Spotted Owls

Spotted Owls
adapted from my photo of 2008

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Extreme Birder

No news is no news. I'm still expecting the book to be out soon, maybe as soon as mid-March. If anyone wants to schedule me to come and talk about it, and of course sell and sign books, you can email me at or you can send me a message from my web site ( At my web site is a list of the dates and places where I'm currently scheduled to speak/appear.

Late winter and early spring

This is such an odd time of year in north Texas. It's late February, a couple of weeks past snow and ice and cold. Last night it was just 40 degrees, but a month ago, it was in the 80s during the day. The flowering quince is full of gorgeous flowers. The wintering American Goldfinches, fewer than during the storm, are still coming each day, as are the wintering Orange-crowned Warbler and Yellow-rumped Warbler (one each). Cedar Waxwings are more evident than they were mid-winter, often being heard high in the naked pecan tree or seen swooping down to our tiny vegetation-choked pond or one of the bird baths. Of all non-aquatic birds, Cedar Waxings seem to me to love water most.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Thinking about Rufous's past

I finished a painting of "my" Rufous Hummingbird (or one of them). It's sad. Although the nastiest of this winter seems to be gone, I have no Rufous Hummingbird with which to enjoy the spring. But I did have 9 winter/springs with a Rufous Hummingbird, a very rare and wonderful thing in north-central Texas.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Painting Birds

The more I take the time to paint birds, the more I realize that it is one of my favorite things to do. Turning a white sheet of paper gradually from undifferentiated colors and blobs and squiggles to something that looks somewhat like, and sometimes quite a bit like, a particular bird species is both satisfying and surprising. To some extent it may be like writing a novel (which I have not done), where the characters emerge as the writing happens. Now if there just was a way to earn a real income from it. But not only do paintings not bring that kind of money, but also I can't stand the idea of selling the ones that I like most. It's mostly just a labor of love I guess. I'm attaching copies of my most recent two.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Fort Worth ice and snow

Monday night (1/31) Fort Worth became covered first with a layer of frozen rain, and then with a light layer of snowy stuff. The temperature stayed below 20 since then (until today, Friday). Most roads remained icy and were hazardous to drive in spots until last night/this morning when everything became covered with 1-4 inches of light snow. I haven't ventured out to try to drive anywhere yet today, and may not, but I did shovel off the driveway and a place to put bird seen on snow-covered porch. Through all the cold, my water-dripper has stayed unfrozen and has been a major attraction for the birds. The temperature is approaching 32 just before noon today, and periodically the sun peaks out (finally), but it will be some time before the snow all melts I think. Our dog Shar loves bounding out in it to chase away all the birds that keep coming down to eat the seed that I keep putting out. A Downy Woodpecker, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, an Orange-crowned Warbler and numerous Blue Jays share the suet, and there are over 90 American Goldfinches coming in to their feeders. Busy yard.

gold parties