Oklahoma’s “Blue Ridge Parkway”

November 6, 2016 at 6:42 am (Autumn, Nature, Nature photography, Oklahoma, Photography) (, )

Talimena Trail, Oklahoma

Talimena Trail, Oklahoma

Who’d a thunk it? Oklahoma has mountains! Not just the Wichitas, which are pretty darned lovely, but rolling forested mountains with endless views such as I’ve seen along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Shenandoah National Park, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. They are the Ouachita Mountains (Wash-a-taw or Wash-ee-tah). And the road to see them is the Talimena Trail, officially the Talimena National Scenic Byway.

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The last weekend in October and first weekend of November are generally the peak of fall colors here. But there had not been a cold snap which is needed to turn the colors and most of the trees were either still very green, or the leaves skipped the coloring step and went straight to brown.

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It’s uncertain as to whether the traditional fall colors will even show a few weeks late. Since it’s a four-hour drive from my house in southwest Oklahoma, I’m not likely to give it another try this year.

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However, it’s hard not to be charmed by the layered ranges that impart a sense of distance and flowing beauty. The best views were from the Lenox Vista looking east, and had I wanted to arrive there before sunrise it would have made a spectacular one.

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We drove most of the 54-mile scenic road, ending our trip just over the border in Arkansas at Queen Wilhemena State Park. (Stay tuned – the next blog will show the adorable creature we found there!)

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We doubled back and stopped at the Kerr Arboretum where we found three or four trees that had actually changed color! Needless to say, we spent a LOT of time photographing them. Looking for just the right leaves, and patterns, and light.

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The contrast of chartreuse leaves yet to turn, with their kin that had moved to golds and oranges, is a photographer’s dream.

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How can you not be charmed by the lovely jewels spotlighted by selective rays of sun?

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Even the poison ivy was camera-worthy. In good conditions, the leaves will turn a lovely red.

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These are heading that way. Backlighting brings out the detail in the veins and makes the colors pop against a darker background.

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I’ll have one last post from this trip to find autumn in eastern Oklahoma. It will feature mostly critters and some cool wildflowers.

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Photos 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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1 Comment

  1. mbkircus said,

    You are making me homesick. Used to spend about 30 days a year in those mountains, camping, hiking,and paddling.

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