Lost River Gold

Lost River WVA - Gary Smucker

Today. a friend of mine posted these beautiful fall photos on his Facebook page. They were so beautiful I asked him if I could share them on my blog. He generously agreed. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have, along with the Haiku I wrote.

Lost River turns gold

Fall paintbrush dances on trees

Midas touch soon gone

Lost River WVA 2 - Gary Smucker

Oaks and Maples shine

Wrapping their arms around me

Breathe deeply and smile

Photos: Thanks to Gary Smucker

Running Colors – (haiku)

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This is a watercolor that painted itself.  I put on the color and let it run and then blended a few more colors and low and behold this is what came out! My Bob Ross in watercolor! It is a little dark, but I love color so I tend to get it a little intense!  practice practice practice!

Green river flowing

Mountains emerge blending hues

Colors run freely


`Watercolor Painting: Dwight L. Roth

The Climb… segments 5-6-7

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The story of George the old hunter continues … trapped in a blizzard… while hunting in the mountains….  

The cave extended back about eight feet, with a ceiling only around four feet high. It was just wide enough so that George could comfortably turn around and stretch out in. Now that he had stopped moving the chill began to set in on him. He was glad for his hooded hunting jacket that offered some comfort, but not enough to feel warm. The evaporating sweat from his climb down the mountain only served to chill him even more.

Darkness was setting in as the snow continued to fall gently creating a wonderful world of white. George knew he must work quickly to get settled for the long night ahead. He had several matches, but they would not provide any lasting light. He took out his last granola bar and ate only half of it, although his stomach was empty and growling. He did the same with his last bottle of water. He knew he would need the rest in the morning for his journey back to his truck in the valley below.

A cold chill was coming through his jeans. George decided to pile the dry leaves in the cave over his legs to help insulate them just a little. Exhausted from his climb down the mountain, so he propped his 30-30 against the back of the cave and tried to get as comfortable as possible. It wasn’t long untill he drifted off to sleep.


As the winter storm outside continued, George slept fitfully. His dreams came and went, some leaving him very unsettled. Just as he drifted off once more, he heard a frightful scream in the distance beyond the hollow. Immediately he recognized that sound as a mountain lion. They roamed these mountains and were usually illusive of people. Unless cornered, they kept their distance.

Thoughts raced through George’s mind. The sound was not far away; and from what George could tell, it was moving closer. He wondered if the mountain lion was also looking for his cave to find shelter from the storm. He sat up, took the safety off his rifle and laid his 30-30 across his lap.

He could not see much in the dark, although the snow offered a shadow of light at the mouth of the cave. Chills of a different kind ran up and down George’s spine, as the guttural sounds of the mountain lion came closer and closer to the mouth of the cave. George knew he had no choice, so propping his elbows on his knees he brought the 30-30 to his shoulder and waited.


George could now hear the heavy breathing of the creature outside his cave. He checked to make sure his gun was ready. The cat stopped just beyond the entrance. Was she picking up George’s scent from inside the cave? He could hear her creeping forward on the snow covered ground.

George knew this was it. With his finger on the trigger he kept his eyes focused on the dim light at cave opening! The mountain lion’s head obscured the light at the cave entrance. She gave a loud snarl when she saw George in her den. George held his breath and squeezed the trigger. There was a deafening boom from the rifle!

George woke with a start in a cold sweat! It seemed so real. He checked, and his 30-30 was still standing propped against the cave wall. As he looked towards the entrance George could see all was quiet as the snow gently fell all around.

To be continued

For the beginning of the story scroll down through the blog page to the previous posts on The Climb or click below:

For a free pdf. file copy of the whole story, email me at: dwru27@aol.com

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

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

The Climb…. three more segments

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On Tuesday we did prosery at d’Verse Poets Pub. We had to write a 144 prose piece using the word Cloud along with a line from a poem. I wrote this short story. Several bloggers mentioned they wanted the story to continue, so I am attempting to carry on… This is the first segment followed by three new segments.

The Climb

Dwight L. Roth

The old hunter slowly made his way up the rocky mountain side. He used his 30-30 more as a cane than a gun. It was a beautiful winter day with a cool brisk wind blowing up the hollow. He wrapped his coat tightly around his shoulders as he stopped to rest.

George enjoyed hunting for the past forty years. As he unwrapped a Hershey bar, he thought about his younger days and the thrill of getting his first deer on opening day. Now the thrill was just being able to make it to the high top. The view there was spectacular.

At the top of the ridge, he found trees bent from the wind. The clouds were different today. George wasn’t sure, “But these clouds are clearly foreign, such an exotic clutter against the blue cloth of the sky” Distant snow clouds worried him.

The Story continues:

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He knew how fast the weather could change in early winter. George had hiked through the mountain laurel, almost to the high-top, the rise of rocks and scrub bushes that rose sharply before dropping down the backside of the mountain.

In the West he saw clouds were moving in more rapidly than he anticipated. He knew he must head back or he would be caught in a blizzard. In his younger days George could have easily stepped it off back toward the ravine in short order. But, his body would not cooperate like it once did. So, he slowly made his way through the laurel as best he could.

Reaching the head of the hollow, he looked out across the mountains and realized there was no way to make it down before the snow closed in on him. He had to find shelter and find it quickly!


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It started as sleet and freezing rain, quickly turning into heavy snow. He remembered stories of hunters who got trapped in blizzards and did not make it home alive. George was determined that would not be his fate.

Having hunted the mountain many times, George remembered a large outcropping of rock on the other side of the hollow about half way down. If he could make it that far, a shallow cave at the base would provide shelter from the wind and snow.

Although going down was easier than coming up, one had to still be careful not to slip and fall, or step in between two rocks and sprain an ankle, or God forbid, break a leg. Carefully George made his way through the falling snow. In the distance he could see the large rocks, black against the white blanket of snow.


As George reached the overhanging rocks, he could see his short breaths projecting like tiny steam clouds from a locomotive. He also felt an unusual tingling in his shoulder that radiated down his left arm. It concerned him, but he knew he had to find protection for the night so he pressed on.

He climbed up and peered into the shadows of the opening hoping not to find another animal taking shelter there. He breathed a sigh of relief when he realized it was empty except for a large pile of dead leaves that had blown in over time. The cave provided shelter against the wind and blowing snow.

With snow falling, covering everything, there was no way for George to build a fire or gather wood to keep it going. He knew it was going to be a long cold night. Would anyone miss him?

To be continued:

If you want more let me know…

Photos: Dwight L. Roth

This is where the story originated:

Today at d’Verse, Merril introduced our prosery prompt clouds. In prosery we are given a line from a poem of her choosing and it must be incorporated into the flash fiction story as given. The line she gave us was: “But these clouds are clearly foreign, such an exotic clutter against the blue cloth of the sky” from Clouds – by Constance Urdang

For a free pdf. file of the complete story, email me at: dwru27@aol.com


Mountains majestic / rising tall above us all

Solid and strong they stand immovable.

Until shaken, they crumble and tumble;

their strength broken and their high position

brought low, scattered across the landscape.

You see, mountains are simply rocks waiting to crumble…

Even the tallest mountains turn to sand in time.

Sand is the great equalizer!

Photos: Dwight L. Roth


Bunky’s Shack – Dwight L. Roth

Bunky died today!

He called me just last week from his Shack on the mountain. Seems, his wife sold the house, left, and had gone to Florida. For him, the Shack was his place to get away from the heat of the summer. She stayed home by herself. Her daughter came up and helped. They liquidated all in just a few weeks.

When I worked for him, we always enjoyed long conversations filled with stories of growing up in Eastern North Carolina. He was strong willed, opinionated, and had done just about everything in his seventy plus years. Now, my friend was calling for a listening ear.

Sadly he shared, “When it was over said and done, it was a time, and there never was enough of it.”

Bunky had slipped on the side of the mountain and hit his head on a rock!

Bunky – Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, we are writing Prosery. This consists of writing a short story, flash fiction or true, exactly 144 words, and incorperating a line of poetry given to us by Lillian. The poetry line is taken from a poem by, “A Time” by Allison Adelle Hedge Coke.

The lines we were given were:

“When it was over said and done

it was a time

and there never was enough of it.”

The story above is a true story from a few years ago, when my good friend died suddenly in an accident at his place in the mountains.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Almost Heaven

Dusty Sunset - Gary Smucker

An interesting phenomenon occurred this week, when a huge cloud of dust from the Sahara Desert in Africa was carried across the Atlantic. Some of the dust entered our atmosphere here in the US and is creating wonderful sunsets as the light reflects off the dust particles. This gorgeous photo was taken yesterday, and posted on Facebook by a friend who lives in Lost River West Virginia. It immediately reminded me of John Denver’s song Almost Heaven West Virginia. He graciously allowed me to use it in my post today.
West Virginia shines in all its glory.
Dusty copper sky glows brilliantly
in evening light above shadowed mountains…
outlining ridges with purple hues;
Dripping a spot of gold on the lake below.
Almost Heaven, West Virginia…” John Denver sang,
dreaming of a place where God paints the sky.
Brushing with broad strokes across a Sahara canvas…
he once again creates beauty and grace from the dust of the earth;
Leaving us all standing in awe and adoration.

Photo: Gary Smucker (c)  – Used by Permission

Listen to his song here:

I Am Here!

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          One never hides his face when reaching the summit of a mountain. The long and arduous journey, up the treacherous rock face, challenges all that we have within us. Reaching the top, we see the grand vista below.
It calls for us to cry out, “I’m here!!” “I made it to the top!”
And, as we pause, we hear the echo of our voice, reverberating from the distant valley,
“I am here! …am here!” .. am here!”
“I made it to the top! …the top … the top”
          As I reflect on D. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, at the Lincoln Memorial, I see the same thing happening.
          Maya Angelou described it this way,

“The Rock cries out to us today,
You may stand upon me,
But do not hide your face.”

We still hear those echoes today! “I’m here……”

At d‘Verse today, we are writing prose. Frank asked us to write a piece of only 144 words reflecting on and including the quote from Maya Angelou. Today is Martin Luther King Day in the US.
Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

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