Friday, May 31, 2019


He seemed to be surrounded
by a calm stillness;
a calm that he wore
with comfort. 
© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo LocationSunset BeachNorth Carolina

Monday, May 27, 2019

Memorial Day 2019

For all those who sacrificed their life, 
so that we may live ours with freedom. ~ RH

The dead soldier's silence sings our national anthem. ~ Aaron Kilbourn

Photo Locations:

1. & 2. Santa Fe National Cemetery  ~ Santa Fe, New Mexico

3. Memorial Hill ~ Midway, Utah

Friday, May 24, 2019

The Thicket

In early May,
the thicket thickens
with Staghorn Sumac and Honeysuckle,
with Spicebush and Elderberry.

Entwined with vines
from Wild Grape and Greenbrier. 

The ground grows thick with
Mayapple and Trillium.

Snarled with arching brambles
of Multi-flora Rose,
and tangles of Dewberry
coiling around your feet.

Overhead, two year-round residents:
a raucous Blue Jay, and the
cheerful Black-capped Chickadee.

But coming from the thicket,
new spring songs from the:

mimicking Brown Thrasher;

and shy, meowing Gray Catbird;

the bold-for-his-size 
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
whining and wheezing;

and the secretive
Rufous-sided Towhee
who requests and suggests
that you "Drink your tea... eee..."

© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1. Trillium - Lowell Township - Kent County - Michigan

2. Dewberry - Home Woods - Cannonsburg, Michigan

3. Blue Jay - Home Woods - Cannonsburg, Michigan

4. Black-capped Chickadee - Home Woods - Cannonsburg, Michigan

5. BrownThrasher - Home Woods - Cannonsburg, Michigan

6. Gray Catbird - Wabasis Lake Park - Kent County, Michigan

7. Blue Gray Gnatcatcher - Home Woods - Cannonsburg, Michigan

8. Eastern Towhee - Saul Lake Bog Nature Preserve - Land Conservancy of West Michigan - Kent County, Michigan

Monday, May 20, 2019

Eight Years

The little boy
carries lilacs
in his warm hands,
into the warm kitchen
where his mother is 
baking brownies for him.

She accepts
his precious gift of lavender,
inhales the fragrance of spring,
her eyes glistening with love;
his eyes sparkling with pride.

Remembering the spring
he was born
eight years ago;

eight years since
her husband
brought her lilacs
from the same bush.
© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations: Kent County - Michigan

Thursday, May 16, 2019


catkins in their prime
it's mid-May in Michigan
a warbler's delight

© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations

1. Red Oak - Home Woods

2. Cape May Warbler - Cannonsburg State Game Area - Kent County, Michigan

Monday, May 13, 2019

Gathering Words

Like a Pileated Woodpecker
probing for insects and larvae
beneath the brittle bark;
I gather a few words
from my walk in the woods.

Discovered in the praying hands
of young Shagbark Hickory leaves;
opening, unfolding,
giving praise
to the Creator.

Uncovered in the pure radiance
of a Mayapple flower;
a small, white crown of purity
hidden under green umbrellas
close to the ground.

Recovered from the
sharp, clear whistle
of a brilliant Northern Oriole
returned on his first day,
newly returned in early May.

© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1. 6 Mile Cypress Slough - Fort Meyers, Florida

2. Home Woods - Cannonsburg, Michigan

3. Home Woods - Cannonsburg, Michigan

4. Home Garden - Cannonsburg, Michigan

Thursday, May 9, 2019


what's that hidden sound?
a Rufous-sided Towhee
scratching the dry ground.

© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1. Spotted Towhee - Garden of the Gods - Colorado SpringsColorado

2. Rufous-sided Towhee (Eastern Towhee) - Home Woods - Cannonsburg, Michigan

Monday, May 6, 2019


Emerging maple samaras
flare red like fireworks
in early morning sun.

Above this canopy of woods,
a Red-tailed Hawk
surfs on early thermals.

Early wildflowers
like Bloodroot and Trout Lily
rise triumphant from fertile forest soil. 

Migrating warblers
greet the early riser
with a chorus of birdsong.
© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations:

1. Georgetown, Kentucky

2. Kent County - Michigan

3. Trout Lily -  Townsend Park - Kent County - Michigan

4.  Wilson's Warbler - Rocky Mountain National Park - Colorado

Thursday, May 2, 2019

A Trail of Words

Constructing a new pathway;
authoring an alternative adventure.

A trail of words
to walk along;
to explore
with your 
© 2019 Richard Havenga

Photo Locations: