This may seem a bit weird, but I guess I’ve turned into an amateur birder of sorts.   While working up at my family’s lake cabin today, I caught site of several new birds flitting from tree to tree.

Although they were singing joyfully (queedling?) , they were rather shy and hard to approach.  I managed to get a shot of one of them high up in the trees.   I’m glad that I had my good camera with me, or cropping it down to what you see above would have been impossible.

Lo and behold, these are Eastern Bluebirds!  My grandmother told me once many years ago that these were her favorites but I’ve never seen any before.   I’m really glad that these little guys came to hang out today.  It was quite fun watching them.

You can see better photos and learn more about these guys at

The plans for nesting boxes that I found here look pretty easy.  I may have to build a couple and see if anyone moves in.




Weekly Photo Challenge: Threshold


This week’s photo challenge from is “Threshold.”   The description they give is:

A threshold is a point of entering; that point just before a new beginning — that split-second moment in time, full of anticipation. All the hard work is over; relief is palpable.

I really didn’t know what to do with this challenge.  My current day-to-day routine doesn’t really lend itself to much photographic creativity, so I pondered it until Sunday evening when I attended Mass at my parish.  I sat in a different place than I usually do, so the procession to receive Holy Communion took me on a different path, past the Church’s hand carved Stations of the Cross, along the western wall of the Church.

It was a rare opportunity to see the Stations up close and to have a few seconds of contemplation with each.  The 14th station, depicted above, of Christ being laid in the Tomb really speaks to me.  It’s emotional and raw and in a way that I hope meets the definition of “threshold” given above.

An evangelical church that I pass each day on my drive to work currently has this on its marquee:

“What began with a tree ended with a tree.”

The phrase has bugged me all week because it is NOT the whole story.  It’s not even the end of the story.  The marquee recalls on one hand  the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden, source of the “apple” which caused man’s descent into sin, and,  on the other hand, it brings forth the image of the tree from which Christ’s crucifix was made.

It over simplifies the enormity of Christ’s life and death and overlooks the critical need for His Resurrection.   Christ removed from the cross and laid in the Tomb, as recounted in the 14th Station, is in this instant of reflection, a threshold for what had to happen after the Crucifixion to finish Christ’s mission on earth – proving that death is not the end for Him or us.

I took photos of all the Stations after Mass that evening.  Not the best photos to be sure, but not bad for a little meditation.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflection

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This week’s photo challenge from is “Reflection,” an interesting topic to be sure:

Reflect: to consider where we’ve been in life, where we are now, and where we’re going.

It was a busy week, so I don’t feel like I did this topic much credit, but here are a few shots that I’ve taken in the last 6 months or so.   I find them ‘reflective’ in the sense of an inner conversation that the bring to me, but that may not be obvious to you.

The most recent of the photos is this one:

madonna reflection


This caught my attention the other morning.  At Christmas I was collecting some pretty Christmas cards that I intend to frame someday.  This one of the Madonna and Child has been sitting on my breakfast table for months when I noticed it’s reflection in my camera’s display.  I thought it was interesting as a reflected image ON the camera, rather than one taken THROUGH the camera.    What do you think?

Here’s another one that I like.  It’s taken over the bay adjacent to St. Fidelis Seminary on the north coast of Papua New Guinea, where I taught.  I did my best to capture the beauty and mystery of the clouded full moon over the water, but I lacked a proper tripod to really do it justice.  Still, it’s an image that I can lose myself in, both with memories of the past  and questions of the future.





Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned

graffiti in rome


I’m getting this week’s photo challenge from in just under the wire, I think.

The challenge this week is to show “abandoned.”  I’ve been pondering it all week and though I knew I didn’t want to show something like an abandoned car or house or something like that, I couldn’t put my finger on something new to photo.

Instead, I decided to show you this photo that I took a couple of years ago.  I think it’s interesting for a number of reason.

First, this is graffiti that I photographed from the wall of a building just outside Vatican City in Rome.  I was there with Fr. Roderick Vonhogen for the Beatification of Pope John Paul II.  I saw this as we were walking along a side street and nearly didn’t stop to shoot it.

Second, it grabbed my attention, and I use it now, because it expresses a hopelessness of the future, an “abandonment,” if you will that seemed so out of place in Rome.

I often wonder about the person who sprayed this on the wall and hope that he or she found answers for their angst.  I think this feeling of abandonment, which we all feel from time to time, is a good thing to ponder during this season of Lent.

We have weather


My friend Mark likes to say that we don’t have seasons here in Oklahoma.  We just have weather.

I think he’s right, but this is just plain weird.    Snow, sleet, ice, lightning, thunder and earthquakes all at the same time.  


A few days from now we’ll be back to drought, twisty winds and grass fires.  

Ya gotta just roll with it. 



“Son of God” Movie

This afternoon I had the chance to see the film “Son of God,” with my sister.   From what I understand, much of the footage came from last year’s “The Bible” mini-series.   While I was in Papua New Guinea, Archbishop Stephen Reichert of Madang lent us his copy of the mini-series (probably one of the few  in whole country), but I was only able to watch the first two episodes before we had to return it.  Therefore, I don’t know first hand if the film is just a re-edit of that footage or not.

Nonetheless, if you have not seen “The Bible”, I would encourage you to see “Son of God” while it’s still in theaters.  I think it’s a very fitting way to begin the season of Lent.

It’s not the best film you’ll ever see, but there is some very fine acting among the key figures, particularly that of Jesus, played by .  The film lacks the same emotional impact of “The Passion of Christ”, but there are some scenes that are particularly memorable.  I really liked the scenes with the miracle of the “multiplication of the loaves” and the “raising of Lazarus.”

My suggestion is to begin Lent with “Son of God”, which will be all the better for being seen on the large screen, and save “The Passion of Christ” for Good Friday.

I’d love to know what you think of both these films.  “Son of God” takes some liberties with an exact interpretation of Scripture, and it glosses over the biblical events following Christ’s resurrection, but it’s still a worthy telling of the story, in my opinion.

I think I should watch the entire “The Bible” series and see what I think of the whole production. Have you seen it?  Is it worth the time and effort to watch it all?


Should I worry about humanity?


I saw this going around the internet and I immediately questioned if I should be seriously worried about humanity.

Why would I think that?  There are plenty of other reasons to worry about humanity, let’s face it.  My question stems from a couple of facts:

  1.  The fact that this thing actually exists.
  2. The fact that I find it tremendously humorous
  3. The fact that I REALLY want one.

Squirrels and I are known nemeses.  They’ve already had plenty of entertainment at my expense.  I don’t think I would be out of line to have a bit at theirs.


Source:  Find out more about this really need thing at this link.