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

Posts in category Stories

Not all men are creeps

Not all men are creeps

Like most of you, when I read all these stories about celebrities and politicians sexually assaulting women, I generally believe the stories and hope the men get what’s coming to them. Additionally, I’m a strong advocate for women’s rights and am the agent for a civility speaker who does a sexual assault prevention program in […]

The curious leopard seal

The curious leopard seal

Marty’s photo of the day #2359: This is leopard seal, and below is a short excerpt from my first book, “Cool Creatures, Hot Planet: Exploring the Seven Continents,” about leopard seals: As inviting as the water looked, its temperature wasn’t the only reason to stay dry—a curious leopard seal had swum over to check us […]

Drunk shopping

Drunk shopping

Marty’s photo of the day #2350: With Spain in the news so much lately, I thought I’d share with you a fun excerpt from my first book, Cool Creatures, Hot Planet: Exploring the Seven Continents. Drunk shopping: After several days of conversing only between ourselves, Deb and I relished the opportunity to speak with someone […]

May the Yankees be the bat and the Twins be the boa!

May the Yankees be the bat and the Twins be the boa!

Marty’s photo of the day #2325: Today’s photo is of a Puerto Rican boa constricting a bat. When I was in Puerto Rico, working on my second book, Endangered Edens, Deb and I hiked out to a cave to watch this amazing feat of nature. Puerto Rican boas hung by their tails and plucked the […]

Life among the right-wingers

Life among the right-wingers

As followers of my posts know: I live in one of the most right-wing areas in conservative Montana. Consequently, it’s not the most friendly place for an outspoken liberal to live. One thing I do—both for exercise and to reduce my carbon footprint—is go on a half-hour bike ride each morning to my mail and […]

The Endurance, trapped in the ice

The Endurance, trapped in the ice

Marty’s photo of the day #2281: I don’t post about personal possessions, but I’m going to make the exception today, because the story behind it is so fascinating. Many of you know the story of Ernest Shackleton and his ill-fated Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. On January 19, 1915 the Endurance became trapped in the ice off […]

Woman rock on guitar!

Woman rock on guitar!

Marty’s photo of the day #2276: Rock and roll is generally a liberal form of music. Even so, when it comes to guitarists, there is still quite a bit of sexism, as women seldom get the credit they deserve for their ability to play their instruments. I, being a non-sexist kind of guy, insist on […]

Pat Benatar 36 years later

Pat Benatar 36 years later

Marty’s photo of the day #2275: I saw Pat Benatar at the Saint Paul Civic Center in 1981. My opinion back then was that she was better on record than she was on stage. Not that she sucked or anything. She just wasn’t exciting live. I would have never gone to a Pat Benatar concert […]

The concert bucket list

The concert bucket list

Marty’s photo of the day #2274: During the past year, I have been working hard at checking off artists on my concert bucket list. Three of those acts included Joan Jett, Garbage, and Melissa Etheridge. One thing all three had in common was that they performed outdoors on equal bills with other acts. Despite the […]

The proper way to work a stage

The proper way to work a stage

Marty’s photo of the day #2250: I will get back to nature photos in a few days, but the X, Blondie, Garbage concert last weekend is an excuse to give them a break. Like at most concerts, high-quality SLR cameras weren’t allowed, so I was stuck using my little pocket Canon. The lens on that […]

Collide interview with author Marty Essen

Collide interview with author Marty Essen

Streaming services, such as Pandora and Spotify have made life difficult for all but the biggest acts in the music industry. The CD-buying public has become the song-streaming public, with artists making a quarter of a penny or less per streamed song. But streaming services do provide one advantage over the days when artists needed […]

The World’s Most Famous Rainbow Boa and 9/11

The World’s Most Famous Rainbow Boa and 9/11

Marty’s photo of the day #1906: This is Eve, the World’s Longest and World’s Most Famous rainbow boa. Okay, I have no proof that she is the world’s longest, but most reptile books list the maximum length for rainbow boas at six-feet, and Eve is seven feet-long. I also have no proof that she is […]

My sort-of connection to Joan Jett

My sort-of connection to Joan Jett

My most difficult year in high school was my sophomore year, as my mother had just remarried and we rented a tiny house in west Duluth, while my mother and step-father house shopped. Since I went to Duluth East High School, I had to drive all the way across town each day. It also meant […]

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