November 16, 2019 – A Passing

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Robert (Bob) McQuade.  His struggle with multiple myeloma cancer ended Saturday morning, November 16, 2019, hours after friends brought his beloved Maltese, Pearl, to his side for his final goodbye.  

His last travels brought him back into New England where he explored the back roads of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine before heading down into the Pennsylvania Amish Country.   His final stop was in Virginia where he had hoped to photograph the wild ponies in the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. Unfortunately for us all, he was unable to fulfill this dream.

This website will be active (at minimum) through the end of 2019.  His siblings are currently working on maintaining Bob’s web presence.  If you are interested in being notified of future postings of his art, please email his brother Mike at mmcquade@PhotoPiks.net.  

We wish to thank you all for your patronage and support of Bob’s endeavors over the years.  We know it meant a lot to him and kept him pushing right to the very end.  

On behalf of our brother Bob, we wish you all joy and happiness in the years ahead.  Enjoy them all to the fullest.

His siblings, William (Bill) McQuade, Mike McQuade and Kathy Findholt.

 

Bob’s obituary:

Robert A.  (Bob) McQuade, 72, a former longtime resident of Enfield, NH, founder and former owner of the Red Roof Frame Shoppe on High St in Enfield, NH and most recently, Full-Time travel photographer (ramcquade.com) passed away peacefully on the morning of November 16, 2019 after a long struggle with cancer.  His travels with his canine partners brought him to all corners of the United States and Canada. He especially loved the Pacific Northwest but his true love remained autumn in New England.  

Bob’s retirement passion was photographing birds as he followed them on their annual migration on the west coast. Throughout his travels he was frequently asked by campground hosts to make presentations of his travels and show his photographic images.  

Bob was also a consummate painter turning many of his photographs into paintings  with oils, watercolors or acrylics.

Bob was born in Shelburne Falls, MA in 1947, graduated from Arms Academy and went on to college at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  After a short stint as a cost engineer at the Bear Swamp Mountain Project in Rowe, MA, he spent many years working as a professional golfer in Orlando FL and later Myrtle Beach.  Several years later he returned to New England taking up residence in Enfield and working for The Quechee Lakes Corporation. After Quechee he became a home construction contractor, building and remodeling several homes in the Upper Valley region of NH.  He later converted his High Street residence, a former boarding house, into several apartments before eventually redeveloping the structure to retail space for the Red Roof Frame Shoppe. At 65 Bob sold everything he owned and moved into his motorhome and departed on his seven year journey across the continent.

At the time of the announcement, some of Bob’s artwork and photographs are still available for viewing at www.ramcquade.com.

Bob is predeceased by his parents, Kathleen June (Adams)  and William A McQuade of Lebanon NH and his nephew William Patrick “Mac” McQuade of Fort Smith AR.  He is survived his brother William G McQuade and wife Janet of Springdale AR, brother Michael McQuade and wife Stephanie of Gilmanton Iron Work, NH and his beloved sister, Kathy Findholt of Enfield Center, NH.  Surviving nieces and nephews include Julie McQuade Heyes of Fayetteville AR, Nicholas Findholt of Enfield NH, Marissa Findholt of Nashville TN, Alexander McQuade of Derry, NH and Cameron McQuade of Gilmanton Iron Works, NH.

June 10, 2018 Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Oregon

Ruddy Duck Pair
Ruddy Duck Pair

A Short Stay at Malheur NWR, Oregon

Since I had to be in Bend, Oregon on the 11th for my six month progress appointment with my oncologist, I figured I would split up the drive from Jackson Hole to Bend by staying a few days at the Narrows RV Park and driving around the Malheur NWR and perhaps try to find some of the wild horse herd up on Steens Mountain.

Rainbow Over Malheur National Wildlife Refuge
Rainbow Over Malheur National Wildlife Refuge

As per normal, weather was in and out, mostly rainy and grey, but with a few moments of sun here and there.

Common Nighthawk
Common Nighthawk

Three Common Nighthawks spent the day sleeping on top of the split rail fence in the campground, right behind my campsite. I was able to approach to within five feet of them without disturbing them, probably could have reached out and touched them if I had wanted to.

Trumpeter Swan and Rainbow
Trumpeter Swan and Rainbow

There are a couple of non-migratory Trumpeter Swans that breed and spend the year here at Malheur.

Ruddy Duck Pair
Ruddy Duck Pair

The Ruddy Duck Drake is one of my favorite ducks to shoot, just love that ridiculously blue beak.

Being a little late in the spring to find much here in Malheur, and that certainly was the case, I took a drive about 20 miles up the gravel road from the south entrance to the Steens Mountain Loop, hoping to maybe spot the wild horses up there. Usually when I am here in the spring, this loop road is still closed due to snow, but at this time the southern portion of the road was open up to and a little beyond the campground. From the north, the road was only open to Gate #2.

Anyhow, I never saw any sign of the horses but I was pleasantly surprised by the condition of the road, at least as far as up to the campground. I just might try staying up there next time I come here and be able to spend more time looking for the horses.

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April 27, 2018 Cheyenne Bottoms, Kansas

Cormorant with Bullhead
Down the Hatch

A Trip to Quivira NWR

With some very nice weather the last few days I have had to postpone my editing of images from my Prairie Chicken adventure in favor of getting out and exploring this part of Kansas. Quiver NWR is located forty plus miles to the south of where I am presently camped at Cheyenne Bottoms, so I took advantage of the nice weather and made two trips down there this week.

Horned Grebe
Horned Grebe

Quivira has a series of salt water ponds and marshes as well as extensive grasslands and is a major stopover point for migratory birds along the Central Flyway.

Lesser Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs
Killdeer
Killdeer
Ring-necked Pheasant
Ring-necked Pheasant
Ring-necked Pheasant
Ring-necked Pheasant

The refuge burns off it’s grassland areas with controlled burns to keep invasive plants and brush down …

Ring-necked Pheasant Pair
Ring-necked Pheasant Pair

… as well as to promote vigorous new growth of native grasses.

Wilson's Phalarope
Wilson’s Phalarope

Wilson’s Phalaropes were a new bird for me …

Wilson's Phalarope
Wilson’s Phalarope
Wilson's Phalaropes
Wilson’s Phalaropes

… and I got a kick out of watching their feeding behavior.  They continually walk in rapid small circles stirring up small prey from the mud below with their feet. When you see a group of 20 or 30 birds doing this non-stop in close proximity with each other, it’s a rather interesting sight.

Wilson's Phalaropes Mating
Wilson’s Phalaropes Mating

Even when feeding as described above, they are never too occupied to take care of business during mating season.

American Avocet
American Avocet
American Avocets
American Avocets

Lots of American Avocets at Quivira.

White Pelican Takeoff
White Pelican Takeoff
White Pelican Takeoff
White Pelican Takeoff
White Pelicans
White Pelicans

I estimated about 250 White Pelicans gathered here, quite a distance from the auto road through the refuge.

White Pelicans
White Pelicans

But it was my good fortune to have them all take flight and head right towards me …

White Pelicans
White Pelicans
White Pelicans
White Pelicans
White Pelican
White Pelican

… eventually flying directly overhead.

Cheyenne Bottoms Campsite
Cheyenne Bottoms Campsite

Cheyenne Bottoms

I am staying at the free primitive camping area on the west side of Cheyenne Bottoms Preserve. There are five rough campsites along a gravel road that leads into the refuge. This is a rather rough camping area, level grass, actually dirt with some grassy areas, but there are picnic tables and a fire ring at each site. No water, electric, dump station, restrooms, or trash receptacles here.

I actually enjoyed my stay here since it was very quiet, there is no lighting of any sort, and only one or two other campers stayed her during my weeklong stay. Fortunately, it didn’t rain here during my stay since it looks like the place would get very muddy when it rains.

Maltese
I’ll Come when I’m Ready

Pearl is now four months old and seems to really enjoy this lifestyle. Still very independent and afraid of nothing … but the dark. When I take her out at night, she is all ears, staring warily at the tall grass and brush just across the road, and hurriedly does her business and races back to the motorhome door to be let back in. During daylight hours I have a job convincing her she needs to go back inside, since she delights in exploring and racing around, running loops around the motorhome.

Maltese
Kinda Windy here in Kansas

Still delights in tormenting poor old Sam, but Sam now does at least a couple of serious play sessions with her every day, careening around the limited confines of the motorhome, bouncing off walls and furniture, hopping up and down out of the dog bed and my recliner. They also now can be found sleeping in close physical proximity almost all the time.

Red-winged Blackbird
Red-winged Blackbird

Cheyenne Bottoms Birds

Since I am staying within the confines of the refuge, I do make a morning and an afternoon trip around the refuge roads every day.

Red-winged Blackbird
Red-winged Blackbird

Lots of Red-winged Blackbirds doing their thing hanging off the reeds and cattails along the roadsides, as well as a few Yellow-headed Blackbirds, of which I have not managed to get a good shot.

Cormorant with Bullhead
Cormorant with Bullhead

A bit of luck encountering this Cormorant just as it surfaced with a bullhead ( or some kind of small catfish ). The bird spent a good deal of time maneuvering the fish just so before gulping it down.

Cormorant with Bullhead
Down the Hatch

Luckily one of the series of shots I took happened to catch the fish being tossed up to ensure that it went down head first.

White Pelicans
White Pelicans

As at Quivira, lots of White Pelicans here also.

White Pelican
White Pelican

The weird, knobby growths on the bill have something to do with breeding season I believe.

American Avocet
American Avocet

All kinds of small wading birds here including Avocets, Plovers, Dowitchers, and more but it is difficult to get any decent shots because of their small size and the ability to get close enough here to get any good shots.

Also all kinds of ducks, lots of Northern Shovelers, Blue-winged Teal, and Ruddy Ducks, with a few Mallards, Pintails, and others found throughout the refuge, but I haven’t bothered concentrating on these since I already have an extensive library of duck shots from other refuges where the conditions for flight shots are much better than here.

Snowy Egrets
Snowy Egrets

Late one afternoon I came across a lot of Snowy Egret activity at the outflow of a culvert under one of the refuge roads. Water was being released from an area on one side of the road to a large pond on the other side of the road. The rapidly moving water, tumbling over some large pointed rocks was apparently stunning the small fish caught up in the rushing water, and the Snowies were taking advantage of this bonanza.

Unfortunately, the only vantage point from which to shoot this scene was looking directly into the sun, resulting in just impossible lighting conditions to catch the action. I snapped a few shots anyway and then just sat there watching the action as as many as a dozen of these Snowies bounced around the stream jockeying for position. I vowed to come back in the morning and hoped the water would still be flowing and the birds would still be there ( it was and they were and I did, and wait til you see those shots! ).

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June 9, 2017 Bend, Oregon

Journey's End ???

Journey’s End ?

Today was to be my second day of driving the entire 60 plus mile Denali National Park Road on my Professional Photographer’s Road Permit, but that was not to be.

The Road to McKinley
The Road to McKinley

I have been stationary in Bend, Oregon since April 27th undergoing testing and then treatment for Myeloma, an incurable cancer of the blood.

Denali Grizzly
Denali Grizzly

Instead of shooting grizzlies in Denali, I am camped on the Loop Road of the Saint Charles Hospital Campus, while being treated as an outpatient at the Bend Medical Clinic and had waited until I had completed my first round of chemo treatments before I wanted to write this post.

While this is an incurable disease, it is optimistically classified as a “controllable” cancer, with some folks surviving a decade or more. At this point, that is obviously the outcome I would prefer to see. My response to the first three drug therapy round has been favorable and I am on  a game plan that hopefully will bring about remission and the opportunity for a stem cell transplant , perhaps as soon as in August. Just have to wait and see.

Where initially I was told I would have to stop traveling to battle this condition, they now are telling me that if I make a successful recovery from a transplant, it is completely possible that I could resume my full-time travels and could have periodic testing done to monitor my status while on the road. So my best case scenario is that I could be back on the road before winter sets in here in Bend, Oregon.

And of course there is also the very definite possibility that things may take a turn for the worse, but at this point I am cautiously optimistic and will keep you posted .

Since this blog was started four years ago to share my adventures on the road, and since I won’t be doing any traveling for the next several months, blog posts will probably be few and far between for a while.

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