Turtles for the winter. Thanks to a state permit, Sy gets to head-start four, darling, infant painted turtles in her office. They just hatched a few weeks ago from the nest protection area where turtle artist extraordinaire Matt Patterson and Sy volunteer. Once they’re no longer snack-sized for every frog and fish in the river, they’ll release them in the spring back in their home waters. Note the egg tooth on the first baby pictured, which is used to escape from the egg and later resorbed.
Sy was thrilled to be able to release a broad-winged hawk at the annual hawk release held by the Harris Center and New Hampshire Audubon at the Pack Monadnock hawk watch. The three hawks who flew to freedom were rehabilitated after injury by the angelic Maria Colby of the Wings of the Dawn Wildlife Rehabilitation Sanctuary. Safe travels to all the migrants.
Author Barbara Page wrote to Sy to tell her that The Soul of an Octopus inspired this lovely artwork in her imaginative new Book Marks: An Artist’s Card Catalog. You can see some of her other artwork (and which books inspired them) here.
Susan Orleans, author of The Orchid Thief, and the new essay collection On Animals, recommends six books about animals in The Week. “Only one of these books … completely changed my attitude toward a species,” says Orleans. That book is The Soul of an Octopus. “In this case, I went from being neutral about octopuses to being awed by them and their remarkable, sophisticated intelligence. I never imagined I would feel so moved by an eight-legged creature!”
The Living on Earth radio show’s reporter Bobby Bascomb visited Sy at home to talk about The Hummingbird’s Gift:
BASCOMB: What do you hope that readers get out of your book?
MONTGOMERY: I hope that they see that miracles happen all the time, and that we can take a hand in them. And that even in small ways, we can heal the problems that are besetting our Earth. The hummingbirds to me, are a great symbol of hope. Because after all, you know, it’s their fragility and their vulnerability that gives them their strength. And right now, so many of us are feeling vulnerable and fragile, and we don’t know what’s ahead. But if you look at a hummingbird, and what it’s able to accomplish, the superlatives that it can achieve. Well, we should be able to help heal this earth we messed up to begin with.