AFTER A WEEK of travels and adventures

AFTER A WEEK of travels and adventures, it is a very bonsai morning here at the Church O The Pines cabin. And I am enjoying a few quiet moments with this little favorite. (Well, they’re all favorites). This one happens to be a white cedar, very similar to the beautiful trees we see along the rocky shores in northern Minnesota

A fine, humid June-Sunday morning

HERE AT THE Church O’ the Pines it is a fine, humid June-Sunday morning. Father’s Day. Not yet too warm. And Simon, our elder cat, is posing on the arm of my grandad’s Adirondack chair. It is a chair that must now be about 60 years old, or more, and in need of another new coat of paint. Simon and

Cloudy Sunday morning

EVEN ON A COOL, gray and cloudy Sunday morning, a slow stroll around the Church O’ The Island is rewarding. The view from high atop Moonlight Ledge is outstanding, while down the cliff-face pale pink corydalis flaunts its pink and yellow blossoms. White-throated sparrows and yellow warblers sing their hymns. Near Jackpine Point the blueflag iris shows its colors, and

AT THE CHURCH O’ THE ISLAND

AT THE CHURCH O’ THE ISLAND, things are well. After days of rain, the sky is clear, the breezes light. The congregation—including magnolia warblers and white throated sparrows, flickers and mergansers, deer and grouse and loons—are enjoying the warmth and sunshine. Pin cherries and blueberries set their blossoms. A robin sings cheerio from the shoreline. Koda the forest kitten strolls

WEDNESDAY at the old Church O The Pines

IT IS WEDNESDAY at the old Church O The Pines, and as everyone knows, Wednesday is church choir day. And so, with the return of many winter-travelers, there is much singing and caroling and hymn-making. The Baltimore oriole, in his orange and black robes, sings boldly from many a branch. The grey catbird trills and warbles endlessly from the shoreline.

MORNING after returning from guiding Road Scholars

THIS MORNING, after returning from guiding Road Scholars, it feels good to sit on the deck in my grandad’s old Adirondack chair from 60 years ago. To be under the big pines and beside my little bonsai friends. And to listen to the nearly full chorus of the Church O The Pines choir, flitting from limb to limb in the

Silence and peace-and-quiet are not the order of the day

AT THE CHURCH O’ THE PINES this morning, silence and peace-and-quiet are not the order of the day. Rather, many joyful spring hymns are being sung and there is much welcoming back of friends and relatives who traveled south for the winter months. A rambunctious ruby crowned kinglet sings from the pines and balsam firs by the riverbank. Our little

Sunday morn the congregation is excited

AT THE CHURCH O’ THE PINES on this Sunday morn the congregation is excited. They are excited because any day now—perhaps any hour—their friends and relatives that we call ‘snowbirds’—but they aren’t actually the real kind of snowbirds we just call them that—will be returning from the south. Sometimes very far south from what humans call another whole CONTINENT! There

ON THIS APRIL DAY

ON THIS APRIL DAY, spring has arrived at the old caretakers’ cabin at the Church O’ The Pines. The canoe was taken out onto Old Man River, there to discover wood ducks and Canada geese and mallards and map turtles. Last night the first full choir of wood frogs and chorus frogs throbbed under the stars, and today the snoring

GOOD MORNING from Orchid Corner

GOOD MORNING from Orchid Corner at the Church O’ The Pines…Where outside along the river, Sparky the Cardinal is singing his heart out; Canada geese are gabbling, wood ducks squealing, sand hill cranes trilling as they fly over; and the full, glowing disc of the sun rising over sparkling water. After a fine, soaking rain for the forest, it is