Thursday, May 30, 2013


trying not to be noticed,
blended with
the back edge of

Crawled casually
over the land,
the front edge of

into its place
©  2013  Richard Havenga

 (Click on photo to enlarge)
Photo Location:  Loveland,  (Loveland) Colorado (Colorado)

Monday, May 27, 2013


irresistible ocean
creates relentless motion,
meets immovable object,
California's craggy coast.

(Click on photo to enlarge)
Photo Location:
Point Reyes National Seashore,  (Point Reyes)  California  (California)


Saturday, May 25, 2013

What Do You Want To Do Today ?

Do you want to picnic here with fine food on a blanket in the sun?
     Do you want to run through the fresh grass with your dog?
 Do you want to lean against a maple in the shade and read a book?
Do you want to climb the hill into the pines and play hide-and-seek with your kids?
                              Do you want to lie on the lazy slope and watch the clouds?  
                                                                                     Do you want to thank God for the great outdoors?

Sugar Maple - Acer saccharum

Red Pine - Pinus resinosa

(Click on Photo to enlarge)

Photo Location: Cannon Township,  Kent County,  Michigan

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Improvisator

Improvise - v., 1. to perform or provide without previous preparation. 2. to compose (verse, music) on the spur of the moment. 3. to recite, sing, utter, etc. extemporaneously.
That would be the Brown Thrasher, with the incredible play list. The Brown Thrasher is one of three members of the bird family Mimidae. All three improvise their song, and frequently mimic songs of other birds. They have no one song of their own.
Generally, Catbirds repeat phrases once; Brown Thrashers twice; and Mockingbirds three or more times.
Upon arrival in the spring, the male sings loudly from the tree-tops trying to attract a female.
SONG: Loudly sung, during breeding season, the Thrasher  repeats each phrase that it mimics or invents, singing each phrase two times in rapid sequence.
Once mated, they are more difficult to observe; giving softer versions of their songs from dense thickets, of shrubbery.

CALLS: A loud, sharp chak, like a Fox Sparrow. A low, toneless growl chhhr. A sharp tsssuk. A rich, low whistle peeooori, or breeeew.

pink: summer range,  light blue: winter range,  purple: year-round range.
Territory: Two to ten acres.

Brown Thrasher - Toxostoma rufum

DESCRIPTION:  11½" (29 cm) long. Slimmer, but longer than a robin; prominent wingbars, slightly curved bill, long tail and yellow eyes. Intensely yellow eyes!

NESTS: Built on the ground under thickets, or in shrubs and trees, 2-7  feet (60-210 cm).
Outside diameter = 12" (30 cm). Inside diameter = 3¾" (9.5 cm). Inside depth = 1" (2.5 cm).

Nesting Materials:  Thorny twigs, twigs, dry leaves, rootlets, wild grape vine bark, grass. Both sexes carry nesting material to the site, but the female does most of the nest shaping. 

EGGS: 4 - 5 eggs, bluish-white, with sparse brown speckles.
Incubation: 12 - 14 days. Both the male and female incubate. Nestling phase: 9-12 days. Broods: 1-2.
Plumage: Both sexes are identical in appearance. To distinguish them; the male sings, the female does not. Juvenals have a gray iris, adults a yellow iris.
Mud on bill from foraging in wet ground.
FOOD: Lots of beetles and grasshoppers (insects make up 2/3 of their diet.) Seeds and fruit (1/3 of their diet). They often scratch like chickens at the leaf-covered ground.
Brown Thrashers are nearly always seen at ground level.
They love shrubs, hedges, and low-growing thornapple trees; a favorite site for their nest. Thorny twigs often form the base of their nest.
        Dear Brown Thrasher:
I will still notice you in late spring
when your loud call becomes softer,
still heard by your Thrasher mate,
both of you protecting the brood.
I will still credit you for each
tent-caterpillar caterpillar you eat
from the crotches of small branches
in the Black Cherry trees.
I will still boast to others
as you show off your colors;
the "rusty"-ness on your back,
and on your long, fine tail.
I will still regard and admire
your very streaked breast,
but I doubt that I will ever find
your well-concealed nest.
Photo Location
Cannon Township, (Cannon) Kent County, (Kent)  Michigan (Michigan)
Kitchen Table Bird Book - John Ham  © 1984 (Ham)
Peterson's Guide to Birds of North America - Roger Tory Peterson  © 2008 (Peterson)
The Sibley Guide to Birds - David Allen Sibley  ©  2000 (Sibley)
Guide to Bird Behavior - Volume Two - Donald & Lillian Stokes  © 1983 (Stokes)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Promise


the scroll

ready to receive
the promise.

Sensitive Fern - Onoclea sensibilis
Photo Location: Cannonsburg State Game Area,  (Cannonsburg SGA) Kent County,  Michigan

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Baptism

The Baptism

baby oak leaves
born only yesterday
sprinkled with a
 mist of diamonds 

soft morning light
showers new birth
with first blessing:
 the precious gift of life

Photo Location:  Home Woods

(Click on photos to enlarge)

Red Oak - Quercus rubra

Monday, May 13, 2013

Fragments of Poetry 9

"Then the wind
         fluttered its wrists, a
                sweet music as usual,

though as usual I could not tell
         whether it was about caring or not caring
              that it tossed itself around, in the boughs of light,
                   and sang."

Fragment from the poem: "So"  written by Mary Oliver from the collection:  West Wind  © 1997

You may also enjoy:  Fragments of Poetry 8:  March 28, 2013 
                                     Fragments of Poetry 7:  January 25, 2013 

(Click on photo to enlarge)

Photo Location:  Thornapple River,  Cascade Township,  Kent County,  Michigan

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Beauty

Spring Beauty

 Tiny flowers face and follow the sun.
 Open when the sun is shining.
Closed when the sun is hidden.
 Awaiting your focused attention.

 So when the sun is shining,
get yourself into the woods,
to find and face and photograph
these dainty, delicate beauties.

Happy Mother's Day

Honor your mother
with sincere compassion
and unconditional love.
She awaits your focused attention.


(Click on photos to enlarge)
Spring Beauty - Claytonia virginica
Photo Location:  Townsend Park,  (Townsend)  Kent County,  Michigan


Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Unfolding

 Red velvet leaves
reaching out
like hands 
to worship.


Preparing for a life
of receiving the sun
promise of a few
green seasons to come.

© 2013 Richard Havenga

Red Oak - Quercus rubra  (Note: These baby Red Oak leaves are ¼"  wide, and ½" long)

Photo Location: Home Woods

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Invitation

the land has warmed
under a higher sun
trees now flower
in longer light

a palette of pastels
slides slowly north
climbing the latitudes
with gradual change

subtle shades appearing,
advancing, leaping
like green flames
into vibrant spring

are you attentive
to the present,
ready to honor
the invitation?

are you aflame
with passion
for this season
you've been waiting for?

are you prepared
to accept with grace
these gifts
sent from God?

Click on any photo to enlarge

Photo Locations:

Ada Township, Cascade Township, Grattan Township, Plainfield Township - Kent County; Michigan.

Grand River (Grand) & Thornapple River (Thornapple)

Bunker Interpretive Center - Calvin College (Calvin) - Grand Rapids, (GR) Michigan (MI)

Sugar Maple - Acder saccharum
Shad Bush, Serviceberry, Juneberry - Amelanchier canadensis
Black Willow - Salix nigra
Weeping Willow - Salix babylonica

Friday, May 3, 2013

A Hike We Like - Arches

The views here are too spectacular for mere words.
You need to travel to southern Utah and visit Arches.
Walk slowly, be aware, and try to absorb the immense spirit of this landscape.

Click on any photo to enlarge.

Photo Location:

Arches National Park,  (Arches)  Utah  (Utah)