Category Archives: Nature

Where are the Fall Colors?


Where are the colors for Autumn 2018?  I had to borrow last year’s photos for this post. I never remember an autumn in Appalachia where there was still no color evident by today’s date – October 17.

I’m a leaf watcher.  Every year I can hardly wait until the trees pop with color and the mountains look like a giant bowl of Trix cereal. I grab my camera and go to the woods, or for a drive in the car. Sometimes the colors are so brilliant, they almost hurt the eyes with beauty.

Perhaps all the colors will burst forth at the same time.  We’ve had a soggy spring, summer, and fall.  Cold nights and sunny days are said to be the perfect combination for inspiring the colors to come forward.

Like many others, I’m watching daily in hopes that falls delay will not mean that it is also colorless.


When Tomorrow is Uncertain


I chose this image of a beautiful butterfly because it is obvious the poor little thing has seen some stormy weather or difficult times.  Yet, it is still a butterfly, doing what butterflies do.  The storms it has encountered may have frayed its wings, but it flies on.

As we age, the storms of life assail us, but we weather them and press on.

My dad recently had colon cancer surgery.  Sore, frightened, and discouraged from the process, he has not failed to reach out to people around him and share the love of God with everyone who will give him a few minutes and listen.

We don’t know what tomorrow holds for him or for our family, but we will continue to fly on these old wings and weather the storms around us until God calls us home and replaces all things old with new.

Philippians 3:14 (KJV)

14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.


Bibliography in Book Covers


The following book covers include books I currently have in print and available on and Kindle. The first section includes Christian faith based books.




















I have written one Christian Romance novel:  In the Circle of His Arms.







The next section includes books appropriate for middle school, junior high, and high school.





















The next section includes book of Appalachian folklore, culture, and interest.    






























The following books include short stories I have written as part of their project collection:




























The following books resulted from student projects at Wallins Elementary School and Junior High in Harlan County, Kentucky in the 30 years of my teaching career. The students are also featured in a book called Hope and Heroes by international photographer Barry Shainbaum, and illustrated the book Odette, Goose of Toulouse by the late, beloved Earl Hamner, Jr. (creator of the Waltons).       Their work was also highlighted by Steve Flairty in his Kentucky Heroes book series.

















An Interview with Crypto Crew, Thomas Marcum


I want to extend a special thanks to Thomas Marcum of the Crypto Crew for the interview he posted today on his website listed below about my two latest books:  Bigfoot and Woolybooger Tales and Panther Tales and Woodland Encounters.  Thomas Marcum is also one of the expert researchers whose stories appear in these books, along with another Crypto Crew member, Tony Felosi who is a researcher, documenter, producer, and film maker.

Please pay a visit to Thomas Marcum’s website if you are interested in cryptozoology, bigfoot, and other unexplained phenomena.  You won’t be disappointed with his research, eyewitness accounts, and documentation.  Thomas is also the author of several books on these subjects.


The Bear That Broke My Nose


IMG_2042  I’ll do almost anything for a good photo.

However, that doesn’t include broken bones.  on this particular excursion, trying to get the shot cost me a broken nose.  Riding in the back seat of an ATV with a large metal roll over bar across the back of the front seat without a seatbelt was an invitation for disaster.

I was leaned down trying to focus up the hill on the opposite side of the ATV when the driver hit an unexpected bump.  My nose smacked the bar and I heard it crunch like someone crunching crackers in their hands.  Gruesome noise followed by blood.  Needless to say, my interest in the bear vanished.  But blood and all, I managed to get one shot which wasn’t anywhere near great.

The Bible says ‘in everything give thanks,” and “all things work together for our good.”  I have to say I pondered that closely when I got home.  What was there to be thankful for?  I was thankful it wasn’t a broken leg or something far worse than a cracked nose.  How was it a good thing?  I learned a lesson about wearing the seat belt I thought I didn’t need, AND I can now breathe clearly out of both nostrils, my olfactory senses seems to be enhanced, and I had an opportunity to PRAISE GOD even when things weren’t exactly going my way.  I have an adventure story to tell in the future that will be much funnier the further I get away from the pain.

In God’s hands, it’s all good.



Following the Calf Path


I recently discovered the poem below and love the message.  Sometimes we follow a bizarre and winding path only because it is there, without knowing WHY or HOW or WHO created it in the first place.

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The Calf-Path

      Sam Walter Foss  (1858-1911)

One day, through the primeval wood,
A calf walked home, as good calves should;
But made a trail all bent askew,
A crooked trail, as all calves do.

Since then three hundred years have fled,
And, I infer, the calf is dead.
But still he left behind his trail,
And thereby hangs my moral tale.

The trail was taken up next day
By a lone dog that passed that way;
And then a wise bellwether sheep
Pursued the trail o’er vale and steep,
And drew the flock behind him, too,
As good bellwethers always do.

And from that day, o’er hill and glade,
Through those old woods a path was made,
And many men wound in and out,
And dodged and turned and bent about,
And uttered words of righteous wrath
Because ’twas such a crooked path;
But still they followed — do not laugh —
The first migrations of that calf,
And through this winding wood-way stalked
Because he wobbled when he walked.

This forest path became a lane,
That bent, and turned, and turned again.
This crooked lane became a road,
Where many a poor horse with his load
Toiled on beneath the burning sun,
And traveled some three miles in one.
And thus a century and a half
They trod the footsteps of that calf.

The years passed on in swiftness fleet.
The road became a village street,
And this, before men were aware,
A city’s crowded thoroughfare,
And soon the central street was this
Of a renowned metropolis;
And men two centuries and a half
Trod in the footsteps of that calf.

Each day a hundred thousand rout
Followed that zigzag calf about,
And o’er his crooked journey went
The traffic of a continent.
A hundred thousand men were led
By one calf near three centuries dead.
They follow still his crooked way,
And lose one hundred years a day,
For thus such reverence is lent
To well-established precedent.

A moral lesson this might teach
Were I ordained and called to preach;
For men are prone to go it blind
Along the calf-paths of the mind,
And work away from sun to sun
To do what other men have done.
They follow in the beaten track,
And out and in, and forth and back,
And still their devious course pursue,
To keep the path that others do.

They keep the path a sacred groove,
Along which all their lives they move;
But how the wise old wood-gods laugh,
Who saw the first primeval calf!
Ah, many things this tale might teach —
But I am not ordained to preach.

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Get Up and Get Out


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I had two old friends spend the night on Friday.  We got up with a free day stretching before us that we could spend any way we wanted.  One friend, in from the city, wanted to visit a wildlife management are where we used to see elk.  Although we have seen no elk there in years, she wanted a bit of adventure in a familiar place.

Away we went, not knowing what we would find on our adventures or on the back roads.  As many times as we had been to the top of the mountain, we had never seen acres of yellow flowers (unknown to us) and daisies blooming and wild horses munching in the midst.  It was a beautiful, laughter filled, photo filled day.

None of it would have happened if we hadn’t gotten up and gotten out for the day.  Sometimes a perfect day begins with one step beyond the door.

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Animals Join in Praise


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I love photographing animals.  On many occasions, it seemed for all of the world as if an animal I was watching stopped to lift its head and Praise the Lord.  They never know I’m there, as with this wild horse, and they are not performing for an audience.  I can surmise no other answer than that animals do what comes natural to them, raise their heads and praise the Lord!

Psalm 150:6 – “Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord.  Praise the Lord!”


Spreading Our Wings to Fly


IMG_2655Photo from Glendalough Monastic Settlement – Northern Ireland

This stone tower stretched upward before me.  The birds circling obviously had found a nesting place protected from view.  In thinking about what I wanted to say today, the stone tower was very significant, as well as the birds circling about.

There are so many things in life that keep us from spreading our wings and flying into the unknown.  Perhaps it is the family waiting in the nest, or the familiarity of the surroundings.  Maybe it is because it is just easier to keep doing what we are doing than to fly into new uncharted territory.

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There are people in our lives who don’t want us to fly because they feel better about where they roost of we do just what they do.  How far or how high we fly should never be dependent on the preconceived notions or expectations of other people.

As I checked my facebook messages  this morning, I saw a listing from my friend, Coty Sloan of Sloan Travel Co. making a vague reference to those who were jealous because of his job as a traveler and tour guide.  Without knowing Coty, it will be hard to imagine the sweet, wonderful, generous spirit this young man has and the passion he brings to sharing the world with travelers.  I wish I could afford to travel with him on all of his adventures, but the fact that I can’t would never keep me from celebrating his journeys.

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Jealousy is wasted effort when it applies to the lives of others.  No matter how much another person is blessed in their life or what amazing things they can afford or can experience, it in no way diminishes God’s ability to bless us or pour into our lives incredible things that are tailor made for us.

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God gave us spiritual wings, intellectual wings, and emotional wings so that we could reach new heights, soar in high places, and see His world from a higher place than keeping our feet firmly planted on the ground.  It takes courage.  Sometimes it is a leap of faith, but we are all meant to spread our wings and fly.

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Isaiah 40:31  “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.  They shall mount up on wings as eagles.  They shall run and not be weary.  They shall walk and not faint.”

(All of the eagle in flight photos were taken from free public domain photos from a web search.)


Wildflowers and Wild Horses


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I went for a drive yesterday in another part of the county where I live.  It was a glorious day for a drive.  I had no idea what awaited except a drive with friends and an adventure into the world beyond my front door.

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All along our driving path, the woodlands were bursting with spring wildflowers.  We decided to head across one mountain to Begley Wildlife Management area and were rewarded for our efforts when we located a herd of wild horses.

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We took hundreds of photos, had a picnic on top of the mountain, watched the horses, and watched the sun slide down the sky.  It was a great evening, enjoying the beauty of God’s handiwork and the glories of the wilderness.  None of it would have happened if we had not been willing to leave our chores, jobs, and daily demands behind for a few hours and take the first step beyond the door of our ordinary day.

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