The goddess has been here about six months now, but we met her several years ago at Jim and Phoebe Caldwell’s – she stood above our bed there, when we visited, for two week. By then I was in love with her. She is imposing, a vaguely disapproving look on her face – and two immense hounds, resembling the cross between stock protection dogs and tazis used to kill wolves in Asia. One of them is looking right at you.

They are obviously the hounds of Diana, so who could she be but the goddess? Or so I thought, until Penelope gently told me she had another name, “Mail oder Brides come with Baggage.”

That will do, too.



This will be one illo by Eldridge Hardie from a new collection of the works of North Dakota poet and hunter Tim Murphy. He and El gave it to me! I have been a fan of Eldridge’s work for at least as long as the old Gray’s that we both worked at existed. I brought a copy of the late Datus Proper’s Pheasants of the Mind, among my favorites of both their works, and was pleased to hear, in our too- short Denver visit, that he had also hunted with Datus. They met in Arizona for quail; Datus and I used to out of Bozeman for quick day trips after Gray partridge…

Pepe’s Art

My old pigeon partner Jose Morales y Serranno, who met his wife , an Albuquerqe native of Italian descent, returned to Sevilla after getting his PhD in English- speaking writers of the Spanish Civil War. Despite occasional political disagreements- like Pepe’s fellow traveler on the left Stephen Spender, I will never think of Roy Campbell as other than a great lyric and talented satirical poet, despite his being on the “wrong” side–I miss him. He taught me everything I know about Spanish pouters– and who else would depict a beautiful woman with my favorite breed, the English Carrier, both handsome and grotesque?

(Something minor interesting here too.The bird is depicted with a RED eye cere, like a Barb or Catalonian tumbler or the Badgdads the fanatics are killing in Syria, or even the Scanderoons (“Iskadruns”- birds of Alexander the Great), of Nuremberg do. But the English ones no longer have red ceres. I wonder if those of southern Spain, closer to Africa and their roots, do? I rather prefer the red…

Catalonian of the “Strawberry Eye” variant- a very attractive variety never imported to the US and supposedly very rare.(From Levi)

A Spanish Barb hen-I used to have these

“Iskandrun”, Alexander’s (German!) bird, in profile…

The modern endangered Syrian breeds, which resemble both their English and German relatives.I like these, too, and I bet they can FLY.

Art Show and Catalogue

“Our” art show opened in Memphis this week and by all accounts is a total success. How could it not be with walls like these?

And especially paintings like this:

!Here is the book, with my contribution. Buy it, you won’t regret it!

Thanks especially to the perfect editor and curator, Kevin Sharp; to Toby Jurovics for suggesting it to me; and for Jim Moore for providing context and more…


Jack Unruh was a fine artist who did the best, or at least the most interesting, illustrations for many magazines , especially ones of the Time- Life Group, for over 50 years. One of his last regular assignments was doing the pic for the humor column by Bill Heavey at the end of Field and Stream. Bill wrote a good remembrance of him here.

He could be surreal…

He also could see beauty in unlikely creatures. Sure, a Sandgrouse is pretty; but how many people would or could do such a delicate drawing of a Lappet- Faced Vulture? (I am pretty sure that is what it is, not a griffon!)

Tanuma Photos

I have carried around a 1969 Life magazine (with a photo of Ted
Kennedy just post- Chappaqudick on the cover!) because it has a gallery
of wonderful images by photographer T Tanuma.Yesterday, hoping to put
them in a more secure mode, I photo’d them.These are some of the results.

A few Images

Some images to hold you–we are heading up to to Santa Fe to see Pluvialis! (Perhaps better known today in our crowd as RockStar Helen,  to her embarrassment..). We’ll be back Sunday. Reid may report on their dinner in Denver later… he and Connie, Anne “Anyushka” Price and Chas and Mary attending…
And the countdown begins–this is post #3995…

Parkers: the exquisite Damascus is a del Grego restoration, unfortunately with its firing pin noses filed down on the hammers, as in Larry del Grego’s day, most Americans thought that Damsacus was unsafe. It is probably best not to know how many gorgeous guns bit the dust in the fifties and sixties (or as one fool in an early Gun Digest suggested, were THROWN INTO PONDS)…
Both guns are equipped with 30″ barrels, heavier on the sleeved gun, which is also on a heavier frame, one used for 10 gauges. It seems to have been rebuilt as a Pigeon gun; its tight pistol grip and amazinglyeven patterns at 45 measured yards, even with a light game load of an ounce of 7 1/2s, suggests this.The Damascus gun is only a little lighter — both are under 8 pounds — but they have very different sight pictures. The sleeved gun was made in 1890, and I believe the Damascus was made in 1905.
The sleeved gun also has the most amazing sight bead I’ve ever seen with parallel gold and ivory bands.

John checkers the Darne “Nameless”:

Rosanne’s drawing of the lovely but annoying (she refuses to learn to tolerate hats, a real  fault in a desert town) Esme.