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About Christine

I am a writer living in Austin Texas who focuses on the natural world.  I love being outside, whether walking my Jack Russell, riding my horse, watching wolves in Wyoming, or just hanging out in my own backyard.

Nature Writer Christine Baleshta

Journal

I began keeping a nature journal decades ago.  Below are excerpts from those journals
sharing my experiences with dogs, cats and horses,
and observing the natural world in Austin, Texas.

March 10, 2019

A ringtail visits the backyard almost every night, traveling back and forth along the fence from our neighbors’ yard to ours. We keep a small feeder tray filled with orange peels and dried fruit to entice him and birds, but the menu also appeals to a local possum. One night the trail cam caught both possum and ringtail at a standoff as they chased each other down the fence and out of the yard.

March 14th, 2019|

February 10, 2019

Winter comes and goes. The first week of February began with warm mornings in the low 50s, creeping up to high 60s. While the rest of the country faced below freezing temperatures and snowstorms, Central Texas basked in moderate winter weather under cloudy skies.

February 15th, 2019|

January 27, 2019

The owl box is up. It is a fine structure made of cedar and mounted on a high pole to keep squirrels out. Tim painted it a light tan to blend in among the oak trees and the rest of the backyard; it even fits in with the color of the house. So now we wait. A camera inside the box illuminates the inside, but so far the fresh sawdust has not been tamped down, though a titmouse did sit on the perch and peek in.

January 31st, 2019|

December 30, 2018

We stood in the grass arena, six of us and our horses. Mallory and Romi, Amy and Zeke, Suzi and Stuart, Betty and Sophie, Kate and Drake, and me and Willis. Cal Middleton was in the middle of us working with Romi as we all watched carefully, trying to take in every slightest move he made.

January 7th, 2019|

Yellowstone Trip Reports

In September 1998 I visited Yellowstone National Park for the first time and have returned every year since.
A few years later, my boyfriend Tim Springer joined me, and we began posting our trip reports
and photographs of the Park’s abundant wildlife and natural wonders. 

Previous trip reports from May 2004 through May 2016 can be found at Yellowstone Experiences ->.

White Beauty

When Congress passed a law in February 2010 that allowed firearms to be carried into national parks, I worried about the impact that would have on Yellowstone’s wildlife.

May 12th, 2017|

Yellowstone Trip Report October 2016

Yellowstone is having a cold winter. Snow is everywhere - deep snow, with moose and elk up to their bellies in pure white powder. Floating Island Lake is frozen solid allowing bison to walk across without falling in. The thermometer dives below zero daily, reaching -40 at least once. We should have guessed it would be like this during that first week of October, a time the Park usually basks in Indian summer. Instead temperatures rarely rose above 45 and it rained and/or snowed each day until one drizzly day slid into the next snowy one. In the end it was one cold, wet week.

February 19th, 2017|

Yellowstone Trip Report May 2016

 It’s raining; a cold rain that drenches you in minutes and suddenly stops. We are holed up in the map room in the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, sitting at a table at the far end of the room watching passing traffic – human and ungulate – from the floor to ceiling window. This morning it was almost clear as we drove across the Gardiner Bridge, passing a bald eagle perched on a rock, looking for his next meal. The road curves through forests of leafed-out aspen, cottonwoods, and pine trees. A black bear ambles across a clearing in the woods near Lava Creek. Not far down the road, two young bull elk, their antlers still covered in velvet, bed in tall grass on the steep slopes.

Yellowstone Trip Report October 2015

Leaving Bozeman, deep green conifers spread across rolling hills and mountains. Aspen and cottonwoods have peaked, their brilliant gold leaves fading. Muted yellows, reds and greens blend forming Yellowstone’s autumn. A large herd of elk graze the pastures of Paradise Valley while not far down the road, antelope forage in grass. Their migration out of the Park has begun. 

Just around the bend from Yankee Jim Canyon a chubby black and white border collie perches on top of a tall round boulder, a sentry greeting an SUV at the gate. Horses graze in pastures far from the road: paints, duns, blacks, grey, sun bleached to almost white.

Previous Yellowstone and other Park Trip Reports 2004-2016

We have a large number of other trip reports on our website Yellowstone Experiences. Reports on trips to Yellowstone, Glacier, Olympic, and Jasper Parks with discussion about hiking, wildlife viewing and helpful tips to make visits to the parks more enjoyable.

Looking for 527

Looking for 527 is a book I authored with artist Susanne Belcher, based on my essay about Yellowstone wolf 527, alpha female of the Cottonwood Pack.

Looking for 527 by Susanne Belcher, artist, and Christine Baleshta, writer, is a creative collaboration that is part art gallery catalog, part personal journal interspersed with snippets from their correspondences. It is an emotion-evoking tribute to the wolf and the people whose efforts are ongoing to preserve their lives.”  Martha Meacham, Story Circle Network

Available at Amazon