On Fawn Island In Rainy Lake

On fawn island in a rainy lake

ON FAWN ISLAND IN RAINY LAKE, the low evening sun lights up a boulder (glacial erratic) covered with rock tripe and shield lichens. Boulders are fine things. Steady. Still. Quiet. Seldom unruly or obnoxious or self-aggrandizing. They have seen much with their unwavering gaze. The Anishinabe and First Nations. Voyageurs and explorers. Loggers and rafts of millions of board-feet of

Humble Old Cabin On Fawn Island

Humble old cabin

KATHY INFORMS ME there may have been some confusion, as I posted earlier in the day two photos in honor of our 48th Anniversary—photos from an earlier date at our Pine Point cabin/home by the Mississippi. This is the humble old cabin on Fawn Island, built from jack pine logs in 1925, one of Rainy Lake’s historic structures. And this

On The Mississippi, But From Rainy Lake

Rainy Lake

THIS EVENING’S SUNDAY CHURCH O’ THE PINES POST COMES NOT FROM PINE POINT on the Mississippi, but from Rainy Lake. We have returned to our beloved Fawn Island for the first time since last October. There is no beautiful sunset to post, but there is beauty every which way you look. And the white-throated sparrows sing evening vespers like a

Beauty Is All Around Us

Beauty of nature

BEAUTY IS ALL AROUND US, if we listen and look. It is there in the cry of the loon, or the whisper of the wind. It is there in the shape of a gnarled jack pine or the grace of a Canada Mayflower. It is in a two and a half billion year old granite outcrop supporting a humble log

Lilies Of The Valley

Lily at the valley

YEA THOUGH I WALK THROUGH THE LILIES OF THE VALLEY, I shall fear no evil. Their beauty and fragrance comforteth me, and I feel the presence of all things good and beautiful. I know that the Lord is near, as is the hummingbird, the butterfly and the singing wren. The hawk calls overhead and the turtle rests silently beside the

Simon The Cat Surveys

Simon the cat surveys

AT THE CHURCH O’ THE PINES, Simon the cat surveys his domain. The ferns rise into the light and the tree buds open. The hepatica and spring beauties bloom on the forest floor. Soon the trillium will open in their brilliant blossoms and grace the trail sides. Simon appreciates all of it. We think.

Written And Shared Photos

Written and shared photos - duck bay

I HAVE OFTEN WRITTEN AND SHARED PHOTOS from the Church O’ The Pines at Pine Point, but I don’t think I’ve ever provided a perspective of this historic site, where the Mississippi bends around a one-mile peninsula. Zebulon Pike paddled by here in October, 1805 on his exploratory expedition. And in 1832 Henry Rowe Schoolcraft passed by on his way

Forms of Resistance

Forms of Resistance - The Lake

THERE ARE MANY FORMS OF RESISTANCE, small statements of purpose or value that express who we are, what we believe in and what we stand for. In a time in which we see millions of people enthusiastically embracing ugliness and lies, we can perhaps resist simply by embracing and defending beauty.

A Classic Old Town Canadienne Canoe

A Classic Old Town with Dale

YESTERDAY WAS A SPECIAL DAY. Long but special. A 16 hour round trip to Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, where lives a very nice man named Dale. Dale has had, since 1985, a classic Old Town Canadienne canoe, with the original, gorgeous mahogany decks and gunwales. He bought it from the legendary designer and original builder, Ralph Frese, “Mr. Canoe,” at his equally

When The Mercury Topped 80

Paddle - Mercury topped 80

ON A MAY DAY AT THE CHURCH O’ THE PINES when the mercury topped 80, the Old Canoe, the vintage canvas boat cushion, and the early 1900’s canoe paddle called. And so off to the Church moat we went. In a world of strife and change and uncertainty, a canoe is an ancient and peaceful thing. On this day it