Welcome to the Gallery

From Maryland’s Eastern Shore, a small work boat waits for the start of another day while moored along Cambridge Creek.
One last look at central Ohio’s winter-filled February, 2021. This peaceful scene was photographed at Walnut Woods Metro Park, just before the big thaw.
A classic, restored Ford Mustang decorates the street in a neighborhood in Billings, Montana. Is it calling you to ask for a ride in it?
From Walnut Woods Metro Park in central Ohio, a recent beaver dam has been constructed on the creek known as Big Run. Farther upstream, a larger dam has created a water home for many creatures living in the park.
A mid-summer view along the shore of southwestern Montana’s Hebgen Lake. The calm waters are leading back toward the source of the Madison River in Yellowstone National Park.
Designed from large, round hay bales, a teddy bear welcomes one and all to the village of Mesopotamia, Ohio.
An active chairlift operates at Big Sky Resort on a chilly winter morning in southwestern Montana. The lift is located just off a road which travels into a series of condominiums.
A shaded and peaceful place is found atop the inner ridge at Chestnut Ridge Metro Park in central Ohio. This picture, taken in early summer, offers a glimpse back through the trees toward the land below.
When visiting Montana back in the summer of 2018, my youngest daughter and I hiked up to the “M” at the entrance to Bridger Canyon. We reached our destination in about 45 minutes, taking the slower, more gradual trail. The 250-foot block, white “M” was built by Montana State University students in 1915.
Early morning sunrise overlooks a tranquil pond at central Ohio’s Chestnut Ridge Metro Park.
On an early morning walk along the Choptank River at Cambridge, Maryland, these playful ducks found a hideaway along the breakwater.
Montana Hall anchors the center of the campus at Montana State University in Bozeman. Being part of the university since 1896, the building is the second oldest. Originally named Old Main, the building houses offices of the President, Registrar, and numerous other offices.
Mid-summer’s flowers discovered at a hilltop garden site at Ohio’s Chestnut Ridge Metro Park.
Before crossing the Chesapeake Bay on the way to Maryland’s Eastern Shore, one travels through Annapolis, Maryland’s capital city. Pictured here is the majestic Maryland State House. Built in 1772, it is the oldest continuously used state capitol building in the United States.
A colorful peacock strikes a morning pose at the Montana Zoo in Billings, Montana. While the zoo is small compared with the major zoos of America, it provides a family-filled journey with some of nature’s most special creatures.
Walking the trail at Chestnut Ridge Metro Park is one of my special places to be. The park is filled with moderate to difficult natural trails, and one never knows when a deer might cross your path (especially if you walk early in the morning).
Damage from the 1959 earthquake is visible throughout the Hebgen Lake area in southwestern Montana. The former highway used to run along the lake, but now its remnants remind every visitor of the “night the mountain fell” on an August night.
The historical district of Annapolis, Maryland is captured following a torrential downpour of rain. Maryland’s state capital is definitely worth a visit with the original State House, other significant buildings from colonial times, waterfront, and the U.S. Naval Academy all within a comfortable walk of each other.
An early morning walk at central Ohio’s Walnut Woods Metro Park finds peace and tranquility along one of the two ponds on the Kestrel Trail.
In Montana, my youngest daughter and her husband enjoy the great outdoors. Their camera captures this view as they kayak on the Yellowstone River between Columbus and Park City (west of Billings).
A visitor to Cambridge, Maryland will find this colorful mural at the visitor’s center along the Choptank River. The image celebrates the way of life linked with the Eastern Shore’s waterfront.
The wild spring blossoms in central Ohio arrive early and leave much too quickly.
The historic Fort Peck Theater is located a short distance from the Fort Peck Dam in northeastern Montana. The theater was originally constructed to show films 24/7 to the dam construction workers as a pastime when they weren’t working. Today, the theater serves as the home of an exceptional summer theater program.
Serenity is captured on an early summer morning among the tall white pines at central Ohio’s Walnut Woods Metro Park. The trees were originally planted as a nursery for transplanting in other locations. Thank goodness these gentle giants remain here for others to enjoy.
Here is a study in contrast from the main street of Virginia City, Montana. Three modern motorcycles (most likely Harley’s) are parked in front of the Masonic Temple building (dated 1867). Virginia City served as the second territorial capital of the Montana Territory, and it now serves as the County Seat of Madison County in southwestern Montana.
Along Long Wharf at Cambridge, Maryland, the Choptank River Lighthouse guards the shore.

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Early spring foliage surrounds the tranquil setting of Walnut Creek in central Ohio.


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Here is the massive spillway of the Fort Peck Dam in northeastern Montana.  The dam was constructed in the 1930s as a Public Works Administration project to create jobs during the Great Depression.  Life magazine’s first cover (November 23, 1936) displayed a photo of the spillway under construction along with an article about the boom towns which grew up around the dam site.  (Click on this link to read more:  Fort Peck Dam


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An autumn walk discovers this “huge” hole in a tree trunk, perhaps created by a woodpecker and now providing a home for a nest.  My camera enjoys making journeys to nearby nature parks such as Chestnut Ridge Metro Park.


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My Bobcat Spirit lives on (Class of 1978).  This collage of photos was taken inside of the Strand Union Building on the campus of Montana State University.  The city of Bozeman and the MSU Bobcats will always be part of my memories.  


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Peeking through the shadows of the thick vegetation, bright sunlight captures a meadow filled with tall, lush grass.  There are many scenes like this one to be found when walking the trails at Chestnut Ridge Metro Park near Columbus, Ohio.


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Capturing the crashing surf along the beach at Ocean City, Maryland.  This picture reminds us that God’s creation continues to thrive and bring us hope.


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The village of Oxford offers a unique bed and breakfast experience on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.  The Oxford Inn combines warm hospitality, charming and simple rooms, and a delicious breakfast menu.  A limited dinner menu is usually available on certain nights of the week.


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A view up one of the peaks at Big Sky Resort in Montana.  Big Sky offers impressive skiing conditions, and it rates as one of top skiing destinations in the U.S.


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A restored car from yesteryear proudly shows off in the annual Labor Day Parade in Pickerington, Ohio.


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Welcome to a Bozeman tradition, and one of Montana’s treasures.  The small sandwich shop on the right is the Pickle Barrel, famous for its delicious sub sandwiches.  This building used to be a barber shop before being renovated into a sandwich shop in 1974.  The shop is located on West College Street across from Montana State University.  If you visit, remember to retrieve a fresh pickle from the pickle barrel.  Your sandwich will thank you.


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An early morning sunrise awakens around a farm in central Ohio.


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From an overlook along Interstate 68, one finds an impressive view of the Youghiogheny River, which creates a natural border between West Virginia and Maryland.


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A picturesque Montana scene as the Yellowstone River flows eastward with a background of trees, hillsides, and mountains.


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Near Westerville, the Hoover Dam provides the city of Columbus, Ohio and surrounding communities with much of their water supply.  Completed in 1955, the Hoover Reservoir uses the water from Big Walnut Creek for a multitude of recreational opportunities as well.


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The Madison River canyon is the site of a major earthquake which occurred  in the Hebgen Lake area on a quiet summer evening in August, 1959.  Pictured on the other side of the highway, one can still see the scar left on the mountainside when a quake-induced landslide tore away the face of the mountain.


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Foggy conditions surround the giant sycamore tree at Walnut Woods Metro Park in central Ohio.  This is one of my favorite places to walk, and adding fog to the mystery of the park is a welcome opportunity for my camera to capture.


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A unique summer moment is captured with a praying mantis who is enjoying the sun while resting on the door of my automobile.


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Long Wharf along the Choptank River at Cambridge, Maryland offers a fascinating bit of history.  Pictured is the FDR Smokestack Memorial, and it is the honored resting place for one of the actual smokestacks from President Franklin Roosevelt’s Presidential yacht, the USS Potomac.  The ship was equipped with two smokestacks, but one was covertly converted into a simple elevator to allow FDR (stricken with polio) to move his wheelchair between decks.


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What do you think?  Does this rebuilt cabin look ready for use?  At least, there is a small pile of firewood  and useful work table outside.  The roof may need some work before the next rain.  This scene was captured in Nevada City, Montana  (located a “gold nuggets” throw away from its larger sister community of Virginia City in history-rich Madison County).


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An early fall setting is captured at central Ohio’s Chestnut Ridge Metro Park.  The landscape colors are beginning to change as images of the sky’s clouds reflect in the pond.


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A peaceful and tranquil Hebgen Lake is captured in the late afternoon.  The lake is created by a dam on the Madison River (dam is pictured in the background).  Hebgen Lake is located in southwestern Montana, not far from Yellowstone National Park.


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Walking along the beach at Ocean City, Maryland and finding an amazing and inspiring sand sculpture.


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Chestnut Ridge Metro Park is one of gems in the park system surrounding Columbus, Ohio.  The distinctive fall colors illustrate a dynamic presentation of God’s creative spirit.

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Viewed from its western face, Sphinx Mountain is a well-known landmark in southwestern Montana’s Madison Range.  With its elevation of 10,840 feet, the mountain brings an imposing presence above the valley below.

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Autumn’s colorful scenery arrives at Walnut Woods Metro Park in central Ohio.

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Southwestern Montana’s landscape offers the diversity of grassy valleys, wandering rivers, tree-lined foothills, and majestic mountains (still with a splash of snow in July).

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An abandoned corn silo stands watch over a corn field which is ready for harvest in central Ohio, just minutes outside of Canal Winchester.

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Following the highway between Ennis, Montana and Hebgen Lake, offers many venues for a photographer’s camera lens to capture.  The entrance to the Mill Creek Ranch offers plenty of contrast with blooming sweet clover along the road along with the Madison Range of mountains in the background.  Notice the snow still clinging to a few of the north-facing slopes (picture was taken in July).

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The rising sun illuminates a small boat checking crab pots (traps) on the Choptank River near Cambridge, Maryland. 

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Late summer brings bright colors to the wooded areas of nearby parks in central Ohio.

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A walk down the main street of Ennis, in southwestern Montana, offers views of some of the most unique storefronts anywhere.   One can see and feel the passion of the community’s proud heritage and way of life.  

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A peaceful and tranquil garden is found late in the summer in the village of Lithopolis, which is located south of the Columbus, Ohio metro area.

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A drive through the Hysham Hills along Montana’s I-94 offers contrast between the grasslands and ponderosa pines dotting the hillsides.  The ponderosa pine is the state tree of Montana.  This photo was taken about an hour’s drive east of Billings.

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An April view of tranquil surroundings along Walnut Creek in central Ohio.

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Pausing for a moment along Montana’s Madison River (between Ennis and Hebgen Lake), offers a scene of tranquility and beauty.

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A massive American Sycamore tree is framed by surrounding trees at Walnut Woods Metro Park in central Ohio.  The tree may be over a hundred years old, and it is a well-known landmark at the park.

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Growing in Chestnut Ridge Metro Park in central Ohio, many hikers stop and admire this unusually shaped fruit growing above their heads.  The pawpaw tree is a native tree to Ohio, and its fruit is a vital part of the food chain for many types of wildlife.  The fruit offers a unique taste that is somewhere between a mango and a banana.

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Just down the road from Ennis, Montana, visitors will find Virginia City as well as Nevada City.  Both communities contain rich artifacts of history from the gold rush days of the 1860s and 1870s.  This small cabin was probably moved into Nevada City, but it represents some of the housing found during the time period.

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Blooming flowers announce the arrival of spring at Ohio’s Chestnut Ridge Metro Park.

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In downtown Billings,  the unique architecture of the Western Heritage Center stands as witness of the city’s rich and diverse history in the Big Sky Country.  Built in 1901, the structure originally provided a home for the Parmly Billings Memorial Library.

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Nature shows off her green splendor and sends peaceful vibes outward on an early June morning at central Ohio’s Walnut Woods Metro Park.

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The Beartooth Mountains frame the background above a Montana valley.  If one looks closely, snow is still hiding in the upper ridges of the peaks on a mid-summer afternoon.  

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The green, lush vegetation welcomes all to central Ohio’s Chestnut Ridge Metro Park where anyone feels in harmony with God’s creation.

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Visiting a shop in Montana’s historic Virginia City, a person just might happen to find this fine gentleman offering greetings to all who drop in.

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A foggy, misty morning outlines a beautiful framed image of a spider’s web between the posts on the Big Run bridge at central Ohio’s Walnut Woods Metro Park.

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A roadside stop allows a moment to capture the scenic view along Interstate 15 in Montana between Great Falls and Helena.  A highway bridge that was constructed in the 1930s is visible at the bottom of the narrow valley.

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Arrival of flowers marks the return of spring to Ohio’s Chestnut Ridge Metro Park.

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Montana’s Holter Lake offers many types of recreation for anyone with a boat.  A small marina is shown (from the summer of 2018), and the lake is located near the small community of Wolf Creek. 

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The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is well-known for its outstanding array of wildlife from around the world as well as its animal conservation efforts.  The “Heart of Africa” exhibit displays the African savanna as one might find it . . . filled with village life, giraffes, zebras, and so much more.

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A final look back at winter as shown near Lone Mountain in the Madison Range near Big Sky, Montana.  As one looks at the far peaks in the background, think of the snowmelt that will soon fill the raging whitewater in the Gallatin River.

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Summer shadows greet any walker at central Ohio’s Chestnut Ridge Metro Park.  This photo was taken from a trail through the trees into a grassy meadow.

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This summer garden comes from Billings, Montana at the Moss Mansion, which is an historic house now maintained as a museum.

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With winter fading away in favor of the spring season, thoughts will soon be thinking of beautiful wild flowers and rich green fields.  This photo was taken last summer at Chestnut Ridge Metro Park in central Ohio.

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My youngest daughter and her husband completed a winter hike into Hyalite Canyon south of Bozeman, Montana.  The popular recreation area is located between the Gallatin Canyon and the Paradise Valley.

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The Polar vortex and repeated snowstorms in central Ohio have made the winter of January-February, 2019 one to remember.

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The beauty of western Montana is captured at Holter Lake, near the small town of Wolf Creek.  The lake is a popular summer recreation destination as seen in this photo from late July of 2018.

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These Canadian geese seem immune to the polar vortex and snowfall in central Ohio.

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A February snowstorm moves over the summit of Lone Mountain in southwestern Montana.  The Big Sky Resort occupies the mountain, which is well known for its first-class skiing in the wintertime.  

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Ohio’s winter blankets the ground with a fresh coating of snow.  The Canadian geese on the pond don’t seem to mind winter’s arrival.

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Pioneer Falls in the Spanish Peaks of Montana’s Madison Range is expertly captured by my daughter and her husband on one of their wilderness hikes.

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An early autumn sunset dazzles and amazes as night arrives in central Ohio.

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Central Ohio’s Chestnut Ridge Metro Park in full summer foliage.

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My youngest daughter and her husband are avid skiers.   They took this picture of Blaze Mountain in the Spanish Peaks of the Madison Range of southwestern Montana.  They have skied the backcountry ski line a few times during the summer.  The beautiful and long snowfield fills a small gully that runs down the northwestern face of the mountain.  Skiers have to hike to the snowfield, but for an avid skier, it is well worth the effort.

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A view of downtown Billings, Montana from this past summer.  Notice the smoked-filled sky in the background; the smoke came from fires far from Billings.

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From Walnut Woods Metro Park, the landscape has changed from the bright colors of autumn to the gray and barrenness of the coming winter.

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Summer’s clouds create shadows that cover part of the vast countryside near the Little Bighorn Battlefield in southeastern Montana.

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A nesting pair of Canadian geese prepare to make a new home this past spring.

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Autumn’s leaves have fallen, and winter is on the way at central Ohio’s Chestnut Ridge Metro Park.

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Soon the mountains of the Big Sky Country will be filled with snow just as seen in this scene from last winter near Lone Mountain at Big Sky, Montana.

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An autumn sunrise illuminates the beauty of Ohio’s Walnut Woods Metro Park.

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Ohio’s Chestnut Ridge Metro Park during mid-summer.

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A late July view of the Gallatin Valley, just outside of Bozeman, Montana. 

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The images and traditions prior to the start of an Ohio State University football game.  This photo was taken by my daughter who attended the game with her husband.  

Haunting Storm

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Pleasant, mid-winter day

Warm winds decide to stay

 

Touch of spring thaws the air

Ideal life, not a care

 

Hidden, in frigid North

Cold destined to call forth

 

Prairie living unaware

Grass uncovered, and bare

 

Few cowboys work the range

Life will soon see big change

 

Barren land, overgrazed

Cattle wander, unfazed

 

Calmness warns of trouble

Winter’s wrath comes double

 

Arctic-fed winds stir up

Wet snow creates pileup

 

Haunting storm now arrives

Few cattle will survive

 

Blizzard smothers this land

Conditions, out of hand

 

Cowboys wait out fierce storm

Snow and cold, nasty swarm

 

Waiting, hours become days

Prairie, now winter’s maze

 

Cattle’s cries go unheard

Snow-blinded, vision blurred

 

Storm’s cruel hand, plays its cards

Life stops, prairie graveyards 

 

Montana artist Charles M. Russell captures the shattered blow of winter’s fury in “Waiting for a Chinook” (“Last of Five Thousand”) as depicted in this watercolor. (Courtesy of Pinterest)

This poem attempts to capture the daunting winter of 1886-1887 on the prairies in the Montana Territory when the Open Range’s cattle industry collapsed from its near annihilation.  Russell’s artwork says even more than words can describe.

Coming Home

This poem is dedicated to the many lives which have come and gone along the tracks of the Great Northern Railroad from years ago.  Perhaps you can feel the living spirit still riding the Empire Builder passenger train across the Hi-Line of Montana.

Photo by Felix Mittermeier on Pexels.com

Feeling a bit like heaven

Blessed Big Sky, almost home

Paradise spelled as two words

Riding free, spirit’s train roams

 

Witnessing God’s creative touch

Mountains shaped by nature’s hand

Valleys carved out by rivers

Dreaming of this treasured land

 

Stirring up past memories

Iron horse roaring at top speed

Long ago, been here before

Coming home, spirits now freed

 

Flashing by Hi-Line’s vast farms

Cropland caresses these tracks

Golden fields of wheat ripen

Waiting for harvest’s comeback

 

Fading daylight turns to night

Darkness covers Montana’s peace

Town lights twinkle here and there

Thinking back to life’s past lease

 

Climbing through Marias Pass

Glacier Park saying good-bye

Big Sky’s wonder never fades

Ageless spirit, dropping by

 

Photo by Krivec Ales on Pexels.com

Under the Big Sky

Looking westward toward southwestern Montana’s Tobacco Root Mountains, with the Madison River flowing through the valley below.

God’s creation under the Big Sky

Treasured landscape covers this vast land

Immense prairies flow into mountains

Few places on earth looking this grand

 

Rugged backbone of the continent

Chiseled spine of the Rocky Mountains

Stray mountain ranges dotting the plains

Cascading streams flowing as fountains

 

Three distinct rivers form its headwaters

Mighty, boundless Missouri River

Eastward, collecting the Yellowstone

Precious mountain rains move downriver

 

White-tail and mule deer camp in thickets

Pronghorns graze in the midst of grasslands

Mountain valleys gather elk and bears

Ducks and geese pilot into wetlands

 

Frequently titled the Treasure State

Montana shines under its Big Sky

People flocking to witness its gems

You just might meet a Buckeye nearby

 

Montana’s Yellowstone River continues its eastward journey, eventually flowing into the Missouri River.

I could probably write something about my native state of Montana every day.  It will always be a very special place to me.  Watch out, you just might run into a Buckeye returning the the Big Sky.

Big Sky Treasures #2

Growing up under the Big Sky and spending about 50 years living there certainly makes me a citizen for life.  This short feature will put the spotlight on how gold fever rushed miners and others into three different regions during the 1860s into the Last, Best Place called Montana. 

During America’s Civil War, Montana seemed a bit more preoccupied with gold than war.  Three separate gold strikes poured people into western mountain valleys overnight.

Each region was designated with a geographic name as well as the town which sprung up in the midst of gold fever.

  • Grasshopper Creek in 1862 (Bannock)
  • Alder Gulch in 1863 (Virginia City)
  • Last Chance Gulch in 1864 (Helena)

Montana became a territory in 1864 when President Abraham Lincoln signed the Congressional legislation into law.  Each of these three gold mining communities would serve for a time as territorial capital.

Bannock (Territorial Capital 1864-1865)

This boom town started from Montana’s first significant gold strike.  Along an unassuming creek, hundreds of miners made the trek into Montana.  Today, Bannock is a ghost town, but a state park preserves the town’s structures.

These Bannack pictures (courtesy of Pinterest) show the exterior of a Masonic Temple and the interior of another building.  

Virginia City (Territorial Capital 1865-1875)

One of the world’s largest placer gold strikes proved much richer than Montana’s first discovery along Grasshopper Creek.  While Bannack declined, Virginia City thrived.  Today, the town serves as the county seat of Madison County with the historic courthouse formerly being the territorial capitol.

These photos were taken during a summer, 2016 trip to Montana which included an opportunity to visit Virginia City.  The Madison County Courthouse (formerly the Territorial Capitol) is on the left.  Virginia City is a unique community with the 21st Century living alongside of the preserved historical district as shown in the photo on the right (the inside of a business as it looked back in the gold rush days).

Helena (Territorial Capital 1875-1889)

A forlorn group of prospectors decided to pan for gold.  Their “last chance” before moving on proved to be the discovery which turned the region into a mad scramble of miners and businesses.  The gulch later became a meandering avenue (the original Main Street) in Helena, Montana’s capital city when statehood became a reality in 1889.

The above images (courtesy of Pinterest) show the contrast of Last Chance Gulch from earlier times on the left with the modern walking mall of today.

Thanks for visiting as Big Sky Buckeye appreciates your readership.  Stay tuned for future posts about the Last, Best Place of Montana.

Big Sky Memories

I must admit that I have been feeling a bit homesick in thinking of my native state of Montana, where much of my family still lives.  This poem and photographs share some past memories of experiencing these awesome wonders of the Big Sky state, and I look forward to visiting when Covid-19 finally takes a backseat.

Looking downstream, the scenic Madison River as seen along U.S. Highway 287 between Hebgen Lake and the delightful community of Ennis.

Dreaming often of Montana’s Big Sky

Feeling more like an eagle, flying high

 

Revisiting wide open eastern plains

Watching combines harvesting ripened grains

 

Driving switchbacks on the Beartooth Highway

Topping amazing heights, wishing to stay

 

Floating the Yellowstone, like yesterday

Spending time with old friends, lasting all day

 

Scaling Baldy Mountain, there’s just one goal

Reaching the “M” without taking a roll

 

Fishing the scenic Madison once more

Joining Herb and his grandson, trout in store

 

Exploring limestone caverns underground

Enjoying mysteries, yet to be found

 

Walking the Bear Paw Mountains near Chinook

Learning Nez Perce history, without books

 

Motoring down the “Going to the Sun”

Chasing this highway to the setting sun

 

Flying over this amazing “Last Best Place”

Returning soon for another sweet taste

From the summer of 2018, climbing the trail to the largest block “M” in the country. The “M” stands for Montana State University, where I graduated from 40 years earlier.

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While traveling Interstate 90, a photo opportunity at a rest area in eastern Montana offers a look at the landscape.

Growing up in Montana and spending about 50 years living there certainly makes me a citizen for life.  This short feature will shine the spotlight on three questions about the “Last Best Place” called Montana.

Here are three questions which will be answered in a moment or two.  Good luck with your responses.  Bonus points are awarded for anyone who scores a perfect 100%, without searching on the Internet.

  • What is the coldest temperature ever recorded in the lower 48 states of the United States?  Where did it occur?
  • What are the two most popular nicknames used for Montana?  What is the background behind each name?
  • What is the most sparsely populated county in Montana?

The coldest temperature ever recorded is -70F on January 20, 1954.  The location was Rogers Pass, which is located on Montana Highway 200 along the Continental Divide at an elevation of 5,610 feet.  The thermometer malfunctioned because of the extreme cold, and a laboratory tested the broken thermometer to make a final determination on how cold it was on that January night.

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Source:  Pinterest.

Montana’s two most popular nicknames are the Treasure State and the Big Sky Country.  The Treasure State has gained a presence because of Montana’s rich gold and silver deposits.  The Big Sky Country was popularized to promote tourism in the state.  With permission of author A. B. Guthrie, the state acquired the use of his best-selling novel’s title The Big Sky.  Guthrie’s writing was honored with a Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1950.

Last of all, the most sparsely populated county (out of 56) is Garfield County.  Depending on the population figures used, the statistics may vary just a bit.  The county covers 4,849 square miles (of Montana’s 147,164) with an estimated population of 1,268, which equals an astonishing .261 people per square mile.  For comparison’s sake, the state of Connecticut has a land size of 4,858 square miles, with a population density of approximately 738 people per square mile.

Thanks for your participation.  Stay tuned for future posts about the “Last Best Place” of Montana.

Haiku Series #45 (Montana)

Winter Tranquility

Peace and solitude

Cross-country skiing beckons—

Awesome Montana

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Photo by Simon Matzinger on Pexels.com

 

River’s Birth

Three rivers join up

Mighty Missouri River—

Headwaters . . . God’s gift

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Photo by Devon Schreiner on Pexels.com

 

Winter Paradise

Lone Mountain summit

Powder blowing all around—

Skiing the Big Sky

 

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Photo by Riccardo Bresciani on Pexels.com

Haiku Series #16 (Montana Prairie)

Fleeting Speed

Prairie-fueled sprinter

Solitary wanderer—

Pronghorn speeds away

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Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

 

Harvest

Gentle breeze blowing

Rippling waves of amber grain—

Harvest time awaits

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

Summer Storm

Dark thunderclouds form

Bringing devastating harm—

Escaping storm’s wrath

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Photo by Ralph W. lambrecht on Pexels.com

Experience Counts

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Traveling back to Montana, Phil and Phyllis arrive from back East.  They’ve brought their teenage grandson along to fish the Gallatin River.

Staying at the Rainbow Ranch, they plan to fly fish right along the river, which runs along the property.  The Ranch employs a fishing guide during the summer months.  Bert knows all of the best spots to fish on the Gallatin, and he is always bragging about his fishing prowess.  As he always reminds people, “experience counts.”

Complaining under his breath, Bert takes the trio of fishing pilgrims to the river.  He always frowns upon city folks who come out to the Gallatin to fish.  All novices . . . they have no clue about fishing a river.

Bert sets up Phil and his grandson, and they begin making tentative casts on to the river.  Each has fished very little, and their inexperience offers a bit of amusement to Bert.

Meanwhile, Phyllis moves down the river a few paces from Bert.  She shouts out to Bert, “I wonder who will catch the first fish?”

Bert replies, “A piece of ‘rainbow trout’ cake my dear!”

Bert begins to cast several times with little luck, not even a bite.  He glances down the river bank at Phyllis, and reminds himself he has plenty of time to catch the “first” fish.

Phyllis spies a perfect hole in front of two rocks.  She casts her line perfectly into her chosen spot.  Hmm, Bert didn’t even see her awesome cast because he is too busy with his own fishing.

Strike!

Phyllis’ line goes taut.  She has a “granddaddy” rainbow trout hooked on her line.

Bert looks over at her with dismay.  Phyllis laughs and continues reeling in her prize catch.  Calling over to Bert, she shouts, “Experience counts, you know.”

As she lands a hefty, beautiful rainbow trout in the tall grass along the river bank, she tells Bert more of her story, “I fished these same waters years ago as a little girl.  My daddy taught me well.  I practically grew up on this river.”

Bert realizes he has been had.  If he does catch a trout today, it will likely taste more like crow.