Church O’ The Pines, My Home

IT HAS NOT BEEN A QUIET WEEK at the Church O’ The Pines, my home. Yes, there are quiet moments. There was a lovely canoe outing last evening and this morning the mourning dove coos quietly and the hummingbird softly hums, but in general things are in various stages of commotion and chaos, as many of our congregation families are expanding. Of course, this is no problem but rather a cause for CELEBRATION in the Church.

The Canada goose families of the river seem to have been especially ambitious and prolific this spring and now tend their broods all along the riverbank. One day I saw a pair with 14 goslings between them, although whether they were parents to all or had been subcontracted to babysit was indeterminate. Last night’s paddling brought us upon Mama Wood Duck with her 7 tiny ones in tow, following closely behind Mom and doing exactly what she did, like little mini-me’s.
The young pileated woodpeckers are on their initial kamikaze training flights, crash-landing into the vertical trunks of the pines, and yap-yap-yapping to their parents. The chipmunks seem to have had a fine brood and are scampering all over the Church grounds, demanding MORE sunflower seeds from Caretaker Kathy.

Perhaps our proudest parents—and we are proud FOR them—are our 2 bald eagles in their brand new nest, who are busily providing for 2 growing, screeching eaglets! After over a quarter-century here among the pines, it is a thrill for the Caretakers to have a successful eagle nest in one of the tall steeples.

In another moment of disquiet this past week, Simon the Church Cat did not come in one evening. A Search was Organized. Up the lane, crashing and commotion were heard in the forest, then the unmistakable sound of claws scratching up a tree. Simon had been treed by a very Fierce Animal. I trained the flashlight up a tree trunk and indeed, there was Simon, ears back, tail puffed. I trained the light into the brush where sounds could still be heard, ready to scare off—if possible—the Creature. And there it was, golden eyes reflecting the beam. A white-tailed doe. A cat treed by a deer. Simon would not come down. We got the ladder, gathered up Simon, and headed for the Cabin and a soft bed. It has been an exhausting week.
The singing wood thrush, and oriole, and catbird, and mourning dove, and wood peewee, and Sparky the Cardinal, and Caretaker Kathy and I, all wish you Good Sabbath!

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