Tag Archives: Nature

Buckeyes & grasshoppers, not what you think: anamnesis of Eden, but first the Holy Sacrifice

This Common Buckeye on the tarmac driveway next to the tomatoes calls to mind Tomato Buckeye Rot. The similarity of the markings is striking.

Imagine that your visual defense against predators is to look like a rotten tomato.

If you’re all nerdy about chemistry amidst a symbiotic ecosystem, the Common Buckeye in its various morphologies opens up a universe of bio-manipulation and applications (see Genesis 1:28). Nature is not ever what we think; there is always so very much more.

Creation speaks of God the Creator. In such times as this (see Romans chapter 1, beginning to end, no, really, go read chapter 1 of Romans now!) it is good to notice the beauty of God’s Creation and be pointed to God, thanking God, praising God.

Meanwhile, at the same time, this grasshopper was on the floor of the open carport. I mean, those eyes…

Anyway, over at Wikipedia we read about what fallen human nature has to be busy about, even with grasshoppers:

  • “In February 2020, researchers from Washington University in St. Louis announced they had engineered “cyborg grasshoppers” capable of accurately detecting explosives. In the project, funded by the US Office of Naval Research, researchers fitted grasshoppers with lightweight sensor backpacks that recorded and transmitted the electrical activity of their antennal lobes to a computer. According to the researchers, the grasshoppers were able to detect the location of the highest concentration of explosives. The researchers also tested the effect of combining sensorial information from several grasshoppers on detection accuracy. The neural activity from seven grasshoppers yielded an average detection accuracy rate of 80%, whereas a single grasshopper yielded a 60% rate.”

So, probably you don’t need to have a helicopter drop a thousand detection-grasshoppers onto this kid. You already know there’s something suspicious when he’s dressed for the arctic in a cover-the-bombs-parka when it’s a hot day. By the way, this 14 year old was successfully stripped of his bombs.

Anyway, this kind of research will surely save lives. Who would’ve thought? Grasshoppers!

There’s always more to learn. Fascinating. Thanks be to God. Love of God makes the thanksgiving exhilerating.

I call to mind the double anamnesis speech of Cardinal Ratzinger to the USCCB in Dallas, TX, in 1991. This is one his most important contributions, right up there with Ad tuendam fidem and then, as Benedict XVI, Summorum Pontificum.

Too bad the bishops didn’t understand a word of what he said, which means that they were already more involved in the second half of chapter one of Romans than the first half of that first chapter. And so we have what we have today.

Basically, you can’t have a remembrance of the pristineness of the Garden of Eden without first of all having a remembrance brought to one’s own living testimony (anamnesis, from which we have the word martyr) of the Last Supper united with Calvary, we being united in solidarity with the wounds of Jesus.

This is essential reading for today: https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/library/conscience-and-truth-2468

It’s good to be solidly grounded in the joy of learning ever so much more about our relationship with our good God in these times of the denial of natural law, divine law, in these times of the denial of Jesus.

You know you’re getting somewhere when the Holy Ghost has you say, “Abba! Father!” through, with and in Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, looking forward to the new Eden, the new paradise, the new “garden” of the new heavens and the new earth in heaven.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a wretched sinner who crucified you, and please have mercy on the whole world. You founded your mercy on your justice. Thank you.

Oh. And imagine being hidden with Christ in God, your camouflage being the carrying about the death of Christ within us, you know, as the Master, so the disciple. I think of Saint Paul:

  • “From henceforth let no man be troublesome to me; for I bear the marks of the Lord Jesus in my body” (Galatians 6:17).
  • “But Father George! Father George! You don’t understand! Being close to Jesus in this world isn’t to be hidden at all. You stand out as the exception, not with the majority, what Karine Jean-Pierre says makes you an extremist!”

Yes, well. This is how it works: the closer you are to Jesus the more the world doesn’t understand your identity in Jesus, who said that the world will hate us as much as it hates Him. Who we truly are is invisible to the world just as the identity of Jesus as the Son of the Living God was not recognized by the world. Proportional to our ‘in your face’ proclamation, the more hidden with Christ in God we are.

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Maternal warriors who sing: Hannah, Anne, Mary Immaculate. What’s in a name?

Above is an icon of Saint Anne with Immaculate Mary, her infant daughter, who is already by vocation Mother of God, respected as such by the Holy Angels.

Anne in Hebrew is Hannah, חַנָּה‎. Most translate this name as grace, favor. That’s appropriate, since Saint Gabriel’s greeting to Mary so as to announce to her that she is to be the Virgin Mother of God, was this: “Rejoice, you who perfectly continue to stand perfectly transformed in grace since the instant…” [in context, that Mary’s vocation to be the virgin Mother of God was received, that is, at the first instant of her conception].

I first heard this explanation – grace, favor – of the name Hannah when I was slogging through the propaedeutic year of languages at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. But with me being freaky pedantic, I sought philological extravaganzas and, the next day, raised my hand to ask Sister Timothy Elliot, our professor, whether or not there was another possibility for the name Hannah, say, perhaps “womb”, indeed, “mercy.” She thought for a second and, eyes bright, said yes. Emboldened, I added a few philological notes, and she waxed poetic on that philology for a minute, confirming my findings.

Anyway, you’ll remember that Hannah is the prophet Samuel’s mother. She was granted the mercy of being a mother by God Most High, and she brought her little son to the temple to grow up there. “Here I am, Lord. I come to do your will.” Hannah sang about her experience, a hymn of praise and thanksgiving which, we can be quite sure, had been memorized and sung by another Hannah more than a thousand years later, the mother of Immaculate Mary. And surely Mary heard this, memorized this, carried this, sang this, the song of a Maternal warrior:

  • “My heart exults in the Lord; my strength is exalted in the Lord. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in thy salvation. There is none holy like the Lord, there is none besides thee; there is no rock like our God. Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. The bows of the mighty are broken, but the feeble gird on strength. Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry have ceased to hunger. The barren has borne seven, but she who has many children is forlorn. The Lord kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up. The Lord makes poor and makes rich; he brings low, he also exalts. He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor. For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, and on them he has set the world. “He will guard the feet of his faithful ones; but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness; for not by might shall a man prevail. The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces; against them he will thunder in heaven. The Lord will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king, and exalt the power of his anointed.” (1 Samuel 2:1-10)

Sound familiar? Let’s see how Immaculate Mary, The Warrior Woman of Genesis 3:15, recast this for her own circumstances as Virgin Mother of God, Jesus being the fulfillment of the new priesthood which Samuel, son of Hannah, put into motion back in his day:

  • “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is on those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm, he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts, he has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of low degree; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent empty away. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity for ever.” (Luke 1:46-55)

To sing with such humility, truth, reverence, praise, with a military edge, demands of any singer, Hannah/Anne/Mary, an experience of suffering.

And that brings us to Mary’s name, Miryam, מִרְיָם, “bitterness” and “sea”. We recall once again the Lamentations:

  • “Is this nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look around and see! Is there any sorrow like mine, which was inflicted on me, which the LORD made me suffer on the day of His fierce anger?” (Lamentations 1:12)

Back to Miryam, Mary. When I lived atop the cave of Elijah atop Mount Carmel for a month, I would sometimes look over the sea. I wondered out loud to my guardian angel what it is that Elijah saw coming out of the sea as a sign that the terrible drought of years was now over, you know, upon his praying seven times. The Hebrew is ambiguous, simply mentioning that his servant reported to Elijah that a small cloud (laden with rain) was seen arising from the sea, a cloud like a man’s hand/foot. הִנֵּה־עָ֛ב קְטַנָּ֥ה כְּכַף־אִ֖ישׁ עֹלָ֣ה מִיָּ֑ם

Forget translations, which often say “hand”. I think not. I think it was a small cloud laden with rain looking like a man’s foot. Why’s that? Because the cloud laden with rain as salvation for Israel is arising out of the bitter sea, that is Miryam, Mary. The first image of salvation we see in the Sacred Scriptures is in Genesis 3:15, whereby salvation is being brought by the initiative of the Savior to reach out His heel to crush the head of the great serpent, the ancient dragon, Satan, with that Redeemer/Savior Himself being crushed as indeed we saw with the crucifixion of Jesus, Son of Miryam, Mary, that Bitterness immense as the Sea under the Cross.

The moment I had asked my guardian angel about that cloud laden with rain back in the Book of Kings, a small cloud laden with rain immediately formed directly in front of me, over the sea, directly in front of Elijah’s cave. That’s the picture I took of that cloud above. Yikes!

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Tomato wars: Hornworm-0 / Wasp-1

As soon as the massive hornworm hosts the eggs of the braconid wasp, cotesia congregates, the worm, while continuing to live as feeding host for the baby wasps, no longer eats or even moves. Nature working for you, as it should be. The little red wasps are friendly. Be nice to them.

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Traditional Possum-Dropping & Traditionis-custodes-Dropping: Sacred Tradition & TLM

Until some animal rights groups got involved a couple years back, there was a live “possum drop” festival every year just south of the parish, then right close to the parish church. Then it was gone. The possums were treated like royalty in their highly decorated perches with all the food and water and comforts they could possibly want. They were gently lowered from on high. Who knows why? It is what it is. Kind of harmless, especially to the possums.

Any possums now being dropped are toys in the secret of people’s homes. Some traditions don’t die out so quickly. I saw this the other day in one of the parishioner’s homes:

It’s difficult to get rid of human traditions.


But what happens when it’s Sacred Tradition that’s being treated like human tradition?

There’s not only more resistance to what is thought by innovators to be open to change, but that change actually is impossible regardless of what kind of resistance there is, though that resistance will be there, and it will be implacable.

Sacred Tradition is constituted by the articles of faith, the traditiones as the Council of Trent calls them in its first dogmatic decree of 8 April 1546 in its fourth session. That supernatural faith provided by the Holy Spirit is univocal and handed on as if by hand, like handing on a book, but is actually wrought by the Holy Spirit, very personal, with love, providing us hope. The Council mocked those who otherwise thought they could control the very Revelation of God, changing doctrine, changing morals, stripping away truth and love and hope, while thinking themselves to be in complete control. For its mockery, the Council used the phrase quasi per manus, almost as if by hand, so as to say:

  • “You think you have God’s Revelation in hand, but you do not. You think you can change doctrine and morals, but you cannot. The handing on of Sacred Tradition is wrought by the direct work of the Holy Spirit. It’s not just tradition, but Sacred Tradition. We’re talking about the unmanipulatable Truth of the Living God. No prestidigitations will be suffered. You do not have control of Sacred Tradition.”

But the innovators will not see that, will not hear that, will not be able to understand that. The innovators will continue to treat the Sacred Revelation of God Himself as a mere possum, which they treat as oh-so-precious, but which they think can ditch any time they want.

Example: The Holy Spirit teaches us all that Jesus taught us. Jesus taught us that at the Last Supper united with Calvary, He recites His Wedding Vows with His Bride the Church, this is my body being given for you in Sacrifice, my blood being poured out for you in Sacrifice, total self-giving, Jesus insisting that this brings us His body, blood, soul and divinity. This has been the teaching of the Church always as it is always the teaching of the Holy Spirit. This is the lex orandi, the law of prayer. This is therefore the lex credendi, the law of believing. This is SACRED TRADITION.

In Traditionis custodes Pope Francis admits that the lex orandi, the law of prayer, is THE TRADITION guaranteed by the custodians of that tradition — though, wait a minute, they are not the Holy Spirit, but mere men — Ooops! The lex orandi is defined in His own accompanying letter as the Sacrifice of Jesus in the Sacrifice of Holy Mass as brought about with the consecrations, say, Hoc est enim corpus meum quod pro vobis TRADETUR. Yep. But Pope Francis says that such a Tradition of Traditions in the Consecrations is not any kind of expression at all of the Latin Rite of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, of the lex orandi. Wait… What? And then elsewhere he says that it is not the mandate of the custodians of tradition to guard doctrine and morality, the deposit of faith. Wait… What?

Fine. I’ll stay with the Holy Spirit, and the “custodians” can attempt all they want to betray the Holy Spirit. They won’t get far at all. Nowhere. To be a good custodian means not to add to, nor take away from, nor change anything. They can expound upon. How authentic that is has to be seen. But that’s all they can do.

Speaking prophetically: Their attempts, say, a printed version of Traditionis custodes, will likely give rise to a culture in which that printed version will be dropped from a great height, and we’ll call that tradition “The Traditionis custodes Drop“. And then that will be made illegal by idiots, regardless of how well that hardcopy was treated as precious as it was being ever so gently lowered in all mockery. And then, being forced underground, people will participate in “The Traditionis custodes Drop” only in the secret of their homes. But they will do it. With joy. With mockery befitting the event. And they they will go to their churches in thanksgiving, participating in a public dropping. And they they will assist at the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Traditional Latin Mass, the TLM, being more custodians of Sacred Tradition than any of those congratulating themselves to be have ever been. And as all that drops, we raise the Lord on high:

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Army worms on the attack

My poor tomatoes.

Are you disgusted?

Jesus said about Himself (in our perspective) Psalm 22: 6-7…

  • “But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people. All who see me mock me. They hurl insults, shaking their heads.”

Yep. That’s us, in our fallen human nature, if we are without grace. With grace, we already know that that’s who we are on our own, total idiots who don’t see God right in front of us.

If we don’t recognize that that’s who we are if we are without grace, we have zero integrity, zero honesty, zero humility. We are full of ourselves, and we’re full of **** as pictured above. That’s not the kind of person who goes to heaven. I wanna go to heaven. The way to go to heaven is not to congratulate ourselves that we are holy, having saved ourselves because we’re the ones, the only ones; the way to go to heaven is to recognize that Jesus is our Savior because He’s the One, the only One.

Oh, and we are to be happy to stand with Jesus in His trials.

That means that if we are with Jesus, we are also considered to be worms by the rest of the fallen world. Ready for that?

Just be to persnickety: It’s not so much “worm” in the biblical text, but rather more specifically, “maggot.” Baalzebul, however you wanna spell it, means “Lord of the Flies”, that is, The Lord of Death, so, rotting corpses, so, maggots, hence, flies. Satan is the murderer from the beginning. Jesus says, “I am a maggot and no man” (in our perspective). How far we have fallen.

Jesus is considered a maggot because we are fallen and that’s how we roll in self-protection: Jesus is bad and evil, not me.

Again, the cure to this, in Jesus’ grace, is a bit of humility, honesty, integrity, so that, redeemed and saved by Jesus, being in His grace, standing in solidarity with Him, we are also then considered to be maggots, the worst of the worst. And moreover, we’re happy about this.

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100 times as many… and…

Yesterday, after Holy Mass up in Graham County, still attempting to recover from the epic “Day Off” at U.T. Med. Center in Knoxville, more doctor’s orders came my way: “Go ahead, Father, it does a soul good to get out on the water. Duc in altum!” That’s all the encouragement I needed. This is a yearly event with a number of pontooners in the parish. I’m thinking this is good with Jesus, as he spoke about it:

  • “No one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for My sake and for the gospel will fail to receive a hundredfold in the present age—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and fields, along with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life.” (Mark 10:29-30)

Let’s see:

The dam in the slideshow above is about 100 years old, with sirens to the sides that are at the ready for when the dam fails. Myths include divers of the TVA inspecting the cavernous hole at the bottom, only to vow never to go down again, having seen the massive carp lurking there, “able to swallow a car”.

I look forward to seeing the Osprey nest every year. This year there were two. I grew up with Ospreys. Here’s a picture someone took who knows where:

In Minnesota, water everywhere, just glancing out a window one is likely to see an osprey sitting in a branch of a dead tree high above whatever body of water. As a kid growing up in Minnesota, frequently spotting an osprey, scanning their usual perches, I’d watch for a moment and, sure enough, he would drop down, grabbing a fish, circle back up to his perch, and start eating.

Some ospreys are also good at long range infiltration, getting the job done, and exfiltration:

That’s not an out-of-place video in this post, as the pontooners are as Military as you can get. And pretty much everyone in Graham County is a veteran. And… and… afterward we attended a get-together of the “town”, a cook-out, put on by the locals with all the law enforcement and fire department and EMS invited. Most of them are, of course, ex-military as well. They, of course, had to advertise their arrival to this entire region of the state, with sound travelling far and wide across the waters, with all sirens blaring.

If you take a look at that top picture again, that far, far mountain… on the far side of that 4 miles down the other side lies Andrews where the “main” church of the parish is situated.

Back to Jesus’ instruction, you know, that bit about “with persecutions”… The 100 times crowd in this parish is fully aware of that, all good with that. However much of a paradise that is here, our eyes are pealed on the heavens, eternal life, into which Jesus ascended to our dear Heavenly Father. Our Father

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Oh deer! Defensive driving in paradise with Jesus, Creator of the heavens and the earth.

Such a scene is to be seen anytime I’m doing Communion Calls such as last evening, or going anywhere throughout the forested mountains in this paradise which is my parish. Defensive driving techniques here have been all about edginess in knowing that there will be an accident unless you’re instantly ready to brake while avoiding. A good sense of situational awareness, actively looking for deer hidden by their camouflage and a bit of grass or mountain laurel.

While any typical jaunt will witness, say, a half-dozen small herds of a few deer to ten or twenty, not to mention elk and bear and boar and bobcats and lynx and mountain lions and panthers and cats and dogs and coyotes and red wolves and now gray wolves and box turtles and snapping turtles and snakes and ravens and turkeys and turkey buzzards and road pizza possums and road pizza woodchucks, even a beaver or two… well, none of them are much of a hazard. They are simply a joy. And having learned a bit of situational awareness for their sake and your own, one will get be trained up right quick for the real danger, which comes from other drivers “owning” the road, so that nobody belongs on the road but them. And they drive accordingly. Oh deer! And oh dear!

Appreciation of the fact that all of creation proclaims the glories of our good Creator makes one not overly situationally aware, so that one is worn out with hyperawareness, but instead has one in tune, as it were, a sintonia, a precision in being aware of one’s environment. I’m not quite getting across what’s happening… Let’s try again…

While I’m out and about on Communion calls, it is the very Creator of all things who is with me in the Most Blessed Sacrament. How humble He is to allow Himself to be dragged all over His own creation in Sassy the Subaru. And in seeing Jesus’ good creation I cannot but proclaim to Him that He did a good job of it, all befitting the needs of His Immaculate Mother in taking care of us who have adopted into the Holy Family. And as we bounce along a single-lane gravel mountain road with washouts here and fallen trees there, one is never so distracted as not being able to say: Look! A bald eagle! Be careful! A donkey!

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Super Flower Blood Moon NASA donkey edition)

That short animated video from NASA demonstrates what’s happening tonight up in North America, Eastern Standard Time.

  • Super = closer than farther, making the moon appear to be quite a bit larger to us here on earth.
  • Flower = when, in the Northern Hemisphere, flowers are in bloom (a bit hemispherist!).
  • Blood = the color thereof, because we’re so dramatic when it comes to astronomy. It’s just atmospherics, I know, but it’s still rather dramatic that the shadow this earth casts is blood red.

This isn’t the solar eclipse – sun to moon to earth – that took place on Calvary as our Lord died on the Cross. This is a lunar eclipse – sun to earth to moon. A dear reader asked me for an analogy using this event. Let’s see, our Lady, clothed with the sun, stands on the crescent moon…

Can we stand with our Lady in the light of the Son?

In thinking about this I do have a story about how I was compared to a jackass by a certain rather influential priest while in Italy. He was standing in the shade of a carport whilst I was standing in the sun.

  • O, Giorgio, che fa un asino nel sole? (Oh, George, what does a donkey to in the sun?)
  • Padre, un asino fa un po di ombra nel sole. (Father, a donkey makes a little bit of shade in the sun.)
  • Hai raggione, Giorgio, asino che sei. (You are correct, George, donkey that you are.)

This made for a round of laughter amongst other ecclesiastics, who were happy both to witness my progress in Italian after having just recently arrived, and to see my willingness to have myself condemned as a being a mere donkey.

It was not yet known that I love donkey history, such as donkeys always being in the midst of the Holy Family from Nazareth to Bethlehem to Egypt and back, and then with Jesus going into Jerusalem to be crucified, every donkey also having his hour.

When we choose to be donkeys, standing in the Light of the Son, we clearly see the blood shadow we have cast upon the universe, not suppressing the truth of who we are before God. It is then that we are brought into the midst of the Holy Family. We have all of us crucified, shed the blood of the Son of the Living God with original sin, our own sin. His dear Mother stands next to Him, she being clothed in the grace of God, “the rays of the sun”, of the Son. We can choose to remain in the shadows (look at how shadowy is that moon under her feet), or we can, by grace, come into the light, becoming the children of God, donkeys that we are.

Methinks it’s good to be a donkey in the sun, in the Son.

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Black-Face White Supremacy Squirrels

These pictures were taken just the other day. There are a good half-dozen to be seen all at once at this location. Here’s two together:

These are Oriental Tree Squirrels from Thailand, the majority squirrel in and around Brevard, NC. Legend has it that they came to this area by way of escape from a carnival truck waaay back in the day. They’ve spread out in perhaps a fifty mile radius.

And no, they were not bred to be this way on behalf of white supremacist democrats who dress up in blackface and who chum around with members of the KKK and put abortuaries in black neighborhoods so as to commit genocide-by-attrition of the black population. These squirrels are just a breed of squirrel.

But the wokistas will want their 2nd amendment rights to gun down innocent white squirrels so that they can congratulate themselves for “having done something.”

Do I mock the wokistas? Yes. Because more than anyone, they are racist and pretend to be triggered so as to have an excuse to smack down, say, Supreme Court Justices as “racist” for the attempt of those justices to save the lives of black babies in the womb. There is no one more racist than a wokista.

So, how is it that I wrote a post like this? Because real racism like that of the wokistas does bother me. Why’s that? Because God is OUR creator and Jesus came into this world to redeem the lot of us. Not all are saved, but that’s their choice. Bottom line: all lives matter. The wokistas have it that no lives matter. I disagree. And that’s not just a religious “opinion.” Respect for life is natural law written on our hearts by the Most High.

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Eagle sighting, every day, but called “The Last”

Not my picture. I couldn’t get a picture of the one I saw, as I was driving at the time and he had been right over the top of the car. Massive white head, gargantuan wingspan, white tail. Yep.

The Bald Eagle, symbol of strength in freedom with God-given rights in the rule of law enshrined in the Constitution is refreshing to see amidst all the betrayal of these USA and of our military. There are so many, so high up, who are treasonous, who are intent on destroying this country, and for what? A couple of bucks from big money with which they can eat ice cream cones and drink from sippy cups while proving senility and dementia as marxist college kids do up subversion for him?

That’s a perpetual rant going on in my heart. But that betrayal of the “powers that be”, that violence against everyone from conception to death, dragging the world into persecution of the Church, fades into insignificance compared to the scandal and destruction of eternal souls by the pastors of the Church.

But that apostle and evangelist who has an eagle as a symbol always has encouragement for us daily at what is called the Last Gospel, exactly parallel with the Proto-Evangelium, the First Gospel of Genesis 3:15 and exactly parallel with the the Apocalypse, and is the Prologue of his Gospel:

  • In principio erat Verbum et Verbum erat apud Deum et Deus erat Verbum. Hoc erat in principio apud Deum. Omnia per Ipsum facta sunt, et sine Ipso factum est nihil quod factum est. In Ipso vita erat, et vita erat Lux hominum. Et Lux in tenebris lucet et tenebrae eam non comprehenderunt. Fuit homo missus a Deo cui nomen erat Iohannes. Hic venit in testimonium ut testimonium perhiberet de lumine ut omnes crederent per Illum. Non erat ille lux, sed ut testimonium perhiberet de lumine. Erat lux vera quae illuminat omnem hominem venientem in mundum. In mundo erat, et mundus per ipsum factus est, et mundus eum non cognovit. In propria venit et sui eum non receperunt. Quotquot autem receperunt eum dedit eis potestatem filios Dei, fieri his qui credunt in nomine Eius. Qui non ex sanguinibus, neque ex voluntate carnis, neque ex voluntate viri, sed ex Deo nati sunt. ET VERBUM CARO FACTUM EST, ET HABITABIT IN NOBIS et vidimus gloriam eius, gloriam quasi unigeniti a Patre, plenum gratiae et veritatis.
  • In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him: and without him was made nothing that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to give testimony of the light, that all men might believe through him. He was not the light, but was to give testimony of the light. That was the true light, which enlighteneth every man that cometh into this world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, he gave them power to be made the sons of God, to them that believe in his name. Who are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as it were of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

When I see a Bald Eagle, that’s what flashes through heart and soul and mind.

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Rectory Rattler? Croatulus Horridus? Yet again?

This doesn’t seem to be a Copperhead. And there are plenty of non-poisonous Eastern Racers or Black Rat Snakes or even “Garden Snakes” with similar patterns for the very young, cleverly making them look more dangerous than they are. And I know that there are a gazillion different patterns for the tiny babies even amongst the poisonous rattlers.

But there are four tell-tale identifiers:

  • One is the super-fat body typical of a poisonous snake, whereas the non-poisonous are super-slender from head to tail, so that you can’t tell the tail from the body which is also about the same circumference as the head. But the specimen above has a super-fat body.
  • Then there’s the ultra-super-slender tail compared to that fat body, and that’s true of our specimen above.
  • Then there’s the rattle, of course, except for the super-young, like this guy. He has the tell-tale “button tail”, though that last button bit is a bit elongated. He just in middle of his first shedding.
  • Then there’s the exaggerated triangular head. Behold:

I think that about settles it. But I’m no herpetologist, though I do have lengthy commentary wrought with historical philology for chapters two and three of Genesis. But that doesn’t count here. If anyone can tell me what this is, I’m open to a correction.

Backing up my hypothesis – just a hypothesis mind you – is the fact that this part of Appalachia seems to be an epicenter for Rattlers. Horribly, people run them over on the road – it seems on purpose – and many then stop and rip out the fangs to use for necklaces. Yep. And then we’re all overrun by varmints.

He was very photogenic, in a rather cold-blooded manner, it being that he’s cold-blooded, and it’s very cold today. After pictures I chased him off to safer territory.

I mentioned this to someone who was horrified (per the name Horridus), afraid for me and Shadow-dog when it grows to some four to five feet long.

But they have rattles to warn you, right? They know how to avoid humans and dogs. They’re after mice and rats and mice and squirrels and… the neighbors’ chickens… and baby kittens and little puppies…

I know, I know.

I assume that they are living on the creek bank next to the rectory, under branches and such. All good.

And, just in case, I know right where my Sawyer’s Extractor is. Just a minute away. Lying down. Calling the neighbors to bring me to EMS or Urgent Care or the Emergency Room. Trying to be still, but using the Extractor a gazillion times.

Today, in the TLM calendar, it’s the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. Time for another flower for the Immaculate Conception. Give me a minute to put up some pictures for that post after this one. You’ll need to tell the story for that one, though.

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For the birds! They taste just like chicken, you know, apocalyptic vultures! Preppers prepare!

Wild turkeys. Mmm. Good. Thanksgiving is coming up. They were next to a Communion Call in the back ridges of these Smoky Mountains. Hey, in that picture up top there’s a Congressman Davy-Crockett-shot, one bird behind the other: you use only one bullet to get both. I like that in these days of no ammo.

Then, in the back yard of the rectory. Sorry, the phone camera ain’t all that good. A woodpecker of sorts. I don’t know what kind. Obviously not the one that just went extinct. I can’t find it anywhere in google images. Perhaps you know? He’d be a good snack as well.

Meanwhile, because of recent events in these last couple of years, I’ve been pondering Matthew 24:28 — “Wherever the corpse may be, there will the vultures be gathered.”

Here in these parts, what I call a “thuggery of vultures” is called a “kettle”, you know, for how they fly in vortexed circles. Here’s some pictures over the years here, again from a fuzzy phone camera:

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Eating a vulture wouldn’t be my first go-to for game-foul. But, they’d make a good meal or two for sure.

Crazy, right? How could anyone think like that? Eating birds that aren’t chicken or duck or ruffed grouse or or pheasant under glass?

Here’s the deal: Events over the last couple of years have had me mulling over Daniel 7 and Daniel 12, Matthew 24 and Apocalypse 12… Ain’t easy. Mull… mull… mull…

Meanwhile, I listened to this homily by the great Father Kirby from just now:

Father Kirby’s not wrong on all that. No sir-eee.

It’s all so crazy the times we’re in. All so crazy. Meanwhile, I’m preparing a post on apocalyptic stuff.

Meanwhile again… Don’t get eaten by the vultures. You eat the vultures. They taste just like apocalyptic chicken. I think that an essential part of the recipe is preparation over an open flame fire as their horrid diet means you kinda have to carbonize them a bit. :-)

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Mysterious garden beast: but don’t you be the beast. Ratzinger on Tradition, Conscience, Truth.

I’m guessing that this guy is a good 4 centimeters, just over 1.5 inches long. He didn’t let me get too close, but I swear I saw the bits pictured at the center bottom of the chart below, the pigeon tremex character. The markings, however, are not similar. But I’m in Western North Carolina, in the Smoky Mountains, not in Washington State. The center white dot is a reflection of the sun on the hard shell.

I’m always, always fascinated by the good creation of our Good Creator. And that doesn’t make me an ecoterrorist, or a green-party wild man, but rather one who sees the Creator also through His Creation.

Saint Paul in his epistle to the Romans, the famous chapter one, and then chapter two, speaks of this for us. Read it!

Firefly (Redemption, #2) by Molly McAdams

;-)

Meanwhile, here in Western North Carolina, in the back ridges of Appalachia, it’s a paradise: praise God!

  • Some don’t seem to see it at all, trashing up everything everywhere, shooting up heroin, taking meth and Fentanyl, beating on each other – even decapitations – loving the power of cynicism.
  • But many do see, as it were, God through His Creation, bringing to the fore the living memory of the first creation only through the living memory of the second creation: “Do this in memory of me…”
  • Once we have the second, we can get to the first, but then realize that it’s all even better:

O felix culpa quae talem et tantum meruit habere redemptorem.

O happy fault which merited such a great Redeemer.

Want a good read of just a few pages? Try Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger’s address to the USCCB in 1991:

Retrieving the Tradition: CONSCIENCE AND TRUTH

DON’T BE AFRAID! Download it to read later! It’ll do good for your soul. That’s necessary these days.

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NC hospital fires 175 unvaxed. Priests & ministers & preachermen next? Was $14,000 OSHA Fine now pushed as $700,000 Fine.

All these nurses et alii, because they are fired, will have no pay, no insurance. The hospital is Presbyterian. But don’t blame the Presbies. Here in Andrews, NC, the Presbies are like those who just now have been fired; they’ve remained open since the beginning, just like the little Catholic church in Andrews, NC.

The reason for the firings doesn’t have anything to do with any fear of any Faucian Chinese Communist Party virus, but rather the OSHA administered $14,000 per incident fine coming down upon those companies with more than 100 employees, or coming down upon those self-employed contractors with companies with more than 100 employees, that is, including all un-vaxed (arch)diocesan priests working for any (arch)diocese in these USA, that is, all ministers and preachermen right across the country.

But the new “reconciliation” bill for which Joe Manchin refuses to vote at the moment, states, on page 168, that the fine is not going to be $14,000, but rather a fine of $700,000 per un-vaxed person. Get that? In fact, the explicitly stated intention is to bankrupt all institutions who let un-vaxed workers work.

So, I mean, like, what weak (arch)bishop is going to retain even one priest who is un-vaxed? Not one, is the answer. Instead, those weak (arch)bishops are tougher than the Federal government dares to be, giving the green light to the government to be even more draconian. The Feds provide options of religious exemptions and weekly testing. Do the weak (arch)bishops do that? No. In fact, they are angry at the Federal government for embarrassing them about options the weak (arch)bishops refuse to tolerate.

Oh, a GREAT summary by Tucker about all this:

  • “But Father George! Father George! You and that Tucker guy are so dramatic! Get real! You know very well, Father George, that there is almost no (arch)bishop or (arch)diocesan priest in this world who is un-vaxed, and so… what are you talking about?! There will be no fines, because all those guys are vaxed, like twice, and, like, with three or four booster shots, daily booster shots, intravenous boosters that they walk around with on rolling intravenous poles you can get on Amazon for $35 bucks, really nice, you know, to set, like, a good example! You know that, Father George! You’re being misleading! You’re scaring people into thinking that churches will be shut down! You know that’s not true, Father George! You’re an ol’ meanie! You should be stopped, Father George!”

Meanwhile, wards and hospitals are shutting down. Meanwhile, priests are being forbidden to provide the sacraments in (arch)diocese after (arch)diocese. It’s not Jesus and His Little Flock but rather money that is “PRECIOUS” –

I don’t want to turn into that. But I daily see (arch)bishops and their priests turn into.. that… They lust for that, envy that, wanna be Gollum at his worst, which they think is the best for anyone.

It’s like a priest who told me flat out that he would abandon the flock to serve the Lord another day, because that’s the smart thing to do. He’ll be able to advance over the corpses of his brothers. But anyone who plays the mercenary for the sake of being a shepherd will always be the mercenary and never a shepherd. That priest is not an outlier. They are most common today.

Here’s a video, an analogy, on the brutality of wolves who don’t bother to hide themselves with sheep’s clothing, but just outright attack the Lord’s Little Flock in front of God and the whole world, dramatically playing up fearsomeness for the lights and camera, which they pay for, because they are proud of what they do in attacking the Lord’s Little Flock. How brave! Wolves attacking sheep! Such leaders! Such heroes! “We’re happy there are pro-life people, but we’ll move forward with vaccines anyways!”

Meanwhile, please God, this priest, yours truly, will not get vaxed, and will protect the least of the brethren in the womb, the least of the Lord’s Little Flock. Dear Jesus, please make it so. Please make it that there will be plenty of (arch)diocesan priests and (arch)bishops and Cardinals and upwards with whom I will be able to join, those who protect, who are not mercenaries, but who are true shepherds. Meanwhile, I rejoice in this scene and the words of the Magnificat which have special incisiveness in our days:

“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.”

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Toto – Africa – Like a leprous (I get it now)

I never really heard those words in the lyrics of Toto-Africa before, from 1’54” to 2’04”, just 10 seconds…

  • “I know I must do what’s right, sure as Kilimanjaro rises like a leprous above the Serengeti.”

If you didn’t know, leprosy turns any skin tone albino, white as snow, or foaming-at-the-mouth-vomit…

This song came out in 1982, with the video in 1983. I was already lost in studies in Rome, Italy, for years, and knew nothing of any songs outside of “Resta con noi…” or “Tu scendi dalle stelle…” Yesterday, YouTube suggested that I needed to hear Toto’s Africa. I had heard it previously, in more recent decades, but long enough ago that I was coming back to it fresh. That helps one to notice that which one might not have been ready to hear. This happens all the time, of course, in reading Sacred Scripture, the writings of the saints…

We live in dark times when those who have the pretense to enforce power perverted to evil attack those who simply want to “do what’s right” like Toto’s Africa says. “Doing what’s right” singles that person out, makes that person a target.

Kilimanjaro raises itself in peaceful pristine goodness above the always dramatic Serengeti, making itself a target, first of all for mockery. Because of the snow in the upward reaches, it’s called “leprous”, to be avoided, unclean, a blight on the rest of, you know, surely virtuous and ever so self-righteous humanity which remains down below in all politically correct sycophantry, that which sees any “doing what’s right” as evil self-righteousness that cannot be tolerated.

Such a person who “must do what’s right” has, however, first of all been convicted of any lack of righteousness in his life and is pushed by that which is good and holy to “do what’s right.”

And then there’s the pile-on by all those who are nervous with all that which is good and holy. They see another weak person like themselves but now “doing what’s right” as an incrimination of their evil. They must go on the attack.

The favorite thing in all the world is to climb Kilimanjaro, rising above the Serengeti, only to vomit all over Kilimanjaro for lack of oxygen at its 19,341 feet up into the atmosphere. You think that’s snow flowing down from the top? Bwahahaha. Think again.

This is what any knucklehead priest who is convicted of his own lack of righteousness and now “must do what’s right” has to look forward to enduring. But, no matter, he goes ahead and “does what’s right” anyway, come what may. But that’s Jesus upon whom people vomit. Otherwise they wouldn’t bother.

Meanwhile, being Kilimanjaro, one has a view no one can take away of the vast sea of humanity being drawn toward it as by a magnet, a tractor-beam. It is a view one has when, after being dragged across hell, across Calvary, one finds oneself to be crucified up high with Christ Jesus, in solidarity with Him as He is in solidarity with us. Jesus said: “When I am lifted up [on the Cross] I will draw all to myself.” He is vomited upon, spit on. But it is a view up high that one cannot abandon, seeing all of humanity dragged across hell, despite itself, to be in reverence, in humble thanksgiving, finally, before the very Son of the Living God.

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All things work together for the one who loves God, even…

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There are those who say that they will have a question for God if they make it to heaven, such as what’s the deal with wood-ticks and mosquitoes and wasps and hornets and yellow jackets. Myopic. And not recognizing the perfect ecosystems which we go about destroying. Mostly, it’s just not having a bit of humility, not wanting to open one’s eyes and be directed to the Creator by His Creation.

Meanwhile, this bit of stinging horror pictured above is just under the eves of the carport, just where I open the car door, so that when I stand up, all in black, these beasties think they are under attack, just inches away. I often feel them smashing into the “baseball” cap I wear. It’s their favorite spot no matter what I do, year after year. I’m allergic to such critters, a hereditary condition. Sorry, but I got out the ol’ wasp spray.

People say that Saint Francis wouldn’t like harming such innocent creatures, but that’s only because of the myths that have grown up around Saint Francis. No wimp, flowers in the hair hippie he, no, no, no. Go ahead, read the rule for his fledgling community that he wrote. Remember, he was deacon, and had courses in the law of the Church such as it was at the time. He is precise. He wants his friars in heaven. He wants them to be crucified to themselves and the world so as to live for Christ Jesus.

  • “But Father George, you’re talking about being crucified to yourself and to the world and you’re afraid of a little sting? Bwahahahahahahaha!”

I know. I know. But it’s just that a little sting could do me in right quick.

  • “But Father George, you used to have bee hives!”

Well, I never said I was always prudent in having no fear of anything. And these beasties are different than bees.

Our Lord says that we will have no questions when we enter, please God, into heaven. But I insist that I will have a question, but it will be merely rhetorical. When something bad happens to us here on earth, we tend to ask, perhaps with some bitterness: “Why is it always me?”

When we enter, please God, into heaven, it seems to me that we will be so thankful and so awestruck at the love and goodness and kindness of the Lord, that we will ask the same thing: “Why me, Lord? I am a useless servant who only did what he had to do.”

And you know what that is? Going to Confession. Oooo! That stung, didn’t it? ;-) But don’t be afraid of a little sting. The happiness of the grace of absolution, just so wonderful.

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Rattler’s rattle rattles plot twisting. [Update: Father Gordon’s humor.]

Whenever I put up a picture of a snake and say it’s a Timber Rattler (common here in Western North Carolina, especially on the road where I was) there are those who say that that’s impossible, a conspiracy theory, an exaggeration, just more unnecessary drama, all in a laudatory effort, methinks – PLOT TWIST – to normalize the presence of rattlers (which, to be sure, I love to see around as well). I don’t want to step on them. But I also don’t want to run over them. I love to see nature in full force.

The fake nay-sayers will say that surely I didn’t see the tell-tale pattern, or if I did, it was merely being sported by an immature Eastern Racer (Black Snake) or some such.

Then they’ll that surely I wasn’t close enough to see if it had a triangular head, you know, like this:

But then, still pretending to doubt my insistence, will say that is surely didn’t have an actual rattle, and add that some snakes can shake their tails with no rattles and make them kind of sound like rattles (true!). But, then there is this:

Now what? Baiting someone to think that this is not a Timber Rattler and so is therefore great for using in a humorous selfie like this?

image

[In the picture immediately above, that IS a Black Snake. But Father George is wearing a black shirt…] But what happens then – and this is the purposed intention of those deceitfully shrieking about conspiracy theories and exaggerations – what happens then is that I’ll pick up what is really a Timber Rattler and I’ll get bit by that serpent and die. [In speaking with Father Gordon this morning, he quipped that “it is unclear who was about to bite whom.” Hahaha. :-) I walked or rather slithered right into this. :-) ]

ANALOGY TIME!

  • “Father George! Father George! You’re exaggerating! You’re a conspiracy theorist! You’re melodramatic! Stop saying that Covid-19 vaccines are taken from living organs of human beings (aborted alive for this reason), because, you know, that means that you, Father George, are taking away our good feelings for getting Covid-19 vaccines! You meanie! You old meanie! Those were miscarriages taken out of dumpsters and, you know, stuff like that! Father George, you’re like that old Serpent, the ancient dragon and Satan, lying about doctrine and morality like you do. Father George, there is no sin, there is no Savior, there is no heaven, no hell, and therefore no Satan, no ancient serpent!”

And these people bait even the elect to fall into sin, getting bit by the demonic rebellion against the Living Truth that the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception is.

But then, plot twist:

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Evolution over 420,000,000 million years [updated in one day for evolution’s sake]

Zero change.

There’s never been even one instance of macroevolution proven.

There’s plenty of microevolution. I had freckles as a kid. But despite what Planned Parenthood says, I wasn’t a salamander in the womb.

And more than that, Redemption and, please God, Salvation, makes it possible for us to carry within us by created grace, sanctifying grace, the Most Holy Trinity. That ain’t happenin’ with other creatures even though created by… wait for it… our Creator. We are to be Tabernacles of the Holy Spirit with that fiery Love. God is Truth. God is Love.

UPDATE:

  • We are, in fact, creatures with free will and all mankind is fallen. I mean, let’s take a look at how reasonable, how scientific we are:

That looks well organized, thoughtful, surely a factory putting means of production into action out of love of God and neighbor… Shock! Nur Arbeit macht Frei. What’s that mean? Freedom? …

This was all so very scientific! scientific! scientific! just moving evolution along with eugenics! And human mothers only have salamanders in the womb! Margaret Sanger a sycophant of Hitler, literally. Perhaps it is possible that with any scientific theory, there may be some self-serving politics afoot, so that science in that case is not science, but an abuse of science by butt-hurt emotions, you know, the entitlement to be smahht, you know, not dumb.

  • Obviously, I’m baiting people to go on a treasure hunt for Peking Man! There’s even a treasure map: 39°55′4″N 119°34′0″E. I mean, who was that Marxist poet Jesuit guy who fancied himself as an impressive scientist, paleontologist (ooo! a multisyllabic word!), theologian and, of course, philosopher? Oh yes! Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Now there’s a trustworthy guy! Sigh.
  • I’ve not said one thing about what side of evolution I tend to think answers more questions more consistently in the most simple manner against critics coming from all sides, that is, with the least possibility that we are reading premises into where they must not be or extracting premises from where they must be.
  • What I did say is that pro-death idiocy is butt-hurt emotional greed, making us, as Chesterton has it in, if I remember correctly, The Everlasting Man, less reasonable than the animals, products of our fallen human nature.

One gentleman of Princeton fame chimed in with an article about Ratz from a guy in Vienna (with whom I first had a sit-down way back in the 1990s in Rome), an article which sports this citation:

I couldn’t agree more with those very well chosen words. They are, in fact, exactly what I was expressing in my original post up top. Logically, they mean almost nothing. It’s just baiting for more thought about it all.

In thinking about this, let’s try to limit discussion as to whether faith can purify reason. ;-)

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Moonshiner Crane sighting! Priesthood in the time of Covid-19, like it doesn’t exist

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…

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Snow dogs?

A parishioner is up north at the moment. His view for a couple of minutes…

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