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…

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…

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,…

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,…

Bearcreek Downs: Gotta See It–Oink Oink! (or Small Town Saturday Nights)

“You know, Marilyn, we should just have the rehearsal dinner over at the Bearcreek Saloon,” said Dad. “Ray, we are NOT having a rehearsal dinner at a bar. I cannot believe you would even suggest such a thing.” snorted my mother. Then she called to tell me about my father’s preposterous idea. “Um, actually mum, that…

Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town

Oh Ruby, you do so love being the center of attention, so much that you’re perfectly comfortable moving to the middle of the circle, sacking out, and letting Sam McDowell use you as a footrest. Quite literally, you’ll let love walk all over you. Sam McDowell is a professional. Professional cowboy. Professional builder of log…

Iron Works!

Metalwork that is really artwork from Montana to Texas…

The Trouble with the Light, or How Green Is the Valley

I cannot say enough about the benefits of sagebrush to cure whatever ails you. It’s certainly enough for me to forgive three dogs for thinking that I needed to get up and feed them at five in the morning. (You’re not included in this sin, Bob. You would have been more than happy to snooze…

Why Doc Randall Rocks, or You Keep Up That Good Work

Mum and Dad returned from the World Equestrian Games, France, and surviving a week of vacation with Joel and me. They came home to what was probably a fairly large stack of mail and were probably tempted to just strong arm the lot of it into the recycling bin. However, just when you think that…

The Oddest of Jobs, or the Education of Mike Whitmore

Not too many people that habituate Bridger Vet remember Mike Whitmore, but we all do. Mike called up in the spring of 2013, looking to see if we might have an open vet-tech position. “Um, no, but I do have an open odd-job position through which you’ll see quite a bit of vet tech work….