Tragedy And Carnage At The Church O’ the Pines

Tragedy and Carnage

THERE WAS TRAGEDY AND CARNAGE AT THE CHURCH O’ THE PINES THIS MORNING, as the local fox pair came loping through, caught a gray squirrel, and continued loping down the lane with it—tail dangling from the jaws that dispatched it. A welcome breakfast for nearby Junior and Junior Miss. All was quiet in the church for a few minutes, until

Upcoming Musical Theater

Upcoming Musical Theater of Kathy

THIS EVENING I WENT OUT TO PADDLE THE CANOE for an hour or so as I often do. Kathy said she would take that time to practice her singing, for an upcoming musical theater production she may audition for. While paddling I had time to reflect on all the remarkable talents this lovely lady has, and all the wonderful artistic/musical

A Red Fox Barking In The Yard

Church O' the pines tree

IT HAS BEEN A WILD AND WOOLLY DAY AT THE CHURCH O’ THE PINES. We awoke this morning to a red fox barking in the yard. Loudly. Sneaking out onto the deck, we watched it cross the open space, sitting and looking back from the direction it had come, barking, then moving a few feet and doing the same thing,

Friends of the Boundary Waters Interview

FOR THOSE WHO WERE UNABLE TO WATCH OR JOIN IN on the Friends of the Boundary Waters interview between David Backes and me the other night, you can now see it on this link. A book-launch event for David’s new book, “A Private Wilderness,” the conversation focused on the struggles and eventual triumphs of iconic writer and conservationist Sigurd F.

The Hummingbird Makes Its Rounds

The humming bird - kathy's garden

ON THIS SUMMER MORN AT THE CHURCH O’ THE PINES, the hummingbird makes its rounds, humming all the way, Sparky the Cardinal sings his hymns, and the kiwi vine attempts to engulf the north wall of the cabin. Ferns nod gently in a light breeze. Simon the church-cat surveys his domain. Bonsai trees greet the sun. And two Chinese philosophers

My Old Buddy and Sideman Steve Borgstrom

IT WAS AN EXCITING DAY THIS PAST WEEK when my old buddy and sideman Steve Borgstrom and I were able to get together and practice for the first time in over a year and a half. Such a great feeling. We hope to start performing again soon, adding new stuff to our repertoire including a mandolin tune I recently wrote

A Broad Wing Hawk Keens High Above The Pines

broad wing hawk - Bonsai

GOOD BONSAI MORNING… On this ‘quiet’ morn, a broad wing hawk keens high above the pines. The bald eagle nest is alive with adult conversation, with eaglets screeching and begging. The nuthatch mutters softly, chipmunks chirp, red squirrels scold, and crows holler. Sparky the Cardinal sings bold songs, bluejays scream and gossip in the distance. All part of a morning

Wild Geraniums bloom

Wild Geraniums

ON EVERY CANOE OUTING, no matter how humble, there are always wild and lovely things to be discovered. Here Wild Geraniums bloom on a low, waterside ledge of historic Peace Rock, the 1820’s/30’s dividing place between the Anishinabe (Ojibwa) to the northeast and the Dakota (Sioux) to the southwest. I wonder if they blossomed here in 1832 when Schoolcraft named

Sparky The Cardinal Is Singing His Fool Head Off

THIS MAY MORNING AT THE CHURCH O’ THE PINES, Sparky the Cardinal is singing his fool head off. We are very glad he does—though we would like him to keep his head attached—for his is the consistent, unwavering, unchallenged voice of Pine Point. Other singers are here as well, and we love them all. The chickadees, like Sparky, are a

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