Photography And Half-Thoughts By Mitchell Hegman

...because some of it is pretty and some of it is not.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Best Policy

Honesty is the best policy…unless you have a 3 million dollar life insurance policy taken out on your spouse and you just pushed them off a cliff.  In that case, the insurance policy might seem the best one of the two.
--Mitchell Hegman

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Practical Me

I would like to have a nickel for every time I had a nickel.
--Mitchell Hegman

Monday, April 28, 2014

Human Barbie

I will admit that as a young boy I undressed my little sister’s Barbie doll.  Barbie was not like the other cherubic to absolutely plump baby dolls in my sister’s collection.  Barbie was leggy and thin and had bullet-like breasts.  Barbie exuded a weird and wholly confusing sexuality that piqued my interest.   Underneath the frilly clothing, once I disrobed her, I discovered Barbie as intolerably stiff and cold.  She had no remarkable features.
I felt slightly repulsed, actually.
Today, a human version of Barbie can be found wandering the streets of certain Ukrainian cities.  Her name is Valeria Lukyanova, though she often refers to herself as Amatue, a name that came to her in a dream.  I first read about Valeria in an online GQ Magazine article.   Michael Idov, met and interviewed Valeria for the article in GQ and described the meeting as the closest you will come to an alien encounter.”
Human Barbie loves to exercise.  Well, her exercise is a bit closer to an obsession.  The exercise helps Human Barbie maintain the same peculiar body shape as plastic Barbie.  The bullet-like breasts on Human Barbie are thanks to the wonders of breast implants.  That impossibly narrow waist is maintained by the aforementioned exercise and consuming only the tiniest portions of low-calorie foods.  Valeria is a “Breatharian."  Breatharians believe that people can give up food and water and live on “prana” which is Sanskrit for “life air” or “life force.”  Human Barbie is not opposed to entering into long periods of fasting.
The transformation from Valeria Lukyanova to Barbie also requires perfectly ordered platinum hair, bright blue contact lenses, and a great deal of artfully applied make-up.  Once transformed, Barbie begins to affect all the proper poses and the stiffness of plastic Barbie.
Michael Idov noted, in meeting Human Barbie, that she seemed to relish that fact that some men find her somewhat repulsive.  Among her more repulsive traits is her penchant for spewing outright racism when she talks, details of which I will not bother to air in this writing.  As for me, I got over Barbie the first time I saw her unnatural plastic body all those years ago.
I am not particularly attracted to Human Barbie.
The photographs posted today are of the living and breathing Valeria Lukyanova.
--Mitchell Hegman

Sunday, April 27, 2014

3:00 AM

I wake at 3:00 AM.
Not 2:59 AM.
Not 3:01 AM.
I wake at 3:00 AM.
If you for some reason conduct a Google search for "3:00 AM" you will discover that some people are very suspicious about waking at this time.  These people think that this is the exact hour of night when someone is watching you.  This is the time of night when spirits seek to communicate with you.
I don’t know about that…other than I know about it…which makes sense at 3:00 AM.
I get up at 3:00 AM, split a whole can of cat food between my 40 pounds of cat, and then step outside and pee into the darkness from my deck overlooking the lake.
That’s what I do at 3:00 AM.
And will you just look at all of those stars poking at us from the darkness that surrounds!   And, yes, the spirits can watch me pee if they want.
--Mitchell Hegman

Saturday, April 26, 2014

A Small and Unassuming Plant

The bitterroot plant is easy to miss in the first and last part of its growing cycle.  The plant prefers cool weather and is usually the very first to emerge from the prairie ground as the snows melt back toward the mountain summits.  Some years, I have seen the first bitterroot surface in early March—a time when winter is still marshaling together snowstorms on regular occasion.
Smallish and growing nearly flat against the earth, the bitterroot does little to attract attention from when it first starts growing until blooming in June.   In bloom, though, the bitterroot is one of the most spectacular and conspicuous flowers to splash colors against the sky.  That is why the bitterroot became the Montana State flower.
Today, I am posting a photograph of some bitterroot plants I found yesterday afternoon while out walking.  I am also posting some photos I snapped of bitterroot in bloom from years past.  Following the remarkable time of blossoming, the bitterroot plants vanish back into the soil to go dormant during the heat of summer and wait to burst forth the next season.
--Mitchell Hegman 

Friday, April 25, 2014


The truth is not particularly hard to find, but oftentimes truth is the heaviest load to carry and is therefore left behind.
--Mitchell Hegman

Thursday, April 24, 2014

We Shall Be Remembered

We shall not be remembered for our song.  We shall not be remembered for our lyrical bent.  Not for oil paintings.  Not for inventing sweet life-saving machines.  Instead, we shall be remembered for our overuse of tattoos and the clutter of broken plastic objects in our wake.
--Mitchell Hegman

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Pond Skimming

During the winter months, the Yellowstone Club employs somewhere near 700 people to manage the roads, lifts, lodge, ski hill, and infrastructure.  As part of the employee appreciation day celebration, a “pond skimming” competition is held at the base of the ski hill.  Everyone is welcome to enter the competition.  The idea is to ski or ride a snowboard down the lower part of Pioneer run and then skim across a pond of water created for the event.  Many of the skimmers wear costumes.  Some make it across the water.  Most do not.  Everyone, including the spectators near the pond end up at least a little wet.
I am posting four photographs from the competition held two days ago.  The temperature at the time of the event was about 60 degrees.

Note: the girl in the pond in this last photograph was wearing a trout costume.
--Mitchell Hegman

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Yellowstone Club

The Yellowstone Club is a private ski and golf resort.  The club is adjacent to Big Sky Ski Resort on one side and untamed wilderness on another.  The primary ski runs at Yellowstone Club are carved into Pioneer Mountain which climbs to a peak of 9,859 feet.  The view immediately before you as you ski down the slopes at Yellowstone Club is that of the 11,156-foot-high summit of Lone Mountain.  Though one of the rare ski resorts on the drier east side of the Rocky Mountains, the loftier slopes at the club capture something near 400 inches of snow each winter.
What is most unique about the club is that the entire resort is really a private high-mountain residential neighborhood built and maintained for the very wealthy.  An inexpensive home there will likely cost you at least 10 million dollars.  The main lodge was named for Warren Miller, the famous movie-maker.  Warren has a home adjacent to the ski slopes.  Bill Gates has a home there.  Countless other successful business people and celebrities are property owners and members of the club.
Once each year, on the last day of ski lift operation, the employees of the Yellowstone Club are allowed to ski on the private hill.  They are also allowed to invite a single guest.  The skiing and lunch is free of cost.  Some of the Club members volunteer to serve as employees for the day so the employees might enjoy the resort as a guest for one day.
My friend, Mark, has worked at the club for sixteen years—since the very early days.  Mark invited me as his guest for the employee appreciation day (yesterday).  Today, I am posting a couple of the photos I captured of the Yellowstone Club.  I will continue the series tomorrow.
Thanks Mark!
--Mitchell Hegman

Monday, April 21, 2014

Sandstone in Strange Light

Today, I am posting a photograph I took of picture sandstone.  The stone is found in the deserts of Utah and Arizona and cut into thin slabs.  Some of the slabs seem near perfect renditions of the landscapes from which they came.  The strange light (and shadow) was provided by the blinds on my bedroom window.  As I look at the photograph, I find difficulty in focusing on any one feature.  The photograph, at some angles, appears to be comprised of tubes—especially from a slight distance.
--Mitchell Hegman

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Useless Facts about Words, Penises, Small Animals and People

—Leonardo da Vinci was capable of writing with one hand while drawing with the other.
—The dot placed over the letter “i” is called a tittle.
—According to the Korean version of the Guinness Book of Records the Korean dictator Kim Jong-il sported a penis that measured 3 feet, 4 inches in length.
—In 2009, a cat was accused of downloading child pornography by his owner when police discovered something near 1000 lewd pictures of children on the man’s computer in Martin County, Florida.  According to the man, he would sometimes leave the room while downloading music and discover, upon returning to the room, that the cat had jumped on the keyboard and accidentally downloaded strange images.  The police did not charge the cat for the crimes.
—Donaudampfschifffahrtselektrizitätenhauptbetriebswerkbauunterbeamtengesellschaft is a German word which translates into English as “Association for subordinate officials of the head office management of the Danube steamboat electrical services.”
—The mighty shrew has a humble penis that attains a mere 0.2 inches in length.
--Mitchell Hegman
Sources:,,, Wikipedia,

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Space Drum and Didgeridoo

Unique sounds.

--Mitchell Hegman
It the posted video fails to launch, please click on the following link:

Friday, April 18, 2014

World War Two with Feathers

The wingspan of sandhill cranes averages nearly seven feet.  You would be surprised how much that impresses you when a crane in flight is near enough to smash into the windshield of your car.  I mention this as someone with a fresh experience in that regard.
My drive into Helena from the country takes me past a series of pastures and wheat fields frequented by sandhill cranes.  While driving into town yesterday morning, one of the cranes lifted from a stubble field near the highway just ahead of me and lumbered over the fence along the roadway like a vintage World War Two bomber, missing the highest wire strand by only a few inches.   The instant I saw the bird I jammed my foot down on the brakes.
The giant bird also saw trouble the moment it cleared the fence.  The bird, realizing that its flight path would put him smack into my windshield on the elevated roadway, started to slowly roll away and lift as much as possible.  I missed colliding with the crane by only a matter of a couple of inches.  The crane whiffed just overtop my car—all wings and shadow—as my car rapidly decelerated from a sixty-mile-per-hour streak.
I caught one more glimpse of the bird as it hooked back and overflew the stubble field behind me.
On my automobile sound system, Courtney Barnett continued singing: “I get adrenaline straight to the heart.  I feel like Uma Thurman post-overdosing kick start…”
 And then on to a mostly normal day.
--Mitchell Hegman
PHOTO: Wikipedia

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Stemless Daisy

Hooker’s Townsendia is usually the first prairie flower to show its pretty face around here in the spring.  A smallish tufted perennial, the flower thrives in cushion-like displays amid dry and open spaces.   Hooker’s Townsendia is sometimes called Hooker’s townsend daisy or stemless daisy.
Yesterday, walking near my house, I came upon a spot where a slew of the Townsendia were in bloom.   Though the lighting was poor and my photograph is not particularly good, I thought I would share a daisy with everyone this morning.
--Mitchell Hegman

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


If you read the profiles of people seeking to hook-up on Craigslist or any other such site, you will bump into people suggesting that a suitable partner must be “420 friendly.”   The number 420 is code for marijuana.
According to Wikipedia, the use of 420 (four-twenty) as a coded reference for weed originated with a group of teens in San Rafael, California in the early 1970s.  The teens started meeting at 4:20 in the afternoon before setting out to try and locate a crop of marijuana rumored to be located in the area.  The use of 420 as a direct reference to marijuana stuck with the teens and then soon entered the entire counter-culture.
Now, turn your attention to present-day Colorado and, in particular, Interstate 70 which bisects Colorado running east and west for a length of 450 miles.   Recently, the highway department there, following the repeated theft of a particular roadside mile-marker sign, had to change the number.
You guessed it.
The roadside mile-marker 420 kept vanishing from a lonely stretch of highway almost as quickly as workers replaced it.  Theft of the sign escalated following the recent legalization of marijuana in the Colorado.  Likely, generations of the sign can be found in dorm rooms across the West.   To put an end to the cost and headaches associated with replacing the sign, the highway department posted a new number: 419.99.
Hopefully the code for marijuana will not change to that.
--Mitchell Hegman

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

And in this Corner...

Like I always say…hooray for us but too bad for the waterfowl and the fire juggling acts.
--Mitchell Hegman

Monday, April 14, 2014


—Men are more likely to initiate kissing prior to sex. Women will more likely initiate kissing after sex.
—Chimpanzees kiss.
—According to Indiana law, it is illegal for men who have a mustache to "habitually kiss human beings."      QUESTION: But they are allowed to habitually kiss…what?
—Philematlogy is the scientific study of kissing.
—When two people kiss, they exchange between 10 million and 1 billion bacteria.        THOUGHT: Some of the bacteria may not be happy about the exchange.
—Most people are right-headed tilters when they kiss.
—Men who kiss their wives before going off to work live longer than men who do not.
—Before changing their name to KISS, the recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees called themselves Wicked Lester.
--Mitchell Hegman

Sunday, April 13, 2014


I have become somewhat addicted to murder investigation documentary shows such as Forensic Files and The First 48.  I am fascinated by the energy expended in the investigations and the strict attention to details.  Certain broad patterns relative to murder are also striking.  Overkill, as example a victim that has been stabbed many dozens of times, almost always indicates that the murderer knew the victim well and had some kind of emotional bond with them.   Automobiles tend to be involved in murders where young people commit the acts.   Older men are often murdered in their homes—generally with sex somewhere in the mix.
As you watch episodes of Forensic Files, you will hear the narrator ask (rhetorically) in reference to the victims: “But who wanted them dead?”
I sometimes find myself responding to the television:  “It was not me.  I would be perfectly happy if nobody ever got murdered and I spent my days listening to music instead of watching you.”
But so long is the murders continue, I shall continue to watch.
--Mitchell Hegman

Saturday, April 12, 2014

But for a Moment

A photograph I captured at sunrise at the Helena Valley Regulating Reservoir last spring.

--Mitchell Hegman

Friday, April 11, 2014

Horses in the Dust

April winds lift dust from my gravel road and carry it across the honey-colored prairie grass.  As I watch, the dust forms what might easily be mistaken for two ghost horses galloping away.  The horses rapidly fade and then vanish as wisps when they stir against a juniper and sage hillside.
For two nights in a row I have dreamed floods and my wife alive again.  I have never been insightful enough to assign meaning to dreams.  I am a dullard while sleeping and little better awake.  So far as horses, I have never fully taken to the real thing.   They are pretty and exquisitely muscular but tend to run from me, as if I were an upright form of disease.
I dream of water but wake to horses in the dust. 
“April,” wrote T. S. Eliot in his poem The Waste Land, “is the cruellest month, breeding lilacs out of dead land, stirring dull roots with spring rain.”
--Mitchell Hegman

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Still Awake

The song:

--Mitchell Hegman
Please click on the following link if the video posted does not launch:

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Drive Home

People living in the cities have convinced themselves that they are important.  Those of us living out in the country realize how unimportant we are.
--Mitchell Hegman

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

I Got into a Pillow Fight and the Pillows Won

Saturday, I purchased new bedding and new pillows.  For some reason (let’s go with stupidity for the moment) I decided pillows of a firmer nature were in order.  My habit is to rest my head on one pillow, hug a second one and then allow a third pillow to more or less orbit around the bed with me.  On occasion, the third pillow becomes the hugging pillow if I push my normal hugging pillow onto the floor at some unnamed point in the night.
Sunday night, I used my new bedding and pillows for the first time.  The pillows had a lovely new scent—sweet but earthy at the same time.  This will be great, I thought as I flopped onto my bed to sleep.  Change is good.
Change is not good.
I did not sleep well.  The pillows totally kicked my ass.  I woke the first time with an aching arm.  I woke a second time to my hugging pillow trying to shove me off the bed.  I woke a third time to the feeling I was lying on a steep hillside and realized that two of the pillows had heaved me only halfway atop them.  The fourth time I came awake to a rhinoceros-sized cat and a pillow elephant on my chest and face.  I woke once more with an aching arm.
All night long the pillows abused me.   When I finally got out of bed for good on Monday, both my left arm and my neck were stiff and aching.
I tried my new pillows again last night.  Midway through my sleeping, having an experience similar to Sunday, I grabbed a hugging pillow from another bed and slept through the rest of the night.
--Mitchell Hegman

Monday, April 7, 2014

Worse Than Dirty Jobs

I bumped into an article the other day on that listed jobs that are, thankfully, no longer required in the modern era.  Some jobs vanished as result of technological advancements.  Other jobs faded as culture evolved.  Here are a few of the jobs from the list:
Sin Eater:  Sin eaters were hired by families to “take on” the mortal sins of recently deceased relatives.  They performed their duties by dining over the corpse.
Knocker Upper:  No.  Not sexual.  Before the availability of alarm clocks, knocker uppers ran about the streets knocking on windows with pebbles or sticks (especially long sticks for upper story apartments) to wake folks for their workday.
Mudlark:  Mudlarks were scavengers that roamed the mud flats and banks of the Thames River in London during low tide seeking anything of value they might sell or use.  Mudlarks were a common site during the 18th and 19th centuries.   Poor children and destitute elderly people counted for most of the mudlarks.  They were not opposed to stripping valuables from a dead person when they chanced upon one.
Whipping Boy:  In 15th century England, only the king was allowed to punish his son.  On those occasions where the prince misbehaved and the king was not available to dispense the proper punishment, whipping boys were lashed in the prince’s stead.  The whipping boys were raised alongside the prince from birth.
Leech Collector:  The leech collectors would lie in ponds and allow leeches to attach to their bare legs.  The leech collectors would then pluck the leeches from their legs and sell them to pharmacists and medical practitioners.  Leeches have been used in medical treatments since ancient times.  They were especially popular when bloodletting became a common practice.  The medical use of leeches continues to this day.   They are sometimes used to help restore blood flow when skin is grafted or fingers are reattached.  Thankfully, better sources for leeches are used today.
Gong Farmer:  Gong farmers removed excrement from outhouses and cesspits.  The gong farmers worked at night and used shovels and buckets to remove the (mostly solid) excrement. 
--Mitchell Hegman
If you are interested, the entire list of jobs can be found here:
Note:  The article at sites primary sources for most of the information.  I have added a bit of supplementary information.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Thought 3.7

Sometimes I feel like the only cat competing in a dog show.
--Mitchell Hegman

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Human Nature (The Refrigerator)

Somewhere in my recent internet reading I came across a story (purportedly true) that illustrates a fair chunk of human nature.  The story goes something like this:
A man, while remodeling his kitchen, decided to replace his refrigerator with one that better matched his new décor.  Thinking someone might have use for his old refrigerator; the man dragged the refrigerator out into his yard and affixed a sign: Working Refrigerator   Free!   Just Haul It Away!
The refrigerator sat there for many days.
Not wishing to haul a functional refrigerator to the landfill, the man changed the sign on the refrigerator to read: Working Refrigerator — $250.00
The refrigerator vanished within a few hours.
--Mitchell Hegman

Friday, April 4, 2014

Taylor Swift did a Sweet, Sweet Thing

Taylor Swift is famous enough that even I know who she is.  That said, I am a fan of alternative and indie rock.   I am not sure I would recognize a Taylor Swift song if one rushed up to me on the street and gave me a snuggy (and I am not suggesting one of her songs would do that).  I am now, however, completely impressed by Taylor.  The reason I am impressed has zero to do with her music.
Cleary, Taylor Swift is a giant in popular music and pop culture.  She is now, arguably, at the peak of fame.  While most of her young peers would spend every free moment partying or jetting off to exotic places, Taylor sometimes does something a little different.
She pays surprise visits to sick children in the hospital.
The other day, she and her father visited children at the Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island.  Though she planned to visit for only an hour, she stayed for five hours, chatting with children and their families.  She sang a little.
A publicity stunt?
Taylor Swift has visited children’s hospitals before.  In fact, she was visiting children in hospitals, especially children with cancer, even before becoming famous.  More telling is the fact she expressly asked the hospital not to publicize her visit.  The visit came to light only through postings on Facebook.
Back when I taught apprentice electricians, I often said as a lesson point:  “You will quickly recognize a true craftsperson—they are the ones doing their best work even when nobody is looking.  Sometimes, as an electrician, you need to accept that your best work will be buried in walls and hidden above the ceiling.”
Taylor Swift is a beautiful person even when nobody is looking.
--Mitchell Hegman 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Blue Horses

Just before Montana Highway 287 drops you onto Interstate 90 from the north, near the town of Three Forks, the blue horses appear on a hill to the right.  In certain light you might think them the real thing.  But as you look more closely the sometimes odd twist of a leg or the straightness of a flank makes you reevaluate.
The horses, thirty-nine life-sized steel sculptures, are the work of a local artist named Jim Dolan.   Just as the Terracotta Warriors in Xian, China, each horse is a distinct individual of original design.  On several occasions I have stopped to admire the horses—frozen there in time.  Yesterday, while driving back from a work engagement in Bozeman, Jug Jones and I stopped and looked over the remuda as late snowstorms swept over the distant mountain and wheatfield backdrop.
Posted are two photographs from our stop.
--Mitchell Hegman  

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Pretty Birds

Yesterday afternoon I walked the open country.  At my feet, the occasional blue caterpillars inched across the narrow road.  Clouds blossomed in the sky above me and sailed on.  But please tell me, if you are able, why did the pretty songbirds circle and scream at me for the entire way?
--Mitchell Hegman

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Failure is not an Option

Failure is not an option…but it is often the default setting for computer applications.
--Mitchell Hegman