Friday, January 19, 2018

Mass Saiga die- off

Two thirds of the population of the Saiga,a Central Asian Antelope, died almost simultaneously.It was somewhere between the Indian vulture crisis and the death of the passenger pigeon. Turns out it was a seemingly benign combination of humidity and a previously harmless microbe.A harbinger of things to come? Thanks to ZooPaul.

Why I like the "Plain Gun".

The rather flawed first edition of Good Guns, rife with errors and badly illustrted by me, is a perhaps justifiably rare book.But it does contain a linwe drawing of the Platonic ideal of a boxlock gun, and despite a pernicious French influence (The "shadbelly" atock) it looks just like "Plain Gun"
I have trouble getting the images of gun and ilo in the same focus even after Libby outlined the latter ( I CAN'T) but you get the idea...


My wonderful sister Anita's eulogy for Mary. I would not change a word.

"If thou of fortune be bereft, and in thy store there be but left two loaves, sell one, and with the dole, buy hyacinths to feed thy soul."- John Greenleaf Whittier

This quote by John Greenleaf Whittier was my mother's favorite and she truly lived by it. She was heard saying it not because she was a materialistic person, (although the woman knew her way around a stores' sale racks like she had radar) but because she believed in feeding the soul. She would pinch pennies to be sure we'd get lessons in whatever we REALLY needed to learn at the time. She'd drive us anywhere to feed our spirits. I recall many occasions when there would be something we wanted that wasn't necessarily practical..."hyacinth for the soul!" She'd shout and if it meant a great deal to us, she'd do her best to make sure we had it. She believed in the beauty of feeling good and of happiness in even the smallest of gestures. Her own and that of those around her. She tried to provide us with the necessities but also with a sense of individuality, on a budget. Having so many kids always seemed like a shock to her. She grew up the non-practical, artistic child of quiet, !
hardworking parents and their other conservative children. That was, until 14 years later, when Myles came along. Having another albeit younger outgoing, fun-loving (crazy) sibling allowed her to really shine. Then she met Dad, a much more conservative but still very artistic guy. The rest is history.

Having nine children, she learned to be frugal with a flare. We can all attest her artistic arrangement of hand me downs. It was legendary. What was once a dress, now a cool pant suit for a leggier child. She was always trying to get us to wear more color and ditch the slimming black clothing. She was the only mother I know who encouraged us the wear more make up, not wash off what we were wearing. Despite having so many daughters and being so “sparkly” and devoted to us, her boys held a special place on her heart. One might say they were her favorites but she’d never say that aloud. She would talk about them endlessly and travel to the ends of the earth to be around them. At any given time, she could be seen walking coursing hounds or hanging out on a ranch with Steve in New Mexico, having drinks with while they poked fun at her accent at Mike’s favorite watering hole in Georgia or riding as the belle of the parade at Mardi Croix in St. Croix with Mark. She loved be!
ing near them and sharing in their adventurous spirits. She shined even brighter when the boys were around although she shined her light on all that surrounded her. Her perspective, which she shared readily, was that of an artist. The colors, the shadows and light she saw in glorious detail. She wanted us all to be good people who saw good in situations instead of darkness. She would point out everyday objects but describe them as extraordinary. Even as her mind and body began to fail her, we'd be driving down the road and she's sit up taller and say "Look at at that tree! The leaves practically glow! Or we'd be driving by the ocean and she'd stare at it and describe the color as only she could see it. Believe me when I tell you, she could talk about ANYTHING in great detail. Her brother lovingly call his "little sister" 78 RPM because she talked so fast and with such energy, she sounded like a record on the wrong speed. For you young people, go check out what a record is i!
n a museum. They were ancient music producers that are now making a nostalgic comeback. She saw art in everything and attempted to pass on her love of art to all of us in various ways. She would keep us entertained with art projects and crafts. She always encouraged us to express ourselves with art. With one exception, however, painting sunsets. Many years ago, one of us was attempting to paint a sunset and was frustrated it didn't look real. She told to them it was almost impossible to paint a sunset that looked authentic. The actual sunsets are so glorious and beautiful, they always wind up looking too colorful and fake on paper or canvas. Even photographs of sunsets rarely do them justice. Because of this, in my mind, I see Mom meeting the artist that creates the actual sunsets. In awe, she’ll says "bravo!" staring at his latest creation and maybe, just maybe... God will allow her to paint a few. So look around you, look up to the skies. Notice the beauty in the minutiae. See the contrast of colors or the beauty in the sunset and know her spirit is with us always.

To paraphrase a Beatles song that I heard constantly as a child and believed it was about her; "I wake up to the sound of music mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom, let it be. And though it may be cloudy there is still light that shines on me, shine until tomorrow, let it be! We love you, Mom! Your spirit will live on in all of us. Rest In Peace seems to confining for her so I with the angels, Mom!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

" I ain't dead yet!"

I cant help but think the cowboy defiance is a little forced- but here are Libby and me at the Bar last night to celebrate her 71'st, Parkinson's, broken teeth, and all.

A few Tributes to Mary

From Margory Cohen:
"dear Steve -
Thoughts with you.
When my Ma died, I felt it in my skin. I still do -
They stay with us, they're in us.
And we remember - and that's the best tribute.
Being remembered.
Please take care of you.

Annie Davidson:
I was sorry to read your mother has died.
I remember first meeting her on her way to a modeling gig, looking lovely in a bright red big-sweater over tights -- absolutely the ultra modern in casual-wear.
And there was one particular painting I remember I loved even before she explained it to me what it was; her view looking down through moving water to the rounded rocks on the bottom of a stream. I thought that water looked cold. How did she do that?
She was very special, and I would have liked to know her better. I am grateful I got as much of her as I did.

John Hill:
I was sad never to know you Mother Steve, but Peculiar has posted such a sensitive eulogy for a Great Life - Our thought are with you all.
Johnny UK and June,

Jackson Frishman (Peculiar)
Memory eternal! I wish I had been able to see her more - she was always thoughtful and gracious to her far-away step-grandson. And I remain ever fond of her Salmon River painting that she gave us for a wedding present.

John L Moore
Condolences on your mother passing. You have had ample tests for some time, Steve. I pray for a radiant breakthrough.

Gil Stacy ("separated at birth")
Steve, over the years we have commiserated about our moms, often in amazement at their gifts but all the while recognizing their humanity. Mom often repeats "you can choose your friends, but not your relatives." Even if you had the choice, it would always be your wonderful, beautiful mom. My mom, soon to be 90, has kept her supply of tact intact over the years as well, never keeping a thought inside. A friend in losing his mom told me it was as if a library of family history burned to the ground. I hope we can talk soon. You and your sibs are in my heart and on my mind. Gil

Friday, January 12, 2018

Because it Can

Courtship of Satyr Tragopan:

Building art by Mary

Mary often accepted architectural art projects for money, and word got around, so it wasn't all houses for vain rich people. Easton, Mass, where we grew up, has more architecture by the Gilded age architect Richardson than Boston, because he was a friend of the Ames family, the town squires. Many years later, Mary bcame a sort of court painter to them. I think virtually every building here was by him, including the wonderful public library that nourished my early reading, the Ames Free Library.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Good Bones

Several people have sent me links to Nora Krug's Washington Post essay on Maggie Smith's poem "Good Bones"- you know, the one that begins "Life is short/ Though we keep it from our children" (sorry, no link- still hypertext challenged).

Although I agree with everything she says, and recommend the essay, which also features Smith reading from the poem, I am more cynical.

I think we don't tell them how short life is because they wouldn't-- couldn't-- believe it

UPDATE: Aaah, here:

One of the Many Reasons I like Khanat

Email 2 days after 9-11:
(His name has changed its spelling through the years, but that is not surprising in a culture with at least 3 official languages and at least that many alphabets).

Mary T . M. Bodio 1925 - 2018

My mother, Mary Theresa McCabe Bodio, died last night after a long twilight fade. As my sister Karen said "She was a tough old broad." A genteel woman, she probably wouldn't have liked that.

She was beautiful, talented, more intelligent than she often pretended. She also could be a difficult woman.The last time I saw her, her first words to me were "You look old!" (I did).

She was an artist, at times a serious one, and above all, she would say, mother of nine children, of which I am the eldest. She will be mourned by many. I shall write more about her, but not today.
Happily painting in the 80's.
In this next one, perhaps a decade later, out of her element and enjoying it: at the Truth or Consequences rodeo with the late ranch matriarch Betty Pound.

Sunday, January 07, 2018

More "Remains"

WWII- era Ithaca- made 1911.The old rubbed finish reminds me of pewter...
Lawrence of Arabia's copy of Norman Douglas's Together You can always recognize a Douglas book BACKWARDS because of its weird indices. And know your book trivia. I got this almost free in Berkeley because I was the first person (in 5 years) to recognise the bookplate...

Urban Coopers

My theory about the New Cooper's hawks we deal with is that the population is an early incipient species, branching off by isolation in diet and other things in the manner described by Menno Schiltshuizen as a mechanism for SYMPATRIC speciation, something more conventional scientists deny exists (Shiltshuizen convinced Ernst Mayr)

Evidence? Their population has been winnowed twice, by Trichomonas and West Nile; they feed almost entirely on pigeons and doves, are incredibly aggressive, yet live in closer proximity to each other tha any other Accipiter.
That would bw enough for me, but Tim Gallagher and Lucas Macchais just sent me a paper from the American Ornithologists Union confirming my intuitions.In Albuquerque, they are not only thriving; they are "... forcing their rural neighbors out of their nest sites"--!!"

I expect to see more such phenomena, more ne and (initially?) crypto-species, in ths Brave New World of weeds and rapid evolution.

See also: Inheritors of the Earth, by Chris Thomas; Feral Future and Where Song Began, by Tim Low; Rambunctious Garden, by Emmma Marris; Suburdia, by John Marzluff.

Teach me code again, please!

Friday, January 05, 2018

What Remains 4-- Association copies.

I have LOTS of them, and will feature more.
The thrush decoy or "Appu" is from Provence- I bought it from a young hunter named Fabre, while staying in his town researching Fabre, the first great student of insect BEHAVIOR, a self- taught peasant who impressed Darwin to the point of writing a fan letter which I have held in these two hands (it GUSHED). Fabre knew nothing aboout his namesake but that there was a statue of him in the town square of Serignan de Comtat. He had a muzzle loading 32 (?) gauge hammer gun with 36' barrels, which he used to shoot sitting songbirds.

The hood is a rather rudimentary one but it was made for me by a genuine Afghan Prince, Sirdar Muhamad Osman, who was a constant correspondent. The hood fit the Grive well...

Unusual Honor

I dont know what to say. A friend has just named a hotel after one of my books!
Khanat Chiryazdan, my old guide and the proprietor of Blue Wolf Travel, IMAO the most interesting travel service in Mongolia (especially if you like eagles), has built a hotel in Olgii city and called it.... "Eagle Dreams Hotel-!!!!

Khanat always wanted to have a hotel, and advertises my book, but this was totally unexpected...

Pics- I lost over 1000 on this computer alone, and must look for good ones. Meanwhile, this one of the cocky young ex- commando in his "Bad Dog" days should do..

Normally I would have links but I have lost (or SOMETHING) the memory to write even modest HTML during my"hiatus". Could someone who could give me comprehensible help -Chas?- check in? Meanwhile info the hotel is available on Blue Wolf and on Khanat's Facebook page

Thursday, January 04, 2018

The Goddess

(Our name for her- her real name is "Mail Orher  Brides come with baggage") was painted by Penelope Caldwell just before we stayed with the Caldwells on our first Laramie visit.

Lid & Penelope
 She stood at the foot of our bed, glowing and glowering, and by the time we left I was in love. Now she is coming to Magdalena, to guard our bed again.

I have always found HER entirely benign, but  but her hounds are another mater. I seem to remember a hunter called Actaeon...

What Remains continued

This Filson bag, which has been to every country I have but France:

I sent it to Filson to fix the worn leather a few years ago and they offered to REPLACE it. Why bother?

A couple of pairs of binos. The green Swarovskis are modern 10 X 42's., given to me by Pete Dunne decades ago when he heard I had no good ones.They are the most useful and ergonomic ones  I own, and I would never get rid of them.

But they are not romantic. In about 1968 I first encountered German optics in the form of a pair of Ziess Dialyt 7 X 42's like these, carried by Ian Nesbit on a tern colony where my friend Mike Conca and my sometime teacher Jeremy Hatch were studying.I had never seen anything like them-- their legendary, almost supernatural clarity blew me away... and that lifetime guarantee!

It was the first time I ever fell in love with a tool. There was no question of my buying them then-- they already cost about a thousand bucks, when vintage Parkers and L C Smiths went for 500-- but I vowed I would have them someday. And I did, shortly after the green ones.

They are actually beter than the Swaros for dim light conditions, and they no longer make 7 X 42's in the "dated" Dialyt model, but they are my favorites for less rational reasons.

Knives. Here are a  pair  of blacksmith's knives, one from Magdalena, one from Ulgii. Both are made from truck spring steel. or so I am told. John Besse found the Magdalena one in Kelly ghost town, stuck in a tree, its blade orange, its hilt of juniper white and dry. I cleaned off the rust and sharpened it. The second knife was made for me by the late eagler Manai, from Bayaan Olgii, cousin of Khanat, to go with the snaphaunce. He used one just like it for years.

One more knife, a real Gurkha kukuri, obtained for me by my friend Jean Louis Lassez, traveler, ranch owner, computer geek, satirical artist, Asianist, and fellow Buddho-Catholic, in Nepal.. He had to argue with the shop proprietor to get a real hunter's model, not a gaudy piece of tourist crap. This one is an unpolished carbon steel model with buffalo horn handles.
 Jean Louis' art: Zen Catbox:

Total Change of Subject

For a moment. A friend asked for this atypical (or was it?) but favorite pic of the late Christopher Hitchens, with smoke and a brace of pheasants. Done!
This photo was found and sent by Lauren McGough, who I think has been in both Bayaan Ulgii and Thailand in the last week. Nice work if you can get it! She has also gotten a life size eagle tattooed on her back- pics when I get em...

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

What remains 2: Pigeons

Four pairs, all my self- invented NM Rafenos with a touch of homer, Beauty Homer, and Spanish Barb. The Carriers were just too wild for an old man--TWO hitting the wire and breaking their necks when a  Coop flew by? ( I SAW one do it!)

More to come..

What Remains

You keep a few things when you "get rid of everything". Here is some of what I kept, in guns, in pigeons, in the library,... in hounds. As long s I am in NM (and a lo of other places) I must have this "family" and these tools...

My current armory.To some it would look like a lot; in fact,  it is the fewest this hunter- scholar has had in his adult life. And he feels prety serene about it. All are useful, and all have much h/story attached. ( I  also left out my WW II 1911-- my memory is not THAT good!)

Trail pistol: Hi-Standard target  ,22 from the twenties; Czech Mauser .22, old type military trainer (all my friends in Mongolia shoot them too) -- we call it our "Russian Squirrel rifle"; Model 99 Savage takedown carbine in .30-.30 ("Roy Chapman Andrews'  gun"); blackthorn cane, "Irish whuppin stick" from Bryan Romke, with cutdown .338 magnum shell on the tip by John Besse; English .410, my finest gun,  by Thomas Turner, the only shotgun I kept when I cut the collection down; "Cuckoo Clock" , 1922 guild gun 16 from Austria. given to me by David Zincavage,  a marvel of carving and engraved animals; the "Plain Gun", a Weston from Brighton, given to me by John Besse: Platonic ideal of a boxlock gun, with every shape perfect and no engraving at all; a Broomhandle Mauser, a "Red Nine" with all the bells and whistles, in the popular 9mm caliber, easy to get if not as powerful as the original Mauser. Churchill shot a bunch of Fuzzy-Wuzzies with one; T E Lawrence and Gertrude Bell carried it , as did Trotsky on the Siberian Railroad in the Russian civil war; Karamoja Bell shot down a German airplane with one. Harrison Ford carried one in Star  Wars. Two novelist correspondents of mine, Geoffrey Household and Michael Gruber, equipped their hero and heroine (Charles von Dennim and Jane Doe ) with one. Is that enough history??

 And on the bottom: 17th century patent Mongolian snaphaunce carbine of a type called "primitive" by Cherkassov in 1865, made in my lifetime by a blacksmith in Bayaan Ulgii but incorporating an older barrel and all it's reloading tools, snagged by Libby for $50. If you can build a fire hot enough to melt lead, you can shoot it.

The snaphaunce tools, the cane, and the Cuckoo Clock, with which I will attempt to shoot a rabbit tomorrow..

Saturday, December 23, 2017


There has been quite a bit of discussion in my crowd as to what the Bald Eagle in this photo is carrying, with guesses ranging from a cat to a  prairie dog (the last group obviously hasn't seen an eagle up close!)

Keith Brady, who knows the photographer, solved the problem: it is a yellow- bellied marmot: photo by Ken Risi.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Grey Fox

From John Wilson's camera trap South of town..

Karen's Visit

Old news by now, but my sister Karen swept through last week for Thanksgiving and conquered, hung out at the Bar and Trading post, visited "Cousin" Sis Olney at the ranch (where she left some of George's ashes at an occupied Prairie eyrie he had liked) and generally made herself at home with our town and its eccentrics. She will be back. More on Karen Bodio Graham's FB page...

Prairie nest, Pound's Nogal Canyon, Karen & Lib
John B and K
Me & John B

Really Back?

Hope so, anyway. I still can't type, and most dictation software is still iffy, Lib can't take  dictation because she is pretty deaf especially in the useful ranges... the usual..

 Colleen Grayson has attempted to take up some of my working slack (she is the widow of my old friend Steve who owned the bar  in its glory days). She typed at least three of my old books, but from pen written (!) mss, and is not used to dictation.Nor is she on board for the blog, and she travels a lot.But she will be help with books, especially Book of Books 2, as we now call "With Trees".

Books: the novel languishes at at least one and possibly two publishers, courtesy of Sy Montgomery and Malcolm Brooks. I still have hope, as that is the way of novels.

Jay Cassell, the only person worth a shit at Skyhorse, who rammed through the correct edition with Tim Murphy's name actually in it, and Liz Thomas's intro actually in place, says he mght be able to get me a little more for the Passenger Pigeon book, which becomes ever more timely as more people close in on what I believe is the solution (where was the southern glacial maximum? Where or what was the pigeon then? WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?) But I really need money to travel (comfortably- I am pretty crippled) to Madison and Berkeley soon...

My friend David's wife Karen, who is also a publisher, has offered to help, and I have decided to take her up on it. First will be the B o' B's I think, which I can do slowly, at about an essay a week. I am extremely slow; I nearly panicked doing an art bio for New Mexico mag last week, and am still not sure it was done competently. BOTH my computers are riddled with bugs, ghosts, and malware; I had to write it on one, have Libby assemble it on the other, and STILL have only the vaguest idea of the word count. Not has the subject of the profile had a chance to fact check it. And this all took three DAYS rather than the three hours a final draft should take. This too shall pass...

As does everything. My oldest friend in NM is now dying of inoperable cancer, as are two more good ones  in other states.  Of which more later. But I recently read an excellent exegesis of Maggie Smith's poem "Good Bones", which opens with:                      

 Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
                        Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
                        in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
                        a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
                        I’ll keep from my children...

To which my unexpected first reaction was, no; we keep it from them because THEY WOULDN'T BELIEVE IT.

Expect more (slow) blogging, photos, and a return to work. Life is good.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Retiring Old Mama

The last few years, we’ve been working Old Mama into retirement. She’s a fine old dog that has traveled many, many miles accompanying her flocks from the low desert to the high mountains each year. We gradually placed her with flocks following shorter trails, and finally stopped allowing her to trail to winter range a few years ago. She’s adapted beautifully to every change; so long as she’s with sheep, she’s content.

Every day she cheerfully sticks her tail straight up into the air and trots off to lead the flock in the day’s grazing. Her face and body carry many scars of war, proof of her unwillingness to back down from a fight with any predator.

Yesterday was the start of a new stage of retirement, as we placed Old Mama into a large pen with orphan lambs that were born this spring. She’s healed up from her most recent battle with wolves, and is in great physical condition, but her teeth are worn with age so she can no longer defend herself. It’s something that she doesn’t understand, as she regularly sounds the alarm and charges out with the other guardians to face danger.

The last few months we’ve had our hands full with wolf problems, so we’ve been night-penning the sheep, and Old Mama is usually the last to enter the pen, following her flock into safety. But when she entered the pen last night, I slipped a leash over her head and diverted her into an adjacent pen, where she could be with smaller lambs. Old Mama was happy to spend time with these youngsters, but when she watched me let her flock out of the neighboring pen at daylight this morning, she stood expectantly at the gate, waiting for me to let her out. But I didn’t. She would no longer be their leader.

With wolves frequently coming so close to the house, I’m afraid we may be on the verge of a major canid brawl. Predictably, Old Mama would rise to the challenge, and would give her life in the process. We’re trying to lessen the risk of that happening.

We had hoped to stop night-penning the sheep as soon as we start winter feeding, probably around the first of December. Instead of ranging out to graze, our providing lines of alfalfa-grass hay near the house will keep the flock close by. But our discovery of wolf tracks within a quarter-mile of the house has cancelled that plan. We’ll be night penning until we can get these particular problem wolves eliminated.

Perhaps during the day Old Mama and her lambs can rejoin the flock as it feeds on hay near the house, and accompany the flock back into the pens at night. Perhaps my indulging in the desires of an old dog will lead to her demise. While I fear for her, far be it for me to deny an old dog her last wish.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Sort of back...

 I assume that the readers of this blog are lucid enough that they realize things have not  exactly been going well.

 It is no one thing; it is EVERY thing. It is mortality and decay and entropy and luck, and admitting when you CAN'T play today..

It is realism. Look, fans, I have written some good books, but I am unlikely to die rich. I would settle for out of debt. If Querencia and/ or Tiger Country/Only a Mountain haven't sold to Hollywood I doubt they will quickly enough to pay my bills,  I am unlikely to write another of either.

I have decided that the Gila monster venom isn't working. It has been an enlightening experience, full of stumbles, pratfalls, and forced humility. God knows if old age isn't for sissies then sickness isn't for anyone who doesn't have a sense of humor. I'll have some details for those of you with a strong sense or humor and/or Buddho-Christian humility, but I warn you it is pretty coarse.

Re field sports. The big hawk had to go back to Bill Meeker. She was entirely too much bird for me. I had asked Bill for a 12 ounce Barbary tiercel, hand-raised. He generously responded by driving up a 34 ounce Gyr cross female, chamber-raised with an attitude. Not to mention that she was into four mile flights. Bill generously took her back after a few days, driving to pick her up from El Paso, and says that next year he will breed me a proper Barbary male. In the meantime, such falconry companions as Padre Pablo (Paul Moore) and Paul Domski have suggested that I should fly a Kestrel, Matt Mullenix style, out of my truck. As my apprentice, the nearly 80 year old Juan Gutierrez is recovering from multiple cancers, it is probably a good idea.

The Puppy also has many ideas and may be too much for me. Suffice to say for now that while she continues to be sweet and  intelligent, she also continues to destroy every object that catches her fancy, and does not listen to a single thing I say, considering me to have the social status of a wounded puppy. She does listen to Libby.

(Guns: after selling off most of mine and attempting an ill-timed effort to crowdfund a last fine gun, two things happened: David Zincavage GAVE me an utterly Germanic sixteen, and John Besse came back from Idaho with two guns destined for me or my shelves at least -- one is an interesting hammer-12 from the 1870s with the exact dimensions of my .410;  the other, a  Parker ten, is probably too heavy for me to carry these days.)

I'm recovering from a double hernia operation plus various falls, and to be honest, I feel a lack of attention from my primary neurologist. I'm making changes in this. It seems time when one receives more information from a consulting clinic in Denver once than in  years of therapy.

The richest veins of humor and humility  lie in the hernia operation. They sort of tell you what will happen. What they don't tell you is the effect of gravity. That all your male parts will be swollen up to twice their natural size and purple as a grape is not in the information handout. That the condition will last five days and more, only is succeeded by itching is something you can find out for yourself. But the funniest thing is that all the rummaging around in your intestinal region that produces your fluid and makes you swollen and purple also stops peristalsis. When you realize you have not used a bathroom and are becoming inflated...well, let me repeat what I said to my sister Karen, who heartily agreed: "Old age leaves you nothing in the way of dignity except what's inherent. I used to be modest and reticent. Well, see your dignified older brother at Happy Hour with a vodka lying on his side in his bed, trying to concentrate on his New York Review of Books while a nurse of his acquaintance rummages around in his large intestine looking for a blockage. And failing that, gives him a dose of sodium citrate so strong that he dares not go more than 20 feet from the toilet for 24 hours."

So here we are. Will the blog continue? If you wish, and as it can. I cannot devote my primary time to it, particularly as I can't type. Libby is typing this with much physical effort as my voice and her ears are not a good match for dictation, and dictation software has yet to prove itself to Parkinsonians. I have some more work but all work is extremely tiring right now.  This may change as I adapt to my present meds, and may well change after Februrary and a new neurologist. A temporary neighbor has given me an interesting tip on a radical but rooted new therapy. Time will tell.

Meanwhile, FYI. The novel is at Penn and maybe one more place (Malcolm?). The Book of Books is apparently dead in the water at Lyons Press, as the previous Book of Books (Sportsman's Library) made no money and its one proponent is leaving Lyons. Perhaps Daniel on how to revive it as a crowdfunding project? A memoir of sorts seems unlikely to sell unless one one of the others did, which seems unlikely at the moment. The same thing -- sorry, Dutch -- for an anthology. Though  I would do the Book of Books for you.

The most maddening prospect is the Passenger Pigeon project. I am more convinced than ever that I have the key to the phenomenon. But I have no agent, and the only people willing to do it are SkyHorse. I trust Jay Cassell there,  as he put Hounds of Heaven right, but they can't give me enough money. Worse, the president of the company wants a new sample chapter and I haven't a clue what to say in it. I've never been so blocked. except intestinally. The trips I need to make to Wisconsin and Berkeley are both expensive and mildly intimidating but I'll do them if I can.

This is the point, along with many others, to put put in my inexpressible gratitude to Libby Frishman. She thinks she's grouchy. I maintain that not only is she not grouchy; her occasional temper means that she is accruing far more virtue by having to work for it than would be demonstrated by a blissed-out ninny.


David's gun with 410

Bo & Lib

Friday, November 03, 2017

Visions of Helen

"I.m not answering that!"

Radio with Lauren:


With Mary Karr, another absolute favorite:

The new TV show: luminously SANE falconry:

Saturday, October 28, 2017

The Bird

Looks like Esperanza is here to stay, at least for a while.

More tomorrow, especially on productive HELEN.

Friday, October 20, 2017


Libby has quit the PO.With some adjustments, the financial blow may not be that bad. And I can't tell you how liberating it is. I believe she has lost 20 points of blood pressure.

The off- label "Gila monster drug" has not proved revolutionary. Though I will finish it and it improves things marginally, no "Lourdes moment".

I wanted a small imprint falcon this year, and called Bill Meeker in El P, who breeds such. He had just sold a male Barbary who would have been perfect. He suggested instead that I take a 34 ounce -- i.e. HUGE-- female Gyr-Barbary which had just come out of the chamber and had not been handled at all before the last two days. I said he was crazy. He said she would make a great hare hawk. I said she would be wild. He said she already hooded well and would not jump off the fist. I said that I had no money; he said she was free and he would drive her up.

She has been here three days and so far she has not done anything wrong, which is remarkable.

When she and BoBo contrive to vanish an antelope on Lee Henderson's ranch we will all be sorry.