Frost Flowers

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Have your ever seen frost flowers growing on a cold winter morning? Many years ago when I was much younger, I enjoyed going deer hunting. Since I was a school teacher, the Thanksgiving break was a great time to hunt. I remember getting up very early on Thanksgiving morning, and driving my Ford Maverick back into the mountains near Broadway, Virginia. I forded a small stream and parked in the pines at the bottom of the ridge.

It was a very cold morning and the air was heavy with moisture.  I climbed the side of the mountain, the sun was just coming up.  I noticed that the sun was shinning off of ice crystal that had grown forming beautiful flowers on the ground. It was one of the most beautiful sites I have seen. The air temperature and the moisture in the air were just the right combination to produce frost flowers.  The sun soon melted them away as I made my way to the top.

Mountain frost flowers

Crystals soon to melt away

Deer and hunter dance

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Frost Flower Photo:  kuriositas.com   (This is very similar to the ones I saw)

This Haibun is for Frank Tassone’s Haikai Challenge with the prompt winter mountain.

Join us at:

#Haikai Challenge #64 (12/8/18) winter mountains (fuyu no yama) #haiku #senryu #haibun #tanka #haiga #renga

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They Still Bleed Red

 

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A month ago, I shared that it would be the last night for the roses. Frost was predicted, came, and went. But the warm NC sun soon revived them. Buds continued to open and in spite of cold nights, living up to -their name: Knock-Out Roses. Now a month later, the petal edges are singed in black, but they are still bright red in the sunshine.

Against cold assaults
While frost shrivels all around
Roses still bleed red
Undaunted by winter’s freeze
Leaves succumb // Roses bleed red

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Photo taken today: Dwight L. Roth

Last Rose of Summer

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We enjoyed a warm Fall, but now the cold air is moving in and what had escaped the earlier cool nights is now getting frosted. I went out today to see what had survived and found the last rose of summer still bright red for one last day. Some of the others around it were wilting from the frost we had last night.

Frosty air arrives

Last rose of summer still smiles

Tomorrow she’ll die

Leaves shiver // aged overnight

Winter’s knocking on the door

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

 

The Last Taste of Summer

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The Last Taste of Summer

Cool air creeps in on the back of shortening days

The sun’s still warm but nights are cold

Nips of fall manifest themselves in the garden

The grape vines are almost bare

Garden tomatoes still hang on to the very end

No statement of an early demise signed here

Fallen Zinnias and Cosmos feed the last of the Monarchs

Honey bees still collect pollen in the early morning sunshine

To my surprise I see a remaining orange jewel

Hanging on the aging vines

The last ripe tomato just waiting for me

I picked it today and had it for lunch

Last but not least it still had the flavor

Of earlier brothers and sisters already eaten

What a wonderful way to bring closure

That one last taste of summer makes it all worthwhile

All the work and toil ending in one last jewel of flavor

As fall closes in with colors of every hue

I enjoy this one last offering

Thankful for the simple blessings of life

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

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This is a great blog you might want to check out:   https://uplandweb.wordpress.com/.

Fall in the Woods

Dwight with bird house from Lauralville 001

Growing up playing in the woods all summer was wonderful. We ran over the trails and played Cowboys and Indians, Davey Crockett, and Daniel Boone. We had no video games or smartphones. We spent our days in the outdoors. I hope you will bear with me for reposting this bit of nostalgia. I posted it last year and will probably post it again next year. Perhaps you can picture the changes in our woods as fall came on each year. This is where I grew from a child into a teenager at Masontown, Pennsylvania.

Fall in the Woods at Masontown

I can still remember, like it was yesterday
Fall in the woods at Masontown

Cold weather closed in early
Leaves in the woods
Turned shades of yellow, orange, red, and brown
What was once a lush green woods
Filled with green hollow stemmed weeds
Now becomes blanketed
With a soft silent coating of leaves

The Silver Maple and Butternut next to the house
Dropped their yellow-tan leaves
The quince turned yellow-brown
As the apple trees blended into the scene
With rich deep red leaves
Highlighted by a back drop of color
Pouring from the shallow woods
Extending from our house
To the church cemetery

On the driveway black walnuts still in the hulls
Driven over with car tires
Squishing and shelling
Removing the hard nuts inside
Picking them up, peeling off the excess
While blends of saffron, amber, and walnut stains
Are left on my hands and under my nails

From driveway to furnace room
Down in the basement
The nuts carried to be dried
For cracking with hammer and brick

Out in the field behind the chicken house
Rows of asparagus
Lined the edge of the woods
Bent over like a hundred old men
Kinked and twisted
Dry hollow stems
Seed pods still clinging stubbornly to the tops
Some will weather the snow and wind
Only to be disked up in the spring
To start all over again

Masontown 1972 (2)

Out in the woods,
Paths where our bare feet ran all summer long
Disappeared under layers of leaves
As frost took its toll on the trees
Now I can walk through the woods,
With a borrowed single-shot 12 gauge,
Looking in the pit holes for rabbits,
Flushing out ring-necked pheasants
From the edge of the corn field
Just beyond the back side of the woods

Life was simple then,
Rabbits shot were few and pheasants even fewer
But walking through the woods and field
Was an experience I enjoyed
Just for the sake of being there

The woods remained stark and bare
For the rest of the winter,
But it’s passing and recurring beauty
Left indelible impressions
On my mind for years to come

Sometimes I wish
I could just be there once again

Masontown, PA circa 1949 001

Photos: Dwight L. Roth & Family Album

 

 

Fall in the Woods at Masontown

dwight-with-bird-house-from-lauralville-001

Fall in the Woods at Masontown

I can still remember, like it was yesterday

Fall in the woods at Masontown

Cold weather closed in early

Leaves in the woods

Turned shades of yellow, orange, red, and brown

What was once a lush green woods

Filled with green hollow stemmed weeds

Now becomes blanketed

With a soft silent coating of leaves

 

The Silver Maple and Butternut next to the house

Dropped their yellow-tan leaves

The quince turned yellow-brown

As the apple trees blended into the scene

With rich deep red leaves

Highlighted by a back drop of color

Pouring from the shallow woods

Extending from our house

To the church cemetery

 

On the driveway black walnuts still in the hulls

Driven over with car tires

Squishing and shelling

Removing the hard nuts inside

Picking them up, peeling off the excess

While blends of saffron, amber, and walnut stains

Are left on my hands and under my nails

From driveway to furnace room

Down in the basement

The nuts carried to be dried

For cracking with hammer and brick

 

Out in the field behind the chicken house

Rows of asparagus

Lined the edge of the woods

Bent over like a hundred old men

Kinked and twisted

Dry hollow stems

Seed pods still clinging stubbornly to the tops

Some will weather the snow and wind

Only to be disked up in the spring

To start all over again

 

Out in the woods,

Paths where our bare feet ran all summer long

Disappeared under layers of leaves

As frost took its toll on the trees

Now I can walk through the woods,

With a borrowed single-shot 12 gauge,

Looking in the pit holes for rabbits,

Flushing out ring-necked pheasants

From the edge of the corn field

Just beyond the back side of the woods

 

Life was simple then,

Rabbits shot were few and pheasants even fewer

But walking through the woods and field

Was an experience I enjoyed

Just for the sake of being there

The woods remained stark and bare

For the rest of the winter,

But it’s passing and recurring beauty

Left indelible impressions

On my mind for years to come

Sometimes I wish I could just be there once again.