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

Posts in category Stories

Marty Essen signed book special!

Marty Essen signed book special!

Signed books make great holiday gifts! Beginning today, I am offering a signed book special. Here are the prices: Cool Creatures, Hot Planet: Exploring the Seven Continents: $19.95 Endangered Edens: Exploring the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Costa Rica, the Everglades, and Puerto Rico: $19.95 Time Is Irreverent: $14.95 Time Is Irreverent 2: Jesus Christ, Not […]

Nellie and the elk

Nellie and the elk

Marty’s photo of the day #3809: My dog, Nellie, gets credit for this shot. Yesterday I took her outside for a pee break and she immediately sniffed the air and charged into the woods. I assumed it was just her five-times-daily inventory of trees containing squirrels, but then she barked and froze. Just ahead of […]

Thanks to all . . . except the skunk

Thanks to all . . . except the skunk

Marty’s photo of the day #3797: Nellie thanks everyone for all the birthday wishes yesterday—except the skunk! Yes, last night I took Nellie outside for her final pee break before bedtime. She’s really good about staying in sight at night, but last night I stepped into the garage just long enough to toss a bottle […]

Nellie at Sunset #2

Nellie at Sunset #2

Marty’s photo of the day #3789: A little over a week ago, I posted a photo of Nellie playing in the water at sunset. At the time, I had two photos to choose from. Today, I am posting the photo I hadn’t selected for the original post. I’m also reposting the story below: We adopted […]

Is it any wonder why the pandemic continues?

Is it any wonder why the pandemic continues?

Greetings from Boonville, Missouri. Tonight I speak at Central Methodist University in Fayette. When I’m not speaking at colleges, I run my college speaking agency from my home office and write books. Consequently, there are many weeks where I don’t leave the hill my wife and I live on. Therefore whenever I head out, I’m […]

Splashing in the sunset

Splashing in the sunset

Marty’s photo of the day #3780: We adopted Nellie from an animal shelter a little over a year ago. At the time she was about nine months old. Since Deb and I live in the mountains of the Bitterroot Valley, there aren’t any lakes nearby. So last month when Nellie joined us on the trip […]

I’m not going to let small-minded people dictate what I writ

I’m not going to let small-minded people dictate what I writ

I published Cool Creatures, Hot Planet: Exploring the Seven Continents in 2007, Endangered Edens: Exploring the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Costa Rica, the Everglades, and Puerto Rico in 2016, Time Is Irreverent in 2018, Time Is Irreverent 2: Jesus Christ, Not Again! in 2019, Time Is Irreverent 3: Gone for 16 Seconds in 2020, and […]

Dogs make the trip!

Dogs make the trip!

Marty’s photo of the day #3768: When Deb and I traveled the world for my first book, Cool Creatures, Hot Planet: Exploring the Seven Continents, I loved all of our adventures. Even so, our least exotic trip, to the top of Canada, always gives me the warmest feelings when I think back about it. That’s […]

Plant life on the American Prairie Reserve

Plant life on the American Prairie Reserve

Marty’s photo of the day #3765-3767: Plant life close-ups on the American Prairie Reserve (Montana). The most nerve-racking aspect of visiting the American Prairie Reserve was all the prickly pear cactus. When hiking, Deb and I had to be careful that our dog, Nellie, didn’t step on any of it. Months before our trip, we […]

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 […]

Elk on the prairie

Elk on the prairie

Marty’s photo of the day #3760: Stalking elk on the open prairie isn’t easy—especially when accompanied by a very active, medium-sized dog. The elk were at the beginning of their rut, when Deb, Nellie, and I visited the American Prairie Reserve earlier this month. A few times we even heard them bugling. These two bulls […]

Coyote Camp

Coyote Camp

Marty’s photos of the day #3744-3747: My favorite of the three places Deb, Nellie, and I stayed at in the American Prairie Reserve was a yurt on the western side. The yurt didn’t have running water, but it still felt luxurious compared to our previous two stays. Our yurt had three sections: one section had […]

Wind Camp

Wind Camp

Marty’s photos of the day #3730-3736: Deb, Nellie, and I stayed in three places while visiting Montana’s American Prairie Reserve. Our middle stay—two nights in a cabin at Antelope Creek Campground—was our least favorite. There the days were so windy that we renamed the location “Wind Camp.” Even so, we still enjoyed our visit. Photo […]

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 […]

Racer in the American Prairie Reserve

Racer in the American Prairie Reserve

Marty’s photo of the day #3720: Isn’t she a beauty! This is either a North American racer, or a close subspecies, called a western yellow-bellied racer. If I had to choose, I would say the latter. I spotted the snake while driving between our camps in the American Prairie Reserve. After the snake posed nicely […]

Prairie vs. ranchland

Prairie vs. ranchland

Marty’s photo of the day #3719: This is our tent site, from earlier this month, at Buffalo Camp on the American Prairie Reserve. It’s not an exciting photo, but I wanted to point out how green the landscape was. As we drove south out of Malta, Montana, we followed fifty miles of gravel roads until […]

The Bison Roll

The Bison Roll

Marty’s photos of the day #3718: I shot this series of bison photos during our first day in Montana’s American Prairie Reserve. Our tent, at Buffalo Camp, was a two minute walk away. I thought about attaching speech bubbles to the photos, but ultimately decided they would detract too much from the scene. Instead I […]

Swallows on the American Prairie Reserve

Swallows on the American Prairie Reserve

Marty’s photo of the day #3717: As a wildlife photographer, I’m naturally drawn to animals of the more exotic variety. But sometimes common animals, like this barn swallow and chick, are just waiting to show that they can be interesting subjects too. While visiting Montana’s American Prairie Reserve earlier this month, Deb, Nellie, and I […]

A shocking prairie dog photoshoot

A shocking prairie dog photoshoot

Marty’s photo of the day #3716: As mentioned yesterday, Deb, Nellie, and I enjoyed an amazing six days in Montana’s American Prairie Reserve. I might even write a magazine article about our experiences or work them into a future book. Our initial adventure occurred as we entered the reserve, and it caused a freaky injury […]

The American Prairie Reserve! (Post #1)

The American Prairie Reserve! (Post #1)

Marty’s photos of the day #3715: Last night, my wife Deb, our dog Nellie, and I returned from six fabulous days in the American Prairie Reserve. Few people know about this wonderful, remote Montana treasure—and admittedly I’m quite tempted to stay quiet about it. Located along the Missouri River, in north-central Montana, it is one […]

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