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October 28, 2011

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Hi, Ray. Thanks so much for your nice comment. I'm an avid birder, merlins and kestrels are among my favorite birds, and I have seen merlins in the woods that painting depicts, but Merlin's Woods is also--as many of my titles are--a fun, personal double- or in this case triple-entendre. In addition to the magic I feel in the fall forest, this specific scene is the forest behind Dorli's house, which is on Merlin Lane, in Taiga Woods subdivision.

Your account of the merlin's tearing apart the pigeon and the snowfall of feathers is wonderful. If I were a different kind of painter, a more explicitly narrative painter, that would be something I'd love to paint.

I sure enjoy your column and drawings in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. Thanks for all you do, and again for your nice comment!

All my best,
Kes

I love Liberty Falls. It's one of the most picturesque wayside in the Interior. When I drive to Chitina, even if I don't stop to go camping or hiking, I like to drive slowly through the wayside.

Also, I was wondering if "Merlin's Woods" was so named because you can see merlins (the falcons) there. (One spring I was walking around my property and stopped under a large cottonwood. Suddenly it began snowing just around me. Looking closer I saw that the snowflakes were actually feathers. Turns out there was a merlin in the tree above me tearing apart a pigeon.

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