Julie and her Birds will be in the store on Friday, January 13th from 6-8pm. For the month of January, 5% of profits will go to Wingmasters.
What have you been up to since your last visit to Ode?
I’ve been working on a book. I used to work for Merriam Webster as a dictionary editor, so I have a strong background in lexicography. I’m working on a school dictionary with bird of prey terms and my drawings. I’m collaborating with my partner, Jim Parks, and I’m enjoying the work.
Do you have a story you'd like to share from the past few months?
Getting stuck in Connecticut after the October storm. I had a presentation at the Peabody Museum in New Haven. By the end of the program it was snowing hard and horizontally. Just getting onto the parkway was bad, and the power was out. It was every man for himself. There was only one light up ahead from a Big Y, they were running on a generator.
All the birds I had with me were cold tolerant, except for the barn owl. So I brought the owl in and flew her on her long leash around the food court. Another way to stay awake, besides flying a barn owl, is reading garbage celebrity magazines. I don’t watch TV. I don’t watch reality shows. But you can now ask me anything about the Kardashians.
By morning it had stopped snowing. It was the most surreal drive home, and because of all the trees that were down everything looked different. I’ve never seen damage like that. Trees were down in my driveway and I had to use my neighbors toboggan to bring the birds up the driveway. I was lucky and there was no damage to my house or to the birds' cages. But the birds are used to eating microwaved rats and mice, and since the power was out for six days I had to heat the rats and mice in aluminum foil in the fireplace like a baked potato.
Do you have any new additions?
Yes, a rough legged hawk, which is a northern migrant. This bird may be the most beautiful hawk that I’ve ever seen. I also have a new screech owl, Sagamore, who may be the largest screech owl I’ve ever seen.
What is your favorite line from a movie, song or book?
From Mel Brooks’ The History Of the World: Part One: “Don’t annoy me.” I use that a lot, not in my programs. But I sometimes throw it at the cosmos.
What's the best advice you've ever gotten?
Do what you love and follow it with absolute passion. Don’t do it halfway. Find it, go after it.
Where do you find inspiration?
Looking out at this beautiful scene. My house is in Leverett, Massachusetts, and I grew up in Leverett. Brushy Mountain has been protected as of two weeks ago, and is now safe from development. I draw inspiration from nature, from being out in the country, being outside. I would die in the city. I would die without the birds. As soon as I head up my driveway I have complete privacy and all is well. We are home.
To learn more about Wingmasters, visit wingmasters.net.