Since 1908

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Pastor's Blog

The Fungus Humungous

September 25, 2018

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Lots of mushrooms are growing in the woods.

The yellow one is called the American Eastern Fly Agaric.  It is poisonous for us to eat, but it offers important assistance to the root systems of the green plants nearby.  In exchange for sipping chlorophyll from the roots of green plants, this mushroom supplies water and soil nutrients to the plants.  This mutually beneficial arrangement is call a mycorrhiza.  Above ground we see a beautiful mushroom; below ground there's a beautiful relationship!  There's so much going on in the quiet woods than we know.

The Next Reformation

September 18, 2018

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I was a little sheepish about admitting I was trying to talk to tundra swans out at the Navarino Wildlife area.  Yet duck hunters apparently talk to ducks so they can eat them.  Compared to that, I have nothing to be ashamed of.  Better than that, I was heartened to hear about a science teacher in the Southern Door County School District who is teaching his students how to call owls.  Not, of course, so his students can eat them.  But so his students can see them.  And so they can see how owls have a language of their own.  Trees and insects exude and respond to chemical signals; bees apparently use flight patterns to communicate information about the location of sources of nectar.  Though bugs and birches aren't capable of consciously processing these messages, out of God's love for them, God created forms of communication for the purpose of community-building and protection for even the earliest forms of life and which have always been a survival feature preserved and improved by evolution.

The story of communication among human beings would be an interesting read.  I don't know off hand if there are any books written to attempt to tell this entire story from both a historical and scientific perspective.  Thinking about communication among Christians several things stand out.  "Word of mouth" is absolutely foundational. 

The Showy Sunflowers

September 11, 2018

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Growing in the gaps between curbs and sidewalks and between the sidewalk and the home on the corner of Monroe and Crooks, Showy Sunflowers have now formed a tall, flowery wall around that home.

I noticed this unseemly outbreak of prairie plants late last summer.  I’m pretty surprised that the City, in its vigilance against vagrants of all kinds, has not spotted these sunflowers erupting out of the cement and doused them with a shower of round-up.  Though they’re not a traffic hazard (I turn right there almost every morning), they might be a danger to children.  Children on the way to school might be walking or biking beneath and between them, and since the profusion of small sunflowers is also a grocery store for bees, the bees might not look upon these innocent interlopers kindly.  And sting them.  Still, I have seen no children on that side of the street: it could be that the kids know the crossing guard works the other corner of Monroe and Crooks and head for him instead; it could be that kids have already had an unpleasant encounter with pollinators there and avoid it.  One complaint to the City about bees, and those sunflowers will be gone.

The Squirrel Part 2

September 5, 2018

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We have a rectangular, concrete step for the side door of our house that was poured on our driveway that is immediately adjacent to our house.

When you’re facing the house, against the house, in the corner formed by the step, I found a lovely, light green, unhusked walnut yesterday morning before leaving for work.