Road Trip Lagniappe

October 11, 2016 at 7:13 am (National Parks, National Wildlife Refuges (US Fish & Wildlife), Nature, Nature photography, Oklahoma, Photography)

Rt. 51 near Canton, Okla.

Rt. 51 near Canton, Okla.

What more appropriate introduction to a road trip blog than a cool photo of a hilly road at dawn’s early light?

Plainview, Okla.

Plainview, Okla.

I love country roads. Little traffic. Wide open spaces. Safe to pull over for photo opps. Western Oklahoma has a bunch of country roads.

Old farmstead, Talonga

Old farmstead, Talonga

By the time I get around to editing the photographs from a trip, I tend to forget the feelings and thoughts I had during the trip. Plus I’m just so anxious to get the images posted that I tend not to say much. So my blog posts are heavy on photos.

Freedom, Okla. at dawn

Freedom, Okla. at dawn

As a photographer, I love being out early, and staying out until the sun sets. The best light, the best moods, happen at those times.

Freedom, Okla.

Freedom, Okla.

It’s hard to photograph a vista in Oklahoma without some sign of the oil and gas industry, as you can see in this photo.

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Cherokee, Okla.

Cherokee, Okla.

I’ve always loved old wall signs.

Broomcorn

Broomcorn

I think state tourism agencies should ask farmers to post signs in their fields to identify crops, since many times I have no idea what is growing and, like many people, I’m just darned curious. This is my first sighting of broomcorn. I had no idea what its purpose was and (don’t laugh) even wondered if the odd stalks that replace edible ears of corn were growing popcorn!

Broomcorn-sorghum

Broomcorn-sorghum

After I googled it, I learned it is sorghum! And lo and behold, it CAN be popped like popcorn. It’s also crushed like sugar cane for syrup, used as livestock feed, and also for ethanol.

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Homemade election signs seemed appropriate in the far-flung farmlands.

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I take it Stan has been in office quite awhile.

Sodhouse, Washita Battlefield

Sodhouse, Washita Battlefield

The Washita Battlefield and museum gave an insight into a sad event of American history, when the peaceful Cheyenne were blamed for the actions of a band of renegades and massacred by the U. S. Cavalry, led by Lt. Col. George Custer. Not only were the men, women and children slaughtered, but 800 ponies were also killed. It can’t help but make decent people angry. Reminded me of watching “Dances with Wolves” when Kevin Costner came to appreciate the native peoples and then the crude, hateful hicks of the cavalry arrived and started killing the Indians and wolves without ever attempting to appreciate them. At least Custer got his just rewards at Little Big Horn. (Too bad about the Soldiers, though.)

This was a very unusual part of Oklahoma, a flatter-n-a-pancake salt bed where you could dig selenite crystals.

salt-plains-nwr-ok-6-copyIt looks like Badwater in Death Valley and the salt bed at Carrizo Plain National Monument.

Digging selenite crystals

Digging selenite crystals

The US Fish & Wildlife Service has a large area set aside where you can dig for the crystals, as well as signs that tell you how to do it and what the most prized crystals look like. Unfortunately some scofflaws were out in off-limits areas, which always makes me sizzle.  In winter this area is flooded over for migrating waterfowl.

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I wasn’t interested in getting a perfect crystal with the hour-glass opacity in the center. These looked pretty good to me and I didn’t even have to dig for them. They were in the tailings piles.

Osage orange

Osage orange

The osage orange fruit looks really funky, but isn’t edible.

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This little drama shows a scary-looking jumping spider with its mayfly prey.

Jumping spider and mayfly

Jumping spider and mayfly – a closeup!

I just had to put in a Halloweenish touch since it IS October. Oh, and did I show you the blotched water snake at Boiling Springs State Park?

Blotched water snake

Blotched water snake

Someone on the trail said it had tried to make a frog its meal. They said it was a venomous copperhead, which shows that people often want things to be more dramatic than they really are. This guy is non-venomous.

Major County Historical Society choo choo

Major County Historical Society choo choo

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Beef cattle and irrigation sprinklers.

Hay bales

Hay bales

So there. That concludes my Okie Road Trip that I took six weeks ago.

All photographs and text copyrighted by Cindy McIntyre

Feel free to reblog or share

Website:  CindyMcIntyre.com

Online gallery:  Smugmug and Fine Art America

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Contact:  cindy at cindymcintyre.com

 

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3 Comments

  1. Robert said,

    Very good road shots!!

    Best to you,

    Rob

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  2. Patti Henshaw said,

    thanks Cindy, your photos make interested in seeing OK. My great grandparents lived in Kansas at one time so some day a road trip to the midwest is on my list

  3. Bella Remy Photography said,

    Such an interesting area you live in. Crystal hunting how fun! And those rolling roads… Wheeeee !!!

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