Category Archives: Poetry


Squaw Mountain with mist



In like a banshee,
Be wary—the Ides of March
And out like a mist.

Battle Mountain with mist

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Posted by on March 31, 2017 in Nature and Wildlife, Poetry


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The Sage Grouse Strut

Grouse with the ladies
from the Craig Daily Press

The Sage Grouse Strut

It’s the Sage Grouse strut,
It’s the Sage Grouse stroll,
It’s the Sage Grouse hustle,
We boys are on a roll.

To impress our feathered friends,
we puff and shoot the breeze,
hootin’, “Hey there, ladies—
you’re some fancy chickadees!”

I can thrust my chest out—
like two shiny pearly shields,
I can waggle spotted tail feathers
in these sagebrush springtime fields.

I can flap my grousy wings
with a fancy dancey fly–
that bird with ruffled plumage
can’t even flutter to the sky.

Ten males vying for the attention of the hens

“Hey girls, look here at Big Bird–
Do you like what you see?
I’m the coolest guy out here—
Hey darlin’ chickies, pick me!”

“Just smell that spicy sagebrush,
(you can quit your hiding place)
the hen party should be over,
It’s me you must embrace!

“You may be small and brown,
but you’re winsome as can be–
shake your bootie over here
and make some eggs with me.

“Just ignore that moulty bird
with his wimpy rooster tail.
Take a brushy stroll with me
along this sagey trail.

Antelope hanging out with the grouse

“I’m a’stompin’ and a’struttin’
upon this crowded lek.
Forget your frumpy henfriends—
I’m at your call and beck.

“I’m the coolest cockerel–
see that rooster over there
can hardly puff his chest out,
He’s only suckin’ air.

“That chicken who is struttin’
and a’prancin’ through the sage
couldn’t hardly get a date
if he was dancin’ on a stage,

“and that struttin’ fool you see
is nothin’ but a poult.
if you study him real close
he’s about to start to moult.

“Don’t even take a look–
that cocky dude is not the best.
He’ll love ya and he’ll leave ya
with chicks tucked in the nest.

“Just ignore those other birds,
with their inferior display,
I’m the ace who offers
the best sort of DNA.

“I’m the best grouse on the lek,
I’m a struttin’ fool, you see–
so take the Sage Grouse stroll
through the scented brush with me!

“It’s the Sage Grouse strut
It’s the Sage Grouse dance,
Step right up, you sexy hen,
it’s time for Grouse romance!”

Teacher Cindy Cobb and Wildlife Biologist Tony Mong answer third grade students’ questions. during Greater Sage Grouse field trip. Photographer Noppadol Paothong from the Missouri Department of Conservation documents it all. That ‘s Maeve on the lower right in the pink coat.




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Waiting for the green

Cows at Powder Flat



Waiting for the green

Snow melt seeps and soaks the roots

Of summer’s bounty

finding the burrs

plenty to eat


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Hoarfrost Haiku


Hoarfrost stars sparkling,

meteors blazing a cold

ephemeral light.


Posted by on February 16, 2017 in Nature and Wildlife, Poetry


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Happy New Year

New Year's morning and Battle Mountain

New Year’s morning and Battle Mountain

The year dawns new
and clean
and full of hope.
Sunrise sending
gleams of light sparkling
across snowy meadows,
shining up like
diamond shards—
crystal glimmers pricking
cool frosting spread
smooth across the fields.
In spring, these hills hide
baby calves with mama cows
mooing softly.
Summer hums with
growing hay, and tractors
rolling past midnight,
scheduled by dew upon
moonlit windrows.
Autumn brings lambs,
deer, elk, grazing on
harvest’s aftermath.
Then the long brown
quiet awaits
snow, and silence
and the shimmering
pallet waiting for sunrise–
painting the
New Year.

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Posted by on January 1, 2017 in Nature and Wildlife, Poetry


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Snake Fire

Helicopter with bucket hauling water to the Snake Fire

Helicopter with bucket hauling water to the Snake Fire



All the Forest waits

to burn, nature’s tinderbox

waiting for a match.

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Posted by on September 20, 2016 in Events, Nature and Wildlife, Poetry


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Summer Solstice Sunrise

sunrise over Reed Draw

sunrise over Reed Draw

Summer solstice sunrise
shine on, shine on.
These long, lingering days
bring blessings.
The growing season rises up
hot and green and
full of promise.
Hard to believe
all that turns
on this day
as we begin the slow march
toward equinox,
toward winter’s nights,
cold and dark.
But for now
grasses grow, and
portend prosperity,
protection against that time
when winter threatens hunger.
Hope flows from this
summer solstice promise
of plenty.

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Posted by on June 21, 2015 in Nature and Wildlife, Poetry


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