Nature’s Gifts (Haiku Series #84)

Sweet Fragrance

Nature sending love

Despite social distancing—

Smelling sweet flowers

Photo by Gustavo Fring on Pexels.com

Concert in the Pines

Deep in the forest

Harmony reigns over all—

Are we listening?

Photo by Taryn Elliott on Pexels.com

Catch Us—If You Can

One, two, three, four, five

Their heads bobbing up and down—

Turkeys in tall grass

Photo by Simon Migaj on Pexels.com

Welcome to the Gallery

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.  

Nature’s Endless Song

I feel so fortunate to have so much of nature’s treasures not far from my front.  Two metro parks are a short drive away, and their endless song always beckons me to return.  The photos used with this poem were taken in central Ohio at various times of the year.

Nature will never sing the blues

Her beauty sends out blessed clues

 

Walking with her in tranquil woods

Sharing her soul, always feels good

 

Moments cherished, singing with joy

Her spirit brings much to enjoy

 

Spending endless hours in her care

Filling with melodies to share

 

Life’s journey follows nature’s tune

Her endless smile reaches the moon

 

Smelling the essence of tall pines

Tasting better than vineyard’s wines

 

Cycle of living never fades

Nature coyly playing charades

 

Changing seasons bring new décor

Hearing symphonies, voices soar

 

Autumn sets up winter’s game plan

Spring fading into summer’s tan

 

Composing its endless, ageless song

Hearing nature, singing along

Nature’s Living Spirit (Tanka Series #2)

Angry, stormy seas

Nature’s spirit at its worst

Fear of tomorrow

Across the horizon comes

Peace and love in a new light

Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

Darker and darker

Harshest words shouting through clouds

Louder and louder

Sunshine opening these skies

God’s rainbow showing His peace

Photo by Matt Hardy on Pexels.com

Nature’s harmony

Unbalanced and falling down

Lightning splitting peace

Sudden calmness comes to all

Rebuilding broken pieces

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com

A Tanka is a Japanese form of poetry, which is related to its cousin Haiku.  The poem uses 31 syllables covering five lines (with syllable counts following a 7, 5, 5, 7 and 7 sequence).  An effective Tanka uses personification, metaphors, and similes in its construction, and it performs well in expressing a mood, a thought, or a feeling.   

Nature’s Bounty (Haiku Series #81)

Joyful

Unceasing rainfall

A minor inconvenience—

Landscape turning green

Photo by Chavdar Lungov on Pexels.com

Thrilling

Around every bend

Nature offers surprises—

Mysteries waiting

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com

Listening

Quiet stillness sits

Can you hear nature at work?

With each blade of grass

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Step by Step

One of my favorite places to walk is a short drive from my home.  Walnut Woods Metro Park (the Woods) is a special place to find nature’s treasures along its easy to moderate trails.  The photographs shown with this poem were taken a few days ago.  Enjoy!

Peaceful Walnut Creek meanders along the northern border of park.

Early morning light beckons

Putting on worn hiking shoes

Overcast skies hold back rain

Nature waits with charming views

 

Driving to a park, the “Woods”

Tranquility always waits

Peace and beauty reaching out

Eager feet, needing no skates

 

Step by step, walking farther

Park’s vastness, shouting with joy

Around each bend, nature smiles

Many sights and sounds deploy

 

Morning excursion teases

Birds sing back and forth on cue

Precious blossoms smelling sweet

Coffee can’t top nature’s brew

 

Time seems to pause with each step

Today’s time comes to an end

Ticket punched for return trip

These “Woods” remain a best friend

A few signs of spring’s early blossoms still can be found, but they will soon be gone.

Moments with Nature (Elfchen Series #17)

Tender Moments

Morning

Gentle rain

Geese flying overhead

Nature starts her day

Serenity

alone animal bird clouds

Photo by Gabriela Palai on Pexels.com

 

Nightly Blessing

Sunset

Evening twilight

Chorus of colors

Painting our Creator’s masterpiece

Nightfall

photo of mountain under orange sky

Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels.com

 

Changing

Trees

Tiny buds

New leaves sprout

Growing greener, bigger, fuller

Grandeur

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Summer’s glory in full display at Ohio’s Chestnut Ridge Metro Park.

Rugged Beauty

Have you ever visited any of America’s western badlands?  Some of my travels have allowed the me the privilege to experience these wonders of nature.

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A panoramic view of the Painted Canyon Overlook off of Interstate 94 near Medora, North Dakota and Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Hidden beauty, waiting to be found

Western badlands, ready to be crowned

 

Nature proclaims its rugged features

Wildlife views from its austere bleachers

 

Kaleidoscope of creatures around

Falcons, eagles, deer, bison abound

 

Barren environment, a wasteland

Native tribes nicknaming this “bad land”

 

Slippery clay gumbo, sinking sand

Fur trappers evade these harsh badlands

 

Timely erosion unearths treasures

Fossil beds offering up pleasures

 

Late spring rains transform the quiet view

Green velvet covers buttes, right on cue

 

Sleeping landscape erupts with color

Prairie flowers dazzle and holler

 

Brilliant colors reflect morning’s light

Ravines, gullies paint prismatic sights

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Another view of the North Dakota badlands.  If one looks closely, there is an American Bison (Buffalo) in the center of this photo.

My journeys out West have allowed me to visit three of America’s treasured badlands:  Makoshika State Park (near Glendive, Montana), Theodore Roosevelt National Park (near Medora, North Dakota), and Badlands National Park (near Rapid City, South Dakota).

 

Serenity’s Rain

Witnessing an early morning rain inspires the visions for this poem.  It is amazing how a view through an open window can bring forth images to write from.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Replenishing parched, barren land

Serenity’s rain, from God’s hand

 

Quenching desert’s eternal thirst

Nature smiling, joy now disbursed

 

Nourishing life with loving pride

Flora and fauna, at God’s side

 

Touching each leaf, stems from God’s love

Hues of green, colored from above

 

Singing with praise, birds bless this scene

Creation glowing, dazzling sheen

 

Sharing splendor, feeling at peace

Morning rain, grants life a new lease

 

Listening closely, hearing now

God’s serenity, takes a bow

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Photo by Sofie Vanborm on Pexels.com

 

 

 

Haiku Series #75 (Nature)

Morning

In the dawn twilight

Windows open, nature wakes up—

Chorus of song birds

close up of wheat field against sky at sunset

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

 

Nature’s Calendar

Beautiful city

Welcoming flowering trees—

Spring’s barometer

close up photography of cherry blossom tree

Photo by Bagus Pangestu on Pexels.com

 

Waking Up

Geese flying overhead

Echoing in morning dawn—

Nature’s alarm clock

silhouette of flying birds

Photo by Wendy Wei on Pexels.com