Nature photography, political rants, and Martyman laughs from the ten-time award-winning author of "Cool Creatures, Hot Planet" and "Endangered Edens."

Monthly archives for May, 2016

Secretive Elk

Secretive Elk

Marty’s photo of the day #1791: It’s just amazing how secretive the animals living around our house can be. I have a motion-sensing camera in the woods below my home-office window. I look out that window all the time, yet I never see these two elk that show up on that camera week after week. […]

How could I say no to the Governor?

How could I say no to the Governor?

Marty’s photo of the day #1790: This is the most expensive book I own. Here’s why: several years ago the Ravalli County Democratic Central Committee held a fundraiser. My wife, Deb, contacted former Montana Congressman Pat Williams to see if he could get a signed copy of Hillary Clinton’s It Takes a Village for the […]

The Yellow-headed blackbird vs the Orange-faced bigotbird

The Yellow-headed blackbird vs the Orange-faced bigotbird

Marty’s photo of the day #1789: Here’s a yellow-headed blackbird, screaming his lungs out. Note that this bird is far more appealing than the orange-faced bigotbird screaming his lungs out. Similarly, the yellow-headed blackbird has thicker skin, bigger wings, and greater reasoning power than the orange-faced bigotbird. Still, the orange-faced bigotbird has his admirers—proving that […]

Ground Squirrel Tuesday!

Ground Squirrel Tuesday!

Marty’s photo of the day #1788: Here’s your Tuesday Columbian Ground Squirrel. Or is he your Saturday Columbian Ground Squirrel? After all, I photographed him last Saturday evening. And perhaps he is a she. These ground squirrels are so versatile—they refuse to be pigeonholed into a single sex or a single day. Lucky for him/her, […]

Canadian umm . . Canada Geese

Canadian umm . . Canada Geese

Marty’s photo of the day #1787: Here’s a photograph from two days ago. When I was growing up in Minnesota, we always called these birds “Canadian geese,” but I learned later that the correct name is “Canada geese.” Now I wonder if it was just a family thing, a Minnesota thing, or if someone changed […]

Sneaking up on a bald eagle

Sneaking up on a bald eagle

Marty’s photo of the day #1786: I photographed this bald eagle last night, while hiking in the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge. I’m so pleased how this photo turned out, as I had left the thingamajig that connects my camera to my tripod at home. Forced into a handheld shot, I had to creep as […]

Checking in on the Great Horned Owl Family

Checking in on the Great Horned Owl Family

If you follow my posts, you know that I have been keeping an eye on a mother great horned owl and her three chicks. Today, when I checked in on them, two of the babies were lying on the branch with only one sitting up. I immediately thought the two other babies were dead. I […]

Marty Essen wins National Indie Excellence Award for Nature

Marty Essen wins National Indie Excellence Award for Nature

My first book, Cool Creatures, Hot Planet, won six national awards. So naturally, I entered my new book, Endangered Edens, in some contests as well. Because Cool Creatures, Hot Planet won awards so easily, I was a bit cocky, thinking Endangered Edens would do the same thing. When the results of the first two contests […]

What an ass!

What an ass!

Marty’s photo of the day #1785: It’s Montana Now Week, featuring animal photos I took during the last seven days—in the woods surrounding Deb’s and my house or within easy driving distance. It’s been a challenge posting Montana animal photos this week, keeping each one seven days old or less. Now that Saturday is here, […]

My Missoulian Guest Column

My Missoulian Guest Column

Here’s my guest column in today’s Missoulian newspaper. http://missoulian.com/news/opinion/columnists/republicans-can-t-be-concerned-about-environment/article_1b304f15-99c2-5641-8832-374cb3e9eace.html

The Bright Side of Donald Trump

The Bright Side of Donald Trump

If there is one good thing about Donald Trump being the Republican Nominee for President, it is this: After the votes are counted on Election Day, we will know precisely how many racist, sexist, and hate-filled voting-age people live in the United States. It’s not much, but I try to see the bright side of […]

American Dipper Pt 2

American Dipper Pt 2

Marty’s photo of the day #1784: It’s Montana Now Week, featuring animal photos I took during the last seven days—in the woods surrounding Deb’s and my house or within easy driving distance. This is my 20th year of living in Montana, and during that entire time there has always been a pair of American dippers […]

When is a great blue heron like a snake?

When is a great blue heron like a snake?

Marty’s photo of the day #1783: It’s Montana Now Week, featuring animal photos I took during the last seven days—in the woods surrounding Deb’s and my house or within easy driving distance. As I watched this great blue heron, I realized just how much herons are like snakes. When hunting, a snake can freeze in […]

Baby Owl Cuteness

Baby Owl Cuteness

If you saw my Photo of the Day, you know that I featured three great horned owl chicks that live near my house. This morning, when I photographed the owls, the sun wasn’t in a good spot, and I promised to go back and try again. Here’s the result of my second try. I took […]

Baby Owls!

Baby Owls!

Marty’s photo of the day #1782: It’s Montana Week, featuring photos I took in the woods surrounding Deb’s and my house or within easy driving distance. This week’s theme has morphed into a challenge for me: post only photos taken in Montana within the week. This morning’s photo is of three great horned owl chicks. […]

A snake jam

A snake jam

Marty’s photo of the day #1781: It’s Montana Week, featuring photos I took in the woods surrounding Deb’s and my house or within easy driving distance. Today’s photo is actually from inside my house. Eve, my seven-foot-long rainbow boa, lives in a large vivarium with her much smaller son, Little Snake. Within the vivarium is […]

No, you can’t be a Republican and still be concerned about the environment

No, you can’t be a Republican and still be concerned about the environment

Oh, my! I read every review my books get, and on Amazon my latest, Endangered Edens, is doing great. Until recently it had a rating so high, it was almost unbelievable. Of the 40 reviews, 37 were 5-star, and none were lower than 4-star. Then some right wingers found my book. For some reason the right wingers […]

Guaranteed Duck

Guaranteed Duck

Marty’s photo of the day #1780: It’s Montana Week, featuring photos I took in the woods surrounding Deb’s and my house or within easy driving distance. It’s not often that one can guarantee the sighting of any animal, but during the spring and summer cinnamon teals are guaranteed sightings at Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge. […]

Muskrat L . . .

Muskrat L . . .

Marty’s photo of the day #1779: It’s Montana Week, featuring photos I took in the woods surrounding Deb’s and my house or within easy driving distance. I photographed this lovely muskrat two days ago. Do I need to tell you what song I’ve been stuck on ever since?

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