The Thrill of Discovery

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I can still remember the lore of water and mud, of mountain streams, and rotten logs and  bugs under rocks.  Nature’s mysteries still draw me to get my feet in the mud, letting it squish up between my toes. One of our best learning environments is all around us.  I enjoyed watching these children searching the lake bank and under stumps for that special treasure, while totally oblivious to everything else around them. 

Nature’s mysteries

Focused… searching  intently

Treasures in lake mud


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Shoes tossed aside

Wading into discovery

“Oh, look what I found!”



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Sharing their treasures

Exciting moments in time

Mud dries between toes!

Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Who Decides?

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These beautiful flowers grow wild along my little garden fence. This year they came up under my bird feeder. There were light blue ones as well. They are so beautiful and last only till noon. They make me smile every morning when I open my shades. Who would think of calling them weeds?

Wild morning glories

Celebrate in bright sunshine

Not weeds in my eyes

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Posting this one this evening on d’Verse Poets Pub’s open link night!

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Creative Learning

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When I started teaching back in 1969, computers were unheard of, there was no air conditioning, and the front wall of my classroom was covered with black slate chalk boards. It has been a challenging journey navigating through the changes that never cease.

I always tried to incorporate hands on learning in my classroom. We did crafts, had a painting easel, and did lots of cut and paste art work. One year my class had a hot house, raised their own Marigolds and replanted them around the school ground. Then we collected the seeds and saved them for the following year. We watched the mutations from cross-pollination.

As children start back to school, I wonder what Covid-19 and teaching for the test has done to their creativity. I am glad to see them back in the classroom even with the mask precautions. There are things you just can’t learn by virtual learning. It is essential that we don’t forget the importance of hands on learning and playing together.

Days growing shorter

School buses rumble at dawn

Kids can’t wait to learn


Photo; Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse Frank Tassone asked us to write a back to school haibun. I am thankful my teaching days are log past!

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Temperatures here hit 95 F today. It has been in the nineties for the past two weeks. The garden is fried, flowers are wilting, and in the scorching sunshine it is really unbearable. Afternoon sunshine pushed my thermometer to the limit.  All we can do is hibernate inside, hoping for cooler weather when September rolls around.

Temperatures soaring

ninety-five feels one twenty

Summer’s last hot blast

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

“Here’s Looking at You Kid”

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I found this cute little guy today on the side of my house when I was rolling up my water hose. He is a common tree frog found in this area and may other parts of the Eastern United States. They are usually more active at night. I love all his little suction cups on his feet.  Keeps him hanging on!

Little green tree frog

Keeps one bulging eye on me

Suction cups for toes

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iPhone Photos:  Dwight L. Roth

Title taken from the movie Casa Blanca   –


Crumbling Rocks

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With all that is going on in the world, it may seem like we are living on a rocky mountainside waiting to slide.  But above it all our spirits can rise and soar if we stop and take time to look at the bigger picture. There is more to life that just sitting and waiting for the worst. Enjoy every moment you have with family and friends. Do your best to make the world a better place. An act of kindness is never too small, and a grateful spirit will carry you on eagles wings!

Rocks on the mountain

Waiting to crumble and slide

Eagle soars high winds

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Posted for Open Link night at d’Verse Poets Pub

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The Kill

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I was watching a beautiful National Geographic show on the animals of Yellowstone. At one point two grizzly bears were fighting over the carcass of a dead elk at the edge of the river. As they pushed and shoved, the crows sitting on the limb nearby took advantage of the situation.

While the grizzlies fight

over who owns the carcass…

Crows will eat their fill

This is one of my early paintings, when I was just beginning to learn to paint several years ago.

You Can’t Take It With You

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Being retired allows me the freedom to volunteer at our local Habitat Restore. The store depends on donations from the community which are resold at our store.  The money raised is used to build affordable housing for families who qualify. One of the things I have observed is that much of the donated furniture we get comes to us after the death of older family members. The children take what they want and then give us the rest to sale. Sometimes there are no children and we get most of what is left behind.

Here are two major items that were donated recently. The end tables and center piece were acquired by the owner when he was stationed in Japan. They are beautiful hand carved pieces that were then brought back when he came back to the States.  The tall room divider that was donated appears to have come from China. It also was brought to this country by the owner. It is very difficult to get the full value of an object. We usually resale for about half of the original value or less. Hopefully we will find a buyer for these items.

Cherished items stay

When death come calling for us

All is left behind

Children take what is desired

Cherished memories are resold

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Photos are from the Union County Habitat for Humanity Restore in Monroe, NC

Where’s Waldo?

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You may remember a few years ago when Where’s Waldo was popular. A page packed full of pictures was given and you had to find the face of Waldo in the mix. Well, today I had a similar experience with my hummingbird.  She came to visit my Red Salvia blooming along my sidewalk.  I got my camera and snapped a few photos. When I went back to look at them, it was like finding Waldo. She was moving so fast and blended in with the leaves so well, it was very hard to find her. Do you see her in each photo feeding on my flowers?

Wings humming high speed

Dipping into each blossom

Sweet nectar of life


Photos: Dwight L. Roth

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Sorry for the less than sharp photos! This was taken from a distance and cropped severely!

Dog Days of Summer

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Dog Days of Summer

Now we know why Punxsutawney Phil does not predict the end of summer. It is too hot for him to crawl up out of his hole. Mid summer was a beast this year, with temperatures above 90 F most days. Wildfires blazed all over the Northwest, sending smoke our way as weather fronts drug it across the country.

August has slipped in already with the promise of cooler days this week. When this month ends, Fall brings on Nature’s fashion show and  I am ready. Seems like each season ends just in time for us to look forward to the next one.

Tap-dancing on sand

August brings cooler promise

Farmers harvest corn

For our d’Verse prompt today, Frank Tassone asked us to write a Haibun reflecting on the month of August. When August comes we know summer is on its down hill slide into fall!

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