(and Happy Holidaze)
Larry and Janis dressed for a Cool Yule, although we took this photo in May. We were 50 miles off the coast of Oregon, looking for elusive auklets, petrels, puffins, and terns.
Best wishes for a Good Yule
and a Holly-jolly New Year.
♩ ♫ ♩ ♫ ♩ ♫ ♩
Larry and Janis
The Birdy Couple:
I cut down on the birding and spent more time editing books, although I still got out now and again for the rarities and exercise. I accompanied Janis on a pelagic cruise up the West Coast. Lots of ocean out there, and not a lot of birds, but we had a good time — and tried to limit the time we spent in the dining room (where we could have bacon pretty much every meal, although we did show some restraint).
Janis continued her globe trotting, tripping through the wilds of Senegal (birds and chimpanzees), traipsing through the jungle of Borneo (birds and organatans), and parching across the desert in Namibia (birds and lions). Photo: Janis the bird whisperer with Pelican Pete in Namibia.
Book / Writing News:
I completed the Fourth Edition of Food & Provisions of the Mountain Men: A Guide to Authentic Provisions of Fur Trappers, Traders and Explorers in the Early American West. It includes an expanded section on honey and bee hunters (thank you, Gage Skinner), and a recipe for mule-blood soup, among other tasty tidbits. The book will be featured at the Local Authors Exhibit at the San Diego Public Library in January.
I also continued work on the novel set during the American Fur Trade era — seventeen-year-old Ramsey Taylor, accused of a murder he did not commit, joins a brigade of trappers headed for the Rocky Mountains to escape his pursuers. When Ramsey realizes he can't spend the rest of life on the run, he returns to his home in East Tennessee to uncover the truth and clear his name.
More Book News:
I edited a number of book manuscripts, some of which were published this year (or are scheduled to be published) and which you might enjoy:
Duplicity: A Fox Walker Novel (fiction, mystery/suspense) by Indy Quillen.
The third book in the Fox Walker series. When the search for a missing person goes sideways, expert trackers Fox Walker and Nataya find themselves following a trail of strange discoveries: a long-abandoned mine now highly guarded, a community facing environmental pollution, and a kidnapping that isn’t what it seems.
The Fourth Rising (fiction, suspense) by Martin Roy Hill (July 2020).
On May 8, 1945, WWII in Europe ended with Germany’s surrender. But did the Nazi Party itself surrender? Some say no. The horrific murder of an old flame’s husband sets former war correspondent Peter Brandt on the hunt for hidden Nazi treasure. The search takes him down a bloody trail leading from the drug cartels of Mexico to a neo-Nazi training camp in the Southern California mountains. Along the way, he unearths a decades-long Nazi conspiracy to create a new Fourth Reich and continue the Nazi Party’s plan for world domination. Inspired by true historical events.
Coronado Confidential: It Can’t Happen Here . . . (nonfiction, memoir) by Joe Ditler. From obscure little Muscoy in Southern California’s Inland Empire to the seemingly sleepy island of Coronado, an unlikely milieu of retired admirals and aging hippies, fringed with palm trees angled and shaped by the wind, Joe Ditler stirs the cobwebs of those who shared his fondness and folly for the highs and lows of the Sixties and Seventies.
Music Arena: Fiddling with friends and the mountain men.
As my alter ego, Friar, I continued playing with the Heritage band and joining the Corps of Rediscovery at re-enactment events — mountain man rendezvous and at the Blacksmith Shop in Old Town San Diego — as well as fiddling for the Old Town July 4 dance with Contra Notion.
Friar trying to warm up on a cold, almost-frosty morning at the Laguna Mountain Rendezvous. Thank goodness for heavy wool blankets.
Strummer and Friar even got their picture painted at the Poway Rendezvous.
Friar featured on the medallion for the Manzanita Rendezvous, May 2019.
Members of the Corps of Rediscovery and their historical display at the Blacksmith Shop at Old Town San Diego; (l-r) Strummer, Friar, Hat Man.
Friar and Strummer (with his period-correct parlor guitar)
at the Blacksmith Shop at Old Town San Diego.
Contra Notion: Caller Ron Nelson, Christina Ouang, Archie Breeden, Friar,
playing for the Fourth of July dance, Old Town San Diego.
Winter Solstice — Shortest Day of the Year (northern hemisphere)
Winter Solstice Traditions: Rituals for a Simple Celebration
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