Since 1908

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Pastor's Blog

Mourning Cloak

April 28, 2020


Life Preserver

At the dead end of South Town Line Road where the trail head for the Sedge Meadow is, I was greeted by a Mourning Cloak butterfly, who zoomed by me to rest in the sun-warmed sand, and who, by the time I had unzipped and un-velcroed my camera case, was gone, flying up and away into the woods.

Marsh Marigold or King's Cup

April 22, 2020


The northern reaches of the Navarino Wildlife Area are just south of Highway T, where Jerusalem Lutheran Church still stands, an immaculately maintained, white, wooden, steepled-structure with a footprint no bigger than a two-car garage.  But narrower.  With a gated cemetery.  The land begins to rise north of Highway T as ridges and hills – a mini-driftless area.  But Navarino begins to the south as flat, wetland forest.  The map says cedar forest, though I only saw a few cedars.  The trails, logging roads compacted by tree-eating machines, are rivers; the woods are swamps.  I headed south from the northernmost parking lot for 45 minutes, leaping from one mossy mound to the next through deciduous woods.  I grew tired of it.  Relentlessly impassable.  On the way back to the parking lot, I was impatient for the two dry stretches of the trail, wondering exasperated: will I ever get back?

I drove east, and at two of the three other northernmost parking lots, it was the same story.  I walked south from higher ground deep into wooded swamps.  The system of trails at the third parking lot was the most extensive.  I needed to mark my way with arrows made of broken sticks arranged at intersecting trails.  I headed mostly south, but also west when I could, to try to reach the rest of the Navarino trails that are on one of the maps, trails that traverse the sedge meadow I was in last week.  I felt like the 15th century explorers looking for the Northwest Passage.  Which took 300 years.

Skunk Cabbage Resurrection

April 15, 2020


I had planned to explore a part of the Navarino Wildlife Area new to me on Good Friday afternoon: a sedge meadow that makes up its far northeast corner.

Yes, I suppose it seems a bit incongruous for a pastor to be wandering around in a sedge meadow on the day our Lord was suffering on the cross.  This year, Good Friday worship was held, recorded, uploaded, and/or posted on Thursday.  It’s not like Jesus was crucified on Friday, April 10, 33 A.D.  And the reflections on my walk led me to stories of attacks on God more recent than we care to admit.