Thought I heard…
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Thought I heard…

Long ago, I was sleeping in on a Saturday, half-listening to CBC radio when a folk song came on, “Thought I heard a red-winged blackbird / red-winged blackbird on my road.” This was repeated twice in the refrain. As the singer went on to sing a verse, then the same refrain, again and again, soon…

John Franken: a life devoted to creation care
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John Franken: a life devoted to creation care

Among the guests at the grand opening of A Rocha’s Buck Creek Canfor Hatchery and Nature Centre in Houston, B.C. in September 2021 were Mr. and Mrs. John Franken, long-time residents of the Bulkley Valley. A Rocha is an international Christian conservation organization. John was a devout Christian whose witness involved creation care, strengthening local…

Let it be
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Let it be

When I was a child in Wisconsin, we could see the snow swirling like waves over the bare surface of Harvey Prinsen’s field. It had a certain beauty but it also meant cold. Drifting snow is a common part of almost any Canadian winter. Things are different in the Bulkley Valley of B.C. We have…

A world of small things
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A world of small things

expanse of rockglacial and basic delicate berriesand hued bloomsgrasses – blue, fescue, and cotton. . . holes in ice(lost at sea)tiny hopes of oneringed by rime   quick time   breath shortbut darker holesin purest whitenow covered creep closer and feed the futureof nanuq generationsstill tiny, womb-boundwaiting to becomesomething greatin a world of small things. Written while…

Dishabille
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Dishabille

Autumn is one of my favourite seasons (the others are winter, spring and summer). In autumn one can harvest potatoes, carrots, late cabbages, painted corn, hemp, beets, winter squash and more. Summer is a fading memory for me. And autumn has its times of glory, to be sure: when the aspen leaves resemble gold coins….

A rare bird, a new word and why I quit my ‘life-list’
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A rare bird, a new word and why I quit my ‘life-list’

Not being from the UK, I wasn’t exactly sure what a “twitch” was, when I came across it in the following caption recently: “The Long-toed Stint generated one of the biggest twitches seen in Britain in years.” The photo was on a Bird News website, part of a post about a rare bird sighting in…

The doctor who invented hand-washing
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The doctor who invented hand-washing

Monday morning and there’s another sad story: a person who vocally opposed vaccinations for COVID-19 has died from the disease. Before dying, the patient tells loved ones, “Get vaccinated.” I doubt that these stories do much to change the minds of people who are firmly against COVID vaccinations. What does bother me, however, is the…

Simple folk

Simple folk

If there’s a list of birds I hate, the house sparrow must be near the top. It’s a bird of farms, McDonald’s (house sparrows love spilled French fries), and city parks. House sparrow plumage is made up of browns and black. No skylark, it chirps monotonously rather than sings. It expels tree swallows and bluebirds…