Recently Ellen and I had the opportunity to visit Costa Rica. We traveled with a Road Scholar group in what they described as, “Birding off the Beaten Path in Northern Costa Rica.”

Violet Sabrewing Hummingbird

They were right! We visited rain forests, Northern wetlands, Caribbean lowlands, and tropical dry forests. We were fortunate to see 242 new birds as well as many birds that migrate from our area to winter in Costa Rica.

It was enlightening to see how Costa Rica has set aside so much land to preserve critical habitats for endangered wildlife. And, at the same time, provide an active livelihood for so many people in the rural countryside.

Emerald Toucanet

The trip was exceptionally well organized and I highly recommend Road Scholar.

  1. Enjoyed your pbs program woodcarving with rick butz ,would like to see some utube videos on wood carving

    • Dear Mark, Thanks for your note.I think your idea for youtube videos sounds great! I’ll start looking into the equipment I would need to set it up. Let me know if you have any particular topics you would like to see. Happy Carving,Rick

  2. Hi Rick
    Could you tell me what colors you used to paint the jeans on your old man phelps carving. I have been carving for 30 years, learning from my dad and from inspirational videos like your tv series. I am currently carving little mountain men and rembered the wonderful adirondack hermits you created. After a lot of internet searching I found a picture of the hiker and the guy carrying a canoe. I use viking blue as a wash for the jeans then another coat using cobalt blue in a wash. Your technique looks awesome. How do you make the jeans look worn out in areas like the knees?

    • Dear Jim, Thanks for your note. I use alkyd paints thinned down and applied as a stain or tint for the base colors.These paints are made by Windsor Newton and work exactly like oil colors, but dry much faster. Then I very lightly sand the high points with #320 or 220 grit sandpaper. After it has dried over night I wipe on a little paste wax and after it has set for 20 min, I lightly buff the carving. I use prussian blue for the color with a tiny bit of burnt umber to tone it down. Sounds like you’re having fun! Thanks again and Happy Carving, Rick

  3. Hello Rick, old world santas (different than the ones in your book) toys like the dancing bears,maybe something in chip carving
    Thank You

  4. Dear Mr.Butz,

    I just read Marks post regarding you making new videos. It would be awesome to see new videos from you! I was just 15 years old when I first discovered your PBS program. I have a wood carving you tube channel (MisterSplinters)so feel free to pick my brain if you have any questions.

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