Fall Gathering, or Sagebrush Meditations

Sam and Monica still do lots of things the old way, using horses to gather to gather up the cattle. Sam may own a four-wheeler, but he is much more at home on a horse. Dad once described him as a “pretty fancy calf roper,” and I think he still is. But last weekend, Sam…

The Wearing of the Orange, or Hunter Safety for Dogs

Thanks to my mother-in-law, this photo popped up yesterday in my Facebook feed.   Once I finished laughing, I got to thinking that these dogs actually had the right idea. See, mum and I have been known to be avid autumn, winter, and spring hikers (no snakes, and beggar’s lice and cheat grass haven’t cropped up…

Holy Muttrimony, or What We Do for Fun in Small Towns

A note from Erin: This piece was written by my good friend and occasional partner in crime Hilda Thomas. It was originally published in the Dubois (pronounced dew-boyz) Frontier, and I ran across it again in some old files. I couldn’t help but share the laugh… On August 28, 2010, in the dwindling dog days of…

Cheeky Badger and the Toothy Grin

When we last checked in with Badger, he was rather pitiful, even sporting the cone of shame. No more! Badger has made a full recovery, even if his hoped-for sex life has not.   I know, I know–looking at this photo you might not be certain if this is so much cheeky grin or “thatsa…

Burn Baby Burn!

Bridger’s Volunteer Fire Department must have spent the weekend on high alert as my dad finally torched the funeral pyres of Russian olive trees that had dotted the pastures for several years. Why was the fire department at Defcon 5, its highest state of readiness, you ask? That would be because of dad and his…

Pitiful Badger and the Cone of Shame

Pity the poor Badger. Not only did Dr. Noland neuter him on Tuesday (see this Oatmeal post as we ponder what Badger will now make sparkle), but then he was forced to don the cone of shame. I’m hoping that one day he’ll forgive us all for these many indignities, but I’m betting that it…

Sharing, or Things Our Dogs Do Not Do Well

Our house is littered with dog toys. Balls. Squeaky bones. Squeaky cows. Decapitated reindeer. Dolls suffering intestinal distress because they’ve had their stuffing ripped out. Dragons that no longer honk and are missing wings. Stuffed bears missing eyes and nose. Toys abandoned, toys lost. We’re like the Isle of Misfit Dog Toys, and it somehow…

It’s Rodeo Time, or Celebrating 50 Years of the Bridger Youth Rodeo

Every year, midway through July, the town of Bridger does two things right: Jim Bridger Days and the Bridger Youth Rodeo. Jim Bridger Days has the usual small-town festivities of a parade, a demolition derby, and a street dance at night that shuts the town down. (You’d think that this would cause more traffic problems,…

A Bone to Pick with Equine Laminitis, or How Sophie Shore Spends Her Summers

This is Sophie. Sophie is pretty amazing. She is only seventeen, but she is passionate about horses and horse racing. Sophie is spending part of her summer holiday at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center doing equine laminitis research with Dr. Jim Orsini and Dr. Hannah Galantino-Homer. And if that were not impressive enough,…

Gardening Violence, or How Sunfish Makes Use of His Ridiculously Strong Lips

Alas, poor Nicky and her woes of gardening in Montana in the spring. Being English, she likely thinks of carpeted green fields studded with daffodils, crocus, muscari, friendly hedgehogs, and quaint talking bunnies. Then, of course, she married Barry and moved to Montana and spring has never been the same since. Now she has porcupines,…