Rooted in the Rocks

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Along the banks of the James River, in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, we found this giant oak tree, standing seventy or more feet tall. It was obvious that over the years flood waters washed against the roots exposing them to the elements. The roots adapted by covering themselves with bark. But even more importantly, they embedded themselves between the layers of uplifted rock. As a result of these muscular roots, the tree has withstood the ravages of nature and still stands today!

Oak’s muscular roots

Flex against layers of stone

Branches reach the sky


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Posted on open link night at d’Verse Poets Pub

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Cliff Swallows


Just off the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia, there is a walking bridge across the James River. The cliff swallows have taken residence in the tall concrete columns. Attaching their mud nests to the ceiling, they lay their eggs and hatch out their young as people come and go below.

Red mud nests hold young
Voracious appetites keep
Cliff Swallows feeding


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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Frank Tassone’s Haikai challenge for today is to include the SwallowWe saw these amazing birds feeding as we walked across the James River one Mother’s Day. Somehow it seemed appropriate to be watching mother feeding their babies high overhead.

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If you are over sixty, you might remember Pat Boone’s song: “When the swallows come back to Capistrano…” !

Cliff Swallows on the James


Poetry in Motion with Cliff Swallows nesting on the James River bridge near Lexington, Virginia. This is at the headwaters of the James on the Blue Ridge Parkway. These mud nesters built their nests , one beak-full at a time, on the concrete pillers of a walking bridge across the James. They were feeding babies that were about ready to leave the nest. You can see how they broke out the opening of the nest to accommodate  their size. It was really interesting to watch them come and go. No further words needed. Enjoy the shots.








Photos: Dwight L. Roth