Welcome to the Gallery

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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.  (Note:  Maryland is my third home in addition to Montana and Ohio; my wife grew up on Maryland’s beautiful Eastern Shore.)

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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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The massive, concrete spillway of the Fort Peck Dam is pictured, and it is located about three miles from the dam itself.  The dam was constructed between 1933 and 1940, and it is located in northeastern Montana, near the communities of Glasgow and Nashua.  The dam is the largest hydraulically-filled dam in the United States, and the reservoir is the fifth largest man-made lake in the country.

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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.  

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.

 

Big Sky Moments

 

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Waking up on a cold, frigid, winter morn

Looking like one more day with a storm

Pulling the warm covers over my bare head

Let’s fast forward to a new season instead

 

Always dreaming big at night

Never alone, perfect delight

 

Fast forward to a hot summer day

Sensational, unblemished blue sky

Feeling an urge to jump up, shout and say

Have you ever seen a more beautiful sky?

 

Seeing a Big Montana Sky

Morning sun climbs high

 

Traveling to Montana brings pure pleasures

Experiencing a saddlebag full of treasures

Shining high above, a cloudless view

Bringing a smile to God, always true

 

Always dreaming big at night

Never alone, perfect delight

 

Western hospitality, the Big Sky way

Filled with warmest smiles, no haste

Be certain to come back as we always say

Montana’s Big Sky, the Last Best Place!

 

Seeing a Big Montana Sky

Morning sun climbs high

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Some of my readers have probably missed earlier posts about Montana, the Big Sky Country.  Here are links to previously published posts about my native state.  Enjoy!

From a poem, experience a ride on the train in southern Montana:

Become better acquainted with Montana’s largest city:

In poetic form, learn more about some of Montana’s history:

Here is a final poem about Native American history:

 

 

Final Battle

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An outdoor mural captures the heroism of Native American warriors

On a sunny, blistering hot June day and hour

Two cultures collide in an epic that now towers

White, European culture ever advances to take

Native American culture realizes what’s at stake

America’s first citizens reside as native born

Now witnessing their way of life being torn

The Little Bighorn River provides a place for rest

Nestled in a large village are warriors, the best

Journeying into the Montana Territory for a cause

U.S. Calvary relentlessly travels without a pause

Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho await

The brave soldiers never realize their final fate

Lakota spiritual leader Sitting Bull envisions all

“Thick as grasshoppers” come soldiers to fall

The 7th Calvary invades the stream called Greasy Grass

Led by Lieutenant Colonel Custer, many die much too fast

Crazy Horse and Gall command warriors in this feat

Annihilating most of Custer’s troops in total defeat

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The marker at the lower right identifies where Lt. Colonel George Custer fell during the battle.  His remains are interred at West Point.

The coalition of Native Americans wins today

Bringing honor to warriors with much to say

The great Sioux nation wins this final showdown

But their way of life will enter its final sundown

A collision of cultures—Native and White

Today, there is no reason to ever fight

The human rights of the Native Americans still blaze

Working to preserve a culture without further decay

Little Bighorn Battlefield is located in Montana about an hour’s drive from Billings on Interstate 90.  The pictures shown were taken at the battlefield site a few years ago.

If you are interested in reading more about Montana, check out these previous posts:

Visit the Magic City (Billings, Montana)

Photo Gallery (includes numerous photographs of Montana as well as Ohio)

Spirits Haunt the Land

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Their spirit soars across the brilliant Big Sky

Like an eagle spreading wings, ready to fly

 

Enriching man’s dreams in this last best, special place

Montana spirits continue to haunt the Treasure State

Following the sacred buffalo across the vast land

Native Americans roam the plains in small bands

Setting traps in beaver-rich streams during wintertime

Fur trappers pursue thick pelts for men’s hats very fine

Panning for gold along streams such as Alder Gulch

Miners rush to another strike on Last Chance Gulch

Building tracks for iron horses that seem to go forever

Railroads build mighty empires for men rich and clever

Pushing the unselfish Native Americans brutally aside

Their culture slowly fades away, but never their pride

Riding the cattle range from dawn until dusk

Cowboys work tirelessly in a life they trust

Toiling in an arid, unforgiving land that feels hostile

Homesteaders struggle and sometimes feel futile

Digging around the clock in copper mines deep underground

Miners work where safety is not much and accidents abound

Cutting the western forests’ tall pines down to size

Loggers harvest miles of timber as their final prize

Looking back at Montana’s past with much to relive and say

Many memories of the past fade, but a few remain today

 

Their spirit soars across the brilliant Big Sky

Like an eagle spreading wings, ready to fly

 

Montana uses two nicknames, Big Sky Country and Treasure State.  Montana became the 41st state admitted to the Union in 1889.