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

Posts in category Stories

Hamster guts

Hamster guts

Since I became an author and college speaker, newspapers and magazines have published countless stories about my books and college shows, and that doesn’t include opinion pieces and articles I’ve written myself for those publications. I used to save physical copies of all those newspapers and magazines for posterity or something to read in my […]

Dad! Dad! I can herd them!

Dad! Dad! I can herd them!

Marty’s photo of the day #4100: “This is the moment I’ve been training for, Dad! I can herd them. Just tell me where you want them to go!”—Nellie Since Nellie is one-half Australian cattle dog, she practices herding me all the time. But with real live range cows in the American Prairie Reserve, she really, […]

Nellie and the prickly pear

Nellie and the prickly pear

Marty’s photo of the day #4092: Two years ago, before Deb’s and my first visit to the American Prairie Reserve (now officially called “American Prairie”) in central Montana, we were concerned about our newly adopted dog, Nellie, stepping on the cactus there. So months ahead of time, we patiently tried to get Nellie used to […]

Evanescence with 25,000 of my closest friends

Evanescence with 25,000 of my closest friends

Marty’s photo of the day #4088: During the first part of September, Deb and I enjoyed an unusual split vacation that included six days in the American Prairie Reserve of central Montana, two days at home, and then three days in Utah that included exploring the Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area and Antelope Island. Those […]

Aw! It’s a baby yellow-bellied racer.

Aw! It’s a baby yellow-bellied racer.

Marty’s photo of the day #4087: Aw! It’s a baby yellow-bellied racer. I shot this photo two weeks ago, while on vacation in the American Prairie Reserve. Deb (wife), Nellie (dog), and I were near the end of a long hike—just at the point where we were hot, tired, and thirsty—when I spotted this snake […]

Rolling in cow shit

Rolling in cow shit

Marty’s photo of the day #4086: Remember the children’s stories about leprechauns and how they’d disappear if you blinked? Nellie has the same power when it comes to cow poop. Of all the dogs I’ve had over the years, Nellie rolls in shit less than any of them, so when she does it, she makes […]

Walking on water

Walking on water

Marty’s photo of the day #4083: Nellie thinks I can walk on water, and I think she can walk on water too. And when you both believe—anything can happen! My wife, Deb, shot this photo of Nellie and me a little over a week ago, at the American Prairie Reserve in central Montana. We were […]

Burrowing Owl

Burrowing Owl

Marty’s photo of the day #4082: Our vacation is over . . . sigh. First, Deb (wife), Nellie (dog), and I spent six days in the American Prairie Reserve of central Montana. There we stayed in a remote yurt, with no running water, no phone, no internet, and limited solar power. It was awesome! Then […]

The bluff on the prairie

The bluff on the prairie

Marty’s photo of the day #4081: Deb, Nellie, and I just spent six days in the American Prairie of central Montana. On Sunday, we enjoyed a spectacular high prairie hike that climbed to an outcrop, which overlooked an entire valley. Nellie raced to the edge of the bluff and started barking and growling at something […]

Adventures in the American Prairie Reserve

Adventures in the American Prairie Reserve

Marty’s photo of the day #4080: Deb, Nellie, and I have returned home from the first six days of our nine-day vacation. We spent the previous days at the American Prairie Reserve (now officially known as just American Prairie) in central Montana. This was our second consecutive year renting a yurt there. The yurt sits […]

My forgotten first major adventure

My forgotten first major adventure

Marty’s photo of the day #4075: I write both fiction and nonfiction. If you’ve read any of my nonfiction books, you know I’ve experienced some great adventures, from searching for venomous snakes in the Amazon Rainforest to hiking on all seven continents to surviving a hippo attack with my wife, Deb, in Zimbabwe to overcoming […]

Just how big is a hippo’s mouth?

Just how big is a hippo’s mouth?

Marty’s photo of the day #4068: Can an entire canoe fit sideways into a hippo’s mouth? I took this photo in Zimbabwe shortly after my wife, Deb, and I proved—yes, it most definitely can! For those who don’t already know the story, here’s an excerpt from my first book, Cool Creatures, Hot Planet: Exploring the […]

Thank you Senator Tester and President Biden!

Thank you Senator Tester and President Biden!

Marty’s photo of the day #4065: In celebration of President Biden signing the Inflation Reduction Act today, I dug up this photo of Deb and me at a Jon Tester campaign rally in 2018. Deb and I have known Senator Tester for years, and he campaigned with Deb when she ran for the Montana State […]

Holding up the world

Holding up the world

Marty’s photo of the day #4063: I’ve been posting a lot of photos from Montana lately, so I think it’s time to go back and post some photos from around the world for a while. Here’s one from Antarctica. The following excerpt, from my first book, Cool Creatures, Hot Planet: Exploring the Seven Continents, explains […]

Hanging out on the middle day

Hanging out on the middle day

Marty’s photo of the day #4061: The best part of three-day backpacking trips to U.S. Forest Service cabins is the middle day. It’s work to backpack in and work to backpack out, but that middle day is always heaven. Generally Deb (wife), Nellie (dog), and I go on a few short hikes on that middle […]

Waterhole side-eye

Waterhole side-eye

Marty’s photo of the day #4059: Of all the dogs I’ve had in my life, Nellie is the best at giving side-eye. And I swear half the time she does it just to be funny. DNA tests have confirmed Nellie to be one-half golden retriever and one-half Australian cattle dog (which also makes her one-fourth […]

Beavers vs. Fire

Beavers vs. Fire

Marty’s photo of the day #4056: Last week Deb (wife), Nellie (dog), and I went on a three-day backpacking trip to May Creek Cabin, which is a U.S. Forest Service rental cabin in the Anaconda Mountain Range of southwestern Montana. If you look closely at this photo, you will see May Creek Cabin in a […]

“I’d really rather chase mice.”

“I’d really rather chase mice.”

“Mom and Dad are laughing and drinking on the footbridge again. They made me stop chasing mice to pose for this picture. I’d really rather chase mice.”—Nellie Marty’s photo of the day #4053: Deb, Nellie, and I have returned from our three-day backpacking trip. When Deb and I moved to Montana, in 1996, we started […]

Animal friends

Animal friends

Driving a cherry picker

Driving a cherry picker

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