Monday, March 19, 2018

Arthur photos Magdalena

There will be more I hope, soon.

Arthur & Pueblo Ruins

Miss BoBo

Canine Joke

From Annie D., the Queen of Zoo Alumnae. EXACTLY Bo's reaction:

Eastern "Coyotes" & Wilderness

Zoo Paul McCormack sent us this article on the "eastern Coyote".

I replied; "Two versions of this:

"One is the conventional, presented here: E Coyotes are a product of modern breeding between wolves and Coyotes who got here after humans altered the landscape.

"Two: They are a coyote x wolf hybrid like the red wolf from the south, but like it pre-Colonial, only with different proportions of genes.

"I rather favor the second hypothesis. I don’t think the Massachusetts colonists were country enough to tell the difference between C. lupus and C. latrans. I think different genes would be selected for in the North woods than in the southern bottomlands. But what do I know? You do know that C. latrans is a Native American, lupus a Eurasian invader. Eastern coyotes have much heavier dentition and occipital crest than the western ones. I used to have quite a collection. I also used to watch these and Eastern coyotes chase deer out onto the ice on Quabbin reservoir and kill them; ecologically, wolves in every way...

I LIKE them, but will will shoot ANY of them who kills my falcons. The (standard Western) ones on the West Mesa owe me, but I am without a varmint- caliber rifle at the moment...

That got a correspondence going. Westerner Mike Kiester wondered what the "Massachusetts Wilds" mentioned by my old hunting companion Reed Austin WERE; Nantucket?

I replied:
"Well, THAT. But also where I used to live in forgotten west Central Mass, in the January Hills between Quabbin Reservoir and the Connecticut River Valley, a truly wild region (much more so than the more famous Berkshires further west) that includes land now classed as an essential "wildlife corridor" in the larger Appalachian ecosystem. Only eighty- some miles from Boston, it is cut off on the east side by huge Quabbin reservoir, which nearly bisects the state, where human passage has been legally banned since the thirties (yeah, right); on the west by the tobacco farms and universities of the Connecticut valley. Resident species are "northern"; include deer and sometimes wandering moose; bear, fisher, porcupine in your yard, at least one documented lion, the Eastern “Coyote” — a wolf in every way that matters— Goshawk and Bald esgle. Balds scavenging deer carcasses killed by the coyotes on Quabbin's winter ice are not a rare seasonal sight).

It is a beautiful, dark, haunted, sometimes slightly creepy land, with a sort of regained virginity, which land can acheive.

But not without traces. There are deep wells you can fall into and never be seen again in the woods, traces of everything from King Phillip's War to Boston's edict to drown five towns in the 30's .There are also houses built in the 1600s and still on dirt roads, secret underground rooms ditto, and the settings for AT LEAST two H P Lovecraft stories ("The Color Out of Space" and "The Strange Case of Charles Dexter Ward"). My hills TERRIFIED Lovecraft!

Wild Poem

From a wild poet friend, Tim Murphy, as he fights his cancer battle...

The Four H’s Again
for Steve Bodio

Last night I dreamed I flew an eagle-owl,
her wing span just six feet,
the talons of her feet
clutching my fist, horned ears above her cowl.

We hunted high, hard scrabble Kazakhstan,
my barrel-chested horse
scrambling aloft in force
for wolf, the war bird’s muffled glide our plan.

The peaks above still buried deep in snow,
we rode on broken ground,
hunter, hawk, horse and hound
as sheep and goats lay grazing far below.

A wolf flushed far under a bergshrund’s rift.
Launched, and the stealthy strike was blinding swift.

Tamgaly petroglyphs, Kazakh Steppe N of Almaty, 6000 years old; "4H". The rider is the stick figure across from the quarry...

LIfe and all that

Here are some of the things that have happened in the last two weeks:

Finally, we got an appointment with Dr. Jill Marjama-Lyons, a new neurologist, who came highly recommended. When we got in — she has a long waiting list — she mentioned, as we suspected, that one of the electrodes was in the wrong place in my brain. She had other things that she wanted to discuss with us, and suggested we come in the following Saturday morning before her karate lesson. This involved us getting up and leaving before dawn, but we had little to lose. For one thing, I was now seized up about half the time. She has a lot of Japanese art in her office, and I mentioned my falconry. She asked me if I knew Bodie Littlejohn. When I replied that he was a dear friend, she answered that she had been studying swordsmanship under him. The next morning we got there in time, but having had a long drive and coffee, I couldn’t urinate. She banged impatiently on the door and demanded “Hurry up! I’ve got to get to my karate class. When I got out of the men’s room, she started doing the adjustments while I was still in the wheelchair I had used to get from the bathroom (I HATE wheelchairs!) without my taking the time to get me comfortable.

But I was not bored. First, she did something interesting. She ran each channel out to its “edge” where the charge made me physically uncomfortable and unable to speak. She was apparently mapping the scope of my gizmo. She kept muttering that she would have liked to have done the job herself. When she finished, she told me to come back in a few weeks so she could reprogram the other side. She also confirmed that one of the electrodes was in the wrong place, and told us that all the controls had been switched left to right. We talked (she is also a shrink) about how she might fix this. She spoke to Libby of my being a driven perfectionist who is never satisfied, but I think it takes one to know one!

Three miles from the office, my tight painful legs became loose and I “cleared up”. Except for one sick day (see below) , I have since been free of freezing. Previously I had been frozen about half the day. A half hour on one electrode had done more for me than 2 ½ years of therapy. Afterwards she talked to Libby on the phone and asked if I wanted to try another operation in which she would remove the electrode in the wrong place and put a new one in. Despite more danger, I’m up for it.

Earlier this week, the Wilderson brothers came by with their usual fund of stories and info. I took them by the old Pueblo ruins, John Besse’s, and the bar, rather more social life and outdoor life than I have been used to lately.

I got tired when they were here, and felt sick when they left; I did not know what was going on. I had a bad neuro day, and ended up passed out in the bathroom at 2 AM, raving! I was taken to the ER in Socorro by the ambulance crew, driven by the mayor, where I found out that I had a deep-seated urinary tract infection, probably left over from the hernia operation which has been rife with complications including infections. I suspected something was still wrong, but everyone tried to talk me out of it.

I am now taking antibiotics, am again not freezing, and scheduled to see Dr Jill early (tomorrow!) My old Aplomado has just laid eggs. I sold a bunch of my rare books and am retrofitting the house to make it more Parkinson’s- friendly, with help from friends. Life is interesting.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Interesting possibility

In all likelihood there may well be a real change ( for the better!) in my condition, even another operation!

Not prepared to say more yet. Keep me in yr thoughts and prayers...

Friday, March 02, 2018

Yes, we have a bookplate

For David and Karen, by Jonathan Wilde:

Teal Meal

Courtesy of Thomas Quinn: four Greenwings, roasted in a 500 degree oven for 5 minutes, with only olive oil, sea salt, and cracked pepper:


My stepson Jackson Frishman, a formidably literate outdoorsman, dedicated conservationist, and life- long explorer of The Big Empty, has a new column in Mountain Journal: here He is already known for his wonderful photos; now perhaps his writing will get the attention it deserves too
He also says some embarrassingly nice things about me.
"My stepfather, the nature writer Stephen Bodio who was based in Bozeman for years, taught me to see beauty in less obviously spectacular landscapes, to look beyond superlatives like highest and deepest and steepest, and focus instead on a place's ecology, seasonal rhythms, historical connections."

Friday, February 23, 2018


Not the gun this time- the new bird,a female Kestrel. Padre Paul trapped her during a javelina hunt, sportscasting her approach to the trap on his cell- O Brave New World!--and suggested we call her that, likening her delicate beauty to that gun. Like most Kestrels she is pretty unflappable. Three ravens killed my larger, dashing Merlin x Gyr; but the Kestrels in Nestor's tin barn across the street used to pound ravens into the ground and make them WALK, protesting, out of the neighborhood.

If someone can tell me why this blog now shows me photos not as photos but as code, puts all the captions in the wrong place. I've moved them around three times and have not yet gotten them in the right place.

...The Gyrlin, back in the long ago day, and with the legendary Zhel.Sigh...
This bird won't stand on food yet but will bite it, and foot you- hard!

Thursday, February 22, 2018


Lauren's eagle is done:

She has also been flying her male Crowned eagle in Africa ("I have had many adventures in shitty countries"- me too!-- and learning to fly herself. Girl makes me feel like a s†ay-at home provincial...

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Two Badass Western New Mexicans

John Davila and Miss BoBo:

I Missed this Novel and it's already in PB...

The a heroine is a 67 year- old New Yorker of upper- class background with emphysema and a drinking problem, controlled but not gone. She is a private detective. Her "Watson" is her husband, an ex-communist lobsterman named Pete.

She faces down a biker gang in a Red Lodge MT bar with the simple Samurai statement "I'm already dead." Of course her hand is on a Glock 26 in her pocket and at least one of them is dead too but they don't KNOW.

There is enough natural tragedy in the background, like there is in the lives of most seventyish people with heart and imagination I know, that there is nothing cheaply clever about it.

One reviewer compared her (the heroine, not the author) to a "wise Annie Proulx". Not QUITE, but I know what she meant- and both are complimented...

Good New England, New York, and Yellowstone; good guns & their use; and the best writing about high- society Northeasterners, I swear, since James and Edith Wharton. I'm in love...

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Very Small Pig

"Zoo Paul" McCormack of Michigan, one of my oldest friends, runs an animal educational business.
He also owns the smallest pig I have ever seen, even when it grew up...amazing.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Another Damn Urban Coop sentenced to "Transportation."

This one killed a squeaker. I missed him with a butterfly net and because he only flew to he top of the fence tried again with a BC. This proved his undoing, but only because of greed- he put his foot into the trap between the bars, killed the bird, and refused to let go of its head-- not attached by any nylon nooses!
Note Gorbatov Japanese Gos behind and that he is digging into the web between my fingers. Released in Socorro, he vanished faster than the camera's shutter, like many do. Unpleasant birds, but great hunters...
Last: a Chinese- spiced risotto made from the luckless pigeon:
And one more:best release pic, of a previous bird, who flew right into the camera.

Sunday, February 04, 2018

Paul Schmolke, call "Home"

We are worried. Daniel and Carlos have been travelling in South America, and I have been fighting neurologists, but we still notice. Let us know WHATEVER happens..

Sunday cartoons

The first from Jackson Frishman; the second from the ubiquitous New Yorker, source of all our refrigerator art.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Lucky friends

Daniel Riviera and Carlos Martinez del Rio horse trekking in the Andes.

New Vadim & Joseph Crawhall

No GOOD old dog is too old to learn good old tricks. The latest pics in Vadim Corbatov's Russian site () include this farm scene renminiscent of the work of the dissolute short- lived English painter Joseph Crawhall, who illustrated Abel Chapman in the manner of "the painters of the caves", according to Don Robero (Robert Bontine Cunninghame- Graham). Tom Quinn thinks his white pigeon may be the best in the world. What do you think?

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Bad news for Tim

About a month ago, Tim Murphy, de facto poet laureate of North Dakota if not of the entire west, sent me this poem teasing me for not going hunting with him this year.
Before I reply or even make a wisecrack, I got the following:

"Dear Hunting Buddies, I have Stage IV cancer in my hip, spine, and esophagus
We have a plan. The femur is a crisis, a twig ready to snap. Next week an orthopedic oncologist will insert a metal rod through the marrow, knee to hip, perhaps even do a hip replacement.
Radiation, which requires five day bursts, will start soon in Fargo. My medical institutions here and there are used to collaborating smoothly.

"Chemo: Mayo wants me to participate in an experimental trial combining chemotherapy and the new immunotherapy. Certainly makes sense, kill the bad guys and encourage the good. This will require a trip every two weeks for two months. Then they will pet scan me and see if it's working. I'm going to do it. We'll know in three months whether they can extend my life beyond this year.

"Cancer in three places, very malignant; my friend, the situation couldn't be more dire. But as my oncologist said, "We can't cure this, but we can control it." A brilliant young man, he's made it from Mumbai to the Mayo, and that is the first ray of hope.

"I have two attachments for you fellows, the huge hunting section of Hiking All Night, and the new cancer log. I can't believe I've written 33 pages in twenty days. You'll see my morale leaves nothing to be desired.


Tim is an almost unbelievably tough man. Raised in Hibbing, MN (with Bob Dylan as a babysitter!); a Yale scholar and a protege of Robert Penn Warren, a farmer, businessman and classic poet. He's been rich and he's been poor. He chose to live as a gay man in a tough rural northern setting, not an easy decision. He was widowed from his partner Alan Sullivan, a great translator of Beowulf among other things, by cancer. He's a practicing Catholic, a drinker and smoker; above all, the most serious pheasant hunter I have ever known. He has owned five great dogs and written the best poems on hunting dogs I've ever seen. Keep him in your hearts and prayers and read Hunter's Log and the poems he has coming out. Here is a YouTube interview with him a few years ago when that book came out.

"Our dogs teach us how to die."

Friday, January 19, 2018

Mass Saiga die- off

Two thirds of the population of the Saiga, a Central Asian Antelope, died almost simultaneously.

The event was somewhere in seriousness 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 seriously flawed first edition of Good Guns, rife with errors and badly illustrated by me, i(s a ...perhaps justifiably... rare book. But it does contain a line drawing of the Platonic ideal of a boxlock gun, and despite the pernicious French influence, as seen in the exaggeratedly curved"shadbelly" stock, it looks a lot like "Plain Gun" (a Weston from Brighton).
Getting the images of gun and illo 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 Gras 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.