Thursday, March 26, 2009


If my picture below is not a Balsam Fir I will immediately edit this tomorrow. It is not as old, of course, as The Mount. (I'd say it is at least 80 years old, so it began to grow up and cast its shadow on our seminary building in about its 20th year of its life here looking upon the Hudson). There are many of these firs in the grotto facing the WEST side of the building which divides the Redemptoristine Convent of Our Lady of Perpetual Help from our retreat house building. I would say there are more than 300 of these tall, sturdy, friendly and "protecting" trees here on our land.

Some nights we have owls up high hooting on their branches. The other night I went down to what we used to call Siloe, a small reflecting pond and prayer garden very close to the Hudson. Owls like the seclusion and the "rodent plenitude" of those spots. This one night, however, as I approached the Fir Grove at Siloe I could hear what definitely sounded like a pack of coyotes that were either attacking one of our deer or eating one of them and, maybe, looking for.....another interesting snack!!! Back up the hill I went quite quickly and into my home that the Friendly Fir pictured below shadows and "protects".

PS- Thanks to my friend, Fr. John Olenick C.Ss.R. who forwarded me the link to the article on depletion of migratory birds in the March 21st post below. THANKS FR. JOHN!!


Monday, March 23, 2009


There was a time when there was no refrigeration. This was true of farms as well as homes in towns and villages. "Root Cellars" were places where,not just roots, but fruits and vegetables of all kinds could be stored and kept fresh for long periods of time. This "Root Cellar" here at Mt. St. Alphounsus (The Mount) probably comes from the time when Robert Livingston Pell owned this land. It is right behind some apple orchards that are still producing good apples, but of course they are not as famous as the "Esopus Pippins" that Pell sold both here in the States but in England as well. I am pretty sure that our now deceased Bro. Malachy cared for this cellar. And we are pretty sure that some of the recent masonry inside from the 60ties was down by our own Bro. Raphael Rock who has a project now in Baltimore called "Beans and Bread". Our old barn which was just below this cellar going towards the Hudson was torn down last year and will "rise again" somewhere in Montana.