Welcome to the Gallery

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.


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.


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.  


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


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. 


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.  

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.

Big Sky Treasures

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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.


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


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



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.


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


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.  

Visit the “Magic City”

The Big Sky Country’s “Magic City” is an inspiring place to visit and spend a few days.  Montana’s largest city, Billings, offers the conveniences of a bigger city with the friendliness and smallness that makes a person feel right at home.

With a population just over 100,000, Billings is by far the largest city in Montana, but it provides an atmosphere filled with plenty of western hospitality.  Travel connections are quite accommodating with major airline service arriving at the nearby Billings Logan Airport as well as highway connections via Interstates 90 and 94.

Founded in 1882, Billings was nicknamed the “Magic City” because of its quick, rapid growth.  Almost overnight, Billings awakened because of its significant location along the mainline of America’s second transcontinental railroad, the Northern Pacific.

Billings has long been a railroad hub with several rail lines traveling through the city.  In addition to the Northern Pacific, other lines have included the Milwaukee Road and the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy lines.  Today, these lines have all been merged into BNSF (Burlington Northern Santa Fe).

Billings takes its name from Frederick Billings, a former President of the Northern Pacific Railroad.  The free-roaming Yellowstone River borders the southern boundaries of the city, and the majestic sandstone foundation, called the Rimrocks, borders the northern tier.

Downtown Billings offers a vibrant retail district with unique shops, restaurants, hotels, and local craft breweries.  There are numerous city parks and green space, with Pioneer Park being one of the crown jewels in the city’s park system.  Billings is a retail center for much of south-central Montana as well as northern Wyoming.  For shoppers traveling to any Montana destination, remember that the state does not levy a general sales tax on retail purchases.


Downtown Billings provides green space along with modern office buildings.

Within the confines of the greater Billings area, one will find numerous attractions to fill up anyone’s taste for culture, history, and entertainment.

In the downtown corridor, the Western Heritage Center offers distinct local history about Billings and the surrounding area.  There is a mix of permanent exhibits along with rotating points of historical interest.  The building is located in the former city library, and it continues today as a modern, handicap-accessible museum.

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The Western Heritage Center was built with an exterior using sandstone quarried from sites in Montana.  The building was originally constructed to be the public library (note the sign above the entrance).

The Yellowstone Art Museum sits on the site of the former Yellowstone County Jail, and the core part of the jail building was remodeled to provide the original home for the museum.  Additions have been added to the museum over the years, and it is now houses some of the finest art collections in the region.

The Moss Mansion is a “must-see” stop.  The historic home was built in 1903 by P. B. Moss.  At the time of its construction, the home was located on the western edge of the city.  The last surviving family member lived there until the 1980s.  Today the mansion, which stands preserved with all of its grandeur on the inside as well as on the outside, is a museum open to the public.

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The front of the Moss Mansion as viewed from Division Street on the east side of the home.  Note the unique design as well as the well-manicured grounds.

Venturing out from the city center, one can spend time at Zoo Montana, which is home to Montana’s largest zoo complex.  The zoo is limited in its number of species on display, but the setting along Canyon Creek is perfect for a wonderful time filled with experiencing nature’s habitat as well as the awesome landscape.  In the summertime, the best time to visit the zoo is in the morning hours when the temperatures are not too hot, and the animals will usually be more active.


A Red Panda calls Zoo Montana its home as it explores a shaded area of the grounds.

If you are a baseball fan, Billings remains a hotbed for this longtime sport.  With a recently built stadium, Dehler Field, baseball games fill up many summer nights.   The Billings Mustangs, who are a rookie league farm club for the Cincinnati Reds, as well as the two American Legion teams, the Royals and the Scarlets, play under the lights at the field.

Billings has a long tradition of baseball success that is exemplified by major league pitcher Dave McNally, who pitched in the 1960s and 1970s for the Baltimore Orioles.  He was a multiple season 20-game winner, and is the only pitcher to hit a grand slam home run in World Series play.  Famous sportscaster Brent Musberger spent his early years in Billings, and has remained a huge baseball fan throughout his life.

If one has a taste to travel a short distance from Billings, there are many attractions nearby.  Pompey’s Pillar National Monument offers a look at the only physical evidence left by the explorers from Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery back in 1804-1806.  Captain William Clark carved his initials on a pillar of sandstone near the Yellowstone River.  The site is located about 25 miles east of Billings along Interstate 94, and a superb interpretative center and gift shop add much to the visit.

Traveling about an hour from Billings on Interstate 90 to the south, history buffs will find an excellent place to learn more about Native American culture and their struggle to preserve their way of life.  The Little Bighorn Battlefield is located just outside of Hardin near the freeway.  While the battle took place long ago in 1876, visitors can learn much about the major participants of the battle.

Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer and his U.S. 7th Calvary were handily defeated by Lakota Sioux and Cheyenne warriors led by chiefs Sitting Bull, Gall, and Crazy Horse.  There is a wonderful interpretative center, and plan to complete the automobile tour that includes most of the battlefield site.

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Markers of fallen 7th Calvary soldiers are visible throughout the Little Bighorn Battlefield.  Much of the saga of the battle has been updated from Native American oral history about the event.

There is much more to the Billings area as well as the other attractions a short drive from the city center.  To learn more about these, visit the “Magic City.”