I tell stories.
One of my favorite ways to spend an hour or a day is behind my camera, filming birds, animals, and insects. I share those stories on my blog, Tales from a West Michigan Wood, and in my children’s books.
I’ve been privileged to observe and film nests of Pileated Woodpeckers, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Mourning Doves, and Baltimore Orioles, from nest construction to the little ones’ fledges.
One year, I filmed a mama squirrel relocating her babies from one nest to another.
Another time, I filmed and laughed at raccoon babies learning to climb—and crossed my fingers as they ventured out on a tree limb hanging some eighty feet over a lake.
Another wow experience was watching a Tufted Titmouse pluck fur from a sleeping raccoon.
The audacious plucking eventually woke the raccoon up, a moment I captured on film. That video was a finalist in the Audubon Society’s 2021 video contest (to my amazement). Here’s a link to the top videos, including mine.
When I can pry myself away from the camera, I write children’s books, both fiction and nonfiction. Most of my stories are about or inspired by the creatures in whose backyard I am fortunate to live.
When I decided some years ago to write kids’ books, I didn’t realize how hard it would be to a) write them, b) write them well, and c) get them published. But that a-b-c challenge has been worth all the hours and angst I’ve invested in my writing. I (finally!) have a book under contract with a highly respected publisher, Sleeping Bear Books. It’s called If You Wake a Skunk and will be released in April 2023.
Writing about nature nudged me to learn about nature. I’m no expert by any means, but the reading and research I’ve done have opened my eyes to aspects of our natural world that I neither understood nor imagined.
I also write about entrepreneurship for kids. That’s a nod to my earlier career educating bankers and teaching finance to non-financial managers of companies large and small. My kid-business stories show and inspire the perseverance, creativity, and problem-solving abilities of future entrepreneurs. Plus, the stories are loaded with laugh-out-loud fun.
I hope you’ll explore my blog and join me as I discover sweet, silly, sad, and sometimes inspiring wildlife stories from the southwest Michigan wood I call home.
And… Please stay tuned for more news about my debut picture book!
Image Credits: Carol Doeringer.