31 December 2009


It's been cold and snowy here in northwest Montana. So mostly I have been working on my tagging and cataloging. Gets pretty darned tedious until I find a gem which then renews my enthusiasm. There are sooooo many images I haven't reviewed yet.

For those of you kind enough to be concerned about Koty's health he seems to be doing just fine. He had a short relapse but he's good to go at the moment.

Koty and His Igloo

Koty loves his Igloo but naturally will not sit still in it if I want to take his picture. I also thought I would try and get an action shot or two but clearly I was off my game. If you've not tried to photograph a speeding bullet it really isn't that easy. It's a lot like bird shooting, you have to lead them just right. As soon as he caught on to what I was doing he wouldn't get far enough away from me to get a shot. Well, ok, at least you can see he's in fine fettle.

Part of Koty on the Fly

We did take a little meander along the Tobacco River. Winter has its own brand of beauty and it got me to thinking about the incredible artistry, energy and engineering that goes into making the river go from this ....

The Tobacco River in Winter

To this ....

Tobacco River in Autumn

I freely admit I like to fool around with the camera. You just can't always take things too seriously. My philosophy is to play as much as possible with the camera in the woods. It's just fun to see things and shoot them just to find out how they might turn out. For me that's one of the most wonderful things about digital. In the old days the film I shot cost over fifteen dollars per roll of thirty-six. I wasn't nearly so playful in those days. I shot this just for fun and I kinda like it. It's kinda cool.


And now for my photo pick of the week. I really like this one and believe it or not this is not filtered. It was taken before the sun came up and at a very high ISO. It was beautiful to the eye but was not nearly as pretty a shade of blue. Photography is quite often like a box of chocolates. You never know what you've got until you get them out of the camera.

Winter Morning by Kinsey Barnard
Winter Morning by Kinsey Barnard

Well, that about does it for 2009! It was a great year and Koty and I are looking forward to 2010 being even better. I think each year keeps getting better for us because we know there are so few left and we have to make the most of them whilst we still can.

©Kinsey Barnard Photography

28 December 2009

Playing Around With Imagekind

Hope everyone had a great Christmas. I made a pig of myself, as usual. I bot this decadent chocolate cheese cake and nearly foundered myself. But, 2010 is another year and hopefully we'll soon crack twenty so that exercising is a little more palatable.

I've been working at being productive over the holidays. For several years now I have been trying to find a top quality, professional site to market my open stock work. By golly Watson I believe I have found it!

I've got a lot of work to do before my "store" there is fully functional. You have no idea how time consuming it is to upload all the images, tag and frame. It'll probably be a month or more before I'm up to date. At the site you can purchase either prints or have the print professionally framed. Take it from me the framing is really well done and there is a thirty day return guarantee.

Anyway, I was just uploading the photo below and saw this option "embed". I had no idea what that meant so I tried it. It means that anyone can embed a low res image of the photo like I just did with it below. Kinda cool!

Best Friends by Kinsey Barnard
Best Friends by Kinsey Barnard

22 December 2009

Mule Deer in Winter

This past week Koty made it on to the out an injured list. My poor boy just cannot get it through his head that he is not a puppy anymore. He gets so excited and rambunctious that he throws his back out of whack. As my vet says "Siberians are NOT the most stoic of dogs." That's an understatement. When moves the wrong way he screams like someone is sticking him with a red hot poker. As with me, when this happens there's not much you can do but take aspirin and tough it out.

Koty Out and Injured

So, there wasn't much hiking or traveling around searching for photo opportunities. We pretty much hung around the ranch and I entertained myself by photographing the mule deer.

Mule Deer Traversing the Meadow

One of the interesting things about winter photography can be that you get nearly black and white photos without shooting in black and white. And you get just a hint of natural color from the landscape. Of course, you can always make this happen n Photoshop but I prefer to shoot nature naturally.

Mule Deer Doe

The other thing you will notice is how well they blend in to their surroundings. In winter deer predators are abundant in this environment. Mule deer must be particularly alert to wolf packs and mountain lions. The mountain lions on this mountain are enormous. So are the wolves.

Mule Deer Foraging for Grass

The gal below was so pretty resting in the snow with the last little bit of sunlight reflecting just off her big mule deer ears.

Catching the Last of Winter Rays

I really love mule deer. They are elegant and charming creatures. Much less skittish than the whitetail deer. Before the winter is over they will let me draw very close without a care in the world.

Mule Deer Portrait

That's it from Dancing Deer Ranch.

The End


©Kinsey Barnard Photography


Naturally, I'd be delighted if you were to purchase but looking is free and you should see this photo if you are interested in the old west. It's truly lovely and will transport you to another time, if only for a moment.

13 December 2009

Snow Dog On the Run

I must write about my week in reverse. It's been snowing for two days now and although it has been a light snow it has started to accumulate. Koty, my Siberian Husky, loves running in the snow. So, this morning I could not resist doing a little photo shoot of him enjoying himself. I'm worse than a proud parent but what can I say? :)

Lakota Sunrise

Lakota Sunrise

Lakota Surise

Winter is well and truly here that's for sure. I remember the first Christmas after I moved here, in 2002, there was not a flake of snow on the ground and I was afraid I would get a white Christmas in my new home. It snowed that night. But, this year there can be no doubt we'll be having a white one.

Earlier in the week when we went for our weekly Post Office run I chased this juvenile red-tailed hawk in the car from post to post. Never was able to get a good shot but here he is anyway.

Red-Tailed Hawk

AS is our way in winter we just stuck around the ranch and hiked in the woods. There is enough beautiful nature right hear so as not to have to ever leave for the want beauty.

Out the Kitchen Window

It did warm up some from that cold spell that blew through. My coldest temperature was a minus eight but a pal of mine down in the valley scored a twenty below. That be real cold. Cold does create some beautiful images though. Like this photo of ice crystals that formed on the pond. They look like flowers to me.

Ice Crystals

I spent some time working in the woods. The burning season has ended but one can still build a warming fire and that what I do in order to keep on with my cleaning up. It's just so beautiful being out in the woods. The photo below is a scene I pondered whilst I worked. The clouds here in Montana are some of the most beautiful in the on the planet.

The Meadow

What more fitting end to a blog post than a sunset. The sunsets at my altitude are just too good to be true all year round.


Well, that about does it for this week at Dancing Deer Ranch in magical Montana.

©Kinsey Barnard

06 December 2009

Walking With Wolves

Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. I took a week hiatus from blog writing which puts us two weeks out.

In that time winter has been closing in on us pretty quick. We continued to go down to the valley and walk along the Tobacco River until hunting season was over. It ended on the 29th so now we are free to wander the wilderness without fear of getting our heads blown off.

We saw the old eagle in the same tree just perched there surveying his domain.

Bald Eagle

Things are getting frozen up very fast at the smaller lakes and ponds.

We have had a few snow showers, enough to coat the ground and stick. One of my most favorite things to do after a snow is to go out and look for animal tracks. In the fresh snow you can really see, in 3-D, the critters you are sharing space with. We saw numerous bob cats, elk, turkeys, grouse and snow bunnies. But, the best were the wolf tracks. To say we were walking with wolves is taking a little artistic license. We were a few hours behind them. It was a pair just moseying down a Forest Service road. They looked like they were heading into British Columbia.

I tried to photograph the tracks. This first is just one track. Photographing snow is not easy for getting much detail but you can see the print. You can't really tell how big the prints are so I tried to get Koty to help me out.

Wolf Track

In the photo below the track pair on the right and the left are the wolves and the track in the center is Koty. Koty is not a small fellow. He is a sixty-five pound Siberian Husky. But, in comparison to the wolf he is a veritable minnow. A wolf pack could and would make short work of Lakota.

Wolf vs. Husky

I don't have a photo to share but late one afternoon whilst I was taking a meditative walk through my personal forest the sun poked it's head out for a brief time and there were shafts of light filtering through the trees, a beautiful effect. I looked up and standing not thirty feet from me, as though in a spotlight, was the most beautiful mule deer with the most beautiful rack I have seen on a deer on this mountain. It literally brought tears to my eyes. I congratulated him for making it through another hunting season and he just stood there. It's really amazing how the deer seem to know when hunting season begins and ends. Most of the year they don't mind me at all. Hunting season starts and, as far as they are concerned, everyone is out to get them. Almost the day after the season ends we are all friends again. I truly believe animals are far more prescient than most humans.

I didn't get a photo of the awesome gentleman but I did get a little spikey. You may need to get a magnifying glass to see the spikes.

Mule Deer Spikey

In fact, I took the photo below just because I thought it was lovely how the deer was blanketed in the snow. It was not until I downloaded it and zoomed in that found out it was that little spikey again. You'll just have to take my word on that. Honestly, they are the tiniest spikes I have ever seen on a deer that size.

Mule Deer

As always, the view from my front window amazes and delights. I'm really fortunate my plate glass window is like a living canvas. The view is always changing and always beautiful. Not a day goes by that I am not enamored and grateful for that view.

The View

It was almost dark when I took this one. It makes me think of an extra-terrestial sighting.

Almost Dark

Well, alrighty then, that's what we have been up to here in the somewhat far north. No offense to the snowbirds but I love winter here. It has a beauty beyond compare.

©Kinsey Barnard

23 November 2009

Of Eagles, Deer, Rivers & Nikon ISOs

As things have turned out we have had November in October and October in November. This month has been absolutely beautiful. There's been a little snow but not much. Since hunting season is still on we have been going down to the valley and walking along the Tobacco River. There is no hunting on the trail but clearly people haven't been paying any attention as practically ever tree has orange painted on it (this is a no hunting signal) and every rock has orange "no hunting" painted on it. It's awful. Looks like graffiti so clearly there has been a big problem.

I always go in the middle of the day. Less likely to get our heads shot off. In any event, at this time of year, the lighting is like late afternoon all day long so it works out just fine.

Tobacco River In November

On one walk we came across a bald eagle perched in a tree across the river. Unfortunately I did not have a long lens with me so I wasn't able to get a very clear photo of him. As I always say "There is nothing so regal as the eagle". You'll just have to take my word for it how beautiful he was.

Bald Eagle

We are so very lucky to have this river trail so close and convenient.

When we weren't walking we were continuing our clean up in the forest. I'll never get this done in my lifetime. November is the last month that I can burn slash until March. I am also hampered by the fact every day is not a burn day. One must call the ventilation hot line and check. But, the way I figure it every little bit adds up to alot over time.

We have had some snow showers this week but nothing to write home about or plow. One afternoon is Mule Deer doe came up to the window whilst it was snowing and gave me the once over.

Mule Deer Doe

One of the odd weather features of this place, strange to me at least, is that the days of winter are mostly gray and dreary but the nights are very often crystal clear.

Night Frame

I like to experiment at night with no flash seeing what I can get with just increasing the ISO. The D300 goes all the way to 3,200 whereas the D200 is exactly half that. It's a HUGE difference and allows one a great deal of flexibility in low light situations.

Sliver Moon

As always, it was a great week in the woods.

©Kinsey Barnard

15 November 2009

Busy Beaver

We are settling in to winter a little early this year. Th mule deer are returning in numbers. I was wondering if they would still come and spend the winter with me since I have been gone the past two winters. I am so glad to welcome them home.

Mule Deer

We drove up to Fernie to see what the snow situation looked like. They've got quite a bit already. I didn't take any photos as I didn't see anything that inspired me.

Later in the week we took a hike along the Tobacco River. I noticed a very large cottonwood down in the trail and assumed it had fallen in a wind. But, much to my surprise it had been chewed down.

Beaver Victim

Honestly, I didn't think we had beavers around this area but clearly we do or did. I'm sure someone has killed it/them, don't want those pesky creatures making a mess. You really have to admire beavers. They are like the little train that could. They will tackle trees bigger than I will with a chainsaw!

Amazing Tenacity

The view of the Galton Range from along the river was beautiful. Still a little fall color and quite a bit of snow for this early.

Galton Range

It was a lovely fall afternoon for a walk and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I took this photo of some natural foliage just because I thought it was quite artful. If I could paint I would paint something just like this. I think it's just a bunch of dead thistle.

Natural Flora

Mostly we just hung out at the ranch. I "patrol" the property regularly during hunting season as, despite the fact I am surrounded by a million acres of national forest, people still feel they must mess with my forty. It's also pretty dangerous to hike at this time of year as people will shoot at anything that moves so we stay on the ranch pretty much. Not a bad place to hang out I have to say. We can easily spend a couple of hours just wandering and visiting special spots like Walden Pond

Walden Reflection

But, truthfully I don't have to even leave the house to be swept away by beauty. The view from my front window is a source of never ending joy. I photograph it often and it always shows something new and alluring. It never ceases to amaze me how every moment in time has its very own signature. It's what makes photography so intriguing for me.

The View

©Kinsey Barnard

08 November 2009

Graves Creek - Snow Canyon, UT

Not a lot going on this week. Just finishing picking up wood and getting it under shelter. Had one bit of excitement. The drain pipe out at the big pond got stuffed up with aspen leaves.

Koty and I were out patrolling, as we usually do in the fall. As I neared Walden Pond I noticed I was walking in water. That wasn't supposed to be. When I got to the pond I could see the drain pipe was clogged. I thought it had somehow gotten clogged at the intake but further investigation revealed it was at the outtake. When I pulled the plug, about two feet of compact leaves, it opened up the flood gates. I had water coming out a six inch pipe for over an hour full bore. There was water everywhere!

We did take a hike up Graves Creek aka Ten Lakes Scenic Area. The only fall color we are getting this year is from the larch. But, there color isn't normal either. They are much more orange than usual.

Ten Lakes Scenic Area

It turned out to be a very pleasant fall day and although there wasn't much too photograph it was a great walk in the fall sun.

At this time last year we were traveling down I-15 on our way to the desert. There was much fall color on the road.

Cottonwood Along I-15

Our first stop was at St. George where we spent time at Snow Canyon and Zion National Park.

Snow Canyon

I couldn't get over how St. George has grown. It's spread out all over the place. Last time I was through, probably 35 years earlier it was barely a wide spot in the highway. Now it looks like retirement central.

Snow Canyon

©Kinsey Barnard

02 November 2009

Kootenai Rockies

Today we decided to get off the ranch. We have had the most gawd awful Fall so far but today was glorious. Both Koty and I were having a little cabin fever. I'm ok with going out when it's snowing but I don't like rain. It's too wet.

The Kootenia Rockies were looking particularly beautiful off in the distance so we decided to head to British Columbia and our favorite little provincial park Kikomun. I didn't know if it would be open so Fernie was our fall back plan.

Kootenai Rockies as seen from Grasmere Road

Honestly, I've never seen this much snow on the Canadian Rockies so early in the season. This looks about normal for January.

As luck would have it Kikomun was open. Looks like it stays open all year if you care to camp there, some of the roads were closed but not those to the camp sites. We headed over to the Kootenai river side and hike up the shoreline.

Kootenai Rockies from Kikomun

Of course Koty was happy to be out. I can't believe he's ten years old and has not slowed down one little bit. The other day we were in Murdock's in Kalispell and a couple of clerks asked me how old he is. I said five. They said "Oh, we thought he was a puppy." Amazing! What a dog!

Koty at Kikomun

It really was a beautiful day and once again we had the whole beautiful place all to ourselves.

Kootenai River Looking West

Last time I wrote about this place I wasn't sure if this was the headwaters of the Koocanusa or the Kootenai River. I've since educated myself and it is the Kootenai River.

Kootenai River Looking South East

Kikomun Klouds

We hiked along the river for a couple of hours. I made a big mistake not bringing my telephoto lens along. I could have had some really awesome shots of the mountains. It never fails! LOL! Not only that but we saw a pretty big herd of elk take off in the trees. Beautiful to watch.

We drove on down to the river campground just to see if there were any intrepid campers. Not. I did see a couple of those elk from the road.

Cow Elk

Driving on out toward the entrance I spied a dirt road and took it. Just out of sight from the road there was a gate across it. I always like to travel roads I've never traveled before so we took off on foot. It was such a beautiful afternoon.

Just down the road we came to another barrier and a private ranch. The road was the ranch access road. I wondered where they hooked up to it but before we could get to the beginning we hit a particularly nasty cattle guard that neither Koty or I wanted to traverse. On the way back we had this view of this seclude ranch.

Kikomun Ranch

By now it was getting late, later than yesterday actually as we just went on daylight savings time last night. Days will be getting mighty short pretty darned quick.

©Kinsey Barnard

November 1, 2009