Archive for the ‘Seasons’ Tag

Sowing new seed

 

A corn crop in Nebraska nearing harvest time, across the road from where I live.

 

Spring is a season to plant and grow what is sown into fertile ground. We wait in anticipation for the first signs of growth as they become visible and with diligent watering and maintaining our garden or crops we later celebrate a harvest reaped from our efforts.

In normal times and weather elements conducive to our planting schedules we don’t usually expect to see catastrophic results that wipe out, destroy or wash away what we have planted except by means of devastating storms like floods,tornadoes or drought. My son-in-law is a farmer in Nebraska, and each day he goes out to the farm and fields where he plants, grows and manages the crops. Because of these crops and so many others like it our health and lives are  sustained and we are fed.    

Lately however it is not the fertile ground beneath our feet where our attention and focus has been drawn, but instead that of our own well being, and the lives of all concerned.

We are in a storm of catastrophic proportions now that require from us all sacrifices that we are needing to make for a time to protect, guard and care for. It is our very existence on this earth, so giving and fertile to the seeds we plant. Indeed our life is dependent on the crops and seeds planted on our earth, but while making changes and sacrifices that we once took for granted we are also seeing the effects of those areas we always expected and took for granted; the basic necessities, simple ways we enjoyed life, the pleasure of roaming, traveling and experiencing life as we came to enjoy it. What can we do but follow the rules and guidelines during this Coronavirus/ Covid-19 crisis in our land and around the world? A lot of wonderful good things are being done by so many people who are creative, caring and helping in this crisis for all the people affected. Some might ask, “That’s all good, but what else can I do? How can I make a difference besides what is advised or expected of me in following the rules engaged?”

For us all there are seeds we can plant in fertile soil. They can be merely kind words, simple deeds; prayer, a phone call, text or note sent to family and friends to help those struggling with faith, and hope. Spreading cheer, joy and optimism to others instead of worrying about spreading our germs and keeping a safe distance might be just what another needs. We can follow all the rules to stop the spread of this disease but there are those who struggle with anxiety, despair and worry that they will contract the virus themselves, or a loved one and they feel more isolated internally than externally. Sharing seeds of faith, hope and encouragement can make all the difference to get us all through this and may be one of an eternal change that turns one’s life or perspective around. 

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and self discipline.” II Timothy 1:7 NIV New Testament Bible 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Joyce E. Mannhalter (C) March 2020

 

 

A New Spring

So happy to see

birds returning to my tree,

and squirrels too, at play.

Spring has come. I feel so blessed

to just be here, and be free.

~~~~~~~~~~

Joyce E. Mannhalter

In true Tanka form I welcome a new season, a new spring. The cold winter months might be gone for a season, but often there is another one or two big snowstorms that hit before really warm temperatures announce it summer.

It has been a long, dry season in my writing too, not because I did not want to post or write, but other things and obligations took precedence over that. During that period it was a time of self-reflection and I needed to prioritize what was most important at the time. It was a time of growth too, both spiritually and in learning how to become more self-sufficient as I am now single again. I am so grateful and thankful for the way God has revealed His plan and purpose in my life and shown me how much more I need to trust Him.

“Casting all your care upon Him; for he careth for you.” I Peter 5:7 KJV

A Happy Spring to all,

JEM

More like home

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where corn grows ready waiting the harvest

and granaries are tall white towers

stretching upwards into bright skies.

Where trees, large and twisted

their bark like wrinkles baked in the sun,

with heavy foliage on hanging branches

 bow low to the ground now covered in leaves,

and busy little squirrels scurrying around.

 The sound of trains rumbling down the tracks,

the blast of a noon day whistle heard,

with the semis and tractors sharing the road

between quaint shops that line the street;

a bank, a post office, grocery and gas pump.

Are all beginning to feel more like home.

_________________

Joyce E. Mannhalter © Oct. 2018

 

 

 

Posted October 26, 2018 by Joyce in Autumn, blogging, My Photos, My Writings, Photography, Poems, poetry

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Living at the foot of the Rockies; tour guide

I took this photo from a trailhead in Loveland, looking west towards the Rocky Mountains while hiking on what is called, The Devil’s Backbone.

 

Looking west towards the mountains from River’s Edge Nature Preserve, Loveland, Colorado

 

A view of the white water rapids of the Cache La Poudre River northwest of Fort Collins after a heavy rain storm.

 

 

Our city is one of several along the front range of the Rockies where roads and highways leading up to Rocky Mountain National Park are most often congested with the traffic of tourists going up in the winter months to ski at popular ski resorts, or in the summer to hike the trails,  ride the white water rapids or just to enjoy the changing colors of autumn. After the summer months the bright golden hues of the Aspen trees cover much of the Rocky Mountain slopes before the first frosts. Estes Park, a town at the foot of RMNP is a popular tourist destination throughout the year. We have an abundance of hiking trails and mountain and water sports to choose from living along the front range with an often unpredictable swing in temperatures and climate.

____________

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/tour-guide/

Joyce E. Johnson (2018)

 

Let the fury of fierce winds blow

A view of Longs Peak and mountain range in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, Dec. 2017

 

Let the fury of fierce winds blow

 across the frozen tundra plains

and winter’s bitter chill

turn to mist that hovers still. 

 How soon might I see

    tender shoots unfolding upon the dew?

   Hidden now they’re cloaked in nature’s own dark room

 waiting patiently to bloom,

and tender blades of grass

that peek from beneath the thawing earth,

and skies with a bright warm sun

promise spring is soon to come. 

 _______________

Joyce E. Johnson © 2018


Bare and beautiful

Clustered branches on trees still bare

of the season’s foliage stripped and spare

but for stick figures on a tangled mass of limbs

looking undressed where none can hide.

The morning light and heat from the sun

warms what was clothed under a wintry sky.

__________________

Joyce E. Johnson © 2017

I took this shot early in the morning about a couple of weeks ago in my back yard when the sun was just coming up. Cropping and cutting out a part of the houses in the picture helped to give it more emphasis on only the trees and the sky. We now have new buds and small leaves forming on the same trees because of our much warmer weather.

Posted March 27, 2017 by Joyce in My Photos, My Writings, Photography, Poems, poetry, Seasons, Spring

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Emerging spring

 

 

A new day’s dawn wakes from its sleep,

pink and orange hued clouds streak across the sky.

A burst of color that slowly wanes

emerges into the sun, now brighter and more blue.

Tiny buds and blooms, and grass that now turns green

shows the promise of new life

where frolicking squirrels, and little birds

all busy with work and play

rebuild their nest and tend their young.

A new season, fresh and fragrant spring

has arrived and pushed away the winter blues.

______________

Joyce E. Johnson (2017)

 

 

 

 

Posted March 21, 2017 by Joyce in My Photos, My Writings, Photography, Poems, poetry, Seasons, Spring

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Profusion in pink

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Profusion in pink,

and trees, their limbs full and green 

shelter birds that sing.

 ~~~

The sun is shining.

May comes, and with it new life,

expectancy, hope.

~~~

Is it the season,

or the newness of things fresh?

Spring; I savor all. 

_________________

Joyce E. Johnson © 2016

Securing my own ‘nest’

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Spring brings everyone outdoors once warm weather hits like a brilliant sun on a clear blue sky. Everything seems new again; blooms with delicate petals opening like arms raised to the sky in praise. Grass and trees with new buds so small it is hard to see with the naked eye, but slowly we begin to see new growth and even the birds and small game come out to celebrate the new season.

This squirrel nest is in our neighbor’s tree which hangs its low branches over the fence and into our yard, so from our back yard swing I am able to see the trees as they turn green in the spring, or yellow gold in autumn.

I have watched and wondered about whether the nest might get knocked out by a strong chinook wind, or blowing snow storm. When I saw no activity near it I even wondered if it was abandoned. But, one recent morning I noticed a squirrel climbing out of it as it hopped down onto the branches below.

Our dog, Maggie loves to go after the squirrels in our yard who are plentiful anymore, often hurrying along on the top of the fence racing to the end before she can lunge at them, but they know she is not fast enough or large enough to gain advantage over them so they tease her, screeching, twitching and snapping their tails as if slapping at her. They seem carefree, unafraid of anything happening around them. I watch them, and think, what if we could have that same feeling of unconcern in our world and take each day without anxiety, or stress.

Life can be unpredictable, never certain. We face the realities of our times, and the circumstances in which we find ourselves in, and our world can seem in jeopardy of falling apart. It can be our home, our comfort zone, or our very life that can hang in the balance because there is no monopoly on our tomorrows, only a down payment on our todays. What we put into our ‘todays’ can affect what we leave behind. A legacy that defines us, like a footprint left in this world where we’ve walked can make a difference. Recent events, terrorist attacks, political upheaval, the election woes with its unpredictable outcome, whatever it is, catastrophic storms or events can bring down our nest, our world. A strong wind can shake us, upset our nest, but a storm we have no control over can destroy us.

There is much said about securing our borders, our transportation systems, our investments, economy.” but, it is my own ‘nest,’ my own foundation that I am more focused on building and securing. Sure, I will make my mark, vote my choice, express my voice, but all else I leave in God’s hands where I can trust His judgement, His control, not that of a campaigning candidate, or world leader.

_______________

Joyce E. Johnson (2016) 

 

 

The sun wants to shine

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The sun wants to shine,

trees impatient to turn green

wait their time; snowflakes

fall unhurried to the ground,

and declare, “This day is mine.”

____________________

Joyce E. Johnson © 2016

Posted March 23, 2016 by Joyce in My Writings, Poems, poetry, Tanka poetry

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Farewell to Summer’s sweet end

 

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Summer shies away

while autumn draws nigh and cool

I bid sad farewell

To the season’s warm sweet smells

Of late August blooms, and sigh

___________________

Joyce E. Johnson © 2015


Still a flower in bloom

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The sun smiles upon

a flower and it opens;

God smiles upon us,

and it shows how great His love

For a flower still to bloom

______________

Joyce E. Johnson (2015)


Waiting for spring

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I sit in my swing and train my eyes

to the sky as blue as a robin’s egg,

and wish for a lawn all fragrant and green

as the freshly cut flowers’ leaves and stems.

I sit in my swing and wait for spring

like two doves on a branch in the tree

waiting also for warm weather like me.

I sit in my swing and wait for spring

and let the warm sun bathe my face

thinking all the ways I will enjoy warm days

while old snow melts leaving no trace.

I sit in my swing and wait for spring

looking at the ways I can garden and bring

new life to the roots of all that lay

dormant through the winter until this May

when the scent of lilac and roses I smell

while I sit in my swing and enjoy the spring,

and listen to the choir of birds that sing.

_____________

Joyce E. Johnson © 2015

Life found where we least expect it

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Nature won’t give up

on what it breathes life into;

but comes back, stronger

___________

One and a half years after the disastrous flood of September 2013 in our town in northern Colorado we have amazing sights that surprise us like this old cracked tree stump that was surrounded by destroyed trees and washed out trails, roads and demolished buildings. But, last summer while on the walking trail we spotted this old tree stump cut down where others had been trimmed or uprooted from the flood, many that literally floated down the raging river during the flood. Thinking the tender green shoots were growing up from the ground near it, I decided to get a closer look at it and found that they were actually growing from out of the cracks or crevices in the stump. I was glad I had my camera along.

I was immediately reminded of a favorite scripture in Job 14: 7 of the Old Testament that says, “At least there is hope for a tree; if it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its new shoots will not fail.” (NIV) And I thought about how often I had given up on dreams or things in my life because I felt as if they were ‘dead in the water’, like the trees that washed away in the flood, or having been cut down of ever producing any life or fruit again. But, God’s word is true. It is the same promise for today as it was in the days of Job, and there is the faith and hope that new life, new growth can begin again and we will bear new fruit.

Joyce E. Johnson (2015)

Farewell Sweet Summer

Autumn leaves

Autumn leaves; this photo is one I took a year ago at the peak of Autumn.

 

Farewell sweet summer nights

when a cricket’s chorus

sings to dark, cool skies,

and lulls my slumbering eyes.

When through my window, a breeze

 turns to early dew,

and blooms shiver in the morn,

and the rising sun

brings a cold brisk autumn chill.

With the change of season comes

colorful array

of trees that shed their bright coats

now red, amber, gold,

and the harvest’s bounty grown

in abundance on the ground

gathered up and sold

to town markets all around,

with baskets full of

ripe cornucopia found.

Farewell to sweet summer’s end.

 __________________

Joyce E. Johnson (2014)

 

April rains and spring flowers (Day 15 of NaPoWriMo, National Poetry Writing Month)


April brings showers

The fresh scent of falling rain

And new spring flowers

___________

Joyce E. Johnson (2014)

Reflections on life

A summit is reached

only by climbing what once

looked impossible

_____________

The above photo was taken on a trip several years ago on the way to Yellowstone Nat’l Park in Wyoming.  This is the Grand Teton Range. We took the trip in June and was surprised to find so much fresh snow on the peaks there. When we got to Yellowstone Nat’l Park there was several feet of snow in places so hampered our driving and hiking into places usually accessible. When we drove out of the park a few days later it was snowing heavily again and we got into a blizzard on our way further north as we headed for Glacier Nat’l Park in Montana. They had a lot of new snow there also, but we were able to hike and walk on trails open and drier. It was cold and wintry like through the whole trip.

Joyce E. Johnson (2014)

Nature prevails

Oct. 7, 2013, less than one month after the most destructive flood on record in northern Colorado, Sept. 2013 Photo credit: Joyce E. Johnson

The Cache La Poudre River, northern Colorado, Oct. 7, 2013, less than one month after the most destructive flood on record in northern Colorado, Sept. 2013
Photo credit: Joyce E. Johnson

The water is stilled

Color dots the river’s edge

Nature has prevailed

___________________

Joyce E. Johnson (2013)

MIDNIGHT QUEEN (Part 2)


Midnight Queen


It was the eve of Halloween

when all but the moon

went dark and unseen,

except for the glow

of lanterns lit

along the street

on Madison Row.

When down the walk

came Midnight Queen

looking for food,

or mice to stalk.

A pumpkin like torch,

with a smiling face 

sat perched on a porch

when a door opened wide, 

and a quaint, old woman

welcomed her inside.

Dressed all in black,

she had light-colored eyes

 that glowed and twinkled  

like the stars in the skies.

Could this be fate, 

for Midnight Queen to

a find a home on

Halloween?

______________

Joyce E. Johnson (2013)

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)

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