There is something special about the iconic imagery of the American west that touches at the very soul of who we are as a nation. Of course this imagery has been buoyed by our popular culture and mythic portrayals of the romance of the range – but it still captures our spirit. Well, to prove this point, we have the wonderful collection of photographs in Mountain Ranch by Michael Crouser. Mr. Crouser trains his eyes on a way of life many of us thought was lost long ago and only seen in movies. This collection of modern day cowboys and their families is as timeless as our western iconography, and it is compelling.

About Mountain Ranch by Michael Crouser: “The mountain ranches of western Colorado preserve a way of life that has nearly vanished from the American scene. Families who have lived on the same land for five or six generations raise cattle much as their ancestors did, following an annual cycle of breeding, birthing, branding, grazing, and selling livestock. Michael Crouser spent more than a decade (2006–2016) photographing family cattle ranches in Colorado, intrigued ‘not by the ways their lives are changing but by the way they have stayed the same.’ He was, he says, ‘most interested in the traditional elements of these traditional lives, . . . what they call cowboying.’ Intimate without being sentimental about the realities of ranch work, Mountain Ranch’s duotone images capture the raw and basic elements of a hard and basic life. In the afterword, Crouser pays verbal tribute to ranch people who are ‘the real deal,’ whose seasonal round of work forms the subject of the acclaimed nature writer Gretel Ehrlich’s foreword. Portraits of eight men and women who eloquently describe their long lives on Colorado mountain ranches complete the volume.”

Cowboy up!

Mountain Ranch by Michael Crouser is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers.