Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.

Montana Fields


We try to get out to Montana every year in October for some bird hunting and photography and hiking. This year, we arrived to about an inch of snow. While it is beautiful, it is quite chilly. The good thing about it is that rattlesnakes don’t like cold weather so I didn’t have to worry as much about Emma and Ruby getting bitten.

You may remember Emma as a puppy four years ago. We had great hopes that she would someday become a good flusher and retriever of game birds.

She hasn’t disappointed us. In spite of being quite small, this English field cocker spaniel is full of energy and her cuddly nature takes a back seat when it comes to finding birds. Nothing gets away from her.

If you thought the prairies were only boring grassy fields, you couldn’t be more wrong. The coulees are full of prickly shrubs, birds, and small animals. A fat hare came tearing out of the shrubs here and just as I was about to snap a photo, my battery died.

But later I caught this mule deer running away from all the commotion. I traipsed along behind the Captain and Emma as they did their pheasant hunting thing, hoping for something interesting to photograph, and I saw something the deer had left behind last year — an antler shed. It was only the second time I had ever found one and I was quite happy about stumbling across it.

After the snow from the day before, the mostly clay ground was “wettish,” and while we had heavy clods of mud on our boots, Emma’s feet were getting harder and harder for her to pick up. Besides collecting many burrs in her fur, she had huge clumps of clay on her feet. Here she is getting them soaked off, just before I took the comb and scissors to her curly ears to remove the burrs.

She is usually so energetic, we weren’t sure this was our Emma flaked out on the couch after the day’s outing.

It was Ruby’s turn to go out today, but she is sick. We think she drank some bad water. This has happened one other year and we have given her some meds that we hope will fix her up in a day or two.

PS Now, two days later, Ruby is feeling much better. We are so relieved.


Author: wordsfromanneli

Writing, travel, photography, nature, more writing....

37 thoughts on “Montana Fields

  1. You get great shots, but I still think it’s so desolate probably because I grew up on a farm and it was always so lonely.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What fantastic photos, Anneli. I want to take your Emma home with me. We have plenty of wild turkeys around here right now, but I’ve become friends with the songbirds (well, ALL of the birds) around here, so no hunting for her.
    I know you take this trip almost every October – I was hoping for sunny warm weather for you. Nope. Snow, already? We’re having a warmish Fall here – today walked for a few hours in 70 degree partly sunny skies. Hope you get some sunshine too, and that Ruby feels better.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lucky you, Pam! I’d love to have that perfect temperate weather! But again, the snakes would be out if it were too warm here. The snow is gone now, and I hope it will stay away until we’re ready to go home in a couple or three weeks.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. P.S. Your upper border bird photo is awe-inspiring.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Aw…I hope Ruby is feeling better soon, Anneli. Emma is such a sweetheart…she looks like a great companion. Thanks for sharing your photos!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hopefully Ruby is on the mend by now!
    We’ve been into Montana only for a day, on our “SolarEclipseRoadTrip” last year. We went to Billings to get our ten miles of bicycling in Montana, and Billings was the place closest to Caspar/Wyoming for that. But we would certainly like to return to see more of Montana.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The snow looks disturbing to me since its only early October. I wish Ruby a speedy recovery. Such sweethearts of dogs you have!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It bothered me too, but it made for some pretty photo ops. Warmer would be nicer. It’s not here to stay. Most of it melted by mid-morning the next day. And yes, we love our dogs. I know you’d love them too, being a dog-friendly person.


  7. Poor Ruby. She’s been looking forward to her “vacation” for so long, and now she is ill. Poor pup. Emma is her usual adorable self. She is so sweet and cuddly. Hope Ruby feels better soon and gets to participate a little.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Awww. Love the closing shot. So sleepy.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Snow so soon? It really is beautiful. Good thing the rattlesnakes don’t like the cold! Your photos are superb.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m so glad it’s gone, but also glad it’s still cool overnight. Thanks, Jennie. I’m glad you like the photos. I am very much an amateur photographer and it’s encouraging to hear that someone likes the pics. Enjoy your week.


  11. A tiring day for the working dog. I can’t believe it’s already been 4 years since you adopted Emma. I hope Ruby gets better soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thinking about Ruby Tuesday..hope she is feeling cozy and loved today. Emma has the energy for two! Gorgeous photos Anneli.


  13. Emma sure has changed! It’s a good thing you’re in the eastern part of the state. FWP is advising pheasant hunters locally to be prepared for Grizzly encounters as the bears come down from the Missions.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Emma has so smart eyes. And I know she has silky ears.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. LOL! Her silky ears had so many burrs from hunting that I’ve had to trim a lot of her curls.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Being a native of Montana, I appreciate your description of the wondrous beauty of its prairies.


  17. That Montana gumbo mud can wear out dogs, humans and trucks. Great pics.


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