My good friend Doug Loneman called the other day with an invitation to head up to Hyalite Reservoir.
I was surprised to find the water level of the reservoir much lower than what I’d seen a few months earlier. A quick call this morning to the Bozeman Water Department assures me this is nothing to worry over. They bring water levels way down in the fall to save the dam from ice damage in the winter.
Still, it was an eerie place. The exposed ground, I was told, has only been under water since 1993, when the dam was enlarged. But the creeks still converged and then headed down toward Hyalite Canyon and it was easy to imagine the forest they once ran through, now sandy mud and stumps.
I’m sad for the forest now gone and at the same time glad for the water this dam provides me and the other people of the rapidly-growing population of Bozeman.
Then I think of the people in California, some of whom have been without running water for five months or more. And I remember that clean water has been in short supply in Africa and other parts of the world for a very long time.
The climate is changing. And water is more precious than oil. I hope we remember that in time.
Kenneth Fuchs is a great composer who wrote a piece that the Bozeman Symphony played at their last concert called Discover The Wild. Maestro Matthew Savery asked me to put together a slide show of Montana and Yellowstone landscapes to go along with this wonderful piece of music. Here’s what we came up with. The video lasts a little less than five minutes.
For 33 years now, dogs from all over the U.S. and Canada have been coming to Helena for the Fall Roundup Cluster Dog Show. This is Grazie, a breed of Italian hunting dog called Spinone Italiano getting a bath after the first of four days of competition.
My friend Al Knauber, working for the Helena Independent Record, says more than 600 dogs entered the show. Al quotes Fred Thomas from Yakima, Wash., as saying, “Some of the best dogs in the country are here right now.”
The dog show life can involve a lot of money and travel, Al goes on to write. Some owners hire handlers to show and travel with their dogs. Others have motor homes to travel with their dogs and are on the road up to 45 weekends a year.
Imagine this: You’re in a 46-foot canoe with 19 other weekend warriors paddling across Flathead Lake and there’s a crazy person in the bow beating on a drum and yelling at you to STROKE!
And you’re dressed funny.
That scene was played out time and again over the weekend at the annual Flathead Dragon Boat Festival at Flathead Lake Lodge in Bigfork.
Teams from Canada and the U.S. have been coming to Bigfork every year now since 2012 raising tens of thousands of dollars for local non-profits.
The other night, just before it snowed, some local teenagers wrapped themselves in plastic and air, then ran into each other — a lot.
It’s called Bubble Ball and started in Europe a few years ago. Here’s a video of people trying to play soccer wearing the things. The other night near the Emerson Cultural Center here in Bozeman, there was a soccer ball on the field, but it went largely ignored in favor of the fun of sending a friend flying.
I have earned my living by making photographs for more than 20 years, mostly for newspapers and magazines. I've authored a few coffee-table books and won my share of awards.
I believe a successful picture is one in which the viewer sees themselves.
The more we see ourselves in other people and in other places, the more we will cherish those people and places. But we must trust the truth we feel.
Truth resonates character. Character resonates truth. When we perceive true character, that generates trust.
Done well, photography speaks universally and authentically, overcoming barriers of language and culture and trust. So I choose photography to share true character of people and places.
I want people to see themselves in the people and places I photograph.
I want people to realize we all have more in common than in conflict.
I've just published a book, Montana: Real Place, Real People. It celebrates the true and authentic people and places writer Al Kesselheim and I have come across in our travels through this wonderful state.
I give a motivational speech called, "Be Who You Is." It's about the authentic, genuine character that I've discovered and been inspired by over the last decade.
My favorite color is orange and I like canoeing, classical trumpet and Nordic skiing. I love farmers and ranchers, even though I grew up in Chicago and I'm allergic to pretty much everything with four legs.