Thursday, October 19, 2017


I was the totally-surprised winner of the Lifetime Conservation Achievement Award 2017 from the illustrious Conservation Roundtable, presenter Dr. Erick Greene. He asked me months ago to send my resume and I informed him that I didn't have one as I haven't had a job in 30 years! Somehow my biography was good enough, and I am included with the ranks of previous winners - Monte Dolack and Mary Beth Percival, Smoke and Thelma Elser who hosted the gala gathering, and Senator Max Baucus. A standing ovation from attendees and the greatest folks in the west in conservation and getting the word out there. Thanks everyone, you are my heroes!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Simone the Red-tailed Hawk

Our newest family member had her debut program on Montana Public Radio, Pea Green Boat with host Annie Garde. Always a bit of a scare, not knowing how she will react to a travel box ride in the car and suddenly "on the air live," but she was awesome. This photo is taken from the control booth by Rhett Pruitt-Hoff, her two kids Henry and Sietze also as guests. No, that's not John Floridis playing guitar on the right - just a poster on the wall! She still has a few feathers poking up on her head, but otherwise has molted into a gorgeous hawk, ready and rarin' too go.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Red Squirrel

R.I.P. Audrey

Our 15-year old constant companion cat Audrey passed away last night and will be very much missed. She seemed omnipresent in the house, garage, yard - everywhere. She even accompanied us to the river in the evenings. Well, she followed Tom as she was his cat. A sudden loss and this will take some getting used to.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


Either I'm seeing the same little falcon over and over again, or we are inundated with Merlins lately. Well, as much as little speedy, dashing raptors can besiege a yard! This female was chomping on a bird, which makes up just about their entire diet. That's why we have bird feeders (one reason anyway.)
Join us tomorrow at 4 pm MST for an hour on Montana Public Radio, left of the FM dial and streaming live on the web at Birds, debut program for our new Red-tailed Hawk Simone, and some wonderful kids.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

The Last Osprey?

Two young Ospreys were flying in the high winds, gusts nearly blew me over, but they seemed to be playing in the sky. They both had big crops, so were full of fish, but this one half-heartedly swooped on a fish or two.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Pelican Flotilla

American White Pelicans at Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge yesterday, with my pal Cathy Scholtens, shooting birds.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Young Osprey

From the beach tonight, on her way to Mexico or Central America. Minimum travel distance from here is 1000 miles one way, and they stay on the "wintering grounds" for two or three years before venturing back. Oddball birds!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Montana Book Festival

Simon was the perfect program pal on Saturday at Fact & Fiction Books, downtown Missoula. This was our umpteenth program at our favorite book store, but this time a seated audience and all eyes on the owl.  Photo is by our friend Kathy Price, and check out the July 22nd Blog post to see "her" Osprey family. Simon is awesome!

Friday, September 29, 2017


I have been commenting a lot lately about the lack of fledgling Ospreys on the beach by the house this summer/fall and finally one showed up for an hour or two. She had a nice long stretch, and a few talk-hearted swoops at fish. And also finally blue skies after two months of claustrophobic smoke.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

We're Back!

My ancient iMac computer died and after a week and a half of trips to Missoula, several options that didn't work, we are back with brand new computer and finally new photos and news. At least there is still some action on the beach and here is a Pileated passing by. Whew. More on the way.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Montanan Magazine - 2017 and 2012

100,000 copies - to every University of Montana graduate! My Osprey shot, "An Osprey successfully snags a mountain whitefish, August on the Bitterroot River and colorful light courtesy of smoke from the Lolo Peak Fire across the valley." Kate Davis '82. I had the cover shot and story in 2012, called "Bird's-Eye View."  

Saturday, September 16, 2017


The weather cooperated - top is last Saturday and lower is just now. Bye-bye Mr. Lolo Peak Fire!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Monday, September 11, 2017

Sunday's Fire

Right across the valley and we were told these were "back burns." They went all the way to the top of the Bitterroots, so doubtful.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Perfect Program

What fun yesterday, Lolo Pass Visitors Center and actually saw the sun. iPod and Sibley were on their best behaviors, but the True Star was Simon! He's a perfect program bird, stepped out of the kennel, had a long staring contest with Sibley (perched on the right) then dazzled our audience for 20 minutes. He was showing off in his first ever public appearance and turns out I shouldn't have been worried about the new transportation, different glove, and new people. Thanks Colleen Mathisen for the invite and we'll be back.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Join Us at Lolo Pass

We have a program tomorrow at Lolo Pass Visitors Center, at the warming hut and perhaps not so smokey up there... We'll see. Come meet the new owl Simon in his debut public program, plus a few other friendly birds. Free and open to everyone, 2:00-3:30 pm MST.
Simon's favorite pastime  is paper shredding, easy to clean up on the Big Perch.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Our Yard

Mookie takes it all in, and burning chunks from the sky, landing on my car.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Fire Camp Sunday

This Lolo Peak fire has burned over 42,000 acres now and heading south. Fire camp is at the end of our little dead-end lane, 1200 firefighters at one point and half that now. Another red flag day with extreme fire weather today, man...

Friday, September 1, 2017

Fire Kicks Up

For the finale of August. From the slough and one in our driveway, living room lights on inside.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Simon's Blatant Advertising

Standing on the skull cabinet. Remember the quiz, every kid that's ever been here? What animal does this skull belong to - hint: there is a stuffed one in this very room....Yes! Armadillo!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Saturday Night Fever

A view from the slough, fire has now burned 37,246 acres, front row seats at the Raptor Ranch. And a young female Peregrine, yippee!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Friday Night in Florence

Back-burns at Sweeney Creek,south of the "real" fire and sliver of moon showing through.
And a garter snake eating mouse butts that the kestrels drop to the floor. Raptors prefer eating the front portion of a mouse, by far.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Thursday, August 24, 2017


Fire up One Horse Creek. Fire evacuee Kelly Brewster tonight in our yard with Mack and Sasha, watching a flare up or two. Man o man. And an eagle screaming for food, big baby.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Monday Night

The fire is hovering over the ridge leading to One Horse Creek, right across the valley. And here's an eagle that's terrified of an Osprey, in the smoke. I changed my camera settings to "clouds."