Dunrovin Lifestyle Magazine

A Foggy Winter Morning at Dunrovin. Photo by Tamar Kasberg

November/December 2017: Peace on Earth

Greetings from Lady Dunrovin

I am most thankful for winter solstice's pause when many of the world's religions and cultures give thanks, contemplate the mystery of life, worship their deity, and celebrate their traditions. Whatever your personal beliefs and traditions, may we join together as fellow travelers searching for the light and dedicate ourselves anew to promoting peace.  

Crazy Horse People

Dunrovin Ranch Manager Kelli reflects on the trauma the recent fires in California have brought to her former home and her community of horse owners. She is proud to be be among the crazy horse people who will do just about anything to help each other and their equine friends when trouble strikes.

When Bears Go To Sleep

Sterling Miller has led the dream life for a wildlife biologist. He spent years studying black, brown (or grizzly), and polar bears in Alaska. He has more than a few adventurous stories to tell about crawling into bear dens in the middle of winter to collect data.  

Cannecting with Your Nature

Hobie Hare reminds us that our natural world is full of structures and patterns that have evolved over millennia through a never-ending process of experimentation, adaptation, and change. He recognizes that risk is inherent in change. Taking risks is nature's way finding what does and does not work, and is essential to one's own personal growth.  

Dancing with Canner

It is impossible to say who has gotten more from the beautiful relationship between Mackenzie Cole and his horse, Canner - Mackenzie, Canner, or the people who have watched and marveled at the patience and love they give each other. Mackenzie is like no other; Canner is unique in this world; their relationship defies description. It is what they want it to be.

Peace on Earth

The holiday season is a time for "peace on earth and goodwill toward men." But what would peace on earth really look like? Is it so unattainable that we are not even able to imagine it? How do we, as individuals, move the world toward peace? My brother-in-law, Steve Leeper,  has devoted much of his life thinking about such questions and striving to create a culture of peace.    

Christmas Traditions

Like many of you, this time of year means Christmas and Hanukkah to me. Growing up in Butte, Montana, in the 1950s meant my childhood was filled with outlandish seasonal celebrations borne in Butte's ethnic and cultural melting pot. It seemed that each neighborhood competed with every other for the best decorations, the most elaborate animated and lighted displays.

As a mining town inhabited by immigrants from across the globe, Butte teemed with men who built things - craftsmen, machinists, electricians, and carpenters. They worked hard and they celebrated with abandon. They applied their skills to creating a Christmas and Hanukkah fairyland, with dozen of mining head frames and neighborhood displays lighting up the snowy, cold winter nights. It seemed every home sported Christmas decorations or a lighted menorah in the windows or on the lawn. I carry these enchanting memories like a burning coal next to my heart that has warmed me throughout the years.   

My Mother's Roasting Pan

I am incapable of hosting a turkey dinner for Thanksgiving or Christmas without reminiscing about my mother's roasting pan. It has been a constant throughout my life. As a child after holiday dinners, I remember sneaking out on the back porch in Butte - which served in the winter months as a walk-in refrigerator - to spirit away morsels of dark meat and dressing in the middle of the night. 

I don't remember when my mother gave it to me, but it traveled to Alaska and back with our family. My husband now does most of the cooking in the Miller household,  and he too has come to love and extol the many virtues of mother's roasting pan. It wouldn't be the holidays without it!



Out and About Western Montana

Winter Nocturne

Professional photographer and wildlife biologist John Ashley and his fellow professional and wife, Tracy Schiess, have opened my eyes in so many ways. John and Tracy have spent their lives bringing us beauty, understanding, and emotional connections to Montana's back country in the hopes of creating a  sense of stewardship for the wonders of nature.    

John Ashley has spent hundreds, if not thousands, of nights photographing the celestial wonders of the sky. Montana is one of the few remaining places in the United States where pollution from artificial lights has not obscured the glorious spectacles of night skies. Night skies have inspired humans from time immemorial; gazing at the stars, planets, the moon, meteors, and comets connect us spiritually and emotionally with the grandness of life. A dark night sky is part of our universal heritage. New technology is available to greatly reduce light pollution and bring back the night skies for many. Visit the International Dark-Sky Association to learn more about how you can help make night skies a part of everyone's life.   

The Milky Way Photo by John Ashley

Spotlight Saying Goodbye to Cool Dude

Cool Dude was a pony with lots of attitude. He came to Dunrovin through one of our equestrian club members who had twin four-year-old daughters who wanted a pony to ride. A mutual friend had the perfect pony and was looking for a new home for him. Her own daughter had grown in her equestrian skills and desires, and it was time for them to find a home for Cool Dude where he could do what he has always done best - introduce the young and young at heart to horseback riding. We fell in love with the pony and his cool name - so he came to Dunrovin and remained a "Cool Dude." 

Last month, Cool Dude very suddenly became critically ill. He was 30 years old and had literally no chance of surviving the colic that afflicted him, so the sad decision was made to help him die with dignity and relieve his pain. Thankfully his ordeal lasted only a couple of hours. He, and we, are at peace. He lived a long, productive life. He gave many people a great deal of joy; and he received a great deal of love in return. His was a life well lived. 

Remembering Cool Dude

Our DaysAtDunrovin community members were with us throughout the sad process of helping Cool Dude end his life. They watched during the early evening of November, 12, 2018, as the sun set, we walked Cool Dude in a desperate attempt to cure his colic, and ultimately the vet delivered the bad news. The love and kindness they have shown to us and our wonderful animals fills all of our hearts and souls.

Taking Care of His Riders

Through the years, Cool Dude was the "go-to" pony for children and small adults who had never before ridden. He had a sense for his riders and their emotions, always being gentle when necessary and stepping out when asked. He was the perfect equine to give a Hiroshima nuclear bomb survivor her very first ride. It was a joy beyond words to see Shigeko Sasamori riding Cool Dude at Dunrovin long ago.


Cool Dude Was Always Game!

Cool Dude thrived in the small hands of children. He went along with whatever nonsense they cooked up. With his hooves sporting blue nail polish, he tolerated a single blue horn jetting from his forehead with chicken-wire wings to make him a flying Pegasus unicorn. He was a real cool dude!

Cool Dude's lovely white coat with dark brown spots drew the attention of artists both young and old. Getting painted nearly always meant having an opportunity to get out on the green grass for photos, during which he could sneak a few nibbles of this forbidden treat.

No matter the occasion, Dunrovin could always count on Cool Dude to live up to his name, giving all who encountered him a grand time.


Cool Dude was a one-of-a-kind pony. His memories are now a part of Dunrovin's heritage. He is missed.

Visit us onsite in Montana at Dunrovin Ranch.      Visit us online at DaysAtDunrovin.