Archive for the ‘Rocky Mountains’ Tag

Painted by the finger of God



The sun lingers just over the rise,

a tinge of pink reflects off the peaks.

With anticipation I wait to behold

the glow spreading across the sky.

The hour in passing seems too long.

Then dusk descends slowly over the ridge,

and the heavens like a canvas arrayed in hues

of orange and yellow merge together

exploding in color and brilliant light,

an image painted by the finger of God.


Joyce E. Johnson (2016)

Footnote: I took the above photos in July of this year, getting these and many other shots during our wait for the sun to go down while parked up on the lookout ridge overlooking Longs Peak in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Whenever we go up there I come away inspired to write new pieces of poetry, adding more new photos to our ever-growing collection of Colorado mountain photos that fill our albums and digital libraries.

Living just an hour away and thirty miles from Rocky Mountain National Park is a definite advantage to being able to do this, and we never tire of the beautiful drive up highway 34 from our town of Loveland, through the narrows and granite canyons and into Estes Park situated at the foot of RMNP.  At this time of year after a very busy, bustling summer of tourists visiting RMNP we see the busy summer tourist season come to a close with the Labor Day weekend. Soon, the Aspen trees begin to turn a golden color, drop their leaves, and the elk do their popular bugling call (the beginning of their mating season), drawing more tourists for the autumn season. The air turns colder and we see our first winter snow storms, snow skiers arriving, and it is busy again. 🙂

Let the mountains rejoice…


Looking out over ‘Purple Mountains Majesty’ in the Colorado Rockies. This photo was taken during the very early hours of sunrise of the majestic Rockies in Estes Park, Colorado. Photo credit: T. Wayne Johnson


Let the mountains rejoice,

let them cry out, Glory to the One

who set us upon

the earth with all like wondrous kind.

Lift up His name, let Glory reign,

and bless all who honor Him with voice,

and with their promised inheritance gain

their eternal place, like an eternal flame

that burns forever, always bright

and with the Father, all blessings claimed.


Joyce E. Johnson (2016)

Today is Independence Day in the U.S. If you are an American and have sung and know the words to the song, America the Beautiful, then you might remember the phrase that goes like this, “purple mountains majesties.” I have used this photo for today’s post to honor our national holiday. Happy birthday, America, and may it always be one that is the land of the free, and the brave, and above all, one that honors its creator, Father God. Happy 4th of July to all Americans, today.  JEJ

Life; more about the climb than pinnacle climbed

A view of Long's Peak in the Rocky Mountains from Estes Park, Colorado

A view of Longs Peak in the Rocky Mountains from Estes Park, Colorado.  Photo credit; Thomas W. Johnson

Life is not about

the mountain top experience

but the climb that counts


I have never climbed Longs Peak, shown in this photo, but my husband, both our girls and grandchildren have, more than once. It is a very arduous, difficult climb and gets technical during the last two hundred feet or so as the climb becomes more vertical and slippery on the granite face of the peak. There is a dangerous ‘cliff hanger’ known as the ‘Keyhole’ where it becomes slower, steeper and grueling. Climbers have been killed or fallen and rescued from the summit ledge, near the north face on the peak. But, reaching the summit is a euphoric ‘high’ for most, a pivotal point of success, as one can scratch it off their  ‘bucket list’.  Longs Peak at 14, 259 ft. in elevation, is the highest peak in the Rocky Mountains. My knees are too weak and unstable to try it, so I’ve just settled for shorter hikes, up the trails to the trail heads, usually no more than two – four miles long.

I used this poetic metaphor to illustrate the way life can deal us difficult challenges along the way. Often times those things come doubled or tripled when we struggle to get through one before another one comes right behind, and often requires a determination that makes the going rough, the ‘climb’ harder. But, climbing it with God’s help makes us stronger in the process, in faith and perseverance when we go through it with Him.

I hope the new year will hold success and prosperity for you, and you will have that inner strength that comes from knowing Him if you face such challenges and find the ‘climb’ in life a difficult one. Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” NIV  It is in knowing Him and knowing what He can do through us that the ‘climb’ becomes easier and the ‘mountain top experience’ all the more real.

Happy New Year to all,

Joyce E. Johnson (2015)

Another place we call ‘home’





A young deer near the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park, Colorado

Bright and wild they grow

raising petals to the sun

dotting mountain sides

where game graze and run

through green fields of early dew

and nature thrives where abides

all things living, old and new.

It is a place where deer roam

the peaks on which the mountain stands;

Deercrest, a place we call, ‘home.’


Footnotes: Deercrest is the name we gave our four-acre lot of mountain property located 32 miles northwest of Fort Collins, Colorado in a mountain resort community called Glacier View Meadows.  We have had our property there for over twenty years now and though we live in Loveland this is our other ‘home’ where we love to get away, and  enjoy the quiet and peaceful mountain air and rugged,  natural environment.

Joyce E. Johnson (2014)

Shades of Autumn

Aspen trees in Roosevelt National Forest, Larimer County, Colorado
photo: Joyce E. Johnson

There stands a forest

Below snow-covered peaks where

A grove of Aspen,

Autumn’s golden shades

Grows beating nature’s fury

Undaunted and strong;

Mere flecks of yellow

In a mass of tall pine trees

Like a flower show.


Joyce E. Johnson (2013)

%d bloggers like this: