Dude ranch vacation photo of the month - June 2012

BY Jody Dahl | Sat 30 Jun, 2012

Dude ranch vacations without your camera are like eating in a Michelin-starred restaurant blindfolded, watching a Fourth of July fireworks display wearing sunglasses and falling asleep during the Superbowl. In short, you miss all the best bits! Top50's dude ranch vacation photo of the month series celebrates capturing those special moments that sum up what dude ranch vacations are all about. That could be the sheer joy kids experience on family ranch vacations, the thrill of cattle drives, or the peace and tranquility at dude ranches with spas

June's photo of the month takes on a slightly different angle - and a very topical one in light of the current forest fires raging through Colorado...

                                           Photo credit: Toby Dahl Photography

Explains Top50's Editor, Mel: "This photo was taken at a Montana working ranch, where a fire started after lightning stuck. Luckily all people, animals and buildings escaped the blaze, but it could easily have been a very different story." While this unexpected fire was put out in order to save their livelihood, the ranch does in fact periodically start its own, contained fires within the ranch's boundaries. "Fires are actually really beneficial for the land, as it helps regenerate new growth for trees, grass and plant life," says Mel. It is only when these fires become out of control that they prove dangerous, just as they have in Colorado due to strong winds spreading the fire faster than people can work to contain it.

"This picture sums up the beautiful yet terrifying nature of an uncontrolled blaze," adds Mel. "When you see the effect one bolt of lightening, it really makes you appreciate the beauty of a ranch."

View more dude ranch photos in the Top50 Gallery

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TAGS: dude ranch vacations, colorado forest fires, top50 ranches, dude ranch photos, montana working ranches, fires on ranches

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