Sunday, September 27, 2009

Autumn Equinox, Lapse into Dreams of a Recent Past

A soft white blanket of crystalline snow covers the tapestry of landscape.  Heavy and wet from early season moisture.  dampening, cleansing and renewing, while it protects, covers, and conceals, giving life in slumbering silence. 

There is something special about the first snows of Autumn’s equinox.  The protective blanket that covers all, helping the trees to shed their colorful leaves. lolling them to sleep for the long winter’s rest.  A scent of freshness, similar… yet ever so differing from rain… somehow more clean and pure.  The crispness of a morning cool adding to the cleansing effect.

The creeks, streams, and ponds matted artistically with white lace of opacity, unrivaled by any creations of man. Frosted tendrils that frame and accentuate the glassy surface.   Crisp pure water, babbling unhindered over and under the glacial beauty of frigid wonder. Clear untainted mountain springs, brimming over rocks sculpted by nature.  Leaving behind a shimmering coat of translucent ice, sparkling vibrantly in a morning sun, like jewels of exquisite beauty.

Autumns equinox, delivered of a peaceful rest.  The splendor of its colorful kaleidoscope a mere figment of memory.  Replaced by virgin powder wondrous and astonishing in it’s own right.  Branches, once vibrant with fiery colors, now displaying flawless frosted crystals of exquisite delicacy.  Mountain spirits stilled for a harmonious rest, undisturbed, hushed, hibernation.   A solitude so extravagant in resounding silence!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Summer Fades, Autumn Colors Blossom!

Autumn coloration at Karasawa of the Hodaka Mo...

Image via Wikipedia

It’s that time of year when the temperature slowly drops, adding a welcome crispness to the environs.  The mountain air is visible as a misty breath when exhaled.  Mother nature deposits pure, white, crystalline surprises on the mountain tops.  Extraordinary colors are born within the aspen trees and mountain foliage.  A magical time, of slumber and change.  The beginning of nature’s suspended  growth, a hibernation of beauty and beast.


In the mountains, it comes early, the end of August, beginning of September.  That time of year when a heavy wet snow can envelope your domain overnight, and be gone by days end.  A special time of year, cleansing and refreshing. 

My thoughts wander, taking me on a journey of times past.  Trails explored, high mountain bowels traversed.  Rejoicing in the wonder of natures own stimulating, dynamic, art.  Mountain lochs framed by newly formed ice, reflecting a kaleidoscope of color.  Pure, fresh and cold, the water makes it’s own prism of refracted light.  A spine tingling beauty, so magnificently exquisite it takes the breath away.

There are few places where the changing of seasons is so pronounced.  Punctuated with visual beauty and splendid colors.  A progression of time displayed in wondrous pictorial scenes.  When you add the magical sunsets to the canvas, the reward is stimulating.

A setting sun, lights the sky with embers of fire, coalescing in charismatic shades.   Shadows darken, accented by brilliant lavender, rusty wine, and subdued ochre.  The rugged horizon concealing a flaming sun, casting ghosts upon the elaborately colored foliage.  A far away wind stirs the fresh mountain top snow, swirling a faint pattern, like intricate lace, over the peaks.  The cold soaks through the bones, enlivening senses, awaking the spirit.  An experience, sensual and exhilarating.

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Inferno: Shiver Me Timbers, There’s Not Much Time!

This Mountain Dreamer, is testing out his sea legs. I've signed on as Second Officer and Navigator over at The Inferno. She's a blog ship of sturdy nature, fast running and sleek as can be. We're captained by the truly talented Mistress Bad Kitty, and chaperoned by The Pub Wench.

She's a vessel created and crewed by the members of The Artists Challenge and Dante's Pub. Her mission is to search for writers, poets, and artists of the word. Adventures are sure to be had, and valuable plunder of indescribable beauty captured. Please, come on over and visit me at my new play ground. I've posted a fun little story just for you.

The Inferno: Shiver Me Timbers, There’s Not Much Time!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Worlds Precipice

Top of the worldLooking out from the worlds precipice, taking in the visions of beauty and wonder.  There is a humbling feeling coursing through my being.  I am but a tiny, nondescript, part of the world. When held in comparison to all the rest of creation, one can feel nothing but an appreciation of life.  To see all the majestic structures and creations below me, appear so small and insignificant, makes me marvel at the world as a whole.  An immeasurable collaboration of individually unsubstantial beings and objects.  When viewed as a whole, in cooperation with each other… there is a singular nobility. 

This is a view every living soul should experience, one that will no doubt leave a tangible mark on a persons thoughts.  To stand at the summit of a 14,000 peak, surrounded by a dark blue sky, accented with orange coral and purple clouds floating, seemingly right in front of you.  The feeling of being able to take a small step out onto one of those clouds, and ride the winds in style.  Looking down on the lush green of a valley floor, or darkness of forest trees.  The soft colors of earthen wonders coalesce perfectly with the vibrancy of a fire lit sunset.  A sense of serenity and peace fills my thoughts, and give comfort to a weary spirit.

The fragrance of mountain tundra, so unlike anything else.  Clear and crisp, punctuating the fresh air, untouched and pure.   The coolness of the wind on my face as I look north, facing the spirits of old.  The shrill warning of a Whistle Pig, concerned only with my proximity to its abode.  A loan mountain goat, picks it’s way across a cliff face, far in the distance, a picture of grace and beauty. 

Seems like a relic of the past, a fond memory, stored carefully away.  As personal and individual as that memory of a birthday or wedding.  Memories valued and treasured, like jewels in a vault, kept carefully.  Frequently handled, dusted, polished, and brought to a exquisite sheen. 

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Friday, July 31, 2009

Full Moon Kindled In Lustrous Sterling

moon over mountain

Image by zen via Flickr

Dreaming of visions that inspire clear thought and reward serenity, complete and soulful.   Guides my mind  to a small mountain creek, flowing softly, nearly silent, over stones polished by natures tumbler.  Colors, that take the breath, captivate the spirit… shining through the iridescent water.  Water so fresh, cold, and clear.  A scent, flawless, sweet, and crisp, emanates from the darkened indigo flow.

I stroll along the creek bank, through bountiful, verdant, grasses, edging along tall willows.  Alabaster capped mountains, towering and majestic, encompass my view.  The setting sun timidly absconds to seek refuge behind craggy peaks. Serrate mountain ranges, painted in amethyst, terra, and crimson colors so vibrant and alluring.  The horizon intensified by fiery clouds, reflecting the suns radiance, slowly gives way to the lustrous sterling of an evenings full moon.

Darkness of night, pushed aside and left abandoned by the moons silvery-pearl glow.  Illuminating my trek to a small stand of aspen trees, alive and supernal, beside a quiet, motionless beaver pond.  A forest of soaring lodge pole pine, gives off the light, unadulterated, scent of pine from nearby.  Shadows, graceful and  lumbering,  cast off and forgotten, my silent companions  for the evenings beauty.

Wishes, whispered on the wind, somewhere far away, gently rustle the leaves of aspen and willow.  If you listen carefully, with your soul and spirit, not your ears, you can hear them. Wishes,  Innocent, sweet, and humble, that sing out their plaintive song.  A melody of beauty, love, and hope, to calm the restless spirit… give pause to a troubled soul.

The grandeur of a resplendent moon, reflected on the surface of the water, complete with it’s slate craters.  The face of a compassionate night sky, welcoming all and giving comfort to tired spirits of daylights torment and struggle.   Softly, the nocturnal activities of a resident beaver, sends ripples across the surface, bending and contorting the vision.  Humbling to me… even the eminence of this celestial master is manipulated by the innocent intentions of a peaceful mountain citizen. 

Serenity resides in this vision of nighttime mountain solitude.  Rewarding my dreams, and stimulating my creativity.  These are the moments I live for, lust for, and would happily spend the rest of my life searching for.

Authors Note:

The Artist Challenge is premiering Challenge 14 - Moon River, August 1, 2009.  As an undeserving member of that group of unbelievably talented people, this piece is done toArtist Challenge commemorate and promote their work.  Please visit the challenge, browse and enjoy the works displayed there.  I did submit a poem for the challenge, it will be displayed with their wondrous art work.   I’ll also publish it on my other site, Ruminations of a Small Town Mountain Boy.

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Natures Wonders Reborn

A massive forest fire

Image via Wikipedia

I frequently visited sites of old forest fires.  It was a wonderment to me, the process, laid clearly before me.  Natures beauties stripped bare, devoured and ravaged. Sometimes by her own hand, more often though, by  ignorance,  tragic blunders or selfish intentions, of man.  Yet new growth, striving for existence, freed by the destruction, springing forth, pushing its way through the devastation.

The beauty of new young life, erupting through the tale tale signs of depredation that came before.  lush green grasses springing up beside the twisted worn skeleton of fire ravaged trees. Grey and charred, accented by rufescent oranges, as if tattooed by fire.  The pitch pine blood of the old feeding and fostering the young, timid and frail natural topiary, struggling for life. Eloquent fronds reaching skyward, soaking in the nourishing rays of summer sunlight.  The fragrant scents of new life, fresh and piercing, mingled among the charred and musty scents of defoliation.

Chipmunks and squirrels boisterous and full of vivacity, bounding among hollowed deadfalls.  Playing, presenting a symphony of warbling chirps, confessing their joy in life.  Seeking companionships and chattering amongst each other.  A cottontail rabbit, silent and watchful, caution emblazoned on it’s beautiful quiet features.  poised and ready to flee, sampling fresh sprigs of new mountain grass.  Camp robins and blue jay’s, fluttering amid the naked stalks of tree limbs barren and scorched.  Their sing song voices plaintive, sorrowful, and poignant.

I sit perched against a granite shard of stone, anonymous, quiet and still… a silent  observer.  To bear wittness with heavy heart, twisted by conflicting emotons.  Aware of the ghosts of centuries old and the emergent spirits of urchins from a new day.   Bitterness, stoic and unsteady  from the loss of ancient grandeur, yet a certain  wonderment and fascination at the burgeoning life dawning before my very eyes.  The cycle to be repeated elsewhere in which we are insignificant spectators.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Timberline Temptations

Bristlecone pine Great Basin

Image via Wikipedia

July is the perfect time of year to explore the mountains along and above timberline. 

The wildflowers in full bloom, rich spotty but thick grass.  Bristlecone Pine trees, leaning, sinuous and unnaturally contorted by the winds strong winter hand.  Resting for the summer, gaining strength and reinvigoration from the  calm sun.  There is beauty in their strength and struggle.  Aged and  weary, yet resisting, continuously striving to live on.  Their spirit among the ancients, survivors of times, generations past.

Strolling along shale slopes and boulder fields.  Listening to the whistles of a Marmot, sounding it’s alarm.  Watching a Rocky Mountain Big Horn Sheep, traverse a nearly vertical cliff.  Wonderment at it’s deft footing, and ghostlike ability to climb effortlessly.  Earth tone colors meshing and mixing, set against a vibrantly azure sky, accented by alabaster, billowy clouds.  A mountain lake, effulgent sapphire  water clear as glass, unpolluted and cold.

A simple silence, peaceful and pacific, a soundless music to my ears.  Ascending a ridge, striving for the summit, enjoying the

inconceivable vistas stretching out below.    A view of mile upon mile spread before your eyes, seemingly going on forever.  The solitude, adding to the humble feeling of being on top of the world.  The gifts of the mountain spirits encompassing and comforting.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Natures Own Fireworks Display, No Admittance Fee Required.

Multiple paths of cloud-to-cloud lightning, Sw...

Image taken by Fir0002 via Wikipedia GNU License

This last Saturday night, 4 th of July, I spent sitting on my front porch appreciating the copious displays of personal fireworks from all over my neighborhood.  The experience, brought to mind, many a magnificent display I have been privileged to observe over the years past.  Displays not of fireworks in the true definition, but light shows unparalleled by any of a man made origin. I’m speaking of Mother natures breathtaking displays we know as thunderstorms. 

One in particular, stands out vibrant and fresh in my memory.  Thunder storms in the mountains of Colorado, many times are “dry” lightning storms because there is no rain that follows their passing. I was in the mountains near Jefferson, Co. when the storm approached from the south.  Lighting the horizon with distant flashes, vague and obtuse at first, then strengthening as they neared.  Intermittent and  momentous  light, diffusely backlighting the darkness of the  horizon along mountain ranges, tall and proud.  

I located a prominent overlook on the road leading up to Georgia Pass. A place where I could have a good view of the show soon to be displayed before me in all it’s brilliance.  I watched as the storm seemingly gained strength, but in reality it simply got closer and closer.  As the storm passed over the distant mountain range, lightening became more defined and

 effulgent.  Jagged flashed of light following a fractured and sporadic path in the dark night sky.  Like sparks of electricity traveling along hidden circuits in the sky, jumping and arching from contact to contact.

Lightning strikes of varying intensity, bathing the landscape in resplendent, sterling, brilliance for miniscule factions of time.  A flash of light here, a phosphorescent glare there.  Outlines of the trees, rocks, terrain and mountain features  vibrant and sharp, then  an all encompassing, obsidian darkness.  Bolts of stark, bright, light  dancing their way across the night sky, fracturing, then joining again. Careening along the horizon, building a sharp zigzagging pattern.

Soon, the a distant rumbling sound, deep with base, resonates across the mountain plains.  The ground slightly vibrating, trembling with a faint unquenchable energy.  Seemingly a charge of electricity permeating the air, my hair feeling as if it’s standing on end. Goose bumps encompassing my skin, traveling up from the feet to my hands and neck.  Excitement and anticipation infiltrating my consciousness, sneaking into every nook and cranny of my awareness.  

The storm and lightshow, becoming even more vibrant and powerful the closer it gets.  With each passing mile, gaining a force incomparable, exhaustive, and resolute in its power.  The phantasms, clearer, sharper, more luminescent  with each flash.  The thunderous roar, and sharp booming explosions of sound increasing in volume, clamorous, turbulent, resounding.  The beauty and elegance of the visual display, a form of artistry itself.  The accompaniment thunder, adding a melody, beat, or rhythm to the performance.   The total, replete, power of the storm, intimidating and consummate in itself. 

A feeling of respect and appreciation fills my spirit as the storm passes over, and slowly marches to another horizon.  Destined to continue its course, playing out the bright pantomime of it’s existence for many others to appreciate. 

About a year ago, I wrote a very short fictional story about this particular storm.  You can find it on Ruminations of a Small Town Mountain Boy, it’s titled Light Show if you so chose.

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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Wishes Whispered on the Wind

Along with the zillions of lupines, asters, an...

Image via Wikipedia

While sitting in a mountain field, filled with wild flowers. The sweet taste, like honey, of Indian Paintbrush on my lips.  The soft yellow glow of buttercups mingle with a fragrant aroma rising from the blue bells and columbine.   I hear the music of the wind’s spirit.  Feeling the current of a soft  breeze tenderly mix and blend the long stems of grass reaching high.  The rustle of leaves moved with a tempo created by spirits of the wind.  The music is clear and poignant,  inspirational and relaxing. 

It’s like listening to dreams whispered to the winds, carried where only nature can take them.  Surrounded by the protective rampart of mountain ranges, bathed in the soft glow of sunset light. Resplendent colors cascading over the the horizon.  A

 panorama of fire, both in the heavens above and the terra firma below, meeting in the middle where the horizon line runs jagged and rough.  Blazing reds and oranges, highlighted with gold, soften and darken becoming comforting purples, grays and browns. 

The artistry of natures spirits, is not only visual but tactile and auditory.  To get the full effect, one simply needs the serenity of natures environs.  It matters not whether it’s the beach or the mountains, even the desert has its own version.  Your preference is as unique and individual as you are.  The tones,  tempos, and texture of the art differ from location to location, just as they do with the seasons.  Natures color pallet,  varying and vibrant, depending on where it is you choose to view them. 

What remains consistent, is that if one wishes, and listens close they can hear the music, see the dreams, and share what others have cast to the wind.  Then all that remains is for you to whisper your wishes to the winds.  Let them be carried on, higher and farther, perhaps someone will hear them and grant and answer.

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Whispering Winds

Pine trees along WIlliams Lake trail, Taos ski...

Image by shewhopaints via Flickr

This is a re-write of a story I did for Ruminations of a Small Town Mountain Boy. I hope you enjoy it!

There was a place back home where I loved to go and sit, to think and ponder.  Sorting through all those  wandering thoughts, organizing, adding just a little structure to my cluttered head.  It was a lonely place, filled with spirits of times past, a place of centering, soulful reflection.  A place deep in the pine forest, near a small grove of Aspen trees.   

There was an old miners tram, mounted on steel rails that rose quietly, lithely up the mountainside.  Many a worker had ridden the tram in it’s time of prosperity, an era long since forgotten.  Now it sits lonely and forlorn, weathered wood slowly corroding, splintering and disintegrating at the whim of times fickle hand.  Surrounded by tall lodge pole pine trees, reaching for the sky leaving a path vacant along the tracks. A lone pine tree, young and full of promise,  growing through the center of the tracks, obscuring the prospective view of ghostly riders. 

I would sit for hours, near that old tram, leaning against a tree absorbing the view of the mountain forest and listening.  At times, I could swear I heard the groan and grind of an old electric motor, the remnants of which strewn about, struggling under a heavy burden.  There were times it was the mumblings of men, worn and weary, from a long hard day of strenuous  work.  Men who wished only for a stiff drink and a good meal,  dreaming of that elusive mother load gold strike.  Whishing for only one thing, what all people really want, to provide security and comfort to their loved ones. 

When you listened close, you could hear the wind gently stirring the  forest trees, softly whispering, silently singing a melody.  A song lonesome and sweet, filled with dreams and wonder, sorrow and serenity.  A sound so refreshing, remarkable, and full of life!

It was a place long forgotten, and lost to many. A place that surely had seen the sufferings and successes of people long since parted.  A place that strangely held an unusual focusing, soothing, and rejuvenating power. 

I could sit there and dream of centuries past…  people who came before.  Dream the simple dreams of those who toiled and troubled inside the mountain.  Feel the desires of those who worked the world above.  People harvesting its bounty or herding and hunting its  bestial gifts. Dreams so simple and supportive, lacking the stress of today's ventures.  A place I could lose myself in solitude, listening… learning from old spirits, yet young.  Guiding souls willing to lend an ear to a fellow lonely wanderer. 

When I allow myself, I can take my thoughts back to that place, and just faintly hear the forest of trees, whispering… softly singing a melody. Simple sweet music, unheard by many, treasured by a few lucky, lonely souls.

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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Summer Slumbers

Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)
Image via Wikipedia
One of the things I loved to do on a quiet beautiful Sunday, back home in the mountains, was to go fishing.   I would find one of the many remote little streams, filled with beaver dams, Brook, and Rainbow trout.  This generally entailed a short drive and long hike to get where I desired.  The key to my enjoying the fishing, was the seclusion of the less traveled territories.

The hike in, was many times very satisfying and pleasant.  Walking along a creek bed, traveling through the lodge pole pine and aspen covered forests.  Always an abundance of willow growing near the streams, adding a flash of green with their red orange stalks radiant in the sun. The strong vibrant fragrances of the mountain forest permeating my senses.   The clear amazingly brilliant blue of the morning sky, accented with tufts of billowy white clouds. 

The sounds of the wilderness, combining to compose a music so beautiful and soothing to the soul and spirit. Songbirds singing their love songs, and welcoming those who choose to travel their domain.  Crickets chirping that strange singsong version of their own.  The breeze rippling the leaves of aspen and willow, creating a soft balance.  The undulation of the creek as it flowed along its time worn path of polished and tumbled stones,  giving a steady pleasant chorus, finishing out the composition.

The spot I’m looking for is one near an old beaver dam, not one that is active, but perhaps abandoned by its former creator.  Surrounded by the willows and aspen, and a lush green mat of tall grass swaying with the occasional flurry of the fickle breeze.  A soft grass padded perch near the creek, a place of relaxation and contentment.   I sit comfortably laying out the contrivances of the purported task at hand.  The tackle box with its collection of lures, hooks, and fly’s all intended to attract the sleekly swimming wonders of mountain creeks. 

As I dig through the impressive array of lures, I decide on a new and interesting tactic.  A tactic that probably, most definitely, will not, return the original intension of catching a few fish.  I weight a line, place a little red and white colored bobber on the line.  Intentionally failing to attach a hook or any other creative form of bait or lure.  Casting the line out so it will be clearly visible to any who might happen by.  I lay back on my soft bed of grass, close my eyes and allow the sweet sensual scents of the creek to mingle with the comforting fragrances of the forest.  Tuning my ears to natures music, I allow myself to slip off into a warm sunny dreamland of mountain wonders.

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Friday, June 5, 2009

Springtime Mountain Wonders

Silver Star Mountain wildflowers

Image by Chris R Roberts via Flickr

Mountains in Springtime hold a beauty unparalleled to anything I have seen elsewhere.  You get a kaleidoscope of colors and settings.  The snow melting slowly, cause fresh water to run down over the flowing fields of wild flowers.  Feeding and nurturing their explosion of color and fragrance.  Lush green mountain peat moss bogs, and groves of small willows.  everything set against a backdrop of earth tone colors from the rock outcroppings and cliff sides.


This was always the time of year I enjoyed the most.  Everyone else had already had their spring, yet we were just starting to reap the benefits of ours.  The Cabin fever having a chance to be broken because the weather had warmed enough to melt off much of the high country.  Yet there were places farther up, above timberline where the snow remained year round.   It always provided a beautiful backdrop to view the spring wildflower eruption. 

Always the sounds of Mother Nature welcoming all guests.  Whistle pigs sounding the alarm anytime someone gets close to their rocky homes.  Winds whispering through a grove of aspen trees, waking the largest living organism.  Songbirds softly singing sweet melodies, calling to each other a welcome home song.  The gossiping of a babbling brook, flowing strong, and telling a story of it’s own.

Spirits of old traveling the tundra, stretching their ghostly legs.  Simply looking for a little companionship from the living visitors.  Each carrying a story of their own.  A story of hardship or accomplishment, each unique unto itself.  Never a thing to fear, rather a comforting umbra to welcome all who choose to listen.

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