A Nest in My Hat

“You cannot keep birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair”/hat ― Martin Luther


I have an old straw hat that I wear on hot sunny days as I mow the yard.  When I am done, I hang it upside down between two shelf braces in my garage. My garage door is often open as I am in and out of the house. Seems my little wren wondered into the garage and found my hat a perfect place to make a nest. Last week when I decided I needed it to mow the yard, I took my hat down and this is what I found. This is the second time I found a nest being made in my hat.

Straw hat inviting

little wren, “Come build your nest!”

Squatter evicted

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Posting this one on the Open Link Night for d’Verse Poets Pub.

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Northern Lights: Nature’s Fireworks

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In Northern Alberta where my wife grew up, Northern Lights were a common occurrence in the night sky. I have only seen photos of them, but I wanted to see if I could paint a picture that somewhat resembled them. This is a view of her home that I got from a couple of old photos. The painting is 30″ x 40″.  We had a break in the heat this past weekend, so I was able to work on this one.

Northern Lights glowing

across the cold winter sky

Nature’s best fireworks


Dwight L. Roth

Here is one for all my blogging friends in the Southern Hemisphere! First day of winter for you!

Sharing this with d’Verse Poets Pub for Frank’s Summer/Winter Solstice prompt.

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Father’s Stories

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My father had a heart attack in 1975, when he was 65 years old. He recovered and lived for five more years. After he recovered, I realized if I wanted to find out about his life, I needed to ask him now. I took my cassette recorder and sat down with him asking him to tell me about his childhood. The tape ran for almost an hour as we talked back and forth. I took the tape home and put it in my file drawer. I did not know when I would get it out and listen to it again.

Forty years later, I decided to write a biographical fiction book about my grandfather who came to this country when he was six years old. He was a most interesting man who was a concrete mason in Central Pennsylvania. One of his hobbies was catching and breeding skunks! He operated on them and took out their stink glands, selling them as pets and also selling the hides. It was during my writing of his story that I remembered my father’s interview tape. It was most helpful in adding depth to the story.

Most young folks are too preoccupied to think about asking parents or grandparents to tell them their stories. Sadly, most of the stories die with them when they are gone. I urge you to ask your questions while you can. Your fathers and mothers will not always be around.

Father’s Day stories

Lifetime of memories shared

Ask them while you can


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

You can read my grandfather’s biographical fiction here:

The Natural Air Conditioner

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As I stay in my house with the air conditioner running full blast, I dream of a return to the natural cool found in the Pisgah National Forest. Trees are Nature’s air conditioner, and the cool water of the mountain waterfall is more refreshing than any artificial cool.  The rocks above show the upheaval of the Earth’s tumultuous past, while downstream the water flattens out to a wonderful calm place for people to swim.

Summer heatwave

Making birds and people pant

Dreams of a cool stream

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Photos of Looking Glass Falls: Dwight L. Roth

Choose Your Hypnotist


A willing subject is the key

Believing all will be

What is spoken to me

Tickling my itching ears

Stirring my righteous anger

Calling me to do what

I would never dream of doing

had this spell not been cast

on me…

so willingly

This is my second poem for the prompt Spell. As I watch some of what is going on with the Senate hearings on the January 6th riots at the Capital, I had to think about why this happened. The hypnotist chooses willing subjects to do his bidding, but the subjects usually choose who they want for their hypnotist! This is not only true in politics.

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Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Summer Red Sky

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Red sky in the morning casts an eerie spell

over calm flat ocean waves

Is it an ominous warning to sailors?

…or simply warning us of an intense UV day

Either way, wise choices

will tell their tale at the end of the day

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’verse Sanaa asked us to write a Quadrille of exactly 44 words using the word Spell as our prompt.  Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

“Red sky in the morning ….sailors take warning.

Red sky at night ….a sailor’s delight.”


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I met my friend Sri last week for lunch. We had a wonderful time catching up with life and family and changes. He knows I have a sweet tooth, so he bought me a large cinnamon bun for dessert. I split it and we both enjoyed this shared experience. Good friends are wonderful and make life a joy.


Some think life’s choices are about being right or wrong

I believe my choices are more about how life makes me feel

The love of another, the joy of a child, the compassion of a friend

Life is about that connection I feel when someone gets me and I them

That connection of interaction and validation beyond the superficial

A person can follow all the rules and “do things right”

and still be miserable, if that feeling of connection is missing

Life for me is about sharing the joy I feel with others

in spite of knowing some will never quite understand who I am

It is the appreciation that comes with kind affirmation

that renews and restores my confidence in myself

Life that is only about being right or wrong is a very cold life

For me, life is about feeling and loving deeply and caring for others

It is what makes my life worthwhile


Photo selfie: Sriam B.

Cherries and Berries

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I decided to work on a new painting today. I thought I would do a watercolor painting, but it seems old habits die hard. My watercolor turned into an acrylic style painting. Guess I will have to keep on practicing!  The painting is of three big cherry trees in the field on my uncle’s farm. The fence along the lane had some great red raspberry bushes. I am afraid mine turned out looking more like roses. Oh well.

Bing cherry trees

 stand tall on the hillside

silhouetted against the mountain

Red raspberries cling to the old fence row

Ripening, ready for picking on the Fourth of July


turns into an acrylic

Painting: Dwight L. Roth