June 9, 2018

When the subject of hard winters around the Bear Paws has come up, 1977/78 seemed to be the benchmark for bad ones.  At least that's been the opinion of most of the long time ranchers in this part of the world.

We do however now have a genuine contender for the title “w...

June 9, 2018

Spend some time around any ranchers on their ranch and you will no doubt hear them talk about places on the ranch using names only they can relate to.

By it's very nature, ranching requires large tracts of land and every ranch family will assign names to various places...

September 16, 2016

In my last commentary I wrote about some of the cause of stress in our lives.

A couple of weeks ago I experienced a situation that illustrates just how stressed our population has become, even right here in north central Montana.

The event that took place not only demons...

September 9, 2016

People seem to be really strung out.  Like they're having a hard time just keeping up with life in general.

Hand-held electronic media is no doubt a factor, as is the current political climate, but there is something else going on.  Something that is putting pressure on...

July 4, 2015

Every where you look, the word sustainability pops up, but no where more than when talking about food. Everyone talks about it, everyone agrees it's a good thing, but few really know what it is. It just sounds so good, and I've come to realize that how a word sounds se...

June 30, 2015

We live in sage grouse country.


Big time.


We have a sage grouse lek (mating area) on our deeded land about 1/4 mile from the house and we observe the birds frequently year-round all over the ranch including in our yard. We have, as a result, learned a great deal about...

March 15, 2015


Spring arrived this weekend in a big way.  Yesterday was 70 degrees, preceded by several nice warm days and the 12" of ice on the reservoir has vanished.  The geese came back and this morning 23 Tundra Swans visited.  We are always glad to see winter over, and now loo...

July 22, 2014

While driving home from the Farmer’s Market last Saturday, Jackley & I shared an epiphany.  No, that’s not some island drink with a little umbrella in it.  It’s a sudden insight, a bolt out of the blue, the little lite bulb blinking on when an important concept pops in...

July 7, 2014

You never know what you'll see when out fixing fence.


While out the other day, we saw this cushion cactus in bloom right alongside the fence.


You do have to watch the ground when kneeling down to fix fence - otherwise, ouch! 


Getting cactus in your knee definitely hurt...

June 26, 2014

   (With apologies to Mark Knofler & Dire Straits - but I just couldn’t resist it!)


In 2005 we decided to make our home in the middle of nowhere and two of the first challenges we faced were what to do for water and power.

We have a large reservoir next to which...

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