Backyard Note #5 — Feeding the Stock

[From a journal entry dated July 2003] I’ve been busy hunting for food for our various wildlife guests.  We have been collecting specimens from the Chemung River.  It all started with the set of twenty or so toad tadpoles that we found in a small pool along the bank of the river.  It was water … Continue reading

Prayer Note #22 — The God of All Things

My Lord, you are the brightness of light warming the darkness and gloom.  You are the great sweeping vista, when I feel stifled and suffocated and trapped.  You are the verdant, well-forested hills that embrace me and hide me, when I fell exposed and vulnerable.  You are the bubbling spring in the desert, the firm, … Continue reading

Prayer Note #20 — On a Snowy Day

What a gloriously complex and intricate world you have made for us to live in, Lord!  I am so very grateful.  The beauty of the white snow blanketing everything and even doing a kind of tight-rope walk along the utility lines and tiny branches of the trees seems to somehow blanket and soothe my busy … Continue reading

Prayer Note #14 — Potted Plants and Perching Birds

A PRAYER OF THANKS FOR GIFTS THAT LIVE AND BREATHE Thanks you, Lord, for my plants.  They pour life and earthiness and calm into my study.  Even the fierce crown of thorn plants, which scratch me and puncture me, add an untamed elegance to this space where I spend so much time.  There is an … Continue reading

Backyard Notes #4

He (or she) seems quite at ease and dignified in the photographs of him strutting across our front lawn.  I have only the pictures to go by.  I was at work during his visit.  My son took the pictures.  That our imperious visitor was a Cooper’s hawk was plain almost immediately.  What made his visit … Continue reading

Backyard Notes #3

A Prayer Today, my generous Lord, you have allowed me to enjoy the use of my body out in lovely spring weather.  I mowed the backyard, pushing the mower up and down the yard, around obstacles , across the wide, flat section.  I felt the strength of my legs and arms as I used my … Continue reading

Backyard Notes #2

Well, our little wood frog seems to have moved to his winter quarters to hibernate away the winter under a rock or in the brush pile or under a thick layer of leaf litter.  He’s been a constant resident of our little backyard pond since he came to us a a tadpole in early summer. … Continue reading

Backyard Notes #1

The ideal American lawn is pretty much as useful to wildlife as a paved parking lot. At my house, we’ve decided to go against the prevailing attitude and make our yard more hospitable to wildlife. Here’s part of the story about how we decided to that.