Thursday, November 27, 2014


For the wild beauty
of wrens and rain,
the promise of young oaks
and decomposing logs,
sunrises and moonglow,
I am thankful.

For the shelter of a snug house,
abundant and delicious food
that appears on our table daily,
easy reliable transportation and
employment worthwhile and rewarding,
I am thankful.

For a family that fills our house with joy and laughter,
children that make me proud,
and a wife that delights and inspires me daily,
for all these and more,
blessings beyond any reasonable expectation,
I am thankful.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Wild Oak

There is a young, wild oak in my backyard that could serve as a fitting symbol for late fall/early winter, an icon of the season between the seasons. All the other leaves are down, forming a welcome blanket to shelter the forest floor. But this tree holds on to autumn, and its maroon red leaves remain. This oak will continue holding on to its tough but tattered leaves until the storms of winter blow them off one by one. A few will endure every storm and will not relinquish their station until—their watch completed—they are at last pushed off by the tender green leaves of spring. This wild oak, with its rich dark maroon leaves, like a sentinel stands at the edge of the woods, a silent watcher of all the winter winds will bring to our home.

I think my human mind cannot conceive such steadfast relentless patient endurance. I could learn of the wild oak.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Window to the Past

Without too much trouble, my mind's eye can peer out my bedroom window from when I was 9 or 10 years old. There I can watch cardinals on the feeder in the plum tree. I am captivated in wonder watching the brilliant red males and more subtly tinted female cardinals feasting on the sunflower seeds we'd left for them. Wild encounters can last a lifetime.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

November Rain

The cold November rain
drips a contemplative song,
warm as a cup of tea
to my senses.
Too rarely am I quiet enough to notice.
Quiet requires stillness
and is seldom found,
seldom sought,
and remains hidden.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Starry Morning

Thankful for our warm
and cozy home in the woods.
This morning our house is feeling
content and happy at 19°
under a beautiful, starry sky.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Backpacking 101 at Boxwell for our younger Scouts

This weekend we took a simple backpacking trip at Boxwell Scout Reservation to introduce and teach our younger Scouts to the joys of travelling light. To my mind, backpacking pretty much epitomizes everything we're trying to achieve when we take boys outdoors in Scouting, and I very much enjoy sharing the adventure with a new generation of Scouts. Here are a few moments from the trip.

Mike brewing coffee on his wood burning Solo Stove

Scout games of bear bagging and improvised emergency shelters

Our enthusiastic Troop 17 hikers (photo by Mike DuBose)

Sunset dinner on my Solo Stove

My nearest neighbor at dawn Sunday morning

My tarp setup

My camp beneath the setting moon at dawn

On a cold morning, there's nothing like a simple, warm breakfast of hot granola and coffee

Maple gold