One

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“One” standing up, life’s lonesome number

Rising today, waking from slumber

 

One single digit, filled with courage

Stepping up, ready to encourage

 

One man standing with boldness, alone

Moving against tyranny’s dark throne

 

One tiny seed maturing to grow

Spawning thick forest, nature’s chateau

 

One last try remains, taking a chance

Advancing to championship’s dance

 

One more war, aiming to end all war

Proving to be mankind’s hopeless chore

 

One single journey, will never do

Touring Yellowstone’s picturesque views

 

One small voice, singing with gentle praise

Joining life’s chorus, hearts now ablaze

 

One yummy taste, frozen now in time

Savoring home cooking at mealtime

 

One kind act, paying forward life’s grace

Sharing love, lighting up darkest place

 

One heart knocks, opening couple’s door

Adopting this daughter, love cares for

 

One righteous Son of God, boldly walks

Bearing our sins, Cross forever talks

 

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Solitude

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Eternal solitude

Everlasting, subdued

 

Morning moments alone

Glorious sunrise sown

 

Life’s daily rhythm glides

From dawn to evening tides

 

Harmony lights day’s lamp

Tranquility’s base camp

 

Flowing with ceaseless soul

Steady rivers patrol

 

Fragrant summer flowers

Beauty added each hour

 

Awesome mountaintop views

Quiet valleys diffuse

 

Warmest rays of sunshine

Hope never felt so fine

 

Oasis filled with spice

Matchless, pure paradise

 

Heavens praising with peace

Calmness shares newborn lease

 

Landscape’s lyrics compose

Midnight moonlight shadows

 

 Precious moments of bliss

Breathtaking, sweetest kiss

  

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Monday Memories: Sunrise

Walking in the morning pre-dawn light

Waiting for the sun to resume its flight

 

Hearing the birds chirping familiar tunes

Feeling happy that spring will arrive soon

 

Stepping briskly along the charming path

Anticipating the sun bringing a warm bath

 

Seeing the shadows change and dance

Clearing a mind from its dormant trance

 

Witnessing God’s immense creation at dawn

Blessing with unique images that it spawns

 

Dashing in front goes a frightened rabbit

Making his morning visit a welcome habit

 

Dreaming of walking here each and every day

Picturing a scenic sunrise so appealing to say

 

Lifting above the distant horizon to bring a delight

Radiating sunrise brightens the morn with its light

  

This poem was written and published in March, 2019.  I frequently walk at two nearby nature parks, and it is always a delight to catch the sunrise (especially if my camera is handy).

Nature’s Calling (Haiku Series #138)

Captivating

Mountains to valleys

Earth’s blessed contrasts invite—

Highest to lowest

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Everlasting

Probing earth’s oceans

Endless waters reaching shore–

Never grows weary

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Spellbinding

Galaxy’s journey

Universe enriches life—

First contact with stars

Welcome to the Gallery

Northeastern Montana’s Fort Peck Dam is viewed from the east side of the dam. The four towers in the middle of the photo are the emergency and main control shafts which run through the dam. These tunnels (over 24 feet wide and running approximately 6,000 feet) move water to the dam’s hydroelectricity generating plant.
Nature never ceases in its work as evidenced by a beaver dam on the Big Run Creek, found at central Ohio’s Walnut Woods Metro Park. An amazing ecosystem lives as a result of this beaver’s ingenuity and engineering.
In Montana, my youngest daughter and her husband enjoy hiking in places not far from their home in Bozeman. This scene was captured in the Spanish Creek area, with the majestic Spanish Peaks in the background.
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.  

Morning’s Blindfold

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Early morning dawn arrives

Missing nature’s boldest light

Covering heavens and earth

Thickest fog masks sun’s headlight

 

Ghostly, ominous shadows

Cloaking trees by hidden creek

Slithering mist moves unchecked

Nature fills with blind mystique

 

Stillness surrounds paradise

Witnessing morning on hold

Waiting patiently for change

Nature removes her blindfold

 

Suddenly, haze disappears

Hailing sun’s brilliant return

Switching on morning’s magic

Thankfully, fog now adjourns

 

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Nature’s Arrogance

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Summer-like weather arrives

Welcoming warmth, nature thrives

 

Snowy cold gone, long banished

Winter’s shadow, now vanished

 

Beaches open, pools start up

Outdoor chores now piling up

 

Paradise smiles, open now

But wait!  Winter’s final bow

 

Halt, recall nature’s humor

Winter’s back, not a rumor

 

Over Montana’s Big Sky

Snowflakes dance, find their bullseye

 

Cold and snow rudely drop in

Wrecking spring, crashing tailspin

 

How can this accident be?

Cold slides in, snow covers trees

 

Blessed with nature’s fairytale

Big Sky folks laugh, “Spring’s in jail”

 

Cornering winter’s good cheer

Just waiting a day my dear

 

Tomorrow’s change now coming

Spring’s freedom and homecoming

 

Photo by Julia Volk on Pexels.com

A freak event of nature found Montana turned in a winter wonderland over a period of a couple of days.  In the meantime, nearly all of the United States was enjoying the arrival of an early summer.  At times, living under the Big Sky does require a sense of humor.

Her Spirit Lives

Montana’s Crazy Mountains (courtesy of Pinterest).

Howling wind joins darkness

From mountains standing tall

Screaming into valleys

Her spirit lives to bawl

 

River bottom cuts through

Shudders at her loud cry

Escaping into night

Her spirit never dies

 

Myths and legends live on

Woman wanders away

Never noticed again

Her spirit roams to prey

 

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Dramatic island range

Lives into eternity

Her spirit must not change

 

Another winter night

Shivering voice calls out

Noisy lungs never sleep

Her spirit lives throughout

Another view taken from the south with the Yellowstone River in the foreground with autumn’s colors (courtesy of Pinterest).

Montana’s Crazy Mountains stand as a sentry above the valley near the town of Big Timber.  Nicknamed the “Crazies,” the wind always seems to be blowing.  If you wish to read more about them, here is a link to the mountains.

Steady Song

Montana’s Yellowstone River, without dams and flowing free.

Innocence of its journey

Silently moving along

Life flowing from its spirit

Hearing river’s steady song

 

Adventure fills nature’s page

Imagination runs wild

Treasured stories to transcribe

Waters frolic like God’s child

 

Back in time, from long ago

Calling out, steady she goes

Flowing with perseverance

Energy shall never slow

 

Panoramic and mighty

Slicing across vast landscapes

Mystery around each bend

Secrets waiting to escape

 

Most precious and sustaining

Endless scenic avenues

Dreaming of chapters to write

Like tasting sweetest fondue

 

Montana’s Madison River, blue-ribbon trout fishing.

Spring’s Hiatus

Beautiful spring afternoon in central Ohio.

Delightful spring day

Soon approaching May

 

Open window’s view

Life’s freshness streams through

 

Everything alive

Nature’s best arrives

 

Birds fill nearby tree

Songs tweeting with glee

 

Virginia bluebells

Blooming, much to tell

 

Squirrels all about

Springtime’s early scout

 

Tree canopy swells

Leaves cast greenest spells

 

Geese gather in pairs

Nesting with love’s care

 

Smelling fresh-mown grass

Yards looking first-class

 

Sometimes nature blinks

At times, summer winks

 

Time to plant gardens

But, beg your pardon!

 

Overnight, snow calls

Spring’s waltz quickly stalls

 

Home furnace heats up

Winter stirs mix-up

 

Spring’s hiatus brings

Snowflakes’ final sting

Winter greets early spring morning.