The Father of Waters is Gone

HERE AT THE CHURCH O’ THE PINES, the Father of Waters is gone. It is hidden by a morning fog of Sherlockian dimensions. The river, gone. The far shore, gone. The silhouetted pines stand and lean against a soft, gray wall, as pictures in an art gallery. From far away, the highway sounds moan and grumble, but softly, most of


FOUND THIS OLD TURTLE ON MN HIGHWAY 23 near Oak Park. A Snapper about 15” long, she was flipped on her back on the asphalt, spinning around with the wind blasts of every car and truck that passed over her—none of whom stopped or slowed down. Managed—with her enthusiastic opposition—to move her to safety in the marshy ditch. Aside from

This Little Fellow trills and squeaks and scolds

THIS LITTLE FELLOW trills and squeaks and scolds every time I go in or out of the Fawn Island Cabin, all but announcing his intentions of breaking and entering and homesteading this fall/winter once we depart. If so we will return to find a mess in the spring and little Sciurus Hudsonicus and I shall have a problem. But thus


HERE AT PINE POINT ON THE MIGHTY MISSISSIPPI, the river is less mighty than usual, as the draw-down continues. Implemented to cleanse the riverbed, and primarily the Little Rock Lake flowage, of pollutants and nutrients that have built up for decades due to farm and septic run-off, it is an exercise in letting the river be a river once more.


LITTLE GIRLS FROM AN EASTERN CITY TRAVEL FAR to visit their Minnesota cousins. They disappear beneath a waterfall and emerge, sundresses drenched, on the other side. It is a moment, one imagines, they will long remember…

The Great Walleye of Lake Kabetogama

Lake Kabetogama

THIS FISH WAS CAUGHT AFTER A TREMENDOUS BATTLE. It breathed fire and belched smoke, covering the entire northwest end of Lake Kabetogama in a dense haze. It towed our boat from Tom Cod Bay to Sugarbush Island. In the Grassy Islands, the water steamed and boiled up onto the rocks. The paint was peeled from the boat sides. The iPhones

Beautiful Summer Morning

IT IS A BEAUTIFUL SUMMER MORNING at the Church O’ The Pines. Things are blooming in Kathy’s Gardens. All kinds of things. I don’t know all of their names because I specialize more in the flowers of field and forest. But I know a bunch of them are lilies–all kinds and colors. The hummingbirds are busy, and although we enjoy

Swinging The Coffee

THIS TIME OF YEAR–MID TO LATE SUMMER, is the season when many folks find their thoughts turning to campsites, campfires, and canoe trips, the calling of loons, the easy comfort of the trail. As an old canoe guide, I find my paddling muscles getting itchy, and as the memories come flooding back, I recall many great trips, from the Fond

Dastardly Duck

THE CARETAKERS RETURNED TO THE CHURCH O’THE PINES at about 2AM last night. This morning we awaken to a rainy day under the pines. But the congregation—particularly the saucy blue jays—seem in good spirits and glad to have us back. Our week at Fawn Island with family was great, and we are missing all of it—including good-morning and good-night hugs

Kathy’s Gardens

ONE OF THE WONDERFUL FEATURES of life at Pine Point Cabin is Kathy’s gardens. Hostas, geraniums, bleeding hearts, petunias, pansies, roses—the list is long. Even longer is the roll call of wildflowers in the woods. And sometimes there is a cross-over. Ostrich ferns and wild ginger have found their way into the “tame” gardens. Then there is this one: Michigan