grateful

Merlin (The bird not the magician)

Putting together the third of a four panel collection. Falcons of North America. Already completed are the Kestrel and Prairie Falcon.

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Again (again).

“Begging your indulgence, We’re going to do yet another song in the key of G”

-Bob Weir, The Grateful Dead

And so begging your indulgence I’m going to do yet another drawing in the key of Owl.

Thanks for bearing with me yet again while I move around the lines on the page.

And sometimes you have to sit on a chair miles away from a rainstorm and hope to see lightning strike the same place twice. With that stubborn persistence, it will. Tonight my personal case-in-point. I put pen to plywood again and got another Great Horned Owl that gave me chills like the one I met in Tahoe some years back.

The one is a map to the other.

The one is a map to the other.

Elbow room

With out a doubt, my favorite part of mountain biking is the access it grants me to the areas around. In this case California’s central coast.

I do my best thinking with my feet off the pavement. These day trips help me put together thoughts and drawings on the page as well as sort a plan to be the best person I can.

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Getting by with a little help from my friends.

I’d been keeping all these in a big plastic box because I was too lazy to make mounts for them. I’d usually get as far as calling the piece done, snap a picture and add it to the pile. A good friend stopped by the other day to see some of my works. She suggested the plastic box might not be the best place for these birds. She recommended some good wall mounting options. Thus lighting the fire under me to get them truly finished.

Now that they’re up, I can’t imagine why I didn’t finish the wall mounts for them sooner. It was a great excuse to go to the hardware store.

I am very grateful to have the inspiring and supportive friends and family that I do….and a hardware store down the tracks from my house.

And a Thank You to whomever has squandered a perfectly good minute reading my words and looking at my birds.

Some sources cited.

Some sources cited.

From where I’m sitting I can hear a barn owl screeching outside my window. Now there’s a language I’d love to learn. I can also see a sliver of the moon through a palm tree.

It’s Night time in California.

This will be a bibliography of sorts. It’s a proper thing to cite your sources. Here are some sources:

My father and his father. They both connected with the natural world the way many connect with a church. They showed me a lot of the natural world around the Midwest and Southern United States.

My Uncle Gary, for showing me how to catch birds in my mind and bring them to the page.

My sister, my original partner in crime, who has continuously egged me on to go further and be the best I can.

My mother, who taught me to share my findings with those around me and spread as much good as I can in my life.

My friends. They’re everywhere. All around the greater Chicago-land area and all over Illinois. All across the Midwest, the East coast and west into rocky mountain Colorado. The good folk in California, the boys (and girl) at the bike shop I work at in the Central coast. Those crazy kids up in Portland Or.

My family and friends can be found on every page I will ever fill with ink, color, or lead – that’s the only way I could have left my Midwest home to live in California.

These “sources” are all greater to me than any page in any book

However, that doesn’t mean books aren’t important to me. Aside from the writings of Harrison, Brautigan, and Hemingway, here are some very influential books that have fueled my art and my heart. If you are interested in learning about the many birds of North America check these out.

1. Birds of Prey of the West Field Guide
Stan Tekiela. Adventure Publications, 2011.

2. Stokes: Field Guide to Warblers
Donald and Lillian Stokes. Little, Brown and Company, 2004.

3. A Photographic Guide to North American Raptors
Brian K. Wheeler and William S. Clark. Princeton University Press, 1995.

4. National Audubon Society: The Sibley Guide to Birds
David Allen Sibley. Alfred A. Knopf Incorporated, 2000.

5. The Warbler Guide
Brian K. Wheeler and William S. Clark. Princeton University Press, 2013.

6. A Guide to Field Identification: Birds of North America
Chandler S. Robbins, Bertel Bruun, Herbert S. Zim, Ph.D., and Arthur Singer. Golden Press, New York, 1966.

7. Hawks from Every Angle
Jerry Liguori. Princeton University Press, 2005.

8. Peterson Field Guides: Hawks of North America, 2nd edition
William S. Clark and Brian K. Wheeler. Houghton Mifflin, 2001.

9. A Pocket Guide to Birds
Allan D. Cruickshank. Washington Square Press, 1953.

10. A Golden Guide: Birds
Herbert S. Zim, Ph.D. Western Publishing Company, 1949.

11. Book of North American Birds
Reader’s Digest, 1990.

12. Audubon’s Wildlife
Edwin Way Teale. Viking Press, 1964.