Nature photography, political rants, and Martyman laughs from the ten-time award-winning author Marty Essen

Posts in category Little-Known Facts

Montana’s railroad car bridges

Montana’s railroad car bridges

Marty’s photo of the day #3763: In Montana, when people need a bridge, they often go to the railroad yard and buy a used flatbed car. In fact, on the dirt road leading to Deb’s and my house, we cross both a river and a stream on bridges made with railroad cars. When we first […]

One-room schoolhouses

One-room schoolhouses

Marty’s photos of the day #3725-3729: While visiting Montana’s American Prairie Reserve earlier this month, my wife, Deb, and I found two inactive one-room schoolhouses. One was restored, with an unlocked door that allowed us inside, and the other we could only view from the outside. Deb grew up on a farm, on the outskirts […]

A harbinger of death?

A harbinger of death?

Marty’s photo of the day #3692: This is been the summer of finding unusual owls and moths. So how about an owlet moth? Since my summer office is outside, I see wildlife every day. Consequently, after living in the same forest-surrounded Montana house for 25 years, when I see something for the first time I […]

Sweetheart underwing in Montana!

Sweetheart underwing in Montana!

Marty’s photo of the day #3676: This is a sweetheart underwing. Over the weekend, this moth was stuck in my garage before I convinced it to fly out the door. Then, last night, it showed up again. Sweetheart underwings are a type of sphinx moth, and, apparently, this particular species is rare in Montana. After […]

From the other side of the fence

From the other side of the fence

Marty’s photo of the day #3652: I took this photo while hiking in the rainforest of Malaysian Borneo. At the time, George W. Bush and the Republicans had led America into attacking Iraq without provocation, and only days earlier U.S. soldiers had ripped down Saddam Hussein’s statue. Back home, right-wingers were all over the media, […]

What makes a snake the “most deadly”?

What makes a snake the “most deadly”?

Marty’s photo of the day #3651: What makes a snake the “most deadly”? This is a fer-de-lance—a snake many consider the deadliest snake in the Western Hemisphere. Some snakes, such as a bushmaster, have more potent venom, but fer-de-lances are difficult to see in the rainforest and are easily stepped on. When that happens, their […]

Evolution in progress?

Evolution in progress?

Marty’s photo of the day #3548: This excerpt from the Australia chapter in my first book, Cool Creatures, Hot Planet: Exploring the Seven Continents, explains the shot: Earlier in this chapter, I promised to introduce you to a bizarre creature that would eliminate all reasonable doubts of evolution. I found such a creature—in fact, oodles […]

The Alaska Highway

The Alaska Highway

Marty’s photo of the day #3473: This is Alaska Highway, somewhere in British Columbia. Here’s what I wrote about the highway in my first book, Cool Creatures, Hot Planet: Exploring the Seven Continents: An hour or so later we reached the town of Dawson Creek, British Columbia, and the official start of the Alaska Highway. […]

Oregon clams

Oregon clams

Marty’s photo of the day #3250: Today we go a bit artsy, with clams along the Oregon coast.

There’s no quarantining here . . . or there!

There’s no quarantining here . . . or there!

Marty’s photo of the day #3197: If you’ve read my first book, Cool Creatures, Hot Planet: Exploring the Seven Continents, you know the story of Deb’s and my near-death adventure backpacking with the Iban tribe on the island of Borneo. Later we spent a day at an Iban longhouse to rest and recover. The COVID-19 […]

How life would be different with a single change to history

How life would be different with a single change to history

I love writing the Time Is Irreverent series of novels, because the characters allow me to demonstrate how things would be different with a single change to history. For instance, in the first novel time-traveling protagonists Marty Mann and Nellie Dixon show how life today would be different if Christianity hadn’t taken hold, and in […]

Learning from snakes

Learning from snakes

Marty’s photo of the day #3184: This is Eve, my nineteen-year-old rainbow boa. I thought of her last night when I watched a BBC show about polar bears that have developed an unusual way to hunt beluga whales (they perch on big rocks at low tide and then wait for the whales to swim by […]

Speedy Pronghorns

Speedy Pronghorns

Marty’s photos of the day #3089: Pronghorns are the fastest land animal in the Western Hemisphere, reaching 60 miles-per-hour. I photographed these two in Yellowstone National Park.

Learning to fly

Learning to fly

Marty’s photo of the day #3066: Since I’m in New York all week, presenting Around the World in 90 Minutes at colleges, all my pictures this week will be from that show. This is Annie, a 16 year-old black flying fox that I got to hold while visiting a bat rehabilitation facility in Queensland, Australia. […]

Inside Deb’s Lavender Patch, Pt 2

Inside Deb’s Lavender Patch, Pt 2

Marty’s photo of the day #2969: Today is part two of my three-part series, “Inside Deb’s Lavender Patch.” Did you know that there are 28 species of bee in Montana? Of course, since President KKKlueless sees bees as a “liberal insect,” he is doing his best to reduce their numbers in Montana and everywhere else. […]

The time-telling insect

The time-telling insect

Marty’s photo of the day #2961: Okay, this is not the prettiest photo I’ve ever posted, but I think you’ll appreciate it more when you read this short excerpt from the Borneo chapter of my first book, Cool Creatures, Hot Planet: Exploring the Seven Continents. (So you know: Stephen grew up in the rainforest and […]

It’s not what you think it is

It’s not what you think it is

Marty’s photo of the day #2952: I know what you’re thinking: “Oh, Marty photographed a chipmunk. It’s cute, but not unusual.” Actually this is not a chipmunk; it’s a golden-mantled ground squirrel. The two species look similar, but a golden-mantled ground squirrel doesn’t have face stripes and is quite a bit bigger. Now, aren’t you […]

Orangutan basics

Orangutan basics

Marty’s photo of the day #2938: I photographed this Orangutan on the island of Borneo. Here are a few orangutan facts from my first book, Cool Creatures, Hot Planet: Exploring the Seven Continents: Orangutans are the world’s largest tree-dwelling animals. In the Malay language, orangutan means “man of the forest.” Considering they share 96.4 percent […]

Evil in Alabama: GOP Christians to force raped women to carry fetuses to term

Evil in Alabama: GOP Christians to force raped women to carry fetuses to term

Alabama’s new total abortion ban will require women who get pregnant as a result of rape to carry that fetus to term. Any doctor helping that woman end her pregnancy can be sentenced to 99 years in jail. Now before you blame this solely on men, keep in mind that the Republican sponsor of the […]

Kingston Ferry

Kingston Ferry

Marty’s photo of the day #2866: Greetings from Lynnwood, WA (just north of Seattle). Today I perform a 12:30 p.m. show at Edmonds Community College. Yesterday, I was on the opposite side of the Puget Sound for a show at Olympic College. To get where I am now, I had a choice of driving south […]

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