Category Archives: natural history

The Better Part of a Year

It’s been a strange year, and most of us are glad to scrape the last of it off our shoes. But who doesn’t love a holiday year-end letter? It’s one last chance to send a few humble-brags and over-shares. Here are a few of mine. … Continue reading

Posted in Adventure!, Animals, Art, Art Studio, Artists, bird art, bird-drawing technique, birds, Charcoal, digiscoping, Diversions, Drawing, Environment, field sketching, life drawing, natural history, Nature, oil painting, Oklahoma, painting, Panama, Pastel, plein air, tropics, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

This Fly Makes Its Own Candy

My family sends a holiday package every year filled with treats from Trader Joe’s. The chocolate-covered sea-salt butterscotch caramels are purely amazing. But I wonder how they would compare to a batch of candy I saw a fly make- and eat- on our porch in Gamboa, Panama. … Continue reading

Posted in Adventure!, Animals, Diversions, entomology, natural history, Nature, Panama, rainforest, Science, tropics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The Trogon’s Sultry Lashes

Trogons have movie-star eyelashes, and I’d always admired and wondered why they had them. My bird artist friend, Mike DiGiorgio, says, “I thought it was so they could wink at their mates.” After watching a pair excavating a nest hole … Continue reading

Posted in Adventure!, Animals, bird art, birds, digiscoping, Drawing, field sketching, natural history, Nature, Panama, rainforest, random speculation, Science, Scope sketching, tropics, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Bird Work, Bird Art, Bird Play

Writing goes and goes. I’m still in Panama, working on a chapter about raptors. Which sounds straightforward until I figured out that raptors, for me, are not so much about their biology as their cultural and personal meaning. What, after all, could be more allegorical than a eagle? Or … Continue reading

Posted in Animals, bird art, birds, Culture, Diversions, field sketching, life drawing, natural history, Watercolor, Wildlife, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

What do Toucans Really Think?

Morning ritual in Panama: take coffee cup to the chair at the back door landing, open the sketchbook, raise the binoculars. The forest patch behind the house looks like a life-sized diorama of a jungle scene. A Nance tree blooms right outside … Continue reading

Posted in Adventure!, Animals, Art, birding, Diversions, Drawing, Environment, field sketching, life drawing, natural history, Nature, Panama, rainforest, random speculation, tropics, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Earth Day with the Motmot

Greetings from Gamboa, Panama. Ant Man and I rented a house for six weeks on a hill above the Panama Canal, with a view of cecropia and palms and fruiting miconia trees attracting every known tropical and neotropical bird that’s … Continue reading

Posted in Adventure!, Animals, architecture, Art, bird art, birding, birds, Boats, Drawing, Environment, field sketching, life drawing, natural history, Nature, Panama, plein air, rainforest, Scope sketching, travel, tropics, Watercolor, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

2015 flutters to a landing

It was a year when plein air painting got a lot more fun, which I think is worth noting, and when I found new beauty in old and familiar places. I had a decent year of painting, exhibiting, teaching, drawing, writing, and learning how to breathe … Continue reading

Posted in Adventure!, Animals, Art, bird art, birds, Drawing, natural history, Nature, plein air painting, self-indulgence, Sound clips, Uncategorized, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments