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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.

Foster Failure

My eyes widened when I saw him. 55 pounds? Maybe. But tall, lanky, skinny. Where have I seen those markings before? My neighbor's Anatolian shepherd. He licked my hands and wiggled around. Yes, he was sweet. My eyebrows raised again. He was intact. They didn’t tell me that! Well . . . I said I would do this. Can’t back down now.

August 21st, 2017|

Mid-summer Owl Chronicles and Horsie Acupressure

After months, I heard the owls one night this week, trilling loudly as I walked Daisy through the neighborhood. Searching dark shadows of tree branches for small oval shapes, I couldn’t find them. They are molting now, scattering gray and white feathers across Tim’s yard. The owls that visit my yard are gone; neither seen nor heard. This spring Daisy and I would often return from an evening walk and find an owl perched on a shepherd’s hook, head bent, searching the ground for bugs. Now the yard is empty and silent.

August 7th, 2017|

Owl Chronicles

The owl peeks out of the entrance to her box. She is anxious to leave, her head inches outside the opening. It is 7 p.m. and still light, even in the grayness of an overcast sky. Daylight savings has screwed up everyone’s schedule. But not the owl's.

April 23rd, 2017|

Broken Reins

It started badly. The reins suddenly between Willis’ legs and then snapping apart with a frantic wave of his left front leg. I was trying to buckle the noseband on his bridle when his head reached toward the ground, searching for another slice of apple, no doubt. The reins slipped forward from his head, brushing the concrete floor. Willis stepped forward unsuspecting and then the struggle. There goes the riding lesson, I thought.

February 11th, 2017|

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 ->.

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