Tag Archives: hunting

Columbus Day 2014 Reflections

Today is the Monday the thirteenth of October or to be more currently American –October 13, 2014 and is also Columbus Day. It is not a big holiday compared to Christmas or the Fourth of July or Thanksgiving.  But it is a holiday and I will blog about this particular day today. Columbus deserves some attention. He has gotten some here before.  But even in this post he will not get a full biographical sketch. The Italian mariner who sailed for Spain to search for India’s Western reaches and found Hispaniola and caused the sea off America’s East to be called the West Indies. Admiral of the Ocean Sea, bringer of  fine churches, barracks and trade goods and gatherer of reports of the nearby continent — he deserves more attention than he will get here. This is not so much a post about 1492 as about my own Columbus Day this year.

Columbus discovered America. That is the old formulation which shaped much of the creation of this holiday and of our sense of American history.  But the Vikings got from Europe to America before Columbus. The Viking past has made the news this week again.

One vision of America that I relate to better than most is the vision associated with the magazine titled America. It is a magazine of the American Jesuits. We get it here and we recently had a guest who fairly recently before his visit appeared in its pages. Father Corcoran’s sister is living at Big Woods Mission as I write this post.

I spent  good bit of today getting ready for a storm. Partly this meant finishing up some drains for the land around our house. It may well get a full test today and the rains have started since I began typing this post. But it is gard hobest work that needs to be done.

A Columbus Day storm may test our  new drains

A Columbus Day storm may test our new drains

There were little supplies to get like the top for my homemade seep pot between a larger and smaller drain pipe. All of that is part of what is repeated in millions of homes to make a continent into a society, economy and civilization. It was my day’s contribution to the development of America.

This false slate covers the  seep pot in my new system

This false slate covers the seep pot in my new system


But none of this is America writ large. I have dealt with the theme of the great America in many posts such as here, here and here. But that is not what this post is mostly about. I have a lot on my mind today including the role of Columbus as a Christian  coming to the New World and the ongoing struggle of Christians and the ongoing role of Christianity throughout the world. This continues to have geopolitical significance in places as different as Hong Kong and Syria and Iraq. Syria is the first country where the term Christian was ever used.  The vast Christian populations of the America’s are an enormous legacy for Columbus and his Spanish employers.  I am a Christian and glad to have these lands filled with so many of my faith.

But America is above all my homeland and it is a home in which my sense of rootedness continues to grow and manifest itself in different ways. I love the sports, prepare for the elections, and over a lifetime have done all kinds of things in interaction with the lands, waters and natural treasures of America. Today I tend to a smallish lawn and garden

The orange tree panted and nurtured on the new house site on old family land.

The orange tree panted and nurtured on the new house site on old family land.

What is never in doubt is that it really is home. So many are the ties that bind and the memories that enrich. Here too so many ancestors lie buried and so many ancestral deeds are remembered.

These are the fruits I hope will weather today's storm.

These are the fruits I hope will weather today’s storm.

But for all the land has to offer this homeland is more than land and cultivated and wild nature. But the wilderness endures and appeals to us all here. All the years of hunting and fishing form a vast geography of memory.

My brother killed his first deer taken with a bow today at Big Woods and brought it back here to our house.

My brother killed his first deer taken with a bow today at Big Woods and brought it back here to our house.

So today is Columbus Day.  I will live one more day as an American and see what happens tomorrow. It too will find me in debt to the explorer remembered today.

Autumn in Acadiana

Around Abbeville Anglo-Acadian Americans as appellation for autumn say fall.

Unless there are reasons not to say things for cued content or audience.

There is gumbo, TV baseball and football.  We hunt and play or watch ball.

Untill November it is too early for the apt application of “fall” present tense.

Mostly  life looks like summer although  so much nicer to most us for the cool.

Not like summer where comfort comes from the AC or, better yet, the pool.


I love this time of year in average terms though storms can make it nearly hell.

Now Yankee Autumn in Acadiana‘s tale was a worse time yet for what they tell. 


Abbeville, Breaux Bridge, New Iberia and Ville Platte will no Vermont rival.

Colored leaves beyond the imagination of most folks exist in that state.

Around here we get the generous chicken tree to call out fall’s arrival.

Dour grow our perennial oaks and hold shabby green out even late.

In conifers too we have more poverty of leaf than color’s carnivals.

As among these greens, greys and browns we look we see bursts of blaze.

Now we see more game and fowl amid the wildlands less lush maze.

Autumn in Acadiana is our autumn and acceptably summer lulls.

Another Collection and Composite Blog Post

Having avoided just using this blog for brief bulleted points on personal and mainstream news for the majority of its brief tenure I find that I am doing exactly that again after doing a “round-up, jambalaya and potpourri” only a few days ago. So here are a mix of personal news tidbits, my own views on some mainstream news stories and other miscellaneous tidbits of fact and information. Numbered items in no real order other than numerical are:

1. The Pope and Bishop of Rome has opened the door to the Catholic Church to those catholic Christians of the Anglican Communion. He has stopped short of creating an Anglican rite of the Catholic Church but he has stated that he will allow congregations to exist to be structured under their own discipline and use largely their existing liturgies. He has stated that although most ancient communions do not allow married men to become bishops and therefore they may not be able to practice their existing or hoped for episcopacy he will recognize the exercise of discipline by senior prelates. I did not get all this from  the official Vatican website but if it is all true it is almost exactly what I would consider the very best possible pastoral decision. I was never a fan of Cardinal Jozef Ratzinger but Pope Benedict the XVI is making another extraordinarily good decision which shows that he really is capable of greatness and is in fact great in his own way.  God Bless him. There are a few less obvious points to make:


i. In America and other places where there are few Eastern Orthodox and Uniate Churches it will educate people a great deal about Church structure to see this in action if it can occur.

ii. It cannot help to make people in the Anglican Communion feel that Roman Catholics value their faith experience and faith communion.


i. The Queen and the Archbishop of Canterbury and a number of others may feel that the Vatican is “sheep stealing” and this could become an obstacle to further unity and reconciliation.

ii. This will have the possible effect of obscuring the royalist aspect of Christian Tradition which (while I believe it is wrongly distorted and in one way overdrawn) is best preserved in Anglican tradition and is not so secure in Roman Catholicism but is very much one of two parts most at the heart of the historical Christ experience and phenomena on which all Churches and THE CHURCH must rest and abide.

Nonetheless, despite those who must be hurt and despite the imperfections of all real actions to do anything — This is a great day. If this is effected it will open the doors to futures which are being horribly cut-off from the Christian people. I wish everyone involved the best.

2. I went back to the University of Louisiana and bought a ticket and a spirit shirt as well as picking up a copy of my brother John Paul’s graduation year yearbook. I am a little excited about the Homecoming Game Saturday and will be hoping for an easy trip there and back, a good game and a fitting celebration.

3. My brother Joseph killed the first buck of his life here at Big Woods two days ago. He has killed a legal doe on a hunt before but not a buck. He killed and slaughtered it and his fiancee  Brooke supervised the cooking and we all had delicious healthy tenderloin for lunch on Monday. There was of course a lot of meat left and that will feed various family members healthy, lean and tasty meat for a while (and probably some of his friends as well).

4. On the Lords of the Blog I was involved in dialog with New Zealanders that both brings back old memories and is leading to unusual places.



I have not had much to do with New Zealand since I lived there at seventeen.

5. The Phillies have achieved one of those really great sports achievements. They are truly defending World Series Champions in the way that term is seldom merited.

6. The movie Amelia has come out and though I have not seen it myself I am eager to see it. Amelia Earhart is one of those figures who really does a great deal to define American culture in the twentieth century. She did it not by leading a movement but by being influential although not typical or ordinary.

7.  I have found out that despite winning the first prize for market viability, the people’s choice award and building one of few or no other hurricane resistant homes in the solar decathlon the UL Team BeauSoleil finished near the bottom in the standings overall. I am clearly biased but cannot help but feel that this just one of billions of pieces of evidences that our world is careening out of control and is focused on glorifying the truly useless in such a way that it affects even good efforts like the Solar Decathlon.