Carroll Tyson Feed

Bond's Uncle: Bird Artist Extraordinaire

My latest column for The Record and other USA Today newspapers in New Jersey is about the bird prints of Carroll Tyson, often called the Audubon of Maine.

A century ago, Tyson painted dozens of watercolors that ultimately became a set of 20 fine arts lithographs, including the redstart print above.

You can read the column here (hopefully you'll find it thought-provoking):

Continue reading "Bond's Uncle: Bird Artist Extraordinaire" »

James Bond and Clear-winged Moths

When I photographed a Hummingbird Clear-winged Moth on Bee Balm recently, I had forgotten the likely connection between the real James Bond and the insect.

On most days, it was staring me right in the face. I own two fine-arts prints featuring the birds of Screen Shot 2020-07-21 at 12.47.56 PMMount Desert Island by Bond's uncle, Carroll Sargent Tyson Jr. Both prints hang in places of honor in my house.

One of the prints features an American Redstart family, an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail and a ... Hummingbird Clear-winged Moth. (See right and below).

Since a young James Bond is said to have collected the birds that Tyson depicted in the prints, why wouldn't he have collected the insects as well?

As a naturalist for the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, Bond collected all sorts of fauna for the academy -- from small fish to large bird eggs to assorted reptiles --  during his trips to the West Indies.

A Hummingbird Clear-winged Moth would have been right up his alley.




Van Gogh, Tyson, Audubon & Fleming Kingfishers

Recently, I wrote how James Bond's uncle Carroll Tyson Jr., John James Audubon and Vincent Van Gogh all painted birds by posing birds that had been shot for that purpose.

I thought it would be neat to post all three artists' renditions of kingfishers. The cover of Carroll Tyson and James Bond's "Birds of Mt. Desert Island features the Tyson Kingfishers as well. (In Tyson's print, the male is feeding the juvenile.)

I should also mention that Ian Fleming wrote about a kingfisher in his classic short story, "For Your Eyes Only."

(Spoiler Alert!) 

It, too, was shot.

Fleming, Tyson and Audubon all painted Belted Kingfishers. Van Gogh, a Common Kingfisher.

I saw a kingfisher on my first visit to GoldenEye, Fleming's former retreat in Jamaica.

I did not shoot it, but wish I did (with my camera).

You can read my previous post on the common thread between Van Gogh, Tyson, and Audubon's bird art here.