Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Short Walk in the Double Ditch Kush.


The dog said, "get off the couch, Bob."
"There's tons of deer in the pasture.

Look in the river,

the trout are as big as aligators. Everwhere you look,
the colors are amazing."

Sunday, September 30, 2012

They Eat Cars, Don't They.

We wandered off the river and and the dog said, don't go there. 
(click on pics to enlarge)

A '48 Pontiac screamed for help
Bushes strangled an innocent '56 Ford
Behind the '55 Roadmasher a mystery car was breaking away
The dog said it was a Terraplane.  But I'm not sure.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


(click to enlarge) 
The dog said let's walk out to the river.  I want to show you something.

 He led me through the hall of fallen heros and

 stopped for a drink at an underground creek where it comes up for air

Look straight ahead, he said. There's a deer stand leaning against the tree.  Like shooting fish in a barrel he said.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Birds & Bees of Montana

The dog led me to a truck in the upper pasture by the bee hives.  The sign on the truck door said Ampersand Apiaries.


The bee keeper said he and his crew were "gonna scrape honey."

  "Those bees'll be mad as hell. You better give 'em a wide berth."

The dog was already headed out.

 Higher up, the Spanish Peaks were smokey from forest fires.

The beekeepers stirred up the bees while we took the long way down.  


Alongside the road something was in the bush.

 A wild chicken.  Look real close and you'll just see a second wild chicken on the left, not much more than a splodge of color.  We'd seen a half dozen near here in the spring and thought they'd escaped from barnyard a couple of miles away.  We thought they wouldn't last a night with the coyotes, foxes, eagles and owls.  But they did.  The original chicken was a jungle fowl in South Asia.  So they can survive. Maybe they've been here for generations.  Although it's hard to see how they could survive a winter.
500 feet overhead, a red tailed hawk said those chickens look like lunch
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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Playground for the Mind

A Clyde Aspevig painting looks as if it were a picture of reality. Which it is, if you believe there is such a thing. 

A stroke of blue paint alters the shape of the hill, the importance of the pond, and the dark passages in the middle of the forest. Painting is layer on layer of color, light, shape, relationships and thought. And what seemed real at first glance is as abstract as a Diebenkorn up close. 
Painting, he said, is "a playground for the mind."
If you have the good fortune to be in Bozeman this week, there's a three day exhibition of Clyde Aspevig's paintings at the Emerson. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

A thousand ducks jumped into the sky

click to enlarge

Out in the north pasture this morning, the dog and I startled a flock of ducks feeding alongside the cattle. They headed north, eager to get going.  Then whirled back, unwilling to leave all that food on the ground. It feels like spring. It's still winter. They turned north again and turned back, quacking their great political debate.

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Dog PIcked Up His Squirrel Tail and Took

 The Dog picked up his squirrel tail and took me for a walk this morning

The normally insane guard geese

 Honked up into the trees

 Way up in the trees
click to enlarge. Some have their nest up there

A Bald Eagle over the garage was thinking maybe Bob's old Ford is gonna die
click to enlarge

Everywhere we went we were watched

click to enlarge

Once again I blamed the moon

Friday, February 10, 2012

Why Do Beavers Bomb Our River's Shore?

West Gallatin River on the Double Ditch Ranch.
Why do beavers bomb our river's shore,

Beavers are second only to man in altering the landscape. The wetlands they create with their dams are as bio-diverse as rain forests.
leave this tree for the wind, 

Beaver population is 5% of what it was before Europeans came to America
cut this log to fireplace lengths,

Beaver Lodge. Beavers rarely overpopulate because they are strongly territorial and only have "kits" once a year
or mate for life?

all these pictures taken on yesterday's walk with the dog
 It must be the moon.

Monday, January 30, 2012


Late Saturday afternoon, just before dusk, we set out to drive down Axtell-Anceney Road. Third generation rancher, Joe Axtell, is our next door neighbor two miles away. 

click to enlarge
Charles Anceney founded the Flying D ranch (now Ted Turner's 113,613 acre ranch)  that stretches from Yellowstone National Park to (almost) Joe Axtell's ranch.  

 The old dirt road winds along to tops of ridges and down into valleys.

Suddenly Kathryn yelled STOP. STOP THE CAR!

Kathryn knows a moose when she sees one.  We thought this one might be guarding a little calf down by the creek. But we weren't about to go down and have a look. It was huge, twice the size of a cow.

We're thrilled to have a moose (and a mountain lion, black bears, deer & Sand Hill cranes) for a neighbor. She can come visit any time she likes.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Ressurection of Allard FBA 685 Part III


  I sold it to a gentleman in Florida to pay for a 6 month drive around the world.


 50 years later, Martin Stickley, another gentleman in Florida, found FBA 685 abandoned, tired and dirty in a shed. He had it completely restored.

 And showed it at the Amelia Island Concours de'Elegance last spring
Now FBA 685 is alive and well and younger and faster and living in Florida.
While I am older and slower and living in Montana. But we still keep in touch.