The Billings Outpost

Short Takes

Back in Beartooth Country

(Farcountry Press, Helena)

Gary Ferguson of Red Lodge is a distinguished writer, but his foreword for “Beartooth Country: The Absaroka and Beartooth Ranges” runs a scant two pages. This book lives or dies with the photographs by Mervin D. Coleman of Red Lodge, who has been a professional photographer for more than 30 years.

Fortunately for the the fortunes of the book, the photos are gorgeous, sometimes stunning. For the amateur photographer, it’s a good lesson in how pros manage to see things the rest of us miss.

This paperback book runs just 80 pages. For a coffeetable style book, it’s a bargain at $12.95. You are bound to find something here worth a look.

New children’s book

 (Farcountry Press, Helena)

“Have You Ever Seen a Bear with a Purple Smile?” is the question posed in the new children’s book by author Laura Budds. With charming art by illustrator Kadie Zimmerman, the rhyming tale follows two young bunnies on the hunt for a bear with a purple smile.

Bears get purple smiles from eating sweet, juicy huckleberries that grow in secret patches in the woods. The brave bunnies hop through the woods, learning about huckleberry picking and purple smiles along the way.

Ranch living with modern touch

 (Flying Diamond Books, Hettinger, N.D.)

Lay out your bedroll under a pine tree beneath the starry skies of Montana, as coyotes howl from the Rimrocks, cattle graze nearby, and horses nicker softly and stamp their feet in the darkness. The spirit of the West comes alive in the new book, “Montana Stirrups, Sage and Shenanigans: Western Ranch Life in a Forgotten Era,” as sisters Francie Brink Berg, Anne Brink Krickel and Jeanie Brink Thiessen write of ranch life through a legacy of pioneer values and traditions along with personal stories of working cattle, horses, wildlife and western humor.

New book on Yellowstone

(Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass.)

More than 30 contributors, including several Montana State University Bozeman faculty members and alumni, were involved in “Yellowstone’s Wildlife in Transition,” a new book focusing on the changing ecology and management approaches in Yellowstone National Park.

The book describes in layman’s terms how management policies have evolved since Yellowstone National Park was created in the 1870s. Findings from studies over the past 30 years have influenced decisions and public opinion for the benefit of society, and the intent of this book is to translate that science into 21st century stewardship.


Montana mapmaker chronicles eastern Montana history

(Farcountry Press, Helena)

When Michael Bugenstein began researching the Kalfell family with intentions to write a short family history, he found a story larger than he anticipated. The result became “Since the Days of the Buffalo,” a comprehensive history of eastern Montana and a broader look into eastern Montana ranching.

Within its pages are accounts of tribal and military history, ranching and homesteading history, early railroading and outlaw history, an in-depth account of the 1920s Montana economic collapse, the effect of Roosevelt’s New Deal on Eastern Montana and the challenges the Kalfell Ranch has faced since the 1930s.


Get the Inside Scoop on the Best of All that Glacier Has to Offer

(Farcountry Press, Helena)

“Glacier is a landscape of superlatives,” states Alan Leftridge, a former park ranger and author of  “The Best of Glacier National Park.” The book describes the best day hikes, nature trails, backpack trips, boat tours, flora and fauna, historic sites, and more. With sections on activities for kids and further adventures in Waterton Lakes National Park, Glacier’s sister park just across the border in Canada, Leftridge’s love of sharing his passion for the outdoors shines through.


Copyright 2012 Wild Raspberry Inc.

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