her life, living big every day, and Barlo, in spite of his arthritic spin is a very happy dog, thanks to some special meds, his by-monthly chiro from his name sake, Dr. Sarah Barlow. 14 Arabian horses have a great life as well. When it gets too cold to stay outside all nite, they get to go into the arena for shelter. Their activities have slowed down during the winter months, but we think they are looking forward to being ridden and jumped as spring arrives.

An now for the latest episode of the dogs, captured by Clint on his new camera.

It started in this place, at the Paws Up resort, in Greenough, Montana.
This was our home for the last few days in 2009. Upon arrival, we started a fire in the fireplace and settled in for some relaxation and fun with Kenya and Barlo. Soon, Kenya had settled into a very comfortable postion next to the fireplace, very relaxed and very happy as you can see.
Just as Clint was settling down on the couch with his favorite libation, Barlo sat down beside him. Marty said, "Clint, before you get too comfortable, lets try something new". With that she took one of the dog bed covers that travel with us and draped in on the couch and offered it to Barlo. It was happiness at first site. He didn't have to crouch down to get on his dog bed which at times is painful. He sat on the couch and then laid down. For the next few days, that was Barlo's and he was there except when he ate, drank, or went for a walk.

By the end of the visit, Marty had already located several places in Billings that had special sales on couchs. By the time we returned to Fishtail, arrangements were already made to travel the next day to Billings and visit these furniture establishments. Of course, Clint went with her and they drove the ranch pick up in case they found something suitable. Need I say more.

This picture is the end result of our trip to Billings and the happiness on Barlo's face tells the story of why he is looking forward to the New Year.
This is Barlo's counch, it came back from Billings with Marty and Clint, it is located in the great room with a clear view for Barlo of the Beartooth Mountains, only steps away from the garage where he eats his meals, and exactly the correct height for him to scoot onto the cushions without any pressure on his back.

Have a Happy and Prosperous New Year. All of us at the Circle B Bar T know it is only hours away.

19 December, 2009

For the east coast whinners . . . . .

Headlines: Stillwater County Montana News - "first 14 days of December were the second coldest on record with an average temperature of 7.9 degrees.

First week of October 2008 and 2009 - 42 inches of snow in 2008, 2 feet of snow 2009, go to the October 9, 2009 posting on our blog to see the pictures, proof positive of the snowfall.

How did the cold weather and snowfall effect Marty, Clint and our neighbors?
  • the livestock was fed every day
  • hauled hay to the fields, spred the manure
  • the chores were done every day
  • put the vehicles in 4 wheel drive and away we went
Others didn't fare as well, the ground was covered with snow, it was difficult to find food.
The wild turkeys who have been scavaging the fields had to turn to alternative sources of food. They continually got closer to the house and barn. I took these pictures this week, and you can see from the second picture, they were re-cycling the oats and hay that the horses had consumed.

The deers who typically are foraging on what's left in the pastures were having a difficult time as well. The picture of the buck shows him in deep snow trying to eat what's above. The old dry grass was once described to me by a local rancher as the equivalent to card board. Then there was a very smart deer shown here, next to one of the neighbor's cattle hay, stacked and ready to be taken to the field. The hay was not protected by fence and this doe not only had been feasting on the hay but showed her enjoyment by licking her chops.

The rabbits are smarter than you think. This one was just next to our horse hay, obviously it was eating the better stuff as well. The jack rabbit was cuddled in the field when the dogs spotted it and was outrunning them when I captured this image.

Diane Signoracci, our neighbor, called to ask if we had purchased some cattle as she saw a bull in our driveway. The answer was no, but it took several calls to other neighbors to find out who it belonged to. They asked if I would put the bull in the small pasture next to the house until they could get it returned to their herd. You could guess that perhaps the cows had eaten all of the hay and the bull got out of his pasture and was looking for more food. In the meantime, Kenya, our female dog, enjoyed chasing the bull in the pasture.

This is Kenya, she was not only watching the turkeys but she was looking to see if the bull had been removed from the pasture. She has obviously been fed well and it was more fun chasing the wildlife than cuddling up in the warm house.
Hopefully, the winter storm that is settling on the east coast doesn't have a devastating effect on our friends who live there. Just put a fire in the fireplace, and enjoy the day, and sing the song, "We were dreaming of a white Christmas" and now we have one.

Marty and Clint have already gone thru at least 2 cords of wood since it got cold. The Christmas music is playing, the animals have been fed, and they have a fire in their fireplace.
Merry Christmas

07 December, 2009

A day to remember, a wonderful experience

While visiting the Jeff Teegardin's at Thanksgiving, Marty noticed in one of their magazines a nearby wild animal sanctuary. The decsion was to drive there on Friday and the the wild animals. I have been to Africa, zoo's, and wild animal parks, but nothing affected my emotions as much as this place. In addition to having over 200 large wild animals, we learned that they had all been held in captivity - most illegally - and could not be returned to the wild.

The Wild Animal Sanctuary is 30 years old and has been rescuing captive large carnivores. This doesn't seem much of a mission until you learn the facts of the current inhabitants. One of the most significant facts that I learned, which puts their mission into perspective, is that in the State of Texas there are more Tigers living in captivity than there are in the wild throughout the world. Where can these animals go if they are no longer welcome at their "home" or are being neglected and/or abused. The Wild Animal Sanctuary is one of the few places available. They way they operate and take care of these creatures brings tears to your eyes.

So, did you take some pictures, Clint? Yes, I had my new Canon camera, and as I have told several people who have seen these pictures, it wasn't the photographer, it was the camera.
Each of the animals in the pictures, as well as at the sanctuary, has a story behind it. As you learn how they have been treated, where they came from, why they were orphaned, and how they were blended into the Sanctuary, you become very emotional.

and there were lions

and what do you think of these cuddly creatures

There were also bears which were mostly in hibernation and the healthiest wolves I've ever seen. Having visited Yellowstone National Park for the last 10 years, I've seen lots of wolves, but these wolves just eat, play, and sleep, they don't have to scavage for their dinner. They were behind some very heavy fence and I did't get a picture of them.
Curtis and Peter got into the action as they got their picture taken there as well. They didn't get to share in the wonderful meals that the wild animals partake in daily, but they had enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner the day before.

If this has stimulated some interest, you can learn more by visiting the web site, or e-mail them at Clint and Marty have made a donation to their cause.

19 November, 2009

Thanksgiving Dinner, not on our table

There are the traditional Thanksgiving dinners and there are those dinners that the hunters in the family have influenced. Marty and I will be celebrating Thanksgiving in Boulder, Colorado with Jeff and his family and at this moment I am not aware of their plans nor do I plan to impose my tastes on them. However, as I toured the ranch over the last couple of days, I was able to capture live and on camera what may end up on someone's table. At least at this time these 3 creatures are not headed for a feast.

The first bird you typically do not find in Montana. They have been brought into the state to provide their importers with something new to hunt. As a result, many have escaped and are now starting their own breeding programs and are showing up in many new places. This rooster made it onto our property, was in a field with 6 horses, and was photographed next to the fence that surrounds our home.
As the hunting season comes to a close there will be many of these critters heading toward the dinner table. As I walked across our pastures, I spotted at least 25 or more of these guys. They must be aware of the season, because as they saw me sauntering along with my camera, they fled the property. But I fooled this one and a couple of her buddies. I got behind a hill, not sure where they had traveled to and as I arrived at the crest, one was taking a nap and two were leisurely grazing. When they saw me, they were very surprised and quickly headed across the nearby fence and field. I was very fortunate to capture her in mid air.
and finally another new face in the neighborhood. It was only a couple of years ago that I observed a few of these birds. Then there were more and now they are all over the place. Obviously they have matured and believe the Grove Creek is their home. I found this guy with at least 15 more at the southern end of our property. Today, he is not headed toward a Thanksgiving dinner table. If you knew his lifestyle, you would hope he didn't turn up at your festivites. They are wild, they fly to avoid other creatures and people, they rest in tree tops . . . . all of which means, they do not have those big plumb breasts that you are used to seeing and there is little if any white meat, as a result of their physical activities. On the other hand, he is a beautiful specimen.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving

08 November, 2009

Hunting season with a camera

We left our ranch and traveled 40 miles to capture with a camera what others might being trying to capture with a gun or bow and arrow. Somehow the deer know when it's hunting season and they also know where it's off limits for the hunters. During our trip I counted at least 184 deer and never left the road. This picture was taken soon after we started the trip, 6 miles from our place.
We had not traveled too much further when we spotted this fellow. Based on the size of his rack, it is obvious that he has avoided the hunters with guns over the years. He was in a field not far from the road and I said, he should be hiding as we had been passed by a number of hunters as we made the loop. Then I noticed in was on a ranch that did not allow hunters. Don't go across the fence buddy or you could be in trouble.
We were near Beehive when we saw this guy. As I was finished taking his picture, I noticed across the road, a father and son had arrived on a four wheeler, and the son had taken his gun and was aiming at something. I looked around and saw these turkeys, perhaps he was in charge of getting the Thanksgiving dinner. He did shoot a couple times, his aim was not good as the entire flock of turkeys survived and the hunter and his son moved on.

and if you were a bird hunter, not far down the road was this flock of birds that decided not to stay around once I got out of the car to photograph them.

In addition to the wildlife and the hunters, we observed several hunters at a rifle range honing in their aim. What was surprising was there were at least 50 deer within a mile of where the rifle range was located. I didn't stay around to see if they would be aiming at larger targets. The drive was beautiful, a clear day, sunshine and the view of the mountains was great.
The final picture was this young deer who was resting in the sun in a neighbors yard. The only shots that could be fired at it was with a camera.
If you want to see a larger image of these pictures, just double click on them.

18 October, 2009

Another interesting trip to Yellowstone National Park

As we normally do, when we arrived in Mammoth Hot Springs on October 14th, we went west toward Lamar Valley. As we entered the Lamar Valley, we were first surprized to see no snow, after leaving the other side of the mountains with still a lot left from the 2 feet we had accumulated in the past week. The temperature was warmer also. The next scene was not unusual for Lamar.
An accumulation of cars, people, and spotting scopes centered around Rick McIntyre, the wolf researcher who you know is there because of the yellow jeep. In addition the were cars and scopes scattered along the road, a real crowd. We parked the car and approached the crowd to find out what was the attraction. We anticipated wolves, but we also got a surprize.
In the middle of the Lamar River was a female elk, and as you can see in the picture, 5 of 9 wolves were resting and watching. Earlier in the day, the wolves had chased the elk, were in the water with her, but ultimately got tired and headed for the shore. Elk wins round one. We took this picture and drove on to Cooke City and returned to see what was happening. Nothing had changed. The elk had now been in the river for 6 hours, and we were sure the water was very cold. When it appeared nothing was going to happen soon and not wanting to observe a massacre, we drove on. We decided to return the next day to find the results of the stand-off.

Another surprize, as we approached the location of the spotting scopes and crowd from the 14th, there was only 2 cards, no Rick McIntyre. Two men from Boise, Idaho were there and soon a lady from Virginia arrived. They related that as darkness approached on the 14th, the wolves gave up and slowly but surely wandered away. As they left, the elf escaped and left the scene. Elk 2 Wolves 0. Marty and I drove on to the Soda Butte, we saw no more wolves, and turned around for the 40 mile drive to Mammoth Hot Springs.

As we were driving thru Lamar, Marty spotted, not one but several coyotes hunting for dinner. I wasn't quick enough to get them in the air as they jumped on the their prey, but I did capture this one after it had swallowd a mouthful of something.
Two great days in Yellowstone and 2 nites at Chico Hot Springs. We had left Mammoth and were headed to Gardiner for our trip home. As we turned a corner going down the steep incline what appeared in the front of the car but . . . . . . .
yes, it had been 2 above zero the week before, you would have thought it was time for hibernation, but it must have been out looking for one of it's final meals before the long winter nap. It stayed in the road until an approaching car caused it to climb the mountain to our right when I captured this picture just before it left.
This was at least our 100th trip to Yellowstone, and just as wonderful now as it was on our first trip. If you haven't seen the PBS special on our national parks, be sure to do so.

09 October, 2009

The first snow has been a doozy

Last year, 2008, in October it started to snow and when it stopped we had 42 inches of snow.
and just a year later, it started to snow again. This time we only got 24 inches to start with, but the snow was wet and the trees sagged and broke the electrical power lines throughout our area. We were without power for 24 hours but survived as the fire in the fireplace kept the house around 68 degrees.
The animals were not ready for snow and the cold as it had been 80 degrees just 6 days before. You can see from this Western Meadowlark who was perched on the fence that this sudden change in the weather was not appreciated.
and 4 days later, the snow started again. The snow has returned to a depth of 2 feet, Clint has not still not been able to spread the manure because the snow is wet and the fields are soggy and a cold front is approaching from the north, tonites low is predicted to be around 2 degrees. The horses will get to come in out of the bitter cold and Clint and Marty will be in front of the fireplace with the dogs.

Next week the temperature will return to the 40's and 50's and we plan to visit Yellowstone.

30 September, 2009

A cowboy out house

We were driving down the road in Ovando, Montana when I spotted something that looked like a large boot. On the third glance, I decided it may be something more than a wooden boot, so we stopped the car, I grabbed my camera, and this is both sides of the boot. My suspicions were correct.

22 September, 2009

A Great Day in Bozeman

The day ended when Johanna Kern rode Doc, BBT Majestic Dancer, to the highest dressage score ever for a Circle B Bar T Arabian. Included in the this record score is Toby and all of the shows Marty and Johanna showed him. And, Doc is only 5 years old and this is only his second year.

Of course, Marty rode Doc as well. It was a great ride for Marty and the judge remarked to Marty after her ride. "This was an excellent ride, you should be proud of your improvement and you'll like your score".

and then before all of this happened, Grover, BBT Thee Crusader, had eveyone's attention as he participated in a timed jumping course with Johanna and Wendy and then 2 dressage classes. At the end of this posting, you will receive the address on You Tube to see Grover on his trek around the cross rail course. His rider for all of these events was Wendy Bleacher.

Wendy and Grover's accomplishments were extra special since Wendy just started riding English last year after multiple back surgeries. She is now wearing those funny pants she said she would never be seen in and has been jumping Grover for only 6 weeks. Grover has also had a sore back which has required chiropractic therapy, is ornery after 3 years as a breeding stallion, and required a lot of patience and insight into making him happy. Jumping was the answer.

Go to: and watch Wendy and Grover do their thing. You may want replay after the first time thru, there are no interruptions the second time.

21 September, 2009

Garnet, A Ghost Town Today

Montana has had a lot of underground resources over the years. Some have been depleted and others are no longer of value. There was once copper in Butte and Anaconda, there is still chrome in the mountains in Stillwater County, and gold has had it's days in a number of locations.

While we were visiting at Paws Up, we traveled just 12 miles through the back country to the former town of Garnet.
Gold was the resource of interest which was depleted around the turn of the century(1900). As you can see from these pictures, the city is depleted now as well. After spending time here, you do wish that you could have been here during it's peak.

Some of the details about Garnet where found on this as we entered the city. If you are interested in more information, go to DOUBLE CLICK IF YOU WANT TO READ THE DETAILS

12 September, 2009

Clint's birthday present

Marty and I were at Paws Up, a resort in Western Montana last weekend with Ruth and Lowell Quenemoen. We had a great time but also had an unexpected highlight on our trip. Clint had noticed that Paws Up promoted something called "geocashing". It had something to do with using a GPS and finding things.

One afternoon, Clint took his birthday present, a Garmin, turned it on and realized that one of the "caches" was very close to Camp Fortunate, the home where they were staying. The cache was no more than 100 yards from the back door when he located it with his Garmin. From then on, as we drove around the Paws Up ranch, the Garmin was turned on, looking for coordinates and comparing them to locations of other caches (Clint was trying to avoid hiking long distances) that were near the roads. Eventually, 4 different caches had been located when they realized that the prize cache was called the "mother lode".

Clint drove until he thought they were near, then parked the car. After close to an hour they found the cache, only to learn the "mother lode" was in 4 sites, not 1. Off they went to the second site, found it, the third site, they found it, but by then they had been climbing hills and trails for 2 hours and were exhausted. They realized they were close to the house, so they arrived tired and without the "mother lode"

Early the next morning they drove to within what they thought was a mile from the 4th and final cache of the "mother lode". You can see from the pictures that it was not an easy hike, you would have expected smile, but Clint was tired.

The reward was a lot of exercise, the tokens that were retrived from the cache boxes were traded for a T-shirt and Clint is hooked on "geocaching".He claims he is the oldest geocacher to find the "mother lode" at Paws Up. He has now signed onto an internet web site and has discovered numerous caches near our home in Stillwater County.
You knew you had found the cache when you saw the box, the trails were well marked and at times you had to look hard to find the caches.

The views from the areas where the caches were found were spectacular.
but the climb, the rocks, and the terrain for the "mother lode" was tiring, look at Clint & Marty