Nature and Religion

March 12, 2014

When I came upon this red-tailed hawk perched on a cross last Sunday morning, I was reminded of something the pastor of Joyce’s church, Michael Bone, once said to me. While on vacation, Pastor Bone had spotted me traipsing through the woods with my camera at Shaw Nature Reserve one Sunday morning. He decided not to disturb me, although I wouldn’t have minded at all, but later emailed me to say that it was nice to see me in my chosen place of worship. After spending much of my young life in “fire and brimstone” churches, it has been a joy to know such a tolerant and gentle man of God.

I find it ironic that I head to the woods every Sunday morning for spiritual inspiration while this red-tailed hawk, a creature of the wild, apparently heads for “The Journey Church” in Tower Grove! I only wish a few of the church’s parishioners had noticed the regal bird standing proud atop their shining steeple like a Christmas tree Angel. It was an uplifting sight and would have been a great source of inspiration for the morning’s parable.

Just prior to photographing the hawk atop the cross I had photographed the same raptor in closer proximity in Tower Grove Park.


As I watched the redtail fly away toward the stainless cross, the highest landmark in the area, I thought, “I would give a year of my life to be a hawk for one day.” I wouldn’t be interested in any more than a day because eventually I would get hungry and have to find a squirrel to devour, intestines and all. But wouldn’t it be awesome to have the power and grace of a natural born aviator for just a while?

Thanks for looking,


Email me at:  NatureFrames@Rocketmail.Com

16 comments on “Nature and Religion”

  1. Hi Danny, What a great way to start the day. Thanks for sharing a beautiful entry. Chris

    Sent from my iPad

  2. What a wonderful post. How I wish there were more pastors like that. And could you tell this hawk about the church at the corner of the road where DnA live? 😀

  3. Loved your story

    Sent by my I phone


  4. We both look forward to see what you have been up to this week. This one is great as are all the others. When we get our Missouri Conservation magazine, I always look for the page that you contribute. We have built a sunroom on our house and I just think we will have to buy one or more of your pictures for the brick wall. Are they still on display at the Shaw Nature Reserve? Keep up the good work! Wayne & Carol Bean

    • Hi Carol — I would love for you to become another person in Franklin County and beyond to have one or more of my prints on the wall. 🙂 Pricing info is on my website at The display will be a Shaw Nature Reserve for a couple months so you have plenty of time to stop by. Nice to hear from you. Take care.


  5. Well said Danny. I’ve always said our calling/profession was a calling from God to “tend to” his creatures. Just my take on things.

    If you are ever in the Palmyra area stop in for a visit.


    • A good way to look at our profession. I’ll definitely stop and see you when I’m up that way.

  6. There would be some amazing things about being a hawk for a year but I’m sure you’d discover more than intestines as downsides. Great photos, amusing thots.

  7. Danny, I second your thought about being a hawk for a day. Wouldn’t it be great to drift around effortlessly high in the sky taking in a splendid view. That is if no pesky small birds were on my tail chasing me out of their territory. Hey, I think spring is officially here. The short-term forecast looks good enough that I may have to load up the kayaks early next week and hit the water….and maybe even capture an image or two. Take care….Phil

  8. Love the story, and the photo of the Red Tail Hawk, on top of the Cross. Thats what you call going right to the top. I too wish that I could fly like a Hawk, or better yet, a Eagle. Wouldn’t that be fun. Thanks for sharing.


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