Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Small Act

arching out from
the tip of a twig,
on winged samaras,
future seeds wait;
small packets of hope
suspended within 
this tranquil moment.

dangling here,
collecting light,
this profusion of life,
bursting like pink fireworks,
this performance of maples,
a small act within
this repeated play,

where God is
producing and directing
the extravagance of spring.

squinting, I see
pairs of wings,
clusters of angels,
ready to dance
in the next
breath of a breeze.
©  2014  Richard Havenga

Red Maple - Acer rubrum

Photo Location:  Mom's Farm 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Nest

the gnatcatcher's nest
swaying in the summer breeze
hatchlings huddle down

©  2014  Richard Havenga

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher - Sounds  

Photo Location: Home Woods

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day

Photo Location:  "Memorial Hill" -  Heber City,  (Heber City)  Utah

(Click on photos to enlarge)

Friday, May 23, 2014

New Prayer, New Day

As long as I'm allowed 
to stay alive,
I will view this world 
with a deep affinity;

and offer a prayer 
of praise that grows 
silently, slowly,
like the early light of dawn.

Just now, the meadowlark,
celebrating only his
second year of life,
is calling me 
into his field of deep grass;
now jumping to a branch
to welcome his visitor.

Looking beyond...
new clouds 
are forming above 
the eastern horizon,
growing silently, slowly, 
into shapes of words
to a new prayer
for this new day.

But for these two seconds,
the Meadowlark is
nothing but song.
Then his wings whir,
gliding over deepening grass,
now leaving this field,
he is gone.

©  2014  Richard Havenga

Listen to the song of the Eastern Meadowlark

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Song of Grace

Between the shadows
of new spring leaves
this new music
from birdsong;
but not just any bird,
I heard...
the Wood Thrush!

Seldom seen,
hard to find,
but this evening
he's weaving
a fine fabric of notes,
from his own flute.

Threads of joy woven 
into this allegro;
this short song of praise.
Rising from the woods,
up and down the scale, 
between the shadows. 

His song is filled with grace.

My prayer is filled with gratitude.

Now we can celebrate spring.

The Wood Thrush has returned.

Listen to the call of the Wood Thrush from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (Cornell)  

Monday, May 19, 2014

Spring Pastel

Driving slowly down the road,
I had to stop, and back up,
to admire this spring pastel,
framed with pale green leaves
from wild grape vines.

Slowly walking closer, 
the simple became elegant.
While framing the picture,
I listened to the maple samaras
fluttering like wind chimes. 

What colors would the artist select
to recreate of this moment?
Working at her easel, would she
feel it deeper, sense more fully,
experience greater contentment than me?

I try to remain attentive,

looking for opportunities
to accept with admiration
these small gifts
which resemble prayers.

Small gifts, small prayers,
like these wind chimes
alive with praise
within this
spring pastel. 
©  2014  Richard Havenga

Photo Location:  Gavin Lake - Parnell,  Michigan

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Catkins and Warblers

Following a long, 
brutal winter,
this welcome spring
offers willows
bearing catkins.

I see promise
in their pollen,
life in their leaves,
harboring tiny insects
to feed returning warblers.

April advancing into May.
Backlit by the sun.
Branches holding twigs.
Twigs displaying
candles of life.

Spring has been ignited.

Burning with the
flame of desire,
this lively Yellow Warbler
flits among catkins,
sings his sweet song, 
dances like fire.
©  2014  Richard Havenga

Listen to the song/call of the Yellow Warbler from Cornell Lab of Ornithology (Cornell

Monday, May 12, 2014



The leaves whisper

to the trees
that give them life.

Is it hope

for a season,
with something
that resembles

Is it merely

of duty;
in the light?

Is it 

like gratitude
for this short,
purposeful life?

Perhaps it is

whispered praise
from infinite leaves
on infinite twigs
to the maker of
called creation.

It could be one of these.

It could be all.


©  2014  Richard Havenga

1. American Beech - Fagus grandifolia

2. Flowering Dogwood - Cornus florida

Friday, May 9, 2014


Photo Location:  Pickerel Lake Park,  (Pickerel)  Kent County,  Michigan.

Eastern Kingbird - Tyrannus tyrannus

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Dogwood Spring

after long winter
we wait and anticipate
white Dogwood blossoms
©  2014  Richard Havenga

Learn much more about Dogwoods at: "The Understory of Dogwoods" April 25, 2012.

Flowering Dogwood - Cornus florida

Photo Location:  Ada, Michigan

Monday, May 5, 2014

Mayapple Memories

Dedicated to Aaron Havenga and Sarah Havenga Partin

When I was a small boy
I walked into the woods,
to lie down on the ground,
and inhale the rich smell
that the spring soil exhaled.

I crawled carefully on my belly
beneath these little green umbrellas,
and peeked into this miniature world;
a quiet and secret place,
discovering my love of nature.

When I became a man, and
a father to my son and daughter,
I took them into this woodland world
when they were four and five
to watch their imaginations come alive.

Now, as I write, and my memory grows older,
I shed slow tears upon these words,
while thinking about my  little boy and little girl
making their own Mayapple memories
so many spring seasons before today.
©  2014  Richard Havenga

You may enjoy another, related post from April 28, 2012 called: Inside the Mayapple Colony

Photo Location:  Home Woods

Friday, May 2, 2014

Dawn's Invitation

a faint evening breeze
leaves our woods,
traveling eastward
into the hay field,
touching new alfalfa,
passing over
the Bobolink's nest,
eventually settling
into the tranquility
of the Tamarack swamp,
to be held gently overnight,
within soft, green needles,
to wait with anticipation
for dawn's invitation
to explore 
©  2014  Richard Havenga

Photo Location: Saul Lake Bog, (Saul Lake Bog) Kent County,  Michigan

Tamarack - Larix laricina