Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

More Owls

Tom and I went back to the spot we saw the owls and voila! Looks like at least three fledglings and watched one fly across a big opening and actually land on a limb and not on a leaf. Landing is usually the difficult part.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Magpie Nest

For the second year running, Black-billed Magpies nested right outside the office window. And this year the young fledged the day of the Chief Charlo School visit. They were climbing in and out of the big domed stick nest for days and are now chasing their parents around the yard!

Sunday, May 26, 2019


Tom and I spotted a few young Great Horned Owls that had just left the nest, somewhere. At this stage they are called "branchers" not quite fully flighted and at first I didn't even see this parent bird nearby.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Captain Fantastic

Our annual hosting of teacher Kevin Cashman's Chief Charlo students was even better this year with a language lesson. Friends in the back row Lillian Kennedy and her dad Antonio (plus daughter Katherine) are from Brazil, so when I asked the 4th graders what language is spoken in that country fully half of the kids shouted out, "Portuguese!" So we learned how to say many avian words and are now bilingual, for birds at least. Then a trip to nearby Metcalf Refuge for birdwatching and turtle spotting. Enlightenment for all of us!

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Clear or Non-glare?

One quality the new "Turkey In the Snow" etching has is iridescence - it sparkles! Much of it is painted with luminescent watercolors and the question is how best to show that off. Opinions are divided regarding the glass for the framed print. I think the non-glare allows the sparkles to shine through, but fellow artists and family members say it knocks down the brightness. Guess you'll have to see believe it!

Monday, May 20, 2019

MCAT Visit

We have been pals and partners with Missoula Community Access Television (MCAT) for years and years, starting with young filmmakers camps and a 20 minute show on birds that I filmed and produced, about 6 or 8 episodes broadcasted twice a week. We've done interviews with General Manager Joel Baird and Steve Glueckert for his "Look Before You Speak" artists program. Steve was back and so was Scott Ranf, a half hour show about my printmaking and sculptures, even running off a monoprint on the press.  Sorry about the editing Scott- we chatted for over an hour! Good luck.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Lunch Date

The waitress accidentally brought a pitcher instead of a pint, then thought I was serious when I asked for two straws...HA!

High and Dry

Our bridge is up on the bank now, thanks to neighbor Mike DeNeve and his skid steerer. Awesome, Mike - you will be handsomely rewarded. Most years the slough fulls up and the "island" disappears for a while with high Bitterroot River waters. The trick is convincing friends to help us re-install the bridge. Plus two sump pumps in the crawlspace are running day and night with rising groundwater.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Mount Saint Helens Anniversary

Right when I woke up today I remembered the special day, when the Mount Saint Helens volcano exploded in 1980.  I heard it happen when I was up in the Bitterroot Mountains with friends, not a sonic boom like we used to hear all the time back then when a jet made that sound traveling faster than the speed of sound. Not allowed anymore. But this huge noise was accompanied by black skies when we got back to Missoula. Then the ash started falling. So bad that they pretty much shut down the university (and everything else) when I was studying, get this, volcanology in Geology 210!

Friday, May 17, 2019


Missoula Urban Demonstration Project on April 20th - Earth Day!

What a Show!

The most fun I have ever had in 26 years on the radio (usually with birds.) Host Annie Garde and we even played some Joe Zawinul “My People” love that, Catherine Russel, and Lee Morgan, Annie finishing up with an excellent jazz Doris Day, no kidding.
On MTPR Archives for two weeks:


Thursday, May 16, 2019

Jazz Sessions Today!

Guesting on Jazz Sessions today on Montana Public Radio with Annie Garde and playing Monk, Mingus, Blakey, Hubbard, Turrentine, Getz, Henderson, and Oscar Peterson, for sure - Porgy & Bess! Getting the CD's ready and on from 2 -4 pm Thursday.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Pretty Little Gal

Female Calliope Hummingbird, taken while standing on a ladder in the yard with my camera on a sandbag up top, 6400th shutter speed. Our bridge is floating in the slough now, tied to a post, so no beach trips for a while.

Monday, May 13, 2019

House Wren

We sure have lots of cavities in dead and rotten trees in the front yard from which to choose.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Peregrines for Mom!

We have spent many a Mother's Day up the Blackfoot River, and this time joined by sister Betsy and pal Jay Sumner. It may have taken a few hours but we were rewarded with the male and female Peregrine flying around. Perplexing because she should be on eggs now and not out galavanting. Both birds disappeared upstream and we are scratching our heads still. Our guess is that they are "recycling" or nesting again after the first attempt failed. We'll be back - it's a tough job, but someone has to do it...

Wednesday, May 8, 2019


Lots of Ospreys continue to hunt at the river, three last night and this looks like a female with that "necklace" of dark feathers on the upper breast. The water must not be too murky...yet.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Chief Charlo Elementary School

Our annual trip to Chief Charlo for three classes of awesome 4th graders today finished with my helpers loading the car - Keira, Case and Bryn, with Simon, Sibley and Owen the Owl safely tucked away. We thank Kevin Cashman, Best Teacher in the World Award Winner (our category) for the fun today. We'll host his class over here in two weeks with a birdwatching trip to Lee Metcalf Refuge, always a treat.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Ex-Eagle Nest

Looking through the scope in the living room at the old Bald Eagle nest I occasionally see an "up periscope" Canada goose head and neck, and just now another goose perched on some limbs in the tree. This photo from April shows them both and I knew we had a second consecutive year without eagles to watch every evening. The goslings all hatch at once and bale from the nest, bouncing on the ground below. With the leaves growing now, it will soon be impossible to see from the house. Oh well, lots of other birds to photograph down there, but actually loving to work on these etchings in the studio instead!

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Team Audubon

Larry Weeks just brought his class of Beginner Birdwatchers over for a tour on their way to Lee Metcalf Refuge just down the road. Here they are pointing at a Vaux's Swift, and Randall showing off my heron card and his brand new license plates. Cool!

Friday, May 3, 2019

Firewood Finale

Not quite done with fires in the wood stove but what a dent we made this season. Top (Thanks Pat Johnson!) was first of October:  fir, larch and pine five rows deep to the roof. Next, just now with a grown Nico.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Two Years Ago

This one-year old Peregrine landed across the river and look what scared her away: notice the Bald Eagle feet to the right!