When I was asked to speak again this year for the St. Francis-inspired sermon of animals, my first thought was, “What if I said everything I had to say last year!” Last year's sermon of animals was a flow coming from multiple places of animals in the life of family and field, forest and farm, and it was very broad spectrum — all the species, all the roles, all the interaction between creatures and family and land. But there is always more about animals. So this year, it’s not the macro, but the micro — three short portraits. I want to
Spoken to the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Bozeman for the Blessing of the Animals... I was invited to share today in part because my life and my work has become embedded in so very many animals. Our river farm is and has been home to homing pigeons, white doves, Icelandic sheep, pigs, dogs, chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, honeybees, rabbits. It is also home to great horned owls who called as I wrote this, nesting kestrels and red-tailed hawks, eagles, magpies and snipe, woodpeckers and Eastern kingbirds, snakes and mice, porcupine, foxes, coyotes, raccoons, trout, turtles and whitefish, and the occasional moose, bear
Making magic again! Gorgeous photo shoot day down at the tipi in the aspen grove on the last day of fall, the very day before the snows swooped into Montana from Japan. The aspen colony came sweetly into its sea change of fall color for this shoot, scheduled weeks before. Beautiful women Brenda Robidou of Inspire Photography, Laura Kronske of Montana Kids Yoga, Cindy Shearer and Kelsie Frederickson and I played with leaves, lilies, silk cushions, green tea, cobalt vases, Italian plums, embroidered linens, a golden bed made with aspen trunks, and forty white doves. It
We are all together on this ship and some of us will die sooner. Some young. I will grieve again, and comfort. It may be me. Those of us who are lucky will know ahead of time and not be incapacitated by pain and exhaustion and messes we have not cleaned up. If we are luckier this heightened awareness that is the gift of death may be seized by us periodically and good and great things and moments will be brought into the world as a result. What do I want to have been in my life with my mothers?
Qadaffi, Wisconsin politics, Lady Gaga, oil and New Zealand -- all becoming protective coverings for this year's tiny babies in their nest bowls. Temperatures are in the single digits and minuses, but the breeding birds are already nestling tiny ones under their breasts. We wrap each bowl in several sheets of paper, then add a handful of pine needles into each nest as it goes into the nest box. Twelve birds already paired up. And then out for a ski!
How fun was that! Over fifty people filled the big new conference room at the Bozeman Public Library for an hour-long talk on the 5000-year history of humans and homing pigeons. They touched birds I walked around and held, saw the different colors of feathers of the 20 birds I brought, held grains and wooden eggs and leg identification bands. They met white homing doves from the ceremonial team and our champions from our racing and breeding teams. Afterward we took all the birds out to the front lawn on Main Street. Half of the birds I gave
The birds are loving these late October sunny days, but we've gotten out the warmers to keep the waterers from freezing at night. The pigeons are just fine down to -60 degrees! Come visit the Bozeman Public Library this Sunday at 1:30. I'll be bringing a flock of white ceremonial homing pigeons and some of our racing champions as well. We'll have a presentation on the 5000-year history of humans and homing pigeons and if the weather's not crazy we'll release them afterward from the front lawn to fly home. Great for all ages. Hope to
Yesterday I cleaned all four sections of the white bird loft -- scraped, wiped, vacuumed feathers and dust and gave the birds a bath to play in at the same time. We had a big truckload of feed coming in and fun tractor time unloading it. It's time to separate the mated pairs and close up their nesting boxes. This will help them change focus from nesting to molting. The timing of molting isn't as important for the white flock as it is for the racing teams, but it's good for them to start now and