Old Cabin in the Pines

The old cabin at the Church In The Pines as we call it, has seen many winters, and has an interesting congregation. Red and gray squirrels leap from the rafters, pileated and red bellied woodpeckers laugh at inappropriate moments during the sermon; cardinals and bluejays, chickadees and nuthatches sing in the church choir. Crows sit in the back pews and

Christmas Wishes 2016

Christmas Wishes 2016 Approximately 2017 years ago an infant was born to an unwed, teen-aged mother, delivered into poverty in a troubled corner of the world. About 33 years later he died, put to death by the clergy and politicians of his day. Some said the infant was holy, others said the man became holy through prayer and selflessness, through

Bryan Wood – Is That What It Will Take

My son Bryan Wood is a professional naturalist and environmental educator. He is also an extraordinary musician, and performs often with our WildSpirit Band. In this beautiful song he combines all his skills and passion in one beautiful, powerful statement. It is the right moment for this song, and it is the right song for this time. In the haunting

An Old Log

A gray and darkening day. A rising wind. A last few skeins of geese arrowing down the great river. I take a break from working in the woods to sit on a favorite log, in a special place called Galleons Lap, named in honor of my old friend, Winnie-the-Pooh. Pines toss their heads in the wind–moaning, sighing, whispering, “Winter. Winter’s

Squirrels Spiral

The afternoon sun gilds the trunks of red pines with gold as they await the coming of the first winter storm. Squirrels spiral up and down, tails flying. All is bustle and commotion among all the forest creatures prepare for what they sense is coming.

A Surprising Leaf…

This is a mulberry leaf, from our “golden surprise” tree, the last one holding its leaves in the forest.

The Surprising Tree

In mid-November, after all the trees in the woods have dropped their leaves, we see a golden glow from deep in the woods. Pushing through brush and dead falls to investigate, we find a surprise. Standing among the pines, alight in the morning sun, is a tree from our childhood, a tree we have never noticed in our woods before.

Canoe Restoration

Last week I finished restoration on my old friend the Bluebird, my blue Old Town Columbia canoe. This week was the turn of my even older friend, the Pistachio Princess, pal and partner through so many of my guiding years. She’s a Mad River, mist-green, wood -trimmed Explorer, sturdy and strong and an all around beauty – featured in my

Stories from the Guided Motorcycle Tour of Minnesota

Douglas Wood writes about the Naturalist’s Scenic Motorcycle Tour of Minnesota that took him through tall pines. / Photo courtesy of Douglas Wood Written by  Douglas Wood I’ve loved the feeling since I was a little boy, hanging my head out the back window of my granddad’s sedan on a country road, smelling sweet clover and fresh-cut hay, hearing just