The Great Gray Owl sits on a special shelf of birds in the storage closet of my heart.

Their commanding presence and piercing eyes.

I also enjoy their Latin name Strix nebulosa. It reminds me of the nickname my sister gave me, Nebula.

So today I talked to my sister on the phone, and put a Gray in a nebula of my own.

Fall raptor migration in my livingroom.

This fall I started a series of raptor paintings.
I broke them into groups. Tonight I finished the first group. Six buteos common to North America.
I learned a lot about the birds while working on these. Taking weekend trips to Hawk Hill in Marin, Ca. to watch the fall raptor migration. Aided by the great people at the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory, I learned how to better distinguish these birds in flight. And spending hours looking at photographs and painting color studies, I improved my technique for laying them out in a suitable fashion on the page. I’m excited to learn so much more.

A labor of love for learning about these amazing creatures and sharing their wonder with those around me.

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Ain’t it just like the night?

With these last few raptor paintings I have slowed myself down a lot. Putting additional hours into smaller details than I had before. I have enjoyed taking as much time as I can, it has yielded a new quality and depth.

But honestly I am just glad to be sitting on a chair in California drawing birds and I want to draw those moments out as long as I can (no pun intended).

Thank you for having me here to document your birds Earth. And thank you for stopping by to read my nonsense.

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A night in the woods sitting on a tailgate looking up.

Sitting on the tailgate watching the stars emerge from their hiding places in the sky.
Between the branches they come around one after another.
Like disorganized fire ants at a picnic.

I watched their tiny circus act till my eyelids were too heavy to hold up.
My concrete bridges over Fox river eyes.

I slept on the bed liner and woke the morning to a pair of squirrels playing target practice with pine cones.
The first making its mark on the hood of my truck, awakening me with a start.
Only to end in laughter when I saw the guilty parties scurry away.

Some good days begin with laughter.


A poem with stones and rocks in it.

I wanted to write you a note and put it in a bottle.
I got as far as the pencil before the radio turned on and the music played.
There are still songs I hear that you can’t be shaken from.
They take me to a golden sienna morning either long ago or that maybe never happened.
There’s a pitcher of water on the table by the door.
The lyrics in your eyes beckon a smile from under the rock pile that is my days since you left.

It’s different here now. I wouldn’t know how to explain it. Though if I had the chance to talk, I could think of better things to discuss.

Like water, dreams, poems, and maps.
Through the incense of nostalgia and the rosy haze, a truth rolls towards me like a stone wheel.
Slowly grinding.
You live now only in my heart and in the notes of these songs as they make their way through the fog.
And that is all right.

A poem about dinner.

An icebox theory:
I was taking all the ice cube trays out of the freezer and climbing inside.
My hope was to remain frozen till a cure was found for the human condition.
So I bundled up in my winter parka and climbed my way in.
Took a seat on a bag of frozen peas and waited around.

While waiting I went through the pockets of my coat. I hadn’t worn it in years. (There isn’t need for such a coat here in the East Bay).

I found a note from her written years back and it read:
“Goodness gracious it’s alright”.

And I agreed and climbed back out of the freezer and returned the ice cube trays to their proper place. As well as the frozen peas.

“What’s for dinner?”

A poem written on a sunday morning

She called me on the phone to tell me about children’s puzzles.
Connect the dots and word searches till dawn.

I called her back to convey the illustrations necessary for the book she planned to write.
The editor sent back my drawings with red pen marks in the margins.

A usual sight when seated next to me in the car with shaky wheels like my life here on the west coast.
No matter its criticism taken in my usual cool mannered stride.
See it through to next week and no matter with the rest.

She sits back down at the piano and I at the drawing table ours one in the same.
Bring it all right back home
In the pouring rain.


Other days between.

We cooked hotdogs on the coals of the bridge we lit up the night before. I ain’t much for ballpark franks but that was a beautiful morning.
It was my turn to go fetch the water from the river. And I did so with a smile. Laughing about the absurdity of the year.
The sun sat golden in the branches like a glowing vulture feasting on dawn.

I don’t know what else I can tell you about that day. It was good.