Category Archives: Ecotone

Winter 2018 Ecotone Newsletter

A wind is blowing outside the cabin door. The forest floor is covered with snow and ice. I’m kneeling, chilled, inside by a wood stove, with kindling and paper, ready to light a fire to create some heat on this … Continue reading

Winter 2017 Ecotone Newsletter

While visiting our two-year old granddaughter a few days ago in Chicago, she panicked. We were immersed in family tradition, setting up Christmas decorations, when she announced with a shout of sudden dismay, “Baby Jesus is lost!” All six of … Continue reading

Winter 2016 Ecotone Newsletter

“Mukwa” is its Anishinaabe name, buried deep in indigenous language of the Great Lakes Basin. “Black bear” is the English translation. I’ve come to call my two recent encounters with these elusive creatures of the forest “The Visitations.” The first … Continue reading

Winter 2015 Ecotone Newsletter

A defining feature of life in Northern Michigan is the proliferation of cabins (called “camps”) that are found arbitrarily scattered at the end of gravel roads and alongside remote lakes across all 15 counties of our Upper Peninsula. They represent … Continue reading

Winter 2014 Ecotone Newsletter

In September, I visited a Seattle friend who resides on a 33 ft. double-ender cutter rig sailboat. He’s chosen to live there 13 years, his boat moored at Shilshole Marina. Art doesn’t own an automobile, moves about the city on … Continue reading

Winter 2013 Ecotone Newsletter

Years ago, after returning to Northern Michigan, I drove down an unmarked gravel road in early December on my way to visit a pastor serving a small parish on the Keweenaw Peninsula. Pulling over to the shoulder of the road, … Continue reading

Winter 2012 Ecotone Newsletter

Hanging on a closet door in my office is a pair of Everson snowshoes crafted from Northern White Ash, strung with full-grain rawhide and connected at critical tension points with pure copper hardware. They were bought 38 years ago in … Continue reading

Winter 2011 Ecotone Newsletter

Choosing to live in Northern Michigan involves embracing a severity of soul. Although the Great Lakes are magnificent in their mystery and beauty, they are, as a kayak guide warned me years ago, unforgiving. Last summer we were reminded of … Continue reading

Winter 2010 Ecotone Newsletter

Over recent years, I’ve become fascinated with the puzzle of human resiliency. Apart from a person’s genetics, what goes into building, physiologically and psychologically, a hardy temperament and a strong body? Some religious traditions speak to this, so do martial … Continue reading

Winter 2009 Ecotone Newsletter

The 1500-mile highway circling Lake Superior crosses borders of two countries and weaves its way through stretches of dense boreal forests and along high-cliffed shorelines. It was first completed in 1963. Not long afterward, I made my first trip around … Continue reading