In October 2008, I began commenting on birds I see and hear locally and when traveling. Back then I didn't own a digital camera (can you believe it?) and so posted bird images by permission or through Public Domain. Finally I bought a camera and began posting my own pictures, though sometimes I still rely on other sources.
More recently still, I updated the blog template so that interested readers can now follow it. (So please do!).
Finally, here's the most recent photo taken outside my home of two male Downy Woodpeckers. Want to know the story behind this photo? Check out my Bird Blog to find out! (Posted to this Web page on July 2, 2010.)
Welcome to Dinner at My House
Yesterday, with camera in hand, I took pictures of my world, outside and in. Afterward, while feeding the dogs their evening meal, I thought--Wait! What better picture than this? (Posted to this web page on 6/19/2010.)
Two Diamond-backed Water Snakes
On my most recent trip to Arkansas researching book two for the trilogy Of the Wing, I went on a two-day canoe trip with five biologists and naturalists on the Bayou DeView (within the acquisition area of the Cache River National Wildlife Refuge). During this trip we visited several locations where the Ivory-billed Woodpecker had been sighted in recent years. Unfortunately, we never spotted the fabled woodpecker, but we did see snakes and plenty of them! Here's a photo of two mating Diamond-backed Water Snakes. Watching as these two began uncoiling themselves in response to our attentions was a bit scary. Ha! (Posted to this web page on 5/14/2010.)
Can You Identify These Birds?
My return trip to Arkansas is fast approaching, so I thought it appropriate to share a tape of birds I heard this time last year in the White River National Wildlife Refuge. Can you identify any of these birds? I asked this question to an Audubon ornithologist in Arkansas. Check back to see what he said. (Posted to this web page on 3/29/2010.)
Ready to learn some of the singers in the video above? Drum roll please . . . 1) Northern Cardinal, 2) Blue Jay, 3) Brown-headed Cowbird, 4) Northern Parula, 5) Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, and 6) Wood Thrush!
Meet the Dogs
Here you see an introduction to my three dogs: Sammy, an English Sheepdog mix, who is now 10 years old and the inspiration for my dog character "Sammy" in the book The Legend Awakes; Bridget, a Black Lab mix, who is 7 and follows me like a shadow; and Zoey, our latest family member, who is maybe part Doberman and has been with us three years now. She's 5 and loves to play. You'll have to catch a glimpse of Zoey running behind me because she didn't cooperate on being filmed for her formal introduction. This video was filmed mid-January 2010 (Posted to this Web page on 1/28/2010)
On Moon Lake and Indian Bayou
Currently I'm writing the final chapters of book 2, where Claire and her friend Victor visit the White River National Wildlife Refuge in Arkansas. Earlier this year, in April, I traveled to the refuge to learn about the area. Here is a brief video I took while riding in a motor boat on Moon Lake and Indian Bayou. I'll be posting more videos on my trip while I write these chapters. You can also look for updates on my Facebook page for Of the Wing. (Posted to this Web page on 12/17/09)
My Morning Routine
Every morning before I begin writing, I take a stroll around the yard with my three dogs and cat. I then must go in to begin working (finishing book 2!), while the animals can stay outside and enjoy the day, if the weather's nice. Notice how my cat Gwendolyn walks along, just like the dogs. And they say you can't train cats. Shows you what "they" know. Ha! 11/18/09
Of the Wing Book Trailer
Many months ago I started this little project, my first-ever attempt at a narrative video. As a "homemade" effort it's not exactly "slick," but I like it just the same. Here's hoping you do, too. 10/22/09
Here's a brief montage of images from a celebration of books and reading, an annual festival held in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, at Dutch Wonderland Amusement Park (9/26/09). It was a great opportunity for me to introduce Of the Wing: The Legend Awakes to readers new to the trilogy. I even got to meet a young princess, Bridget, who posed with me for a picture.
A Walk in the Woods
Yesterday (8/29/09)I took a walk with Sammy, Bridget, and Zoey into the woods adjacent my property. Sammy is the only dog you'll see in this video. The other two weren't interested in posing. Notice how short Sammy's coat is for the summer. I'll be letting it grow out a bit now that fall in drawing near.
A Dog's Life
I often go with my dogs for a walk in the surrounding woods. I took this video a couple of weeks ago. Here you'll see Sammy (he'll be 10 years old in October!) and Bridget (who will be 7 next February). Zoey, the youngest, didn't cooperate for the "film shoot" and was investigating elsewhere.
One in Every Crowd
The birds have been helpful this year distributing sunflower seeds (from their feeder) all through my garden. I've many such flowers all over my garden. And just imagine, I didn't plant a single one!
Scolding House Wren
A pair of House Wrens are nesting in a box hanging from the eaves of my picnic pavilion. Here you see (and HEAR) one scolding me as I get too near the nest.
Read more about these scolding wrens in my Bird Blog posting of June 16.
Researching Book 2
I'm currently writing and researching Book 2 of the trilogy, though, for now, I'll keep the book title a secret. The story of The Legend Awakes (Book 1) takes place in central Pennsylvania. In Book 2, part of the story takes place in Arkansas. Check here for photos and videos from that trip.
Read my April 7 posting to the Bird Blog to learn more about the Bald Cypress (video clip taken from my trip to the White River National Wildlife Refuge in Arkansas).
Packed and ready to go!
Sammy waits to go outside with his favorite chew toy (picture taken 2/23/09). Behind him, through the sliding glass door, you can see Zoey (another dog) waiting to come in!
In chapter 1, Claire encounters an old man and his pet chicken, Becky. She's perched in a hemlock tree. Here's a photo, from my friend's farm, of four Rhode Island Reds perched in a hemlock.