Bird photographer and painter Craig Johnson and his wife Joy often headed to the nearest wetland to look for birds. Each day was an adventure. At night, Craig would paint from what they’d seen. Then a few years ago, a progressive and debilitating disease crept into his life. Craig now watches birds - including this young Steller’s Jay - from their deck. He says: “I definitely feel in some way connected with the wildlife in this yard, particularly the birds. …and I sometimes see injured birds, birds that are not well, and I realize I’m not alone, even amongst my fellow humans, but also with the natural world as well.”
Craig and Joy's book, Our Pacific Northwest Birds & Habitat, has been republished. This 100-page book is packed with colorful, close-up photography of birds in their habitats. Printed in Seattle using FSC-approved paper and the latest soy inks.
Connecting with Birds - Interview with Craig Johnson
Interviewed by Chris Peterson
This is BirdNote!
[Violet-green Swallows + marsh ambient]
When the weather was good, bird photographer and watercolor painter Craig Johnson and his wife Joy headed to the nearest wetland to scout for Short-eared Owls, Violet-green Swallows, Green-winged Teal… Each day was an adventure. [Wetland activity, Green-wing Teal; Red-winged Blackbird] At night, Craig would paint from what they’d seen.
Then a few years ago, though still in his 40s, a progressive and debilitating disease crept into his life. Their bird watching shrank to the confines of their yard. [Wing whir of Anna’s Hummingbird plus Orange-crowned Warbler]
"… I daily wheel my chair out on to the deck and observe the birds and it’s uplifting and rejuvenating..."
[Spotted Towhees calling]
"I definitely feel in some way connected with the wildlife in this yard, particularly the birds. Sometimes they’ll land ... so close I can see right into their eye..."
[Call of Steller’s Jay]
" …and I sometimes see injured birds, birds that are not well and I realize I’m not alone, even amongst my fellow humans, but also with the natural world as well."
[American Robin in full song]
You’ll find links to the painting, photography, and books by Craig and Joy Johnson, on our website, birdnote.org.
[Continue American Robin in full song]
Sounds of birds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Violet-green Swallows  recorded by R.V. Angstadt; Green-wing Teal  recorded by W.W.H.Gunn; Orange-crowned Warbler  Gerrit Vyn; Wings of Anna’s Hummingbird  by G.A. Keller; Spotted Towhee  recorded by G.A. Keller; Steller’s Jay call  C.A. Sutherland; song of American Robin  G.A. Keller; marsh ambient  W.W.H.Gunn.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2012 Tune In to Nature.org May 2012 Narrator: Mary McCann
ID# connection-02-2012-05-22 connection-02