Whilst straightening out the curves and flattening the backside blue ridges of the Appalachian Communion Call routes, Sassy the Subaru had to have her new brakes tested so as not to run over an all too calm Sandhill Moonshiner Crane. He just stood in the middle of the road, eyeing Sassy screech up to this sudden standoff, just barely nervous enough to bat open and shut his six and a half foot wingspan a couple of times, and then ever so slowly tip-toe into some bramble cover in the neighboring field. In this picture you can’t see the head and bill and not much of the neck as he saunters to the left into natural camouflage.
Much more common than cranes on the road are turkey vultures and hawks and ravens and crows all eating the remains of road-kill. Reptiles include snapping turtles and a variety of snakes. Mammalian sightings, often in the form of road pizza, include squirrels and possums. Since there is little traffic, brakes are applied for dogs and cats, as well as, of course, for bears and deer. I’m happy to get a picture of picture of elk. I’ve not been quick enough for actual panthers (not melanistic lions), mountain lions (much heavier, stockier), a variety of lynx. Coyotes (the animal kind) and red wolves are to be seen, once a gray wolf (now also being introduced).
It’s all great therapy for the madness of today’s dark and violent world, the lies, the cover-ups, the manipulations, the power-grabbing, the….
Not everyone in this lock-down world has such opportunities to race round about creation doing Communion Calls with our Eucharistic Jesus, Creator of His beautiful creation. I share these posts for some respite with what few pictures I can get in hopes of assisting the imagination of the home-bound to take flight on the roads with Jesus and I. And it is like flight on these hilly, curvy roads…
Did I say straightening out the curves and flattening the hills? Eeeee Haaaawwww…
Standing next to the American Flag in the driveway, this is best picture I could get of a magnificent Bald Eagle. Sorry it’s not clearer. But my heart thrilled to see this representation of my own patriotic spirit.
On Eagles Wings?
“You have seen for yourselves how […] I bore you up on eagle wings and brought you here to myself. (Exodus 19:4)
“They that hope in the LORD will renew their strength, they will soar as with eagles’ wings; They will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
The famous “Photo Phil”, one of my parishioners, shared this picture of social distancing that I might put it up on my blog. And here’s a picture yet another parishioner took of how social distancing is going inside our parish church in Andrews:
After all, this is the smallest parish in North America.
Governor Cooper in North Carolina was smacked down by a Federal Judge because of hateful discriminatory suppression of the free exercise of religion, which encompasses, by the way, freedom of worship as essential, and also free speech with religious and natural law formation of conscience even intervening in politics as that which is guaranteed. But Governor Cooper saw fit to insist that being in a church is unsafe (whatever of being inside a State owned ABC Liquor Store from which the Governor profits). Governor Cooper says that the air is bad inside a church. Really?
Let me respond to the Governor who is ignorant of what we, and I assume many, have done over the years with our heating and air conditioning units. On both campuses of this parish and in our Social Hall in Andrews, a retired NASA engineer installed super-strong ultraviolet light that kills mold spores as the air moves through the system so that the spores of more or less just a micron or two in size are instantly killed on the fly. This applies to a virus all the more. Nothing gets past the UVC lamp and lives:
We have the cleanest air in the world.
From Wikepedia: A germicidal lamp is an electric light that produces ultraviolet C (UVC) light. This short-wave ultraviolet light disrupts DNAbase pairing, causing formation of pyrimidine dimers, and leads to the inactivation of bacteria, viruses, and protozoa.
In other words, the air inside the church is much more pure than any air out in a parking lot, no matter how hot the air coming from any back-mountain preacher-man like myself. :-)
Go ahead, Governor Cooper. Make an example of us despite the Federal Judge. I’ll have your ass [apologies to donkeys all] trotted before the Department of Justice in D.C. faster than you could read further insults to hypocrites proffered by the likes of the greatest of all prophets, Saint John the Baptist, and by the God-Man, Christ Jesus, Himself. I bow to the modus operandi not of the governor, but of the very Son of the Living God. I mean, I can list more insults coming from His lips to those who would suffocate religious rights. Do I really have to?
And then we can move on to the Old Testament. Need I do that, speaking of, say, she-camels and the like? ;-)
People speak of honey catching more flies…. blah blah blah…
People speak of being “nice”… blah blah blah
Besides John the Baptist and Jesus, I respond by recalling a modern saint:
Tiny little feathered friends seen on the Day Off. Very humble, that. Merely receiving. Not grabbing. What does the Lord say to us all in Psalm 81:11?
“Open wide your mouth that I may fill it.”
Also, the Tree of Life, i.e., the Tree of the Living Ones, comes to mind. Adam may receive the fruit of the Tree, the Eucharist from the Cross, but Adam may not reach out his hand and grab the fruit of the Tree, pretending that in that way he will live forever, that is, because he reached out his hand as if he’s saving himself. No. But he may receive if he is receptive.
Adoration this past Sunday at 6:00 AM at Holy Redeemer:
This is Mrs Cardinal, who’s presence means that Mr Cardinal is flitting about somewhere. I should have looked at Sassy the Subaru’s doors, under the side mirrors, to see if they were painted white with bird poop let go as he slams continuously into the mirrors, attacking his own image, no matter how much it hurts himself. Maybe he did himself in.
Now that‘s an image wide open to the making of analogies. Pointing fingers involves most being pointed back at oneself, right? What’s most important is that we help bring each other to Jesus.
Having said all that, yes, I very much like these kind of cardinals being here. I am reminded of the birds up in Minnesota, so many at the feeders and suet blocks, not only Cardinals, but Blue-Jays, Bluebirds and Goldfinches and Purple Finches and Finches and Waxwings and Mourning Doves and thrushes and owls from Barn to Great Horned, not to mention all kinds and sizes of woodpeckers, from the tiny Downy to the massive Pileated. On and on. It’s a good thing to rejoice in the creation of the Creator. Yes.
So, there I was, driving up to the bank Night Deposit just before nightfall after the Saturday Vigil Mass, and I saw a murder in progress, a huge raven was attacking a small and friendly Black-Snake, Rat-Snake, Bull-Snake, Eastern Racer, whatever name you have. These guys have no poison, no fangs, if they bite it doesn’t hurt. Super-friendly.
The raven didn’t want to give up. I almost had to physically remove him, but he finally flew away and then around, squawking and scolding at me the whole time. He was not happy with me at all. Meanwhile, I gently let the snake slither away into the parking lot bushes. I was happy for the snake. The ol’ raven can get another meal somewhere else. I want Rat-Snakes around as one of my neighbors has rats. The bank is in eye-shot of the rectory. Be as clever as a snake in making friends with unexpectedly helpful people. But be as innocent as a dove. Monsters might attack you. But you might get help from an unexpected source. Note the background picture of the blog and the header picture.
Hey! The Day Lilies are out in force! This one is especially for the Immaculate Conception as it is growing next to “Brake-Man”, the guy made from welded-together brakes. He’s next to her in front of the rectory. “Brake-Man” reminds me of Adam and how he but the brakes on all of us with original sin. But Mary, Jesus’ good mom, was free of original sin.
Oh, I forgot to tell you. Brake-Man, Adam, is covered over with greenery. But, let’s take a closer look. I think I hear something… What’s this?
I think I count six of them. The eggs were speckled blue. The mother seems to be speckled brown in color…
They’ll soon be singing their hearts out for Mary, as held by Adam, Brake-Man.
I recall my ordination to the priesthood in the middle of Winter. Totally unexpectedly – and many mentioned this to me afterward – song birds by the zillions had descended upon the lawn outside the chapel at time of the ordination and were singing their hearts out until the end of Mass and then departed. Mind you, this isn’t because I was being ordained, to become an alter Christus, but rather for Mary, who had interceded under the cross even for the likes of such a wretched wretch as me, and isn’t she good for doing that? Yes. And she did that for all of us. These cutie pies are just outside the chapel window at the rectory. :-)
During this Lent, it is the Purple Finch which abounds at the bird feeder out front of the rectory. Purple is penitential by way of remembering how the color purple was used against our Lord. Purple dye was extremely rare, extremely expensive, obtained only from certain mollusks up near Lebanon in the days when our Lord walked this earth, and therefore affordable only by kings. Remember when violent Herod clothed our Lord in a purple robe and sent Him back to Pontius Pilate?
Embrace purple. Carry with you the weight of the glory of God as He is mocked and ridiculed and scorned and sent to His torture and death, He, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Prince of the Most Profound Peace. Do that, and be free as a bird.
The Cardinal has been looking at himself in the side-view mirrors, pooping all over the doors. This has been going on for months. I put the bird feeder in front of the front picture window, and now he’s taken to looking at his reflection next to the bird feeder, pooping on the garden below (good) and eating less (good too).
That’s actually the main street you see out front, not my driveway. There’s an American flag to the far side of the Papal Flag, with the American flag taking its own right. But what about the lit menorah (with me being Jewish and a Catholic priest who eats bacon cheese burgers)? That’s a comment on so very many levels, is it not?
I know it might be getting on toward Autumn where some of you are, while some of you are still in the silent dead of Winter. But here in Western North Carolina, it’s getting on toward Spring mighty quickly. The birds and the bees are impatient. And, as cute as they are, they can cause real trouble. Maybe a bird-house is in order. But what kind for this kind? Do you have any Spring Cleaning stories?