Nature’s Trademarks (Elfchen Series #31)

Concert

Wind

Blowing chimes

Hearing musical notes

Nature’s symphony plays again

Flawlessly

Photo by Ravi Kant on Pexels.com

Anticipation

Forest

Autumn’s arrival

Colorful landscape beckons

Cascading leaves quickly flee

Transformation

Photo by Harrison Haines on Pexels.com

Waking Up

Wintertime

Skiers delight

Let it snow!

Mountaintop covered powder white

Paradise

Photo by Visit Almaty on Pexels.com

Back in Time

Walking along the ancient canal towpath fills my mind with thoughts of years ago . . .

Early morning walk, going back in time

Autumn’s breath creates thoughts, filling with rhyme

 

Trekking along canal’s ancient pathway

Thoughts caress past moments, plenty to say

 

Gentle breeze, sending leaves twirling on down

Mind arrives at different time and town

 

Dreaming . . .

 

More simple times, without high tech living

Days invite, delightful and forgiving

 

Riding bareback along the old canal

Looking for trees to climb with school-age pals

 

Fishing one final time, nearby pond waits

When icy winter comes, change to ice skates

 

Creepy, storm-filled nights, reading classic prose

Edgar Allen Poe’s words, scary shadows

 

Looking for literature’s lighter themes

Whitman, Hawthorne, Melville adding to dreams

 

Quiet evenings filled with family time

Gathered around for radio’s primetime

 

Crisp, fall afternoon, gridiron titans clash

College football rivals looking to smash

 

Romance blossoms, courtship takes center stage

Life filling with sweetness, each turning page

 

Back to reality . . .

 

Journey runs into closed gate at Rager Road

Turning around, grateful for time borrowed

 

Looking forward to walking here real soon

Fondest memories, let them sing a tune

 

A quiet place for fishing, conversation, and winter ice skating.

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.


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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.  

Beyond Compare

From the words of English novelist and poet, Mary Webb:  “Nature’s music is never over; her silences are pauses, not conclusions.”

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Creation’s wonders, lasting treasures

Beyond compare, by any measure

 

God’s unique Spirit molds, creates

Earth living as His domain, first-rate

 

Forests dazzle with matchless beauty

Witness to our Lord’s sacred duty

 

Animal species roam, some quite rare

Others appear to be everywhere

 

Distinctive flowers color the land

Their music soothes, like any jazz band

 

Unequaled majesty reaching high

Rugged mountains climbing to the sky

 

Creatures with their eccentric pursuits

Actions showing off, fun attributes

 

Man taking note of what God has done

High praises, He stands second to none

 

One and only one master designs

Each day, smiling at His nature shrines

 

Photo by Philippe Donn on Pexels.com

From Genesis 1:29-30:  “God said, ‘See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food.  And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.’  And it was so.”

Still on Watch

Deserted, severed tree trunk

Shattered by storms long ago

Splitting this giant in two

Forsaken now in its woes

 

Nature’s hand calling the shots

Drawing dark cards from the deck

Standing alone, slowest death

Trying to salvage this wreck

 

Deformed snag appears lifeless

Yet, God calls this wildlife tree

Standing proudly, still on watch

Nature’s snack bar waits for free

Living nearby, log still lives

Covered with lichens and moss

Home for God’s smallest creatures

Termites, beetles . . . march across

 

Jagged stump remains on guard

Below the ground, roots still thrive

Life holds on, another year

Perseverance to survive

 

Around the dark, scuttled tree

Racing to reach sunlight first

Young saplings growing skyward

Cycle of life, marked to burst

All of the photographs were taken at Chestnut Ridge Metro Park, which is located just outside of Canal Winchester, Ohio.  I frequently walk this park during the fall, spring, and summer months with an occasional hike in the wintertime.

God’s Creatures (Haiku Series #94)

Wake Up

Geese flying overhead

Echoing in morning dawn—

Nature’s alarm clock

Photo by Wendy Wei on Pexels.com

Tasty

Summer afternoon

Sweetest nectar from milkweed—

Butterflies frolic

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Under Surveillance

Walking the park trail

Sensing with each cautious step—

Who’s really watching?

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

Moments with Nature (Haiku Series #89)

Turf Fight

Eagle’s invasion

Trespassing and threatening—

Tiny bird attacks

Photo by Frank Cone on Pexels.com

Still Safe

Dark clouds approaching

When thunderstorm moves away—

Tree limbs wave goodbye

Photo by Suparerg Suksai on Pexels.com

Forever Gone

Footprints on the beach

Nature brings its eraser—

Surf cleans them away

Photo by Miriam Fischer on Pexels.com

Scenic Mountain Vistas

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Sitting home, isolated and alone

Taking virtual trips, changes life’s tone

 

America’s landscapes invite us in

Scenic mountain vistas, adventures grin

 

Alaska Range, home to our northernmost peaks

Denali “the tall one” forever speaks

 

Cascade Range roams the Pacific Northwest

Snow-capped volcanoes offer stunning quests

 

Sierra Nevada’s enchanted land

Host national parks, majestic and grand

 

Rocky Mountains form this nation’s backbone

Stunning beauty, more precious than gemstones

 

Sawtooth Mountains salute from Idaho

Endless summits bring skiers to the snow

 

Bighorn Mountains, sacred to native ways

Montana-Wyoming border sings praise

 

Adirondack Mountains, New York’s playground

Winter skiing, fall foliage—best around

 

Great Smoky Mountains push for Tennessee

Fog-covered peaks, spellbinding all agree

 

Blue Ridge Mountains welcome us back home

Free-flowing Shenandoah smiles and roams

Photo by Polina Chistyakova on Pexels.com

Wherever you live or where your travels take you, you may have a favorite mountain paradise.  One of my precious favorites is the Beartooth Mountains in south-central Montana, a stone’s throw away from Yellowstone National Park.  

You are invited to share one of your special places in the comments.

Montana’s rugged Beartooth Mountains [photo courtesy of pinterest].

Ridgetop Treasure

From above the ground, a trellis provides a fertile place for grapes to grow.

From a ridgetop garden

Nature’s treasure hides out

Offering its harvest

Flora lives all about

 

Flowers blooming early

Winter now disappears

Colorful bouquets reign

Sweetest fragrances cheer

 

Warming springtime sunshine

Changes the ground cover

New, tender shoots of grass

Young deer will discover 

A young deer finds the tender grass to her liking.

Trellis roof shelters grapes

Ripen in summer’s sun

Fill with juicy flavor

Birds enjoy tasty fun

 

Apple and black walnut trees

Shading nature’s grand shrine

Fruit dropping to the ground

Squirrels and deer will dine

 

Former home site lives on

Garden paradise waits

Coming alive each spring

Winking back at its mates

Apples ripen in the warm summer sun.

All of the photographs were taken during a couple of recent morning walk at Chestnut Ridge Metro Park, which is just minutes away from Canal Winchester, Ohio.  The hilltop garden remains long after the house (built in the 1930s) was abandoned.  I was blessed to spend several minutes photographing a very cooperative deer while I was quietly standing near a tree.  

Nature’s Witness (Elfchen Series #23)

Scared

Rabbit

Sensing danger

Heart beating fast

Sitting quiet and still

Invisible

Photo by Frank Cone on Pexels.com

God’s Country

Morning

Glorious sunrise

Big Montana Sky

Prairies, mountains smile forever

Applause

From southwestern Montana, the Tobacco Root Mountains rise above the Madison River valley.

Mystery

Hiking

Park trail

With cautious steps

Who’s watching me now?

Greetings

Photo by anne sch on Pexels.com