New Year, New Goals

1/17/23 – Happy New Year!

Oh boy, it has been crazy here… I’ll skip whining about all the negative and get to the positives. Ruby Chin has gained a bit of weight and is getting more friendly. Smokey old kitty is hanging in there. Actually, all the critters and Max are doing fine.

I was given an Owltron security camera to review and I love it. So much that I recently purchased one. Now I can check in on the animals when I’m at work and even speak to them. It’s encrypted, motion detection & tracking, 2-way audio, supports a micro SD card or cloud storage, night vision, panoramic patrol, takes photos or video. I’ve been setting it for local recording of events (motion detection) and then continuous video. I wanted to make sure Ruby was eating but it doesn’t seem to recognize the chin’s movements even though they are about 8 feet from the camera. Whereas my Stealth wildlife cam outside can detect a mouse at that distance. Sometimes the cats don’t trip it either but but the other day I was at work and got one ding after another. I looked at the notifications and all I saw was Tigger kitty sleeping on the couch. Perhaps he rolled over or perhaps Lil Bun was running around his cage. Not sure. It does better in the daytime than in the IR mode. Maybe it’s better at picking up movement from a dog than a cat. It sure picks up my movement! I’ll be creating a video this weekend after I check out a few more features. Downside… no user manual. There’s instructions on how to set it up and that was easy but nothing about what icon means what on each screen and how to use it. They have a couple videos and FAQs that you have to find time to ask the right question for the right answer. I’m not a techy kind of person, so it takes me a bit longer to learn stuff. Plus, I’m busy and it would be more useful to have an online user manual that I can flip through and learn all the stuff. I mean it has a “siren” icon… what the heck? I’m not touching that! BUT it’s a peace of mind for me and I can check in on my home & animals. I mentioned to my contact that they should consider creating one for outdoors. Guess what? They are working on it already! Ok, now I will be able to spy on Max! Although, he sleeps all day. By the way, the videos and photos on the SD card are encrypted and no way of transferring them to your computer. I guess that’s a good thing but what if I want to share? Well, when I playback a recording, I just record it using the app, and then it’s saved to the album on my phone. Yay. Same goes for the photos of events (motion detection). Like this butt you see… Theo 😂 Video: Wildlife Bernie’s little Owl(tron)


And in other news… Remember I told you that I wanted to do another version of Max’s book? I should say, another format. I’m working on the abridged version but it’s taking me longer than I anticipated. I had cancelled my Adobe software for editing pdf files and lucky me they offered me a lower monthly fee. So, I reinstated it for a year. Though, before the end of last year, I published another format of his book. Yes, it’s a softcover with standard color on lighter paper, and identical to the first. The best news, $22.92 (USD) in cost. So, his premium hardcover is still $49.95 but this is more affordable for his fans if they aren’t particular about the quality of the photos. Standard isn’t bad. They are still beautiful photos, just not premium on glossy thick paper. The abridged, of course, will be less than $22 since I’ll be downsizing the photos. That’s the tough part… deciding on which photos to delete. I love his photos! And more good news, my cousin Genevieve’s sister wants to translate his book into French. So, there’ll be a premium, standard and abridged in French. How exciting is that? I had to purchase 10 ISBNs but will need them. Every time you change the format, even if it’s just the cover from hard to soft, you need a different ISBN. Both books can be ordered on This is what the page will look like when you search for I am Max. They use “paperback” but I prefer soft cover as it sounds more professional. I will update Max’s website with this information shortly.

Screenshot 2023-01-17 231131

Lastly, as it’s getting late and I really need some sleep and I rarely get to bed before midnight anymore… here’s a photo of Max from 1-2-23. My camera has been repaired and is on its way back to me. I can’t wait. I’ve missed it. Hoping to get some good shots of Max. Although, the old one has been suitable.

Max 1-2-23

The Book

I am max coverThe book is done! Yes, I finished Max’s book two days ago and have ordered my proof copy which will probably arrive in a few weeks. You know how it goes with printing and shipping. Once I give it a look over, then I will hit the “publish” button and it will be available to everyone via print on demand! Please pray I don’t need to do any edits. It is a bear.

It has taken me 8 months to compile stories about Max’s life over the last 10 years. Then I had thousands of photos to go through to match to the stories. I have had to purchase two new software programs in order to get it done correctly and still I was told by the printer that my photos were not 300ppi. But dpi’s and ppi’s are so confusing. I made sure that every photo was 300dpi and finding the correct answer on line is difficult. I also had to add additional gutter space because of nine pages over their guidelines. So, did I add too much space or just enough? I have my fingers crossed that it will be okay. If not, well I will just cry…a lot…but will get back to it and figure out the whys and how’s and just fix the darn thing and re-upload.  Be patient.

Wildlife Festival

12-25-15 3356 cover copy (1)If you live in New York state or any of the neighboring states, Max and I will be at this Wildlife Festival on Saturday, September 18 from 10-4. Burt Parrot and Smudge Hedgehog will be with us. There will be lots of North American animal artifacts for touching and learning. Come one, come all. Here’s the link to their Facebook event – Blenheim-Gilboa Wildlife Festival

Great News!

5-30-2021 – Great news, I received my Dangerous Animal License for Max from the State yesterday. So, Max is safe with me for another year. I jumped through every hoop appropriately. We also have four programs scheduled this summer which will pay for the insurance. I’m happy! Here in this photo you’ll see Max in stalk mode. Deb helped me remove the plastic sheeting which we had installed on the outside of his loft to make it more cozy in the winter. We also raked the straw from the corner cubby and what had fallen out of the loft into a large pile. When I let Max back into this space he was not at all interested in our housekeeping but was keeping a watchful eye on Deb who was twelve feet away. I used her camera to snap a shot. So, this is another version of “Pounce.” When we turned to walk away, he charged the fence. When she turned around, Max flopped down as if nothing interesting was happening. I would have loved to have video that.

March Madness

March madness? Yes, it’s true. It actually started at the end of February with Max. I think he knew that windy March was approaching us and he began his attitude. This photo…look at his ears and paw. Yes, he was ready to pounce on me because he was on his back with belly exposed and I was scratching him. He grabbed my hand with claws and I yelled. He jumped up and I sat up straight and put my shoe in his face. No, I didn’t kick him! I briefly put my foot up so he wouldn’t leap at me. I put it down and began trying to calm him down but I couldn’t help take photos. It was an exhilarating moment. Yes, I was taking photos. However, you know he hates the camera. This is the month when I try to limit our time together as sad as that sounds but he gets this wildness in him and I’m not about to get injured. I didn’t have any treats with me or a toy for distraction. I got up and toss his soccer ball at him but he didn’t want to play that way. He wanted to rough-house. Max is shedding his winter fur and really needs some good brushing but every time we are together, he gets “over-joyed”! Haha. The weather has been a little funky…bitter cold, breezy, warm, cold, cloudy, snow showers, rain…it’s crazy.

Anyways, I’ve been busy trying to get his website ( up to date. 2019 Photos and 2019 News have been completed! Previous years are also completed. I’m exhausted but there’s no time to slow down. 2020 is next and I’m also working on his book. I’ve been slowly pulling stories from my brain, writing them down and then finding photos. I think I have a cover in mind in which a Max follower has offered to help but I haven’t had a chance to get back to her. I have friends I need to write and email who probably think I’m dead. I try to address YouTube comments nightly or at least every other day and that can take an hour sometimes. Mom is having cataract surgery on Monday, 3/22 and therefore has all these doctor visits which require my assistance. Then I need to make up the work hours I miss. *phew*

I have more news but that can all wait.

I hope you all are doing well and Covid-free. Be safe and stay healthy.

To Book or Not?

So, I’ve been doing some thinking. Uh-oh, that can be dangerous. For the last couple years, I have had people tell me that I should create a calendar of Max or a coffee table book of his gorgeous face. Calendars come and go but a book would be nice. However, wouldn’t that be expensive? The cost of producing and then international shipping might be beyond my means or even chaotic. I can see myself on a Saturday morning shipping to the U.K., Spain, Italy, Australia, etc. Oh boy. I’m sure there are probably other options. Another thing to consider is the cost of the book. Oh my, most of us are on tight budgets during this time in our lives and it would need to be affordable. Some have suggested a smaller version of the coffee table book that could be handed as gifts. Hmmmmnnnn.

I thought of creating a website showcasing his photos. Would I want to add his story or our stories? Maybe. I would need a premium site which would allow for monetized advertising and a donation button. But I’m not a non-profit, so donations would not be tax deductible. I have discouraged donations to date because of that and because I can afford Max. I knew what I was getting into with the cost of meat, veternarian care, housing, fencing and enrichment. However, donations could go towards stocking Max products or even the coffee table book.

Some have suggested creating a children’s book of Max’s adventures. Wouldn’t that be fun? I could get local children to draw the pictures depending on the theme. Okay, that’s a possibility.

I really want to give back to his followers. Yes, I have a YouTube channel and this blog, but really this blog is about my educational programs with all my animals, not just Max. If I have a photography website, people can download his photo. Setting it up will be a nightmare with nine years of great photos to upload and each will have to be optimized to save on space. Perhaps they will want a photo mug, note cards, note pad, a tote or photo postcards. I don’t know. There are many possibilities.

Well, I put the question out on YouTube and the comments are flooding in. I will give it a week and then make a decision. I have a couple new toys for Max and so a video needs to be taken this weekend. If you haven’t visited our Wildlife Bernie YouTube channel, there are some recent vids.

I’ll close this article with a photo of the boy.Max 9-2020