Author Archives: westerner54

About westerner54

Hello. I'm Cindy, and I love to hike, bike and explore the outdoors - particularly the western U.S.

Busy Days at the Heron Rookery

If only we would all get along as well as the birds I’ve been watching this month at the heron rookery. In early March the Canada Geese were busy checking out the various nests in the rookery, apparently staking their … Continue reading

Posted in Birding, Montana, Nature, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , | 18 Comments

The Hungry Griz

Imagine you’re a big old Yellowstone grizzly bear who’s just woken after your winter sleep.  Food. You need food. Now imagine that you’re lucky enough to be wandering around the Blacktail Ponds in Yellowstone on an early spring day, and … Continue reading

Posted in Food, Montana, Nature, Outdoors, Wildlife, Yellowstone | Tagged , , , | 22 Comments

The Owl and the Fox

Once upon a time, in a small woods on the edge of a big pond, there lived a wise old owl and a curious young fox.    The owl, who had lived in the woods for many years, knew that … Continue reading

Posted in Birding, Life, Montana, Nature, Wildlife | Tagged , , | 14 Comments

The Wait: Life and Death in Yellowstone

The coyote is waiting. The eagles are waiting.   The wolf-watchers are waiting. Even the wolves are waiting, off in the distance beyond the trees. It’s a death-watch.  We’re all watching a wounded bull elk, waiting to see what will … Continue reading

Posted in Montana, Nature, Wildlife, Yellowstone | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments

Malheur Wildlife Refuge

Originally posted on Off the Beaten Path: Hikes, Backpacks, and Travels:
I’m standing on the edge of the Blitzen River, watching – and being watched by – a pair of Northern Harriers.  I think they must have a nest nearby,…

Posted in Hiking | 6 Comments

The Christmas Tree Hunt

We’ve hunted the wild Christmas tree nearly every year since 1983.   We head into the National Forest, hunting tag in hand, and look for that perfect evergreen to bring into our house and remind us that there is still … Continue reading

Posted in Montana, Nature, Outdoors | Tagged , | 16 Comments

The Montana Bird Project

Sounds impressive, eh?   Surely The Montana Bird Project has the sponsorship of the Nature Conservancy or Audubon.   It even sounds like there are concurrent projects going on in every state, all leading up to a whiz-bang finish: The … Continue reading

Posted in Birding, Hiking, Montana, Nature, Photography | Tagged , , | 18 Comments

Too Close

November’s grizzlies have one thing on  their mind: food.    They’re on a mission, and I am not interested in getting in their way. The griz we saw a couple of weeks ago was definitely on a mission.  He was … Continue reading

Posted in Montana, Nature, Wildlife, Yellowstone | Tagged , , , | 30 Comments

Up Coyote Gulch: In Through the Crack in the Wall and Out the Scary “Sneaker Route”

I’m clinging to a sandstone fin, a hundred feet above Coyote Gulch.  Stuck.  Can’t go up, can’t go down, should be able to creep sideways, but that would involve looking down, and I don’t think that’s a good idea. Well. … Continue reading

Posted in Adventure, Backpacking, Hiking, Nature, Southwest hikes | Tagged , , , , | 29 Comments

Small Wonders

Montana is full of big wonders: the grizzlies, the elk, the moose, the huge mountains and the equally huge sky.    We visit Yellowstone and look for wolves and bears, and hope that we’ll be one of the few visitors … Continue reading

Posted in Birding, Life, Montana, Nature, Outdoors, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , | 22 Comments