Revealing of One’s True Self

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Self awareness from a pretty bird: Earlier in the spring I was blessed with two nests of cardinals in my yard. Cardinals are very territorial birds but for some reason these two families shared the space congenially. The two nests of fledglings gave way to a small flock darting about the Locust tree and flowering [Read More...]

Watering the Birds, Practical Gardening (with a video!)

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Water is a necessity for all life. Birds need water for drinking and preening; it helps keep a bird’s body cool from the inside and out. Water baths remove dust, loose feathers, parasites and other debris from their plumage. Adding a water feature to your garden is an important element, and one of the quickest [Read More...]

A Peace, Ancient and Alive

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After morning Mass at Sts. Cornelius and Cyprian Church—a 115 year old country parish—I decided to take a drive along farm lanes, through “God’s country.” The glow of having just received communion felt too fresh to not, in some way, continue the prayer. County roads here run straight and intersections at 90º a mile or [Read More...]

Starving to be Fed

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I was surprised this year by the return of migratory birds. It felt like the first week in February was too early with night temperatures still running near zero. With over two feet of snow on the ground there was very little food for the birds to forage or materials for building nests. Last week [Read More...]

This is for the Birds: Practical Gardening Series

Charlie Harper, Bird Feeders, 2008

Feeding the birds during the winter is an activity a lot of people delight in. Through the years, I’ve picked up several feeder tips on how to attend to the needs of birds and deter marauding squirrels. Here are just a few… Larger bird feeders are a convenience—you don’t have to fill them as often [Read More...]

Mystical Magpies and St. Oda

Magpie, Pica pica

St. Oda of Scotland, c. 680 – c. 726 Feast day October 23rd Patron of Visually Impaired Association with Magpies St. Oda was a beautiful young woman who was born blind. Her family sent her to Liege, Belgium, on a pilgrimage and while praying at the graveside of St. Lambert she miraculously gained her sight. [Read More...]

Cardinal at My Window

Artist Charlie Harper, Seeing Red Cardinal

Earlier in the spring I was blessed with two nests of cardinals in my yard. Cardinals are very territorial birds but for some reason these two families shared the space congenially. The two nests of fledglings gave way to a small flock darting about the Locust tree and flowering shrubs. One late-summer morning a flash [Read More...]


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