Be a member of a vibrant and caring community, no matter where you are.
The D@D community was not planned; it formed on its own.
When I went to turn off the osprey web camera at the end of the season, viewers called and emailed me to say:
"No! Please don't do that. We love watching all the animals and scenery. Please let us watch your ranch."
Were I not a part of this community, I would doubt its existence. Never would have I imagined the degree to which people could bond and become real friends through online contact. For years I tried to restrict my children's internet usage thinking that it was a socially isolating activity. I now see that internet connections can lead to REAL friendships if they are centered on shared values and wholesome activities in a safe environment predicated by mutual kindness and respect.
Mary and Diane's Stories
Two women meet with joy, followed by sadness.
Mary and Diane were among the first people to gather around the Dunrovin osprey nest and chat. Both were ardent bird and book lovers. Mary lived in New York City, while Diane lives in Princeton, New Jersey.
As Dunrovin began to create the D@D web site, we decided to try to capture on video what D@D means to its members; so we asked both Mary and Diana if they would consider being part of a promotional video were we to send a film maker to New York City. They both readily agreed. In January of 2015, Diane took the train to New York City, met our film making team, Geoff and Cindy Pepos, and they went together to meet Mary in her apartment.
Here is the resulting video: Cyber Ranch. The two women clearly enjoyed each other and remained in close contact after their meeting.
Then, very unexpectedly, Mary became ill and died on November 5, 2015. All of us were heart broken. Her family knew to contact us as she had spoken of the D@D community. So we arranged with Rutgers Presbyterian Church in NYC to live stream her memorial services. Diane once again boarded the train, attended Mary's memorial services, and spoke on behalf of the entire D@D community. We all watched and chatted and cried together. Please read our post: In Memory of Mary.
Happily Diane remains very active in our D@D community. She serves as the online hostess for our book club. As a retired research librarian, Diane does an outstanding job of helping us all increase our enjoyment of the books through providing background materials and leading our online chat sessions.
Dunrovin was delighted to host Diane and her family at the ranch for a short stay, where Diane just happened to meet the Bitterroot River Valley's version of Forrest Gump! Here is a recording of their encounter: Diane's encounters Mr. Gump.
We will always remember Mary; each time a new bird shows up we wish we could ask Mary to share her expertise. Hopfully we will be able to welcome Diane back to Dunrovin again and again in the future.
Beverly and Ed's Story
The road leads from Oklahoma to Dunrovin.
You can imagine my surprise when I found one of our D@D members from Oklahoma out in our driveway. For part of his life, Ed Bond worked as a truck driver, so he thought next to nothing of driving his sweet bride of many years, Beverly, the thousand or so miles it took to get to Dunrovin. Beverly came bearing a sign that pretty much sums up a women's feeling for her horses: "If you want a stable relationship, get a horse!"
We had a wonderful visit with Bev and Ed and with two local D@D members with whom they were staying, Mzelly and her son. All of us gathered under an umbrella for a recorded conversation so all the D@D members could join in the fun.
You can read all about their initial visit in our post: On the Porch Swing with Bbond.
It seems that their 2014 trip to Dunrovin was so successful they repeated the trip in both 2015 and 2016. This time it was not a surprise, but a planned stay at the ranch. We had great fun showing them around, introducing them to the all the ranch staff and animals, and taking them out to local birding locations in the Bitterroot Valley.
It is such a treat for Dunrovin to have D@D members visit and see everything in person that they have been watching on the web cameras. We love sharing our world with the D@D members.
Like the ospreys, this community soars!
Like Harriet building her nest one stick at at time, D@D has built a meaningful online community one member at a time. We're focused on the quality of the experience rather than the quantity of users. We're a group of diverse people with shared values and passions who work together to enrich our lives through friendship, fun, and learning.
Dunrovin Ranch is a small family-owned business. We are not wealthy; nor do we have corporate backing to support this web community. We ask people to pay a subscription fee to join our D@D community for two very important reasons:
- It costs a lot of money to support our technology and content. Donations are unreliable. We do not want to chase advertising or subject members to invasive ads. We desire a real community with members who are invested in its success right along with us.
- Without screening participation in some way, internet trolls and bullies are sure to find their way to our door and be disruptive. D@D is a gated community to ensure security and honorable intent.
As D@D matures and acquires the resources, we invite our D@D members to help us identify desired upgrades and opportunities:
- All of us want to install a web camera along the Bitterroot River. The river corridor is literally a wildlife and bird highway as well as the osprey's primary fishing grounds.
- We can offer additional programs to cover other types of ranch activities, such as gardening, food preparation, dog training, arts and crafts. Our D@D members have many interests; and we will happily work with them to follow our collective curious noses down many different trails.
The sky's the limit for our community!
The D@D community is open to all.
Dunrovin Ranch is a welcoming guest ranch. We place great value on community, education, science, and the arts. We are a gathering place for people of all ages, abilities, and walks of life. D@D welcomes all regardless of gender, religion, race, political views, sexual orientation, nationality, ethnicity, financial status, or physical/mental capabilities. We honor and celebrate the differences that make us unique human beings, and we ask D@D members to embrace these values.