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Showing posts from March, 2009


Tonight I completed my first Frog and Toad survey for Friends of the Rouge. While I didn't hear any frogs I did hear (and see) plenty. I walked over to my local section of the Upper Rouge, east of Beech-Daly and just south of Six Mile. A storm drain creates a small creek that drains into the river across a grassy floodplain. Air traffic was heavy--five flights all one after the other separated by about 30-45 seconds each with their muffled roars overhead. The robins were active at dusk, flitting and crying here and there. The quiet wash of water could be heard from time to time. The flattened drumming of the intermittent rain could be heard from the trees and the hood on my head. The scratch of a squirrel scrambling up a tree caught me, only to have it play stare down until I moved. I thought I heard one croak, but I believe it was something else, something unknown--though not scary unknown.
Visually I observed the bleached brown grasses, the naked stems, a muddy deer trai…

It's Official. . .

Spring is here. I saw a great blue heron flying over (of all places) Telegraph at Grand River, probably following the Rouge upstream. Don't robins act as the harbingers of spring, you ask. No, those traitorous emigres can usually be seen in late February eating I don't know what. That's just another reason to delist the robin as our state bird. So, says I, let's make the appearance of that feathered pteradactyl the barometer of the vernal appearance. What say ye?

"Your Time Is Not Your Own"

So said Brother Abraham of St. Gregory's Abbey in Three Rivers, Michigan. He was explaining to us why their day was interrupted so often by a call to prayer and worship. The lesson is economy, stewardship, and the idea that nothing, NOTHING, belongs to us, though we like to think most things do.
There is something attractive about the monastic life to me--specifically the ag. projects, though these monks only maintained a garden and harvested the copious raspberries on their property--it's probably just a romanticized ideal. The regementation, the deliberate time for study and prayer. And yet. . . I would tire of their plainsong worship. A proper reaction to God is a solemn hush--sometimes. Sometimes it should involve falling on your face weeping, others hurling every bit of energy from your diaphragm in an exultant shout. My point is, and yes I know I'm commenting on a tradition around 1,600 years old, is that our relationship with Christ is not static and neither…

Diseases come. . .

with invasive species and I've less than a month to write a paper and prepare a 20 minute edutainmentation on everybody's favorite bee parasite--Varroa destructor. Of the Seven Deadly Sins--Sloth is one slow, heavy monkey on my back. Forget the other two afflictions right now. Somebody help me strangle the sloth monkey!

Saving the Planet and Other Complaints

"If you take step X, you too can help save the planet!" "By contributing to cause Y, you'll enable us to save our precious planet!" And so it goes. Really? Will we be able to save the planet? Is the planet truly in danger? Is it going to crack apart and float away? Oh, you mean climate change is endangering the planet. Is it? Will the planet simply vanish with the rising of worldwide temperatures? What if I told you that 99% of all species that ever existed are EXTINCT? This happened before the advent of the automobile and probably most of it before the development of agriculture even. So what is it you are trying to save exactly? Save the hyperbole and do something real, grow your own food, know the plants and animals in your own ecosystem, of which you are a part, and start there. Plant native plants. Hunt and fish within limits. Buy less stuff. These are achievable goals rather than shelling out $5 for a rainforest you will never visit. Dem…

Wisdom in 165 pages

Verily and truly say I.

True sabbath observance is not solely about Sunday. "The goal is rather to arrange our schedules and direct our choices so that they manifest at all times a deep appreciation for the diverse and costly ways of God's grace."

I won't say anymore other than read this humble volume.