Tuesday, June 11, 2024

My Original Hobby

 My brother just sent this photo of me as a scuba diver when I was two years old in California.  HA!

Sunday, June 9, 2024

Trip to New York

This letter was mailed 10 miles from here, over two weeks ago, and enjoyed a cross country trip to Mid Island, New York. I love that:  (State of MT (Montana))  

And my brother Jon and I fishing in Michigan when we lived in Saint Louis as kids. What a haul!!!

Friday, June 7, 2024

New Birds!

Man, we have some new residents now like Cedar Waxwings (here) and Brown-headed Cowbirds. And tons of Bullock's Orioles even feeding at the hummingbird feeders, one Western Tanager, and American Goldfinches galore. Finally, and my absolute favorites - House Wrens! Can't go down to the river now for eagle shots with the bridge out but maybe there is a way...?

Thursday, June 6, 2024

Floating Bridge

Tom and I got the bridge across the slough out - the water way up and floating, tethered to a pole. We used a come-along, pry bar, and two wheel drive pickup truck! Took an hour+  but WE DID IT! Sometimes the water completely covers that island across the slough, river roaring. It is always a trick figuring out how to re-install the bridge in July. One time we tricked a bunch of people that came to see the birds. Actually, they volunteered...

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Magpies Everywhere

We had 5 babies pop out of this domed, stick nest in the front yard and how do they all fit in there? Must be fun to be free! Youngsters have the short tails and blue eyes, red around the "gape" or mouth.

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Brand New

I just finished this painting today- "Red Squirrel" on Claybord with printing inks, gouache paint, pen & ink, pencils, brush pens...Always an experiment and a piece of Claybord that previously had an eagle that didn't work, so I gave up and made that one an etching, that DID work. Squirrel 8" x 11" and framed on the wall, starting an etching now, a Barred Owl! I must harness this Art Inertia while it lasts. My term, but it fits.

Friday, May 31, 2024

Biomimicry Conference

Yesterday was an arduous journey to Seeley Lake for a program with the Biomimicry Institute. My friend Nancy Brown drove with her sister up front, me in back with the birds and should have been an hour and a half drive. Instead - a fatal car wreck between Florence and Missoula, crawling along, then terrible traffic, then road construction, stopped for 20 minutes, then bridge out, detour for 20 more minutes. I was way off to start with in the Powerpoint, but came around and the birds were brilliant: Sib, Sonora, Little Billie and Portia. Saints all. Two slides from the program and Brown's Greenhouse Rules! They will be open for another month here in Florence, the best plants ever and and check them out:

Monday, May 27, 2024

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Muskrat for Dinner

 Not much left of it, but surely a big muskrat looking at that tail!

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Chief Charlo Elementary Excursion

Forth grade kids here then down to Lee Metcalf NWR to see the waterfowl...and owls! Mr. Cashman is our favorite teacher. Okay, a few more but years and years of fun.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Monday, May 20, 2024

Past PGB Hosts

The Bill Harley concert yesterday afternoon and I got to sit with the past Pea Green Boat Children's programming skippers,! On the left, Germaine Conrad started the show 50 years ago with Jazz Sessions host Terry Conrad, FIFTY YEARS! Then Marcia Dunn for 23 years, Annie Garde just retired. 100 Raptors programs on Thursdays (mostly) an hour of live birds on the FM dial! Happy Birthday Marcia and I handed her a "Birds Are People, Too" book with Bill Harley's wonderful review on the back cover -"it's a riot."

Friday, May 17, 2024

Travelers' Rest State Park, Lolo

Tomorrow, Saturday a return to our favorite park. I'll mix it up a bit and talk about the history of falconry with Sib and Sonora, and do the TED Talk with Jillian and Little Billy. This time they are limiting the number of attendees (as we broke records...and fire codes last time.) Free starting at 12 pm, and reserve a spot.

That is a Mountain Lion that I mounted that resided on my Mom's piano for 20 years plus.

Tuesday, May 14, 2024


Briefly four Ospreys flying together, then three yesterday. The ring of feathers like a "necklace" usually indicates female, looks like two here. And a male kestrel hunting on a utility wire. And "our" Bald Eagles, the 3 chicks very camera-shy and the nest increasingly hidden by cottonwoods as they leaf out, oh well.

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Woodduck Feeder

We had 10 of these at the feeder today!


Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Monday, May 6, 2024

New Etching

The latest drypoint etching and what an experiment (again.) Inspired by a female hummingbird in the yard, this Rufous is painted with iridescent gouache paint on the rufous and green. It glows! And some weird background colors that seem to fit a hummingbird. 12 by 9 inches, hot off the press (in the office) and now on the wall, and painting the edition of 5.

Saturday, May 4, 2024

One Year Today

May 4th and knee surgery last year was the worst experience of my life. Sick for months, the pain has taken over so that I am awakened several times a night. Next week I'll see if another surgery can fix this, knee popping and limping, pain and no fun. AND is this eagle close enough, full frame shot? All the action as I was heading home!

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Helper Sibley

Etching the PETG plastic for a new piece - hummingbird. Stay tuned, a major experiment.

Saturday, April 27, 2024

Mose the Stick Dog

Both pups chase the stick every evening, but then time to get down to work and photograph eagles. They are so patient with me, as I tell them, "Five more minutes," over and over again. 

Thursday, April 25, 2024


 Male coming in tonight and this is sure fun, mostly.

Monday, April 22, 2024


Last night the male eagle flew right over my head and landed 20 feet straight up in cottonwood on the beach. He watched, preened his feathers, maybe just curious. The dogs started barking at the big bird, and he finally split after about 10 minutes. What a treat.

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Nice Joke

Did anyone else spot the plastic Canada Goose hunting decoy at the top of a snag on the south end of Metcalf Refuge? Only there a week, maybe less, and makes you stop and scratch your head, what is that?

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Florence Kids

Yesterday we had a fun program for the kindergarten kids here at Florence Elementary. Our favorite teacher Julia White got this snapshot of students with Portia hooting up an owl, and promising they will go outside this spring and summer. Big day for young Bodie the American Kestrel - her first program and a Superstar,  plus she didn't mind Mischa the Peregrine watching from behind.

Monday, April 15, 2024

Yesterday's Osprey Nests

Local and five or six observed Sunday. Maybe seven, let me count.

Sunday, April 14, 2024

More Hammering Woodpeckers

This week the migrating Red-naped Sapsuckers returned with their signature tapping - on the metal sculptures all over the yard. Sapsuckers drum beats start fast and slow down, signature. And resident Northern Flickers in abundance. Seems like someone is always tapping, signaling his territory. No insects inside those creatures.

Friday, April 12, 2024

Minutes Old

Just finished this etching. I spent a week on some Sandhill Cranes on Claybord, scratchboard, cattle markers and cheep Walgreens art material and finally gave up. So cranked this drypoint out the last few days, and tried a few new experiments with the Akua ink. Sharp-shinned Hawk on our power line in the yard. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Eagle Nest

The eagle nest across the river, constructed in 2011. Watching through the scope in the house and seeing her incubate (?) I guestimated that hatching began yesterday. Today the male flew in with a Columbian ground squirrel and she split to take a little break. Hadn't seen much of him lately and thanks pals-this will be fun!


Couple More


Sunday, April 7, 2024

Northern Harrier

My favorite hawk, and saw six of these today at Lee Metcalf NWR, plus three occupied Osprey nests, seven Red-tails, and a bunch of Turkey Vultures. It's happening NOW!

Friday, April 5, 2024

First Friday!

 Join me and the avian artists at Gallery 709 for our "Birds Are Back" Show! From 5-9 pm tonight, 709 Ronan Street in Missoula just off S. 6th W. and Russell St., then up all month.  

Kate Davis, Sally Hickman, Tom Melhuse, Alan Wikoff, and Tom Zavitz

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Disaster Artist

You can't win them all and my latest piece just doesn't work. Sandhill Cranes first on Claybord, then scratchboard yesterday. Scored on the nine pieces before this in the last few months, and number ten is a disaster. I tried every single medium known to womankind including cheap Walgreens’s magic markers, oil pastels, gouache paint, Akua ink, and cattle markers. Even broke one Rapidograph pen tip, expensive experiment for that reason! Time to take a break and working on them all day since Tuesday. Then back at it with something that I know works…like an etching!