Montana Outdoors

September 28, 2015

The thirteenth goose.

Filed under: Montana — montucky @ 11:26 pm

A part of the universe in which we find reality is not always joyful and the inevitable encounters with mortality are very real and very moving. We each deal with those encounters in our own way. I have recently experienced such an encounter and my response to it has been very personal and unique to only myself and I prefer to let it remain so.

Please consider one of my previous posts written in December of 2006:

Early this morning a flight of Canadian geese could be seen over the river in their familiar “V” pattern, but this time something was not quite right: instead of even pairs, there were only thirteen. These beautiful big birds mate for life, and if one loses its mate, it will usually take another the following year, but seeing an uneven number in a “V” during the winter has always produced a feeling of sadness for me.

So, for the thirteenth goose, this:

The beat of gray wings
on a cold gray sky,
and a space in the “V”
for a time now gone by.
Your life-mate is gone
and the winter is long:
there’s a void in your life
and a tear in your song.
I know your sorrow,
or if sorrow’s not known,
then loneliness;
feathered grief of its own.
When the grass next turns green
and the gray sky turns blue,
a new life-mate, then,
is my fain for you.

It is now time for me to resume public contact through “Montana Outdoors” and to express as best I can my encounters with the beautiful things in the natural world. Please understand my absence.


  1. I can only send you my very deepest, most heartfelt sympathy. I have wondered about you often. I hope that sometime you will begin to feel the joy again that you have given so many readers of this blog, and experience the wonder of the world again. Meanwhile, my kindest wishes are with you.


    Comment by Jo Woolf — September 29, 2015 @ 12:11 am

  2. I’ll just say welcome back. You’ve been missed.


    Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — September 29, 2015 @ 3:14 am

  3. Glad you are back!


    Comment by centralohionature — September 29, 2015 @ 3:26 am

    • Thanks! I’m looking forward to resuming our friendship here too!


      Comment by montucky — September 29, 2015 @ 7:49 pm

  4. Hope you can find comfort in the people and places you love. Very sorry for your loss. Welcome back, your work brings a lot of wonder and joy to others.


    Comment by jpostol — September 29, 2015 @ 4:56 am

    • Thank you! The world is still the same as it has always been, and I will adjust again in time to the beautiful things in it.


      Comment by montucky — September 29, 2015 @ 7:52 pm

  5. I for one have missed your presence, but well understand your absence.
    Hoping that the days grow easier for you as time goes by and that Nature welcomes you into its fold with open arms once more.


    Comment by Vicki — September 29, 2015 @ 5:04 am

    • Thank you Vicki. It is an adjustment, but this world still holds much beauty to be discovered and appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — September 29, 2015 @ 7:53 pm

  6. Your words are as beautiful as your images. Even more beautiful is your willingness to share them with us. Welcome back.


    Comment by shoreacres — September 29, 2015 @ 5:55 am

    • Thank you Linda, The beauty of the back country, shy sky and the streams still remain and I will again admire them and share them as best I can. It is comforting to be back.


      Comment by montucky — September 29, 2015 @ 7:55 pm

  7. My thoughts and prayers are with you and for the saw “V” in the autumn sky.


    Comment by Malcolm R. Campbell — September 29, 2015 @ 6:37 am

  8. Such heart-touching words, Terry…you’ve often been in my thoughts. Wishing you peace, my friend.


    Comment by seekraz — September 29, 2015 @ 7:30 am

    • Thanks Scott. The peace that comes in the mountains and the back country is already beginning to come back.


      Comment by montucky — September 29, 2015 @ 7:57 pm

      • You’re welcome, Terry…and I’m glad you can be out there and receive that peace.


        Comment by seekraz — September 30, 2015 @ 7:27 am

  9. Welcome back to the new season of life that is now open for you. My heart hurt when I read those beautiful and moving words. Glad you are posting again. big hugs


    Comment by Beth — September 29, 2015 @ 7:58 am

  10. Thanks for the beautiful poem. I’ll save it, if you don’t mind, and maybe someday show it to a dear friend who will soon be on his own too.


    Comment by Margie — September 29, 2015 @ 8:18 am

    • Margie, I will be honored if you wish to share those feelings with your friend. It hope it will help!


      Comment by montucky — September 29, 2015 @ 7:58 pm

  11. I can only assume you’ve lost a loved one and my heart goes out to you. Glad to see that you’re back.


    Comment by wordsfromanneli — September 29, 2015 @ 8:35 am

  12. Terry you have been missed! I love watching the geese. When I hear them it’s like a song to my ears and to see them fly is so special. Keep looking up to see the beauty.. My sincere condolences and prayers too.


    Comment by Mother Hen — September 29, 2015 @ 10:04 am

  13. I had wondered where you were, what was going on in your life. My heart leaned towards yours.
    your poem is beautiful, a meaningful way to express feelings over these things. It is nice to see a post from you.


    Comment by Tammie — September 29, 2015 @ 10:47 am

    • Thank you Tammie. This is, after all, a part of the reality that we all share, albeit a difficult part.


      Comment by montucky — September 29, 2015 @ 8:01 pm

  14. You’ve been in my thoughts so much during your absence and, like all of your followers, I’ve missed you tremendously. Your words in this post and this poignant poem gave me pause to say a prayer for you to receive comfort and peace and finally….as time goes by…that joy you share with us in your beautiful photos. Be blessed, my friend, and know that you are loved and thought of.


    Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — September 29, 2015 @ 12:20 pm

    • Thank you for your kind words and thoughts. The adjustments will be made and I know the beauty of nature is still there. I hope to share new scenes of new places once again, once a little of the joy returns.


      Comment by montucky — September 29, 2015 @ 8:03 pm

  15. Our world is beautiful and amazing, but their is a harshness that can be unbearable when the circle of life is broken.


    Comment by Charlie@Seattle Trekker — September 29, 2015 @ 1:34 pm

    • Yes, the harshness is something that we all share. I am thankful though that the beauty is still there to be discovered and enjoyed.


      Comment by montucky — September 29, 2015 @ 8:04 pm

  16. Terry, I’m very sorry for your loss. I hope that you find comfort in the beauty of Montana and I’m glad you will continue to share it with us.


    Comment by Candace — September 29, 2015 @ 3:32 pm

    • Thank you Candace. Once the smoke has cleared from the valleys and mountains of Montana I’m sure the beauty and the appreciation of it will still be there.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — September 29, 2015 @ 8:06 pm

  17. Your poem is poignant beyond words … this, especially so:
    feathered grief of its own.

    So glad to have you back …


    Comment by Teresa Evangeline — September 29, 2015 @ 10:26 pm

  18. I have missed you and hoped you’ve been ok. Now I read that you’ve suffered loss. I’m so sorry, Terry. I am glad to see you back again and wish healing upon you. Kind wishes.


    Comment by Jane — September 30, 2015 @ 2:55 am

    • Thank you Jane. I’m glad to be back among my friends again. The beauty of the wilderness will make me recover.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — September 30, 2015 @ 8:00 pm

  19. Very unique poem, did you write it? Glad to see you back!


    Comment by Ron Mangels — September 30, 2015 @ 5:30 am

  20. Beautiful! and welcome back, we’ve missed those glorious Montana landscapes.


    Comment by Sue — September 30, 2015 @ 11:35 am

    • Thanks Sue! I will be getting out more as soon as this smoke clears. It has been terrible this summer.


      Comment by montucky — September 30, 2015 @ 8:02 pm

  21. We are so sorry for your loss. Looking forward to see more of your beautiful photography, we’ve missed you!


    Comment by Reed Andariese — October 1, 2015 @ 6:05 am

    • Thank you Reed. The world is still a beautiful place and I will adjust.


      Comment by montucky — October 1, 2015 @ 3:46 pm

  22. So sorry for your loss…..glad to see you’re back….have missed your photography. I also live in Northwest Montana and have found your blog useful for my own adventures. I think that one thing we may have in common is that we like to go to places that are what one might consider “out of the way” in our neck of the woods….as opposed to Glacier National Park.


    Comment by Anonymous — October 2, 2015 @ 4:45 pm

    • I’m pleased that you have found my blog useful. And yes, we clearly have that in common, and we are blessed to have that kind of opportunity!


      Comment by montucky — October 2, 2015 @ 6:44 pm

  23. I am very glad that You are back. I was very worried about what happened. I checked many times Your blog if You are back.


    Comment by Sartenada — October 11, 2015 @ 11:39 pm

    • Thank you for your concern Matti. I appreciate it very much!

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — October 12, 2015 @ 7:29 pm

      • I have been ill nearly one month and that is why I have been offline so long time. My physical strength was down and I am yet today very weak, but my mental strength is increasing day by day. Today I will make my new post since 26 days.

        All the best!


        Comment by Sartenada — October 12, 2015 @ 11:08 pm

        • I’m sorry to hear that you were ill, but glad to hear from you again and glad that you are healing and posting again!


          Comment by montucky — October 13, 2015 @ 9:31 am

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