B.B. Boudreau

Novelist | Singer

Retch, the black-billed magpie

As a kid, I continually “rescued” baby birds in the spring, thinking erroneously that they needed me to survive. There were sparrows, robins and even one pigeon that I kept for quite a while. Though I eventually ended this practice (much to my mother’s pleasure), the fascination with birds as pets never left me. So…

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Options

The new news is that now we are encouraged to wear masks. Even though Mr. Big in the White House claims he will not. I think Darwin himself would not argue with that decision. Our normally free existence has become a sci-fi movie. I remember just recently (pre-COVID) walking down the street and trying to…

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Return to the Source

Last Day of March. Most of my garden has been cleaned. Only the edges of the driveway remain cocooned in last year’s leaves, a heavy blanket that resists the rake. Those shielding leaves take their job seriously, layering perfectly in alternate patterns, allowing the spring rain to percolate through. When the emerging shoots are finally…

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Holding Hands

We’re in our 25th year of marriage, which sounds impossible to start with. Al was 55 when we got married in Zaire, so even if we try to deny the passage of time, he is in that undesirable “elderly” category. That category was undesirable even before this virus. And though some information on COVID-19 has…

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Calling coyotes in Montana–1980

Wild encounters are magical for those who love wild surroundings and their native residents. I often find myself talking to birds, deer, woodchucks and other animals as easily as chatting with someone in line at a supermarket. The craving for these experiences has led me to episodes which live in my brain like an old…

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We were Mountain Children – 1968

In 1968, an event occurred that shaped the rest of my life. My father took a Camp Director position at Camp Perkins in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho for the summer. We pulled our houseboat, The Tortoise with our 1964 Ford Galaxy all the way from southeastern Kansas to Idaho, across the Great Plains and…

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Death of a White Pine

I witnessed the death of a white pine today. And while most people have seen a tree fall, there is generally someone nearby brandishing a chainsaw. This was different. I had joined a Forest Bathing session—the practice of Shinrin-yoku born in Japan more than 30 years ago. The practice was created to address social issues…

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Elderberry Picking Time

(Written in August, 2018) Today was annual elderberry picking day, so I took a day off expressly for this purpose. Why so immediate a need? Because the berries are ripe, and I have to beat the birds to a delectable food source. The dental assistant said, “What? Elderberries?” when I offered my post dental appointment…

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I Was Louise’s Attendant

They brought her to the dispensary in the bed of a white pickup. A herd of men accompanied her to the door, then left her to navigate the last steps to the platform. She could’ve been anywhere between 30 and 50 – it was impossible to tell. But knowing this was her fifteen child forced…

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What good is an old dog?

I accompanied my old dog on a walk tonight at 1:00am. Not the best time for a walk, unless you happen to have an old dog. An old dog does exactly what they want, and will figure out how to get it. They also have the loudest mouth in the house. She is good. She…

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