Here, there, and everywhere we each experience a connection with Nature. In Feathered Dreams, Janet Ruth—ornithologist, poet, artist, and international birder—shares her love of birds through poem, story, and image. She relies beautifully on her scientist’s eye and artist’s heart to recreate the magic we can encounter when we stop to watch and listen. Dedicated to 2018—The Year of the Bird—the collection introduces us to birds familiar and exotic, from grasshopper sparrows (her beloved research subjects), ravens, and owls, to resplendent quetzals and red-capped manakins. The poet's voice envelops the reader in humor and awe, sadness and joy. With scenes drawn from a Pennsylvania childhood, a New Mexico neighborhood, or a tropical rainforest, the poet explores themes of loss, dreams, and stories both intimate and far-reaching about the birds with whom we share the landscape. This collection of avian treasures is a “wingèd paean of gratitude for the wonders, the messengers that are birds.” Feathered dreams drift on the wind of poems and memories in this love song to birds, to life.
Janet Ruth grew up in southeastern Pennsylvania, lived for almost 20 years in Washington, D.C. and Virginia, five years in Colorado, and has called Corrales, New Mexico home since 2001. As a child she enjoyed cross-country family camping trips, watching birdfeeders with her Mom, and going small game hunting with her Dad (she was the “dog”!). Much of her life has revolved around birds. This included her doctoral dissertation at George Mason University—“Effects of vegetation structure and surrounding land-uses on avian communities in the floodplain forests of Maryland”—and continued through field research with U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), resulting in scientific papers about winter grassland bird habitat preferences, songbird migration patterns in the US-Mexico borderlands using NEXRAD weather radar, and breeding ecology of Grasshopper Sparrows in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico. She has retired from a career as a research ornithologist although she continues to publish scientific manuscripts as an emeritus scientist. Janet and her husband, Dave Krueper, have enjoyed international birding/photography/writing trips to Panama, Mexico, Belize, Peru, Brazil, Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, South Africa, and Australia. She writes daily journals during the trips and mines these volumes for poem and story ideas. In addition to the poems and stories in this book, she has published a story about their trip to the Atlantic rainforest of Brazil—“Brazil’s Beautiful Mountain – Serra Bonita”—in Birding magazine. Janet’s poetry and stories are tightly bound to and inspired by her connections with the natural world. She often thinks of them as embodying all of the observations from the world around her that wouldn’t fit into her scientific manuscripts. She is a member of the New Mexico State Poetry Society (NMSPS) and participates in the NMSPS Albuquerque Chapter, as well as multiple events in Albuquerque’s active poetry community. She has had poems published in Grey Sparrow Journal, Bird’s Thumb, Santa Fe Literary Review, Duke City Fix, and The Ekphrastic Review. She also has poems in regional anthologies including: VALUE: Essays & Poems by Women of a Certain Age; A Poets Picnic: a Celebration of Nature, Calligraphy, Music & Poetry; four volumes of Poets Speak Anthology – HERS, WATER, WALLS, and SURVIVAL; and Weaving the Terrain: 100-Word Southwestern Poems