Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Sibley will spend the night inside, bells off and both of us up at 5 am for a trip to Missoula and KECI Television. We are the guests on Montana Today with host and long-time friend Monte Turner. We both agreed, "This will be fun" and he added the :) So check it out first thing on NBC and a big plug for the new Raptors of the West Captured in Photographs book, and awards including Montana Book Award. This photo of Sib was taken on Sunday behind the house, a view of the Bitterroots and at least 5 drainages that will have wild Peregrines returning from wintering grounds very soon. Break out the spotting scope and lawn chair!
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Jay and I were lucky as heck to see both Peregrines at a Blackfoot eyrie today, and what a view on top of a hill across the river a quarter mile away. Time to start looking at those cliffs, and thanks Jay who spotted both of them before me, so he has won lunch at the River City Grill, and a six pack of choice canned goods. This is the female, who teamed up with her mate to harass a young Golden and Bald Eagle, escorting them from the cliff site. YES!
Sunday, February 26, 2012
We are so happy to be invited every two months for an hour on the radio, "Pea Green Boat" children's programming with host Annie Garde and lately, human guests too. This week Oliver and Noah joined us and read a few book captions when Degas the Long-eared Owl was on display for the listening audience. Annie said he looked like a puppet, something we have been accused of having in the studio instead of bringing live birds to a radio show! There was no mistaking Ansel, the Gyrfalcon/Peregrine hybrid, who was quite vocal the whole time. Ansel was raised in a play-pen in the living room, a word I could not think of at the time, and could only think of kennel. "Were you raised in a kennel, Noah?" He replied,"No, that would be inhumane." HA!
Monday, February 20, 2012
Falconry season is winding down, and we anticipate another season starting soon - that of watching wild falcons returning to their cliffs across the state. Jay and I will begin surveying on March 1st, wish us luck and maybe too early. In the mean time, I got this photo of Sibley yesterday, cattails and nice light.
Friday, February 17, 2012
An assembly for the hometown kids at Florence, 380 to be exact, and Sib listens intently to principal Chrissy Hulla as she explains that the students will learn something. I had a "Go Florence Falcons" poster in with Ansel the gyrfalcon, and his new roommate Alisa the Red-tail pulled it off the wall, put it in her water bath, and stood on it for hours. True story.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Raptors of the West Captured in Photographs just won the Montana Book Award! The judges called me on Saturday from Chico Hot Springs on the speaker phone when I heard the news. A quick look at my watch said it was too early to celebrate, so instead flew Sibley across the river with Jay. A reception at Big Sky is on the calendar for April, so better start shopping for a nice dress. This Barred Owl photo is one of 430 images in the book, 45 species of birds of prey, and it also won the National Outdoor Book Award. Yippee, in the words of book photographer Nick Dunlop!
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Sibley missed 'em once again, out of position when a little flock of Hungarian Partridges were flushed by the dogs (Peanut the Golden Retriever, to be exact.) Here she soaked in the sun and checked out her surroundings before a nice flight in the Bitterroot Valley. When I see such a beautiful backdrop, I am reminded of a line from my favorite (Top 1o) movie, "Rancho Deluxe." Cora overlooks the white Rocky Mountain peaks by Livingstone from her trophy home and asks her husband, "Darlin', are you ever sorry we got out of the beauty parlor business? Gee, I miss Schenectady sometimes." Rent that movie today! One of the reasons I moved to Montana in a funny way.