AT THE CHURCH O’ THE PINES, the late afternoon sun spreads butter on the limbs of the old deacons. Chickadees and blue jays grab a final bite before dark. The sun sets in golden halos, the air is still and cold. It is January in Minnesota, beside the Father of Waters, and perhaps it will not hit 25 below tonight. If not, the flying squirrels may return from their cold-weather sabbatical. Meanwhile, the great horned owls—two of them—have been enlivening the night with their booming voices, the promise of little owlets come late winter.