Tuesday, May 12, 2015


Last year we had a lovely and very talented woman come to stay at the monastery for a week. She was working on her journals (we usually discourage writers as they so often do not partake in our life- but Heather was of another ilk and someone who became a fast friend to us all).

Mother M Grace's Koi Pond- OLR

I first heard of Heather when our small Shaw store was selling some of her cards and journals.  I was taken with several images and wrote to ask her if I could purchase more. The generous woman she is, she sent me a whole box-gratis- including journals, which I was able to share with my 4-H birders.

Two weeks ago I had occasion to journey to her part of the state, over the Cascades, to visit a very ill friend.  I had told Heather that I was searching for the white-headed woodpecker and was it still in her “backyard”.  “Of course she said. Come”.  We won’t mention that the bird(s) decided it needed to roam a bit and we (with the help of her husband, Patrick) searched for 2 hours but find it we did- in fact two!

White-headed Woodpecker

HEATHER WALLIS MURPHY is a Pacific Northwest artist, wildlife biologist, and nature writer.  She lives in the little German village of Leavenworth, a true gem, totally surrounded by mountains. She holds a Forest Technology degree from Wenatchee Valley College and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Washington where she also studied drawing.  Heather retired in 2005 after a 30-year career as a Wildlife Biologist with the United States Forest Service.

A traveler, Heather also teaches and takes courses on nature and art in  nooks and crannies around the world.  She is an advocate for conservation and the arts.  You may find her volunteering for local arts programs or leading Citizen Science projects for the U.S. Forest Service. She is currently a nature journal instructor and a consulting wildlife biologist. She continues to lead Citizen Science programs as a volunteer for the U.S.F.S.

Walleye Cards, LLC and Wildtales Journals, Heather’s naturalist notecard and journal business, was founded in 1997. Her small independent business donates over 10% of sales to conservation and arts organizations.


"Influenced by the early explorer-scientists of America's West, I mix natural history notes with watercolor field observations. The blending of science and art is intriguing to me both as a wildlife biologist and as an artist- painter.

"Traveling through wildlands across the world, I keep sketchbook memories of sights, sounds and smells; journaling, capturing the ‘sense of place'. It is enriching to learn about the uniqueness of an area through landforms, vegetation and wild things.”

Sleeping Lady Summer

  It was indeed an honor to be led by this very knowledgeable  and fun woman and her equally charming and fun husband, Patrick.  I look forward to more walks either here on our Island or in her mountains.

Pine Flowers
Eagle's Nest

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