animals

So You Want To Be A Cowboy - G Bar M Ranch, Montana by JD Andrews

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MONTANA

        The G Bar M Ranch

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You don't come to the G Bar M Ranch in the foothills of the Bridger Mountains in Montana to relax and unwind. This is a family owned, fifth generation, 3,200 acre, working horse and cattle ranch where guests that want to experience the real life of a ranch hand come to cowboy-up.

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You will be helping with the day-to-day activities of the ranch: Caring for the horses, checking fences and helping moving cattle from pasture to pasture. 

Actually you can participate as much or as little as you'd like with many other activities available such as fishing, hiking, wildlife photography or just relax by the fire with a good book.

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Buttons the goat thinks he is a cow because he never had any goat companions growing up sone now shuns them so he can stay with the cows.  This summer Buttons went to the mountains with the cows … and this weekend Mike got a call from a rancher all the way on the west side of the Bridger Ski hill “your goat is over here!” So Mike headed over there with his trailer to pick Buttons up. It's about 12 miles away from the G Bar M Ranch.

Buttons the goat thinks he is a cow because he never had any goat companions growing up sone now shuns them so he can stay with the cows.  This summer Buttons went to the mountains with the cows … and this weekend Mike got a call from a rancher all the way on the west side of the Bridger Ski hill “your goat is over here!” So Mike headed over there with his trailer to pick Buttons up. It's about 12 miles away from the G Bar M Ranch.

This is Shep - Mike’s trusty cowdog

This is Shep - Mike’s trusty cowdog

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The owners are Mike and Maria Leffingwell who enjoy sharing their Western heritage and the ranching way of life.

Maria will even share her famous apple pie recipe with you -

Their food is so good, they were recently featured on the Cooking Channel - Check it out HERE

 

Their family have been ranching in southwestern Montana for over 100 years and have been welcoming guests since the 1930s. They can accommodate up to 15 guests per week who are lodged in the ranch house or cabins.

It's fun to study the map in the dinning room to see that guests come from all over the world:  New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Taiwan, all of Europe, even Africa. And of course from every state in the United States and most of the provinces in Canada.  It has wide appeal to guests who are looking for an authentic working ranch vacation.

It's fun to study the map in the dinning room to see that guests come from all over the world:  New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Taiwan, all of Europe, even Africa. And of course from every state in the United States and most of the provinces in Canada.  It has wide appeal to guests who are looking for an authentic working ranch vacation.

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I really loved my stay at the ranch! It was nice to get away and just enjoy the views and the real outdoor life plus Mike and his family couldn't have been nicer (the apple pie was AMAZING!)

For more information about the G Bar M Ranch - Click HERE 

Herd of Impalas in South Africa by JD Andrews

The name ‘Impala’ come from the Zulu language meaning ‘gazelle’

The name ‘Impala’ come from the Zulu language meaning ‘gazelle’

Male impalas attract females or warn off other males by repeatedly sticking out their tongues in a display known as “tongue flashing.”

Hungry Cheetah's Morning Catch - South Africa by JD Andrews

Distinguished by their smaller size, spotted coats, small heads and ears and distinctive 'tear stripes' from the corner of the eye to the side of their nose.

Sea Lions Enjoying the Day on Marble Island Alaska by JD Andrews

Just hanging out.

Testing the New Nokia Lumia 1020's 41 MP Camera in the Arizona Desert by JD Andrews

The nice folks at Nokia know how I love to take photos. So they asked me if I'd like to take the new Windows 8 smartphone, The Nokia Lumia 1020, out for a spin. It's the one with the 41 megapixel camera and according to Nokia's website it has: PureView technology, Optical Image Stabilization and an amazing high-resolution zoom.

Since I was in the Tucson area, I thought a great place to test that 41 megapixel camera would be the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum - One of my favorite places! The photos below were taken with my iPhone 5 and the Nokia 1020. You can click on the individual photos to get a bigger view. Please note: ALL the photos were resized to 1500 pixels and saved as a JPEG. NONE were manipulated in any way EG: cleaned up, adjusted or edited.     • For more photos • Scroll all the way to the bottom •


Original Photo - Nokia Lumia 1020

4352 x 7712 7.3 MB JPEG

Original Photo - iPhone 5

2448 x 3264  2.4 MB JPEG

Original Photo - Nokia Lumia 1020

7712 x 4352   10.5 MB JPEG

Original Photo - iPhone 5

3264 x 2448  2.7 MB JPEG

Original Photo - Nokia Lumia 1020

7712 x 4352   13.9 MB JPEG

Original Photo - iPhone 5

3264 x 2448  4.1 MB JPEG

I knew the photos would be a bigger size but was pleasantly surprised to see the lens was wider and could capture more of the landscape. I thought they looked very colorful and I only had to adjust the auto white balance a few times to correct a 'greenish effect' that I'm sure was caused by all the foliage. (Tucson has gotten a lot of rain this year)

Click to see Full Panorama

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I was taking lots of photos and I noticed that the lens in the front (the black circle area) would get very, very hot to the touch.

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I was also using the camera grip (the grip has a button to help with taking pics and can attach to a tri-pod) It's supposed to give you an 55 extra minutes but the camera battery and the grip were both dead in just a few hours. (I was just taking photos, The phone doesn't have a sim card)

What I like:

  • 41 megapixels!!! Come on, my pro Canon DSLR only has 20. 
  • Takes great photos and video.
  • Carl Zeiss Tessar lens
  • The large screen is nice! (I have an iPhone)
  • Optical image stabilization
  • 6-lens optics
  • High resolution zoom 3x
  • A lot of camera apps - Panorama, Creative Studio, Smart Camera, Glam Me Lens, PhotoBeamer and Cinemagraph.
  • Lots of adjustments for a more pro feel but can also be put on auto for everyday use.
  • It's yellow! (I wish it came in orange) 

 What I didn't like:

  • It's more difficult to use with one hand (like the iPhone) but it does come with a wrist strap.
  • The lens got very hot.
  • Battery didn't last very long. There could be some online tips to help with battery life but I didn't have time to look.
  • Since it is a 41 MP camera, it took awhile for each photo to save  - so you can't really get a photo of something right away or multiple photos quickly.

This review was only on the camera of the Nokia Lumia 1020. It is a Windows 8 Smartphone with lots of other bells and whistles that I'm sure are covered in numerous other reviews online. Please feel free to share any good ones you find in the comments below, thanks!

Pssst...Do Have the Nokia 1020 and use a Mac? You'll need this - How can I transfer full resolution photos to my Lumia 1020 from Mac?