Drab beauty
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Drab beauty

If you have never lived with bluebirds, you don’t know what you’re missing. Bluebird restoration projects – mostly involving the creation of nesting boxes – are very popular, and for good reason. The bluebird – eastern, western and mountain species – are the hobbits of the songbird nation. When my father “got” a pair of…

‘Efficient’ Eden?
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‘Efficient’ Eden?

It’s tempting to follow the utilitarian ideal – “designed to be useful or practical rather than attractive” – when thinking about the population of this world. We need, say some, to use every square inch of space to feed a rapidly increasing population. Combine this concern with mechanization and extensive agriculture, and all sorts of…

Chickadee grace
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Chickadee grace

As I write this from Edmonton, Alberta, it’s looking to be a long, cold winter exacerbated by a pandemic that requires limited human-to-human contact. Normally our house is full on Christmas Day with our children, their partners and grandchildren, as well as a couple of dogs. Tables are stretched, extra chairs are hauled up from…

Edenic Landscapes I
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Edenic Landscapes I

Genesis gives us remarkably few details about the garden of Eden: two naked people, a serpent, two notable trees. So what do you imagine when you hear the word garden? You may think Beyoncé is lush, but last year’s gardens in Quick, B.C. define the word. With a rain forest weather pattern this summer things…

The resting place
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The resting place

Rabbis point out that creation’s seventh day had no end, no “evening and morning.” It is the context for life, the whole story to come. Key words in Biblical passages help us make connections. The parallel words and days in Genesis 1 show the construction and populating of God’s creation temple. We miss out because…

Urban Wildlife II
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Urban Wildlife II

Last month I wrote with some nostalgia about little rascals mounting expeditions to find some wildlife to hunt in town and finding relatively little (“Urban Wildlife I,” Feb. 24). Part of this dearth of wildlife in town was due to the diligence of local Dutch residents in keeping things neat and tidy. Bushes were trimmed; trees had no lower branches. Shrubs were mostly bridal wreath (spirea) and ground-hugging junipers.